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Jersey Yankee
03-16-05, 05:59 PM
I'm a SABR newbie, so please forgive me. What is Bill James' influence on sabermetrics? Is he a pioneer? Founder? Someone who put a good idea on the map?

Thanks. :)

JJBNYC
03-16-05, 08:43 PM
I'm a SABR newbie, so please forgive me. What is Bill James' influence on sabermetrics? Is he a pioneer? Founder? Someone who put a good idea on the map?

Thanks. :)

He's a Red Sox employee and, thus, the enemy.

Jersey Yankee
03-16-05, 08:52 PM
Since this is the SABR forum, rather than ATM, I was asking about his career as both a bookwriter and his efforts and influence upon sabermetrics. I'm already familiar that he's in the Red Sox' front office.

Thanks.

JJBNYC
03-16-05, 08:58 PM
Since this is the SABR forum, rather than ATM, I was asking about his career as both a bookwriter and his efforts and influence upon sabermetrics. I'm already familiar that he's in the Red Sox' front office.

Thanks.

In a nutshell, he wrote about and popularized some sabermetric theories. Here's an article:

http://slate.msn.com/id/2084193/

Euclis
03-17-05, 02:22 AM
And if you want a very interesting baseball book, get this one:

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0743227220/qid=1111044028/sr=2-2/ref=pd_bbs_b_2_2/002-8811691-8816816

Great book for <20$

RhodyYanksFan
03-17-05, 10:20 AM
If you want a good book that explains the history of statistics and their importance to baseball, check out The Numbers Game: Baseball's Lifelong Fascination with Statistics (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0312322224/qid=1111072757/sr=8-1/ref=pd_csp_1/102-6546066-4353755?v=glance&s=books&n=507846). It's a very interesting read.

Jersey Yankee
03-17-05, 12:06 PM
Thanks for the great replies, folks. I'll check out the links. :)

YankeePride1967
03-17-05, 01:03 PM
And if you want a very interesting baseball book, get this one:

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0743227220/qid=1111044028/sr=2-2/ref=pd_bbs_b_2_2/002-8811691-8816816

Great book for <20$

It is, I have it at home.

YankeePride1967
03-17-05, 01:03 PM
If you want a good book that explains the history of statistics and their importance to baseball, check out The Numbers Game: Baseball's Lifelong Fascination with Statistics (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0312322224/qid=1111072757/sr=8-1/ref=pd_csp_1/102-6546066-4353755?v=glance&s=books&n=507846). It's a very interesting read.

I agree, I read it last year.

ojo
03-21-05, 10:33 AM
you should realize that the more you get into SABR, the less and less you retain of your soul.


honest. ;)

hardrain
03-21-05, 02:00 PM
you should realize that the more you get into SABR, the less and less you retain of your soul.


honest. ;)

And that's not the only drawback to a saber-laden life, according to this fine (http://www.sportsfanmagazine.com/content/view/1364/29/) article ;)

SoCal Pinstriper
03-21-05, 07:27 PM
And that's not the only drawback to a saber-laden life, according to this fine (http://www.sportsfanmagazine.com/content/view/1364/29/) article ;) :lol: :lol: See Paul DePodesta for further evidence of this phenomenon. ;)

Jersey Yankee
03-21-05, 11:08 PM
you should realize that the more you get into SABR, the less and less you retain of your soul.


honest. ;)
Why so?

YankeePride1967
03-22-05, 08:30 AM
:lol: :lol: See Paul DePodesta for further evidence of this phenomenon. ;)

Or Theo Epstein.

ojo
03-23-05, 02:09 PM
Why so?

well old-school fans who dismiss SABR will tell you part of the beauty of the game is sort of 'accepting it for what it is'. SABR attempts to define and redefine (in a way) every possible thing that happens on the field. you will understand the game and the results of said game in a way you previously simply could not have appreciated. but with that you lose some of that innocence...at least to me anyway.

Mystic Merlyn
03-28-05, 06:48 PM
well old-school fans who dismiss SABR will tell you part of the beauty of the game is sort of 'accepting it for what it is'. SABR attempts to define and redefine (in a way) every possible thing that happens on the field. you will understand the game and the results of said game in a way you previously simply could not have appreciated. but with that you lose some of that innocence...at least to me anyway.

True, but sabermetrics finally destroys the "intangibles" arguement and truly rates a player's value objectively. I can see how people may be turned off by it, but it is a proven method for player evaluation and organization construction.

PaulieIsAwesome
03-28-05, 08:48 PM
And personally, as someone who's moved from Moneyball to Prospectus, hardballtimes, ..., to my own work, I think the game is just as beautiful. I just see it beautifully in a different way then I used too.

Jasbro
03-30-05, 12:55 PM
True, but sabermetrics finally destroys the "intangibles" arguement and truly rates a player's value objectively. I can see how people may be turned off by it, but it is a proven method for player evaluation and organization construction.

In fairness, isn't it more accurate to say that sabermetrics attempts to destroy the intangibles argument? Every sabremetric tool is not flawless. Until it is, the notion of intangibles will (and should) live on.

