Proving that “Pee Wee” Gaskins is not “The Meanest Man in America”...Bill James with his latest!
Hey Bill, I am a relativley new subscriber, so I apologize if this question has been asked before. Is there any chance at all for a revision of the Historical Abstract? What about even a revised all time ranking by position?
Thanks; I appreciate your interest. People underestimate what would have to be done to revise the book. The standards of evidence change all the time, and they have changed dramatically in the last ten years. We simply KNOW many things now that we did not know ten years ago. ...not small things, but thousands and thousands and thousands of fairly major things that we know now, because of the Internet and Retrosheet and the computerization of records and of newspapers, that we did not know ten years ago. I undertand better how to rate and compare players than I did ten years ago.
I hope that people will be understanding of the mistakes I made ten years ago and 30 years ago, when information was much harder to come by than it is now and much more difficult to cross-check than it is now. But I can’t publish things NOW using the standards of accuracy that prevailed ten years ago.
To really do the book justice, I would have to start over and do it again. It would take me thousands of hours of work. I’d like to do it and I hope to do it again before I die, but I don’t see it happening in the next three or four years.
Bill, Thanks to Joe Posnanski I now understand that you probably had nothing to do in the signing of Carl Crawford…and I`m glad he put the records straight. I`m sure a lot of us didn`t understand that particular move (and some other ones) but had too much respect for you and your position with the Red Sox to ask questions about it. Hopefully your input will be put to better use in the rebuilding of my favorite team.
Well, I don’t know what Joe wrote about the signing, and I’m not trying to duck responsibility for any bad decisions the team has made. Joe and I are close friends, had lunch today, and I’m sure whatever he wrote is probably right, but I won’t read it. But back to Carl Crawford. ... When we win, we all get rings, you know? When we screw up, we’re all guilty.