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Bill James, 60 Minutes

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  • Bill James, 60 Minutes

    I was just watching the NCAA tournament and happened to catch a promo for 60 minutes this Sunday (March 30). Apparently one of the stories their doing is about Bill James and the Red Sox. The Yankees and David Wright also come up, or something.

    Story here.
    sigpic
    5.

  • #2
    This should be an interesting interview to say the least.
    Strikeouts are boring! Besides that, they're fascist. Throw some ground balls - it's more democratic.-Crash Davis

    Comment


    • #3
      I think this will be the first episode of 60 minutes that i'll actually go out of my way to watch.
      Originally posted by Domenic
      The Yankees should see if Yogi Berra can still get behind the plate - he has ten World Series rings... he must be worth forty or fifty million a season.

      Comment


      • #4
        Unfortunately I am going to miss it but I hope to catch a replay. I don't know f you guys have seen this but I noticed that he has a new website. It's a pay site but it has some good free stuff as well:

        http://www.billjamesonline.net/tours...ayAnswers.aspx
        "Batting slumps? I never had one. When a guy hits .358, he doesn't have slumps."

        Rogers Hornsby, 1961

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        • #5
          :noidea...and I thought the Red Sox won because they scored more runs than the other guy...now I find out it's because of some guy at a computer terminal

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Brian McKenna View Post
            :noidea...and I thought the Red Sox won because they scored more runs than the other guy...now I find out it's because of some guy at a computer terminal
            Weird. I'm looking for the part where they say it was Bill James alone and I can't find it. If you want to be intentionally dense, at least do it at the appropriate times. When you don't, you come off like every other uninformed sports writer that hates on statistics -- and writes about so very ignorantly.

            This type of response has gotten old and tiresome.
            Originally posted by Domenic
            The Yankees should see if Yogi Berra can still get behind the plate - he has ten World Series rings... he must be worth forty or fifty million a season.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Westlake View Post
              Weird. I'm looking for the part where they say it was Bill James alone and I can't find it. If you want to be intentionally dense, at least do it at the appropriate times. When you don't, you come off like every other uninformed sports writer that hates on statistics -- and writes about so very ignorantly.

              This type of response has gotten old and tiresome.
              Like this type of response?

              Westlake:

              I think if I had to pick someone to tell me what great journalism is, i'd pick Old Sweater.

              After the other 5,999,999,999 people in this world. Illiteracy, perhaps?

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Westlake View Post
                Weird. I'm looking for the part where they say it was Bill James alone and I can't find it. If you want to be intentionally dense, at least do it at the appropriate times. When you don't, you come off like every other uninformed sports writer that hates on statistics -- and writes about so very ignorantly.

                This type of response has gotten old and tiresome.
                Sounds like you have a pet peeve - perhaps we all could all present our comments a little more constructively. You're probably right about the "old and tiresome" reference.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Brian McKenna View Post
                  Sounds like you have a pet peeve - perhaps we all could all present our comments a little more constructively. You're probably right about the "old and tiresome" reference.
                  Yeah, it is kind of a pet peeve. But you're right, I could have been more constructive about that -- I apologize.

                  Originally posted by EdTarbusz View Post
                  Like this type of response?

                  Westlake:

                  I think if I had to pick someone to tell me what great journalism is, i'd pick Old Sweater.

                  After the other 5,999,999,999 people in this world. Illiteracy, perhaps?
                  That's old and tiresome? I wish someone said that every day.
                  Originally posted by Domenic
                  The Yankees should see if Yogi Berra can still get behind the plate - he has ten World Series rings... he must be worth forty or fifty million a season.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Westlake View Post
                    Yeah, it is kind of a pet peeve. But you're right, I could have been more constructive about that -- I apologize.
                    No problem - I have a couple pet peeves I don't come across very well with either at times.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I truly believe that Bill James has done more to change the game of baseball than any person since Marvin Miller came along.

                      Sabermetrics is not about some little nerd sitting in his basement with a computer. It's about revaluating the conventional wisdom. It's realizing that wins and losses alone aren't the best measure of a pitchers performance. The pitcher rely's heavily on what his team does to help him out, by preventing runs with fielding and by scoring runs. Wins and losses don't take that into account. Think about how many wins Walter Johnson would have if he played for a better team. He lost a record 26 games by the score of 1-0.

                      Sabermetrics also allows smart teams like Oakland to stay competitive. It's a little cliche by now to say that, but it's true. It's been widely rumored for years that it was James that came up with the Nomar trade back in 2004. That seemed to work out pretty well. It is about scoring runs, and it was James that helped baseball people realize that having a bunch of guys that get on base a lot helps score those runs.

                      And Bill James is the first to admit that it's not just about the numbers. No matter how much you boil it down to just numbers, there's still magic to the game.

                      Scott
                      I told you not to be stupid you moron.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by steve rogers View Post
                        I truly believe that Bill James has done more to change the game of baseball than any person since Marvin Miller came along.

