These firm-jawed portraits of a dozen currently popular stars -- including Ryan, Bench, Blue, Murcer, Jackson, and Rose -- marshal all the relevant stats and maintain a universally positive tone (except in the case of Cedeno, whose involvement in a manslaughter case is grounds for a rather maudlin put-down -- ""Was. . . finding himself a star too hard for him to handle?""). On the whole, Gutman avoids the familiar excesses of boosterism, but he presents the so-called new breed -- nice guy Seaver, newly contented Dick Allen -- in a manner that never tampers with their approved public images.