Tuesday, March 29, 2005
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Bill James and I, two peas in a pod
Given James's long advocacy of using statistical techniques to gauge the value of baseball players, he provides a surprising response to the question of why Boston was able to overcome it's 0-3 deficit against the Yankees in the American League Championship Series:
James's complete answer is interesting to baseball fans, but I kept returning to that bolded section and unconsciously nodding my head.
Thanks for the link!posted by: David Pinto on 03.29.05 at 03:02 PM [permalink]
That goes for me too...thanks!posted by: Tom G on 03.29.05 at 03:02 PM [permalink]
You know what stinks about being a baseball hater? There's no off-season.posted by: Mark Buehner on 03.29.05 at 03:02 PM [permalink]
Hello? These two sentences are nonsensical; maybe
"If I were in politics and presented myself as a Republican, I would
Master Fung: "Nothing."
Xiaolin Student: "oh."
Xiaolin Student: "Any small lessons?"
Master Fung: "Poor communication skills can
James seems a bit self-satisfied, esp. in the bolded bits. There are Dems who disagree with standard Democratic positions but are well-liked by the mainstream, while others (thinking Joenertia) hold standard substantive positions but like to give cover to the other side and are widely despised as a result. I'm sure it's the same among reality-based Republicans. As long as one has the courage of one's convictions and stays self-consistent, one will get respect.
The bold part is fine, but the first sentence of the last paragraph serves as a brilliant endictment of much of American social science, and about 99% of economicists in their role as foreign advisers.posted by: Angry Moderate on 03.29.05 at 03:02 PM [permalink]
There is more to baseball than stats, and Bill James knows it. The bullpen-by-committee approach looks better on paper, and I'd have loved to see that approach succeed just to overturn the status quo. But relievers are people, and people like to know where they stand and what they're expected to do. Which is why bullpens do better when each reliever knows their role (I think it's also why teams that juggle lineups a lot tend to choke in pressure situations). James knows that stats aren't the whole story.
But baseball's statistics are still woefully bad, and thus it's the area James sees with the most room for improvement. One of the reasons closers are woefully misused is because players like having good stats and the save stat sucks ass.
I'm not sure the political comparison was all that apt, since the two camps in baseball are trying to solve the same problems but the two parties have different priorities altogether. But I guess the point is that you shouldn't really care too much about your reputation in either camp (especially in a two-party political system which results in ideologically inconsistent coalitions).posted by: fling93 on 03.29.05 at 03:02 PM [permalink]
Thanks for the link. James is saying, in a long winded noisy way, something stated more succinctly as "Economics is to the economy as physics is to baseball."posted by: David on 03.29.05 at 03:02 PM [permalink]
Generally, "sabermetrics" is the accepted spelling, even though the other version makes more sense.posted by: Bob Dobalina on 03.29.05 at 03:02 PM [permalink]
SABRmetrics (SABR: The Society for American Baseball Research)posted by: Zevatron on 03.29.05 at 03:02 PM [permalink]
to the tune of "if I were a carpenter"
If I were a Democrat
If I were Republican
Zevatron: I acknowledged that the other version makes sense. I know what the SABR is-- I was reading James' Abstracts when I was in diapers.
Nonetheless, sabermetrics is the accepted spelling.
Even by the SABR: http://sabr.org/sabr.cfm?a=cms,c,328posted by: Bob Dobalina on 03.29.05 at 03:02 PM [permalink]
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