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Articles Tagged Bill James 

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06-25

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5

Overthinking It: Does Bill James' Game Score Still Work?
by
Ben Lindbergh

01-02

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2

BP Daily Podcast: Effectively Wild Episode 356: Bill James' Predictions for 2015, and Our Predictions for 2030
by
Ben Lindbergh and Sam Miller

12-11

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12

The Lineup Card: Nine of Our First Front Office Hires
by
Baseball Prospectus

09-13

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0

BP Daily Podcast: Effectively Wild Episode 286: Picking Comeback Players for 2014/Top Team Improvements of the Past Decade
by
Ben Lindbergh and Sam Miller

05-30

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9

Overthinking It: Bill James, Base Umpires, and the Sabermetric Significance of Checked Swings
by
Ben Lindbergh

07-10

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2

Baseball ProGUESTus: Does the Hit and Run Help?
by
Pete Palmer

06-13

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11

Manufactured Runs: The Madness of King Bill
by
Colin Wyers

03-07

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43

Prospectus Hit and Run: Inspecting the Spectrum, Part IV: The Designated Hitter Question
by
Jay Jaffe

02-29

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8

Prospectus Hit and Run: Inspecting the Spectrum, Part III: Out of Left Field, Again
by
Jay Jaffe

02-20

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5

Prospectus Hit and Run: Inspecting the Spectrum, Part II: The Podz People
by
Jay Jaffe

02-15

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21

Prospectus Hit and Run: Inspecting the Spectrum, Part I: The Cold Corner, Again
by
Jay Jaffe

02-06

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35

Western Front: Scrappy Rain, Scrappy Rain
by
Geoff Young

02-02

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28

Overthinking It: The Overlooked Overlooked Hall of Famers
by
Ben Lindbergh

05-05

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21

Baseball ProGUESTus: A Statistician Rereads Bill James
by
Andrew Gelman

12-21

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0

Schrodinger's Bat: The Best Baserunners of 2006
by
Dan Fox

11-11

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0

The Week in Quotes: November 4-10
by
Ryan Wilkins

10-31

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0

Prospectus Feature: Evaluating the Dowd Report
by
Derek Zumsteg

10-31

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0

Breaking Balls: Baseball's Inconsistent Stance on Rose
by
Derek Zumsteg

09-05

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0

Swinging for the Hall
by
Michael Wolverton

08-09

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1

The Daily Prospectus: Breaking the Keyboard
by
Joe Sheehan

05-29

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0

Aim For The Head: Simulating Catcher's ERA
by
Keith Woolner

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February 2, 2012 9:00 am

Overthinking It: The Overlooked Overlooked Hall of Famers

28

Ben Lindbergh

Why have two of the top 30 position players since 1950 been ignored by BBWAA voters and bloggers alike?

The last thing I want to do is create another Bert Blyleven.

I don’t mean Blyleven the pitcher or Blyleven the person. The world could probably use more of those. I’m talking about Blyleven the Overlooked Hall of Fame Candidate. Don’t get me wrong—I’m glad Blyleven is in the Hall of Fame. He deserves to be. His induction was a triumph of critical thinking over snap judgments, of evidence over empty arguments, of the hard work and research of writers like Jay Jaffe and Rich Lederer over the bluster and baseless self-assurance of others in the mainstream—an infinitesimal triumph, in the grand scheme of things, but a triumph nonetheless.

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Bill James may claim to study baseball questions, not statistical ones, but what happens when a statistician studies Bill James?

Believe it or not, most of our writers didn't enter the world sporting an @baseballprospectus.com address; with a few exceptions, they started out somewhere else. In an effort to up your reading pleasure while tipping our caps to some of the most illuminating work being done elsewhere on the internet, we'll be yielding the stage once a week to the best and brightest baseball writers, researchers and thinkers from outside of the BP umbrella. If you'd like to nominate a guest contributor (including yourself), please drop us a line.

Andrew Gelman is a professor of statistics and political science at Columbia University. He occasionally blogs on baseball, including here, here, here, and here.


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December 21, 2006 12:00 am

Schrodinger's Bat: The Best Baserunners of 2006

0

Dan Fox

Dan examines Bill James' baserunning metrics and names the best baserunners of 2006 on the major league level.

- Bill James, "Baserunning", The Bill James Handbook 2007

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"John Henry and the Red Sox were great to me. They were willing to pay me more money than I could believe. But it's more than money, I've never been about money. I made one decision based on money in my life--when I signed with the Mets rather than go to Stanford--and I promised I'd never do it again." --Billy Beane, Athletics general manager, on turning down an offer to join the Red Sox

RED SOX EMPLOYEES: PAST, PRESENT, AND NEARLY

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When I've written about Peter Rose in the past, I get tons of email from readers, and many of them point to Bill James as a prominent, intelligent Rose defender who presents "a compelling argument." In the past, I've referred readers to the Dowd Report, which is available online at www.dowdreport.com. This has proved to be an inadequate response.

