On the surface, baseball looks like such an easy game--you throw the ball, you hit the ball, you catch the ball, and you run around the bases--but there are so many beautiful and hidden facets to the diamond. If anyone knows the game's on-field secrets, it's Tim McCarver. He caught in the Majors for 21 seasons, handling such Hall of Fame hurlers as Bob Gibson and Steve Carlton. Since hanging up his spikes almost two decades ago, he's been one of the game's most visible, thoughtful, and instructive analysts.
McCarver's Baseball for Brain Surgeons is just that: a packed, at times densely penned, manual for smart and inquisitive fans, written up to their hunger for good, solid, challenging insight into the game's tactics, strategies, and maneuverings. McCarver goes into impressively thorough detail, which is his ultimate strength and occasional weakness; he assumes you've already got at least a baseball B.A. If you don't know a cut fastball from a four-seamer, you might consider applying elsewhere until you do, but if you are indeed up to the demands of a provocative graduate seminar, McCarver's quite a professor. He's an engaging storyteller, he never hides his biases, and while he's naturally strong on his perceptions into the game's most primal relationship of pitcher and catcher, he's never less than major league everywhere else around the diamond.