And until and unless every aspect of every conceivable variable can be identified and quantified, sabremetrics will never provide a truly comprehensive and objective value to a player, especially with defensive metrics.

And while it can be said that some teams have had success using sabremetrics for player evaluation and organization construction, so have teams had success who do not subscribe to it. So to call it a "proven method" is a bit misleading. Subjective observation has also worked for many teams, and should be considered as proven a method as sabr is.

justind
03-30-05, 05:49 PM
In fairness, isn't it more accurate to say that sabermetrics attempts to destroy the intangibles argument? Every sabremetric tool is not flawless. Until it is, the notion of intangibles will (and should) live on.

And until and unless every aspect of every conceivable variable can be identified and quantified, sabremetrics will never provide a truly comprehensive and objective value to a player, especially with defensive metrics.


i think that this is true and probably most noticable (to me) in attempting to look at catchers. who is the best game caller? and is there any way to ever measure that. catcher era is stupid, methinks.

W.A. Cummings
04-03-05, 11:22 AM
In fairness, isn't it more accurate to say that sabermetrics attempts to destroy the intangibles argument? Every sabremetric tool is not flawless. Until it is, the notion of intangibles will (and should) live on.

I would even disagree with that. Look at the signings Theo Epstein has been making, as he puts a large value on intangibles. I'm 100% sure that Renteria's great presence in the clubhouse played a huge role in his signing. And then the Nomar trade. Cabrera's defense (http://pages.map.com/pinto/charts/7662004.htm) last year wasn't anything to give up your star shortstop and a solid prospect for, but there is no doubt how important it was to replace Nomar's sulking with Cab's great personality. As Bill James said, the Sox would never have overcome being 3 down without their veteran leadership.

Another thing on Bill James.. People who aren't familiar with him consider him some stat-head loser who wishes the games were played on paper. It's amazing how far from the truth that is, because the guy has so much knowledge of game (he's also a very gifted writer). There was an interview with him on SoSH a week or two ago that was awesome. Anyone looking to find out what James does should definitley check that out.

JJazz
04-03-05, 12:52 PM
In fairness, isn't it more accurate to say that sabermetrics attempts to destroy the intangibles argument? Every sabremetric tool is not flawless. Until it is, the notion of intangibles will (and should) live on.


Perhaps it would make more sense to call it "immeasurables" rather than "intangibles". And I don't think sabermetrics will ever come up with a metric for all the immeasurable stuff. Can we measure leadership or a good attitude? Can we measure a willingness to park cars?

jimmyclark
04-15-05, 04:51 AM
one thing that few peoplerealize about James is how knowledgeable he is about baseball history. Most mainstream writers/broadcasters just dismiss him as some super stat nut. But he does try to keep things simple so you can use themto evaluate.Calculating wins shares is very complicated but once you learn that in the 20s is allstar types, 30s is mvp, 40s is legendary it is easy to grasp. I did hear Mets broadcaster Ted Robinson say once last year that he found it interesting in James talking about Barry Bonds insane number of walks and how in the 19th century the number of balls to get a walk issued was steady lowered from 9 to 4 over a 20 year period in an attmpt to force some action. James has noted that over the years basketball rules have been constantly tweaked to produce more action but baseball hasn't changed its rules.

Jersey Yankee
04-23-05, 11:10 PM
Baseball's Leading Man of Math Has Some Second Thoughts About the Numbers (http://www.nytimes.com/2005/04/24/sports/baseball/24score.html?)

By DAVID LEONHARDT
Published: April 24, 2005

With the score tied, the bases loaded and a division title at stake, Steve Finley walked to the Dodger Stadium batter's box in the ninth inning last October with a grin. "I knew the game was over," he said afterward. On the second pitch, he sent the ball flying through the late-afternoon California sunshine toward the bleachers, and the Dodgers had beaten the Giants.

The grand slam seemed a proper season's capstone for Finley, a veteran outfielder whom the Dodgers had acquired from Arizona before the trade deadline.

When games were on the line in 2004, he did his best hitting.

What you think this says about Finley, and about what he is likely to do for the Angels this season, offers a good litmus test of your place in baseball's ideological universe.

Jasbro
04-24-05, 10:42 PM
From the same article:

"I was wrong about something, wrong about something important, for a long time," James said by e-mail last week. "And since I had contributed heavily to creating the problem, I realized that I had to do what I could to address it."

seanhite
05-13-05, 10:43 AM
And if you want a very interesting baseball book, get this one:

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0743227220/qid=1111044028/sr=2-2/ref=pd_bbs_b_2_2/002-8811691-8816816

Great book for &lt;20$

i recently purchased this book. it is great. highly recommended.

yankeesrule2000
05-14-05, 01:13 PM
i recently purchased this book. it is great. highly recommended.

I will have to look into getting this.

Soriambi
05-14-05, 11:24 PM
i recently purchased this book. it is great. highly recommended.

I have the book as well. It's a very interesting read. :)