When I've written about Peter Rose in the past, I get tons of email from readers, and many of them point to Bill James as a prominent, intelligent Rose defender who presents "a compelling argument." In the past, I've referred readers to the Dowd Report, which is available online at www.dowdreport.com. This has proved to be an inadequate response.

The Dowd Report is a damning piece of work, but it's also huge and makes for difficult reading. I would be surprised if one of a hundred people who defended Rose saying they found the Dowd Report flawed had read it entirely. Just the report itself is 235 pages, and the exhibits are elaborate. Pete Rose's deposition runs over 350 pages, and it's a beast to get through. To keep track of the dates and people for this piece, I had to put together a huge timeline with names and dates, and I don't think an average fan is interested in doing this kind of in-depth research.

It's much easier to read, say, James' defenses and take his word for it. Bill James devotes his comment on Pete Rose of the New Historical Baseball Abstract (in the right field player comments, of all places) to argue that we don't know that Pete Rose definitely bet on his own games, or even baseball at all. I've read James' arguments thoroughly and, to paraphrase James' conclusion, I've looked into his argument as closely as I can. The closer you look, the less there is to it.

So by way of introduction, this is a detailed refutation of Bill James' arguments as presented in the New Historical Baseball Abstract. James' arguments run from pp. 787-792 of the hardback edition, which I'll be using for page references.

James opens with the case for relativism: he comes up with a sliding scale, from 1 "Associating casually with known (illegal) gamblers" to 10, "Actually participating in the fixing of a championship" [James, pp. 787]. Making the issue needlessly complicated serves the purpose of allowing wide-ranging arguments about what happened at each level, rather than having to address the fact that Pete Rose bet on baseball.

Pete Rose isn't banned from baseball because he got to level 7, or if that should result in a lifetime ban, and level 6 shouldn't. Pete Rose is banned from baseball because he broke a rule posted in every clubhouse:

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I've written a piece for this site on Pete Rose, Bill James, and the Dowd Report. It took me far too long to write it: I was reluctant to pursue the project, because the volume and tone of the hate mail anyone who writes about Rose gets is numbing. I dedicated myself to getting it done after Major League Baseball trotted Rose out as part of the MasterCard Major League Baseball Memorable Moments event. Rose got cheered, I made a snippy comment in an ESPN chat, and everyone moved on. But the scene continues to bother me. Baseball's treatment of Pete Rose under the leadership of Bud Selig has been shameful.

I've written a piece for this site on Pete Rose, Bill James, and the Dowd Report. It took me far too long to write it: I was reluctant to pursue the project, because the volume and tone of the hate mail anyone who writes about Rose gets is numbing. I dedicated myself to getting it done after Major League Baseball trotted Rose out as part of the MasterCard Major League Baseball Memorable Moments event. Rose got cheered, I made a snippy comment in an ESPN chat, and everyone moved on. But the scene continues to bother me. Baseball's treatment of Pete Rose under the leadership of Bud Selig has been shameful.

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September 5, 2002 12:00 am

Swinging for the Hall

0

Michael Wolverton

Among the many responses I got to the Bert Blyleven Hall of Fame article on ESPN.com, one of the most interesting was from Dan Kelley of the Boston Metro and yankees-suck.com (a completely objective, non-partisan web site, I'm sure). While my article argued that Blyleven is by far the best pitcher not in the Hall, Dan raised the complementary issue of the best hitter not in the Hall.

Among the many responses I got to the Bert Blyleven Hall of Fame article on ESPN.com, one of the most interesting was from Dan Kelley of the Boston Metro and yankees-suck.com (a completely objective, non-partisan web site, I'm sure). While my article argued that Blyleven is by far the best pitcher not in the Hall, Dan raised the complementary issue of the best hitter not in the Hall.

Dan's letter argued that Jim Rice deserved strong consideration for that honor. (You can read his case for Rice here.) Rice sounded like a decent candidate to me, but then again I had never really looked into the issue.

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My first exposure to Bill James was in 1988, via his last Baseball Abstract. My friend Eddie Kneafsey lent it to me that summer. It remains my favorite Abstract, my favorite James book, really. It wasn't just the ideas, but the writing style, the humor, and the love for baseball evident throughout the work. I read it and re-read it, finally giving it back to Eddie only because he was headed to Providence College that fall.

My first exposure to Bill James was in 1988, via his last Baseball Abstract. My friend Eddie Kneafsey lent it to me that summer. It remains my favorite Abstract, my favorite James book, really. It wasn't just the ideas, but the writing style, the humor, and the love for baseball evident throughout the work. I read it and re-read it, finally giving it back to Eddie only because he was headed to Providence College that fall.

Read the full article...

Since the chat session, I've received dozens of e-mails asking for additional details. The response from BP readers finally prodded me into finishing some related projects I'd had in progress for a while, which I'll present later in this article.

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