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Red Sox Baseball Stats Man and Reality

Posted by TopOfTheThread on August 3, 2008

Great CBS 60 Fenway Park Green Monster Boston Red Sox Left FieldMinutes rerun on Bill James (The Red Sox Stats Man) 8.3.08
It was a good story and Bill James has an interesting perspective on baseball statistics. I agree with him but think he is getting way too much credit.

He spoke of many items…

I agree on is angle that strikeout-to-walk ratio is important in judging a pitcher. Besides a a pitcher throwing a strike and a ball, every other event relies on a teammate. ERA is a better stat to judge a pitcher than wins and losses but that also involves the fielding of teammates. Exceptional fielders with better range can help a pitcher decrease his ERA. Or the fielder with exceptional range but then commits errors, can also affect the ERA.

Interesting. Yes. Has no one else brought this up?

Bill James’ take and statistics on baseball is definitely something to consider, but not taken as gospel.

There are many examples in his numbers where the “old time” thinking of baseball affect the numbers and theories he presents.

A perfect example is righties and lefties hitters in Fenway Park with the Green Monster. On the 60 Minutes show it was stated that while the general thought is righties hit better at Fenway because of the short left field fence, lefties actually hit batter at Fenway. James’ statistics are probably true because visiting teams choose to pitch righties at Fenway (because of the Green Monster). Nothing earth shattering here for the average baseball fan.

Again, interesting work by Bill James but it was not created in a in a vacuum. No Nobel Prize here.



3 Responses to “Red Sox Baseball Stats Man and Reality”

  1. Alex said

    Good post here. I think although James hasn’t been the only guy to contribute to sabermetrics significantly, not by a long shot, he is recognized because his amazing writing ability got some people to listen. I definitely agree on K/BB for a pitcher, however I think wOBA is a more effective batting statistic than OBP and SLG. Now of course it comes from the concepts of OBP and SLG and is relatively similar.

  2. I agree. Thanks for the comment.

  3. Coach Hire said

    Hello. I think you are eactly thinking like Sukrat. I really loved the post.

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