James is not the answer. He’s an entertainer, albeit an incredibly geeky one.
Agreed, his paralysis-by-analysis is interesting, thought-provoking and has visionary qualities. He has player breakdowns for every baseball happenstance imaginable.
But his incredible library of information always seems to leave out one important factor about the game of baseball — it is played by human beings.
James can show me — and he did, through former Red Sox GM Theo Epstein — 10 different ways that J.D. Drew was not only a “great player” before he got to Boston, but he remarkably has data to “prove” his career was worth every cent of the $70 million he received.
We, who lived through the 606 games, know better. Drew’s problem was a simple one. He didn’t love baseball as much as the people who watched him did and they let him know it. Basically, he was a Hall-of-Fame talent with the passion of a long reliever.
But I don’t blame Drew for coming here. I blame Henry for falling for James’ statistical recommendations.
...I get it. James adores walks, runs and defensive zone coverage. He isn’t so fond of closers (saves, he says, are way overrated), RBI, bunts and stolen bases.
I disagree with him in most of those areas, but I wouldn’t hedge my bet solely on those stats.