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Best of Howard Schwartz

Gaming Guru

 

Livingston's Stat Book, "Baseball Prospectus," "Cigar City Mafia" Top New Arrivals

7 April 2004

Bob Livingston, known for his Sports Weekly Newsletter, has produced his "Book of Major League Pitching Statistics" (71 pages, 8x11 format, $35) for the first time in many years. "Baseball Prospectus 2004" (602 pages, paperbound, $17.95) should prepare bettors and fans on who's projected to do well, who'll decline and how ballparks affect performance. These are two new arrivals at Gambler's Book Club (Gambler's Book Club) while a third, "Cigar City Mafia" by Scott Deitche (291 pages, hardbound, $22.95), should appeal to Mafia buffs or those who want to know more about organized crime, bootlegging, gambling ringleaders, murderers and drug dealing in Tampa, Fla., along with the influence of the Trafficante family.

Livingston's baseball book contains a look at every starting and relief pitcher's performance during the 2003 season, while showing each game of each series with number of hits allowed, earned runs allowed, innings pitched and the score of each game. The book shows the total number of innings pitched against each club; the won-lost record against every club last year; and, most importantly, the pitcher's lifetime record against every club.

"Baseball Prospectus" analyzes the performance of 1,600 players including 50 prospects, the 2003 draft and minor leaguers. The compilers look at the strengths and weaknesses and intelligence level of ownership; ballpark design; trade smartness; teams on the rebound -- the re-builders and those in disarray; and hint at what to watch for in 2004. If you enjoyed Bill James' type of statistical analysis, this book will be a welcome addition to your informational arsenal. It pulls together all the off-season happenings and alerts you to potential trends. For the fan it's perfect. For the bettor who can read into the analysis, by team and by player, it can alert you to potential turning points -- downslides or upswings as the season progresses.

Essays on Japanese stars and future stars; how payroll and performance come into play; the decline and fall of the art of stealing bases; and an easy-to-use index of names make this one of the best baseball reference guides of the year.

The Tampa Mafia is one of the most influential organizations in the United States. They are the least known and one which law enforcement has been unable to get a good handle on, says the author, despite the death of Santo Trafficante Jr. This book is both a history of Tampa from the early 20th Century to the growth of the city, and along with it, organized crime, until the early 21st Century. It's about the Italian Mob and how it was soon to clash with the Cuban Syndicate, and about police corruption and how the entire power structure operated. Anyone with a yen to know how illegal gambling operated in Florida and how men like Meyer Lansky operated will find it in this eye-opening, well-researched work on the mob in Tampa.

Howard Schwartz
Howard Schwartz, the "librarian for gamblers," was the marketing director for Gambler's Book Club in Las Vegas, a position he held from 1979 to 2010, when he retired. Author of hundreds of articles on gambling, his weekly book reviews appear in numerous publications throughout the gaming industry.

Howard Schwartz Websites:

www.gamblersbook.com
Howard Schwartz
Howard Schwartz, the "librarian for gamblers," was the marketing director for Gambler's Book Club in Las Vegas, a position he held from 1979 to 2010, when he retired. Author of hundreds of articles on gambling, his weekly book reviews appear in numerous publications throughout the gaming industry.

Howard Schwartz Websites:

www.gamblersbook.com