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Saturday, March 03, 2012

Bill Simmons: B.S. Report: Bill James (Audio)

Pick it for me, James!

Bill Simmons talks with “Historical Baseball Abstract” author Bill James in front of a live audience at the Sloan Conference.

Repoz Posted: March 03, 2012 at 09:16 AM | 29 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: history, red sox, sabermetrics

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   1. Boxkutter Posted: March 03, 2012 at 12:29 PM (#4073274)
Sorta hard to listen to. Lots of "uhhhs" and "ummmms". Bill James stops mid-sentence a lot. No flow.
   2. Fancy Pants Handle doesn't need no water Posted: March 03, 2012 at 12:32 PM (#4073275)
Sorta hard to listen to. Lots of "uhhhs" and "ummmms". Bill James stops mid-sentence a lot. No flow.

Well, having to follow the President is a pretty tall order...
   3. Ray (RDP) Posted: March 03, 2012 at 12:43 PM (#4073280)
Yeah, he's not a good public speaker. But he gets his ideas across. Mostly.
   4. robinred Posted: March 03, 2012 at 12:49 PM (#4073285)
Two guys who are good at what they do...but with bad speaking voices. May listen anyway.
   5. Dale Sams Posted: March 03, 2012 at 01:39 PM (#4073301)
A long ways from "I don't know...I just can't enjoy baseball anymore. SABR has killed my baseball chub."
   6. Ray (RDP) Posted: March 03, 2012 at 03:08 PM (#4073345)
James's take on the steroids thing was pretty simple: They weren't cheating; they were just trying to make themselves better ballplayers. And it wasn't against the rules at the time.
   7. RJames Posted: March 03, 2012 at 06:18 PM (#4073411)
They weren't cheating


He said the same thing about Pete Rose.
   8. zachtoma Posted: March 03, 2012 at 08:35 PM (#4073436)
Pete Rose wasn't cheating. He was betting on the outcome of games.
   9. LionoftheSenate (Brewers v A's World Series) Posted: March 03, 2012 at 09:15 PM (#4073448)
Sorta hard to listen to. Lots of "uhhhs" and "ummmms". Bill James stops mid-sentence a lot. No flow.


Thank god he isn't running for president.
   10. LionoftheSenate (Brewers v A's World Series) Posted: March 03, 2012 at 09:17 PM (#4073450)
Bill Simmons is ESPN personified. Water cooler sports fans deserve a water cooler analyst.
   11. tjm1 Posted: March 04, 2012 at 12:53 PM (#4073645)
Bill Simmons is ESPN personified. Water cooler sports fans deserve a water cooler analyst.


Simmons is absolutely great on basketball. Even on baseball, where he's not as good, he was way ahead of the mainstream media's curve. Some of the MSM guys may have been reading James and BBPRO, etc., but they wouldn't admit it. Simmons was linking to BBPRO and other pretty stat intensive sites back in the mid-1990s.
   12. Der-K, the bloodied charmer Posted: March 04, 2012 at 01:08 PM (#4073657)
Simmons is absolutely great on basketball.

That's, at best, debatable. But I did find his Book of Basketball a lot of fun and consider that his best sport.
   13. Fancy Pants Handle doesn't need no water Posted: March 04, 2012 at 01:16 PM (#4073661)
Simmons is an entertainer, not an analyst, and a very good one at that. The problem isn't with Simmons, it's with people who want him to be something he is not.
   14. PreservedFish Posted: March 04, 2012 at 01:21 PM (#4073664)
Simmons is an entertainer, not an analyst, and a very good one at that. The problem isn't with Simmons, it's with people who want him to be something he is not.


Yes. That's right.
   15. Yardape Posted: March 04, 2012 at 02:43 PM (#4073706)
Simmons is an entertainer, not an analyst, and a very good one at that. The problem isn't with Simmons, it's with people who want him to be something he is not.


My problem is that sometimes the people who want Simmons to be something he's not includes Simmons himself. We might agree that he's an entertainer, but he clearly thinks he can be an analyst and tries to be from time-to-time.
   16. Lassus Posted: March 04, 2012 at 02:53 PM (#4073709)
Simmons as an analyst is better than 85% of the MSM who call themselves so, so I'm personally going to conclude that from time to time he not only tries, but succeeds.

