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15 Things That Bill James Knows ...

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Postby TheYanks04 » Thu Apr 13, 2006 6:14 am

You forget hs most important guiding principals:

1. You do not need a closer when you have Alan Embree.
2. If the computer says so, it must be true.
3. Whatever is good for Boston must be true.
4. Whatever is bad for NY must be true.
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Postby GotowarMissAgnes » Thu Apr 13, 2006 7:33 am

To take on a few of the other comments:

#1. No one, but no one, believed that minor league stats were useful for predicting player success in the 1970s and 1980s. Anyone who even casually read the papers or magazines at that point would invariably find frequent instances of baseball wisdom that argues you simply could not trust minor league numbers.

#2 Actually, no, life isn't like that. Most things in life--height, weight, intelligence, etc.--are distributed normally or close to it.

#3 In fact, this principle was often ignored even into the 1990s (Vinny Castilla ring a bell?). While people recognized that a few ballparks had effects, no one really understood the effects or how significant they were.

#5 Has been proven conclusively true in analyses of players in the drafts at that time period. It's changed since then, but James was dead on.

#6 While wrveres may think it's common sense, there's a host of GMs who still don't understand this principle. Pittsburgh, for example. KC, for example.

#8 Was certainly NOT the case for evaluating pitchers in the 1980s. They were routinely assessed by their W-Ll record. And that still happens today. Look at who wins Cy Young awards.

#10 Certainly does not contradict #7; in fact, the two are linked by exactly the point wrveres makes. Power pitchers don't need to rely as heavily on defense.

#11 Couldn't even come up with a decent criticism, so now the critics are resorting to infantile name calling. James' point, ignored even today by most fantasy players, is that there are ALWAYS plenty of decent hitting 1B/corner OF on the market.

#13 Unable to understand the context in which James was writing ? You simply do not seem to realize that baseball stadiums in the late 1970s and 1980s were built with Astroturf and that conventional wisdom argued for a team built primarily on speed. As James showed, the key success factor was OBP, not speed.

As for Yanks, James analysis is dead on. Teams misuse their bullpens, and closers are overrated and overpaid.

One thing I'll say for James. At least he keeps thinking, trying new ideas, and learning about baseball. That's more than I can say for his critics.
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Postby KolbSaves » Thu Apr 13, 2006 11:43 am

Wr, I can't believe you wasted your time on that pointless, ignorant post. Oh well :-D
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Postby koufax57 » Thu Apr 13, 2006 12:00 pm

wrveres... The only reason you KNOW all this stuff and take it for granted as common knoiwledge is because of the work that Bill James did. This was ground-breaking insight in the 1980s. What are you, 15?

Bob
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Postby bigh0rt » Thu Apr 13, 2006 12:14 pm

koufax57 wrote:wrveres... The only reason you KNOW all this stuff and take it for granted as common knoiwledge is because of the work that Bill James did. This was ground-breaking insight in the 1980s. What are you, 15?

Bob


I'd be surprised if wrs was 15 when this was published. !+)
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Postby KPucks » Thu Apr 13, 2006 12:35 pm

TheYanks04 wrote:You forget hs most important guiding principals:

1. You do not need a closer when you have Alan Embree.
2. If the computer says so, it must be true.
3. Whatever is good for Boston must be true.
4. Whatever is bad for NY must be true.


I love it when people bring up the first point. One piece of advice tarnishes a career of groundbreaking work? And it wasn't even a bad theory! Use your best reliever (the so-called "relief ace) in the most crucial situations in the ballgame. This means that there is no traditional closer, but your team will be better as a result . There were two articles written in the first week of this season that point out why the current thinking is so flawed.

http://insider.espn.go.com/mlb/insider/ ... id=2397673

http://www.baseballprospectus.com/artic ... cleid=4948

I highly suggest you read them because they give good explanations of what the "relief ace" role should be. Did it work in Boston? No. That doesn't mean it is a bad theory. Nothing works 100% of the time.
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Postby BritSox » Thu Apr 13, 2006 12:40 pm

GotowarMissAgnes wrote:To take on a few of the other comments:

#2 Actually, no, life isn't like that. Most things in life--height, weight, intelligence, etc.--are distributed normally or close to it.



I believe GTWMA's point is proven by the very fact that they call it a normal distribution. :-D

Although I struggle to understand James' actual point: surely if talent is distributed as he claims, a significant majority of players are below-average? Which is a contradiction in terms.
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Postby KPucks » Thu Apr 13, 2006 12:43 pm

And wrveres, I can't believe you wrote that post. As someone said earlier, the only reason you think these things are so obvious is because James' research forced people to realize they were obvious. And considering this was written in 1988, almost none of those things were as self evident as they are today. Also, every one of them can be backed up with statistics, so I would love for anyone to explain how they are not true (the draft one certainly has changed in the time since history, as pointed out in the linked BP articles, but at the time, it was true by a long shot).
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Postby thedude » Thu Apr 13, 2006 12:44 pm

TheYanks04 wrote:You forget hs most important guiding principals:

1. You do not need a closer when you have Alan Embree.
2. If the computer says so, it must be true.
3. Whatever is good for Boston must be true.
4. Whatever is bad for NY must be true.


you still don't get it. And have not answered my question from an earlier thread... Bill James advocates using your best reliver in what ever situation is necessary not just in the 9th with a 3 run lead. He says teams should have a reilf ace and does advocate having just a bunch terrible reilvers.

The Red Sox in 2003 did not have a reilf ace, they had a bunch of medicore pitchers. If you read any of Bill James writting, you will see that he advocates having a reilf ace (a Mo Rivera for instance) who pitches whenever the game is on the line, not just in the 9th inning up by three runs.

think of this situation. Game 7 of the world series, 7th inning, Yankees up by 2, bases loaded. A healthy Barry Bonds batting. RJ is unaviable. Do you want Torre to leave Rivera in the pen and pray that he still has a lead in the 9th, or do you want him bring your reilf ace out of the pen? Any manager who would not bring in MO deserves to fired the next day.
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Postby ukrneal » Thu Apr 13, 2006 12:45 pm

KPucks wrote:
TheYanks04 wrote:You forget hs most important guiding principals:

1. You do not need a closer when you have Alan Embree.
2. If the computer says so, it must be true.
3. Whatever is good for Boston must be true.
4. Whatever is bad for NY must be true.


I love it when people bring up the first point. One piece of advice tarnishes a career of groundbreaking work? And it wasn't even a bad theory! Use your best reliever (the so-called "relief ace) in the most crucial situations in the ballgame. This means that there is no traditional closer, but your team will be better as a result . There were two articles written in the first week of this season that point out why the current thinking is so flawed.

http://insider.espn.go.com/mlb/insider/ ... id=2397673

http://www.baseballprospectus.com/artic ... cleid=4948

I highly suggest you read them because they give good explanations of what the "relief ace" role should be. Did it work in Boston? No. That doesn't mean it is a bad theory. Nothing works 100% of the time.


Who says it's wrong? It was tried once. It's worked many times in reality, just no one has tried to do it over a whole season. I think it would work, but you would need to get the right people with the right mentality.
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