                        Sabermetrics is not about some little nerd sitting in his basement with a computer. It's about revaluating the conventional wisdom. It's realizing that wins and losses alone aren't the best measure of a pitchers performance. The pitcher rely's heavily on what his team does to help him out, by preventing runs with fielding and by scoring runs. Wins and losses don't take that into account. Think about how many wins Walter Johnson would have if he played for a better team. He lost a record 26 games by the score of 1-0.

                        Sabermetrics also allows smart teams like Oakland to stay competitive. It's a little cliche by now to say that, but it's true. It's been widely rumored for years that it was James that came up with the Nomar trade back in 2004. That seemed to work out pretty well. It is about scoring runs, and it was James that helped baseball people realize that having a bunch of guys that get on base a lot helps score those runs.

                        And Bill James is the first to admit that it's not just about the numbers. No matter how much you boil it down to just numbers, there's still magic to the game.

                        Scott
                        It is ironic when staunch traditionalists (luddites?) characterize James, in particular, as some nerd at a computer in his mom's basement. James is one of the preeminent historians of the game, period. He knows more about the aspects of the game that have not made him famous, than many who are being paid to be experts in those same aspects do...

                        When Dusty Baker or Joe Morgan stereotype James, they are really just resorting to ad hominem character assassination in attempt to stave off their own impending obsolescence. If even cursory knowledge of basic SABR concepts become ostensibly mandatory in order to have a credible voice within the industry, these guys are DONE!

                        Personally, I think it is pretty silly for a manager not to know basic things like base/out state run prediction matrices. I'm not saying one should manage from a spreadsheet, but if I asked a major league manager what percentage of runners who reach first with no outs score, I certainly hope they'd give me a an answer within a few percentage points of what the tables say.

                        After all, this is only the type of research that guides every other multi-billion dollar industry. I assume those who are quick dismiss James also seek the Ozzie Guillen of the Finance industry to manage their portfolios...

                        I thought Mckenna's post was just a little joke about the way James was presented, and not an indictment of him personally.
                        Last edited by digglahhh; 03-29-2008, 10:41 PM.
                        THE REVOLUTION WILL NOT COME WITH A SCORECARD

                        In the avy: AZ - Doe or Die

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by digglahhh View Post
                          It is ironic when staunch traditionalists (luddites?) characterize James, in particular, as some nerd at a computer in his mom's basement. James is one of the preeminent historians of the game, period. He knows more about the aspects of the game that have not made him famous, than many who are being paid to be experts in those same aspects do...

                          When Dusty Baker or Joe Morgan stereotype James, they are really just resorting to ad hominem character assassination in attempt to stave off their own impending obsolescence. If even cursory knowledge of basic SABR concepts become ostensibly mandatory in order to have a credible voice within the industry, these guys are DONE!

                          Personally, I think it is pretty silly for a manager not to know basic things like base/out state run prediction matrices. I'm not saying one should manage from a spreadsheet, but if I asked a major league manager what percentage of runners who reach first with no outs score, I certainly hope they'd give me a an answer within a few percentage points of what the tables say.

                          After all, this is only the type of research that guides every other multi-billion dollar industry. I assume those who are quick dismiss James also seek the Ozzie Guillen of the Finance industry to manage their portfolios...

                          I thought Mckenna's post was just a little joke about the way James was presented, and not an indictment of him personally.
                          I see this all the time when interviewers just refer to James as a "baseball statistician". James historical work is much more fascinating to me. I've probably learned more about baseball history from Bill James books than any other single author. Just of the top of my head:

                          -Both Historical Baseball Abstracts (the first haf of each book has incredible detail about each baseball decade)
                          -The Politics of Glory (I never heard of George Davis until I read this book and and I didn't know that Yankee Stadium and WW II kept Joe Gordon from true greatness)
                          -The Manager's Book (the section on Earl Weaver and Steve Dalkowski was eye opening)
                          -The Pitcher's book
                          -The three Baseball Books (1990-92), great detailed bio on Cap Anson and many others plus how Candlestck Park did not hurt Willie's Mays HR totals.
                          Last edited by Honus Wagner Rules; 04-01-2008, 11:11 AM.
                          Strikeouts are boring! Besides that, they're fascist. Throw some ground balls - it's more democratic.-Crash Davis

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            The people in the front office assemble the great teams, it doesn't just happen by itself. The players have to go out and win the games, but the smart folks in the offices bring the right players together.
                            Anybody who just makes ignorant comments about Bill James and math without reading his books is missing a million great baseball stories and a thousand insights into the game in general. He is a math nerd (so am I...make a great salary as a result), but also a tremendous historian, and just plain smart guy who can really write.
                            "I throw him four wide ones, then try to pick him off first base." - Preacher Roe on pitching to Musial

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Honus Wagner Rules View Post
                              James historical work is much more fascinating to me. I've probably learned more about baseball history from Bill James books than any other single author.
                              No doubt about that. It's always enjoyable to pick up the Historical Abstract and flip through it. Too bad the 60 minutes story was so brief Sunday night. Was he ever interviewed by them before the championships? I only wonder because that was the real story - his impact goes further than just a small part of the Red Sox' success.

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