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Bill James Newsbeat

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Bill James on Baseball, Facts, and the Rules of the Game

Russ Roberts is the John and Jean De Nault Research Fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution.  He hosts a podcast called Econtalk.  He had Bill James as a guest.

Dreadful Foie Gras Posted: January 18, 2018 at 12:28 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: bill james, podcast

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Bill James on Baseball, Facts, and the Rules

I expect this interview to go well beyond baseball. Econtalk tackles a lot of different topics but frequently dwells in the “meta” realm of those topics. Russ, the host, is a huge Red Sox fan as well as a great interviewer.

isaacc7 Posted: January 16, 2018 at 10:28 PM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: bill james, podcast

Monday, January 15, 2018

Andruw of Center Field

The real issue is that people who see themselves as pro-analytical or post-analytical revolution, people who see themselves as sophisticated consumers of information, are in fact behaving in a manner which is identical to the pre-analytic arguments commonly used before 1975.  They argue that Andruw Jones has 63 WAR or whatever it is and that other players who have 58 WAR are in the Hall of Fame, therefore Andruw should be in the Hall of Fame as well.  This is no different than arguing that Herb Pennock won 240 games and he is in the Hall of Fame and Waite Hoyt won 237 games and he is in the Hall of Fame and Whitey Ford won 236 games and he is in the Hall of Fame, so David Wells, with 239 wins, obviously deserves to be in the Hall of Fame as well.  It is precisely the same argument; it is just using a “new” statistical category, rather than an old one.  Or, to apply it to a hitter, Yogi Berra drove in 1,430 runs, Charlie Gehringer drove in 1,427 runs, Joe Cronin drove in 1,424, Jim Bottomley drove in 1,422, Robin Yount drove in 1,406 and Ed Delahanty 1,400, and all of those guys are in the Hall of Fame, so how can you say that Joe Carter shouldn’t be in the Hall of Fame when he drove in 1,445 runs, you moron, you.

Dennis Eclairskey, closer Posted: January 15, 2018 at 08:38 AM | 213 comment(s)
  Beats: andruw jones, bill james, hall of fame, sabermetrics

Sunday, November 19, 2017

More on WAR – Joe Blogs – Medium

Bill is off base here. Bill seems to want to use WAR to answer questions that WAR is not really suited to answer. He’s not alone, of course. Other people use WAR to answer the MVP question all the time. The reason it’s done is, there really isn’t a tool out there designed to specifically answer the MVP question. Bill tried to do it with Win Shares. Unfortunately the adjustment methods he chose were too broad in nature.

In any event we don’t have to throw out WAR. It’s really useful for answering a lot of questions. I heartily agree with a Tangotiger suggestion:

I have always thought the best way to design a WAR would be to break it down into separate elements, which we later combine in the most appropriate way to best answer specific questions. The breakdown, IMO, should be: 1) offense, 2) defense (further broken down into components), 3) baserunning, 4) positional adjustment, and 5) context adjustment. (They should all also be presented with the related rate stat to help people answer other specific questions.)

Anyway, by introducing a timing/context adjustment as Tangotiger suggested, the value of the current WAR systems would increase. Our current data sets are much better than they were twenty years ago. We can now provide individual contexts, and need not rely on team ratios as Win Shares did. We should do it.

Unfortunately, though, the additions will generate more confusion as many people will still want to use one number to answer all questions.

“But because that is true, I ASSUMED that these were complex, nuanced, sophisticated systems. I never really looked; I just assumed that the details were out of my depth. But sometime in the last year I was doing some research that relied on these WAR systems, so I took a look at them, and … they’re not very impressive. They’re not well thought through; they haven’t made a convincing effort to address many of the inherent difficulties that the undertaking presents. They tend to get so far into the data, throw up their arms and make a wild guess. I don’t know if I’m going to get the time to do better of it, or if it will be left to others, but … we’re not at anything like an end point here. I assumed that these systems were a lot better than they actually are.”

Jim Furtado Posted: November 19, 2017 at 07:28 AM | 208 comment(s)
  Beats: bill james, sabermetrics, war

Wednesday, September 06, 2017

The Jonah Keri Podcast: Bill James - CBSSports.com

Haven’t had time to listen to this yet. With the pairing, I’m sure it’s interesting.

Jim Furtado Posted: September 06, 2017 at 01:18 PM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: bill james, interviews, podcast

 

 

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