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Jim Furtado
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Bill James Newsbeat

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

How the wonks won baseball coverage

“It’s a ball now. It’s my favorite period in the business — by far,” says Tom Boswell of The Washington Post, a great baseball writer who straddles sharply different eras.

“I wish it had always been like this. You have all the old approaches to coverage still available — profiles, human interest, humor, etc. But so much more, too. For people who love to analyze (me), there’s nothing as good as real data, plus tons of unmined data where you can discover patterns that others haven’t spotted. FanGraphs, MLB.com/Statcast and baseball-reference are just an addictive gold mine. You have to restrain yourself.”...

It wasn’t long ago that baseball statisticians like Bill James were a curiosity, with the rise of the species even spotlighted in a Hollywood movie, “Moneyball,” about the Oakland A’s and based on the Michael Lewis book that chronicled Billy Beane, its idiosyncratic general manager.

Now, metrics rule baseball. As put by Keith Law, a baseball expert at ESPN who once worked for the Toronto Blue Jays, the revolution is over. People aren’t slaves to data but it plays a central role, with many basic assumptions of the past undermined. Thus, even the casual fan may view a player’s on-base percentage as more important than his batting average.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: June 21, 2017 at 04:05 PM | 19 comment(s)
  Beats: bill james, reporters, sabermetrics

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Inside the Mind of Bill – Joe Blogs – Medium

“To me,” Bill writes, “that is just incredible. . .that Anthony Rendon drove in as many runs in ONE game as George Brett ever drove in in a three-game set.”

People often call Bill a numbers guy, a statistician, a baseball geek or whatever. And it has long seemed to me that they miss the point. Bill doesn’t care about numbers. He is uninterested in statistics as a concept or the numbers of other things. He cares about what baseball statistics can open up about the game. He longs to search the numbers to get beyond the platitudes and BS that people say just because it sort of sounds sort of right to them.

Jim Furtado Posted: May 16, 2017 at 10:06 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: bill james, george brett

Saturday, April 01, 2017

What’s keeping Bill James out of the Baseball Hall of Fame? | MLB | Sporting News

So long as players who retired before 1990 or so and older writers, historians and executives continue to comprise Hall of Fame committees, James will need considerable luck to even get nominated for consideration. Perhaps in 20-30 years, when the generation of players currently benefiting from the influx of advanced stats into baseball are on Hall of Fame committees, James might have a better chance.

Even then, though, don’t be too optimistic for James.

Jim Furtado Posted: April 01, 2017 at 09:38 AM | 103 comment(s)
  Beats: bill james, hall of fame

Thursday, February 09, 2017

Hey Bill: Dick Allen, Terrell Owens, & the 2011 Red Sox Collapse

Dick Allen did all the things that TO did, but was much worse than TO. I know I have mentioned this, but I met TO a couple of times at a convention in Portugal. He was just absolutely charming—as Dick Allen was, to many people—and I certainly don’t want to knock him or to dwell on his past mistakes. I also don’t know enough about Terrell to engage in that discussion. 

But off-the-field conduct is very, very relevant to the success of teams. When teams fall apart at the center—that is, when players decide that they don’t like one another and don’t trust one another—I absolutely believe that that shows up on the field. These things are difficult to explain and at the present time impossible to measure, but many things which are true are difficult to explain and impossible to measure. I have always believed this, and, if I had ANY doubt that it was true, that doubt was ended in September of 2011, when what started as an off-field, irrelevant personal conflict ended in a historic collapse by a team that we believed on September 1 to be the best team in Red Sox history.

Dennis Eclairskey, closer Posted: February 09, 2017 at 10:32 PM | 74 comment(s)
  Beats: bill james, collapse, dick allen, red sox

 

 

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