I'm not going to get my underwear in a twist if he refuses to agree that he's not.
   17. fra paolo Posted: March 04, 2012 at 03:29 PM (#4073718)
James is either not comfortable speaking because he takes a few drafts to organize his thoughts, or he finds a live audience intimidating.

I was surprised Simmons didn't ask him about the feud with Elias. As that recedes in time, we hear less about it, but it was quite firey, and probably responsible for one of the most enduring aspects of James' work.
   18. the Hugh Jorgan returns Posted: March 05, 2012 at 12:28 AM (#4073910)
Can't we all just agree that Simmons is something that we think he might be, but really isn't because he thinks he is something else which we all think isn't something really worth thinking about?
   19. cardsfanboy Posted: March 05, 2012 at 12:32 AM (#4073913)
Can't we all just agree that Simmons is something that we think he might be, but really isn't because he thinks he is something else which we all think isn't something really worth thinking about?


I was under the impression that Simmons was a giant talking taco that defecated ice cream.
   20. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 05, 2012 at 06:00 PM (#4074493)
I like Simmons, I like James, but that was pretty difficult to listen to at times.

I did like the point at the end about David Ortiz vs. Brad Fullmer. I remember picking up Fullmer for some sim team I was running at the time, and wanting the Royals to get him.

Has anyone here read James' crime stuff? I'm not really into crime books, but he's such a good writer I'd consider checking it out if they're nearly as good as his baseball stuff.
   21. Nasty Nate Posted: March 05, 2012 at 06:14 PM (#4074508)
I look forward to Simmons writing how the current Red Sox team doesn't have any personality, which he has done every year since moving out west. And then he'll also throw in some McCarver-esque Jeter-fawning....
   22. severian Posted: March 05, 2012 at 06:15 PM (#4074509)
Has anyone here read James' crime stuff? I'm not really into crime books, but he's such a good writer I'd consider checking it out if they're nearly as good as his baseball stuff.


Assuming you're not trolling - well, whether you are or not - that's a different Bill James, no matter what Amazon seems to think.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bill_James_(novelist)
   23. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 05, 2012 at 06:18 PM (#4074513)

Assuming you're not trolling - well, whether you are or not - that's a different Bill James, no matter what Amazon seems to think.


I meant this. I guess I thought he had more than one, which is why I said "books".
   24. Kurt Posted: March 05, 2012 at 06:19 PM (#4074516)
As long as you're confident in wikipedia, you might want to check out the last item on the bibliography here.
   25. Lassus Posted: March 05, 2012 at 06:19 PM (#4074517)
Assuming you're not trolling - well, whether you are or not - that's a different Bill James, no matter what Amazon seems to think.

Baseball Bill James has written a non-fiction crime book: Popular Crime: Reflections on the Celebration of Violence.

EDIT: cokes
   26. Harmon "Thread Killer" Microbrew Posted: March 05, 2012 at 06:20 PM (#4074518)
Edited - no need to pile on.

Cokes.
   27. Kurt Posted: March 05, 2012 at 06:29 PM (#4074528)
The moral of the story: Don't Question Amazon.
   28. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: March 05, 2012 at 06:43 PM (#4074546)
Simmons is absolutely great on basketball. Even on baseball, where he's not as good, he was way ahead of the mainstream media's curve.


He was one of the first in the mainstream media to constantly talk about how baseball is boring and obsolete and is soon going to be as unpopular with young people as horse racing and boxing, if that's what you mean.
   29. severian Posted: March 05, 2012 at 08:33 PM (#4074633)
Baseball Bill James has written a non-fiction crime book: Popular Crime: Reflections on the Celebration of Violence.


I appreciate the non-jackhole way Lassus informed me of that. I didn't know about this book - which was just published last year, I see, so I don't feel too out of the loop. I've been getting those Amazon "You might be interested to know that Bill James has a new..." notifications about the other Bill James for years.

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