Jump to content

Providing independent coverage of the Minnesota Twins.
Subscribe to Twins Daily Email
Photo

Bill James says some crazy things

  • Please log in to reply
13 replies to this topic

#1 Twodogs

Twodogs

    Chattanooga Lookouts

  • Members
  • 749 posts

Posted 09 November 2018 - 02:49 PM

http://www.espn.com/...e-mlbpa-players

 

 

article from ESPN.

You cannot succeed without hate for your enemy


#2 Riverbrian

Riverbrian

    Goofy Moderator

  • Twins Mods
  • 19,949 posts
  • LocationGrand Forks, ND

Posted 09 November 2018 - 03:09 PM

This is a great example of why social media is such a dangerous thing.

Bill James is too smart to mean what his tweet sounded like and I believe if you allowed him more than 140 characters he’d have a chance at explaining himself and not being torn to shreds.

There is no way Bill James is as stupid as his quote sounds.

  • Danchat, DocBauer and Tomj14 like this

A Skeleton walks into a bar and says... "Give me a beer... And a mop".

 

President of the "Baseball Player Positional Flexibility" Club 

Founded 4-23-16 

 

Strike Zone Automation Advocate

 

I'm not a starting 9 guy!!!


#3 KGB

KGB

    Junior Member

  • Members
  • 489 posts

Posted 09 November 2018 - 03:22 PM

I'm sure James has already developed a stat to support his conclusion.
  • Riverbrian and DocBauer like this

#4 gunnarthor

gunnarthor

    Senior Member

  • Members
  • 9,347 posts

Posted 09 November 2018 - 03:29 PM

His comments probably explain why owners are willing to collude to keep salaries down. It's easier to do that if you don't think the players deserve it.


#5 Doomtints

Doomtints

    Minnesota Twins

  • Members
  • 2,900 posts

Posted 09 November 2018 - 05:46 PM

What was said is quintessential Bill James. When reading his works, one has to tune out the insensitive bits.

 

Many of his insensitive bits gained traction over time, such has how the RBI stat is trash and anyone who uses it is a moron.

 

I don't see a big deal in what he wrote in this case, personally, but I'm used to the guy.

 

Welcome to Bill James!

  • Sconnie likes this

#6 ashburyjohn

ashburyjohn

    Haighters gonna Haight

  • Twins Mods
  • 19,977 posts
  • LocationNatick, MA

Posted 09 November 2018 - 06:59 PM

Bill James is to be celebrated for bringing the scientific method to baseball. But he should stick to that.

  • Hosken Bombo Disco likes this

A painter should not paint what he sees, but what will be seen.-- Paul Valery


#7 nytwinsfan

nytwinsfan

    Junior Member

  • Members
  • 1,711 posts

Posted 09 November 2018 - 07:26 PM

What an ass hole.

  • Hosken Bombo Disco likes this

#8 old nurse

old nurse

    Member

  • Members
  • 3,560 posts

Posted 09 November 2018 - 07:46 PM

Torii Hunter retired 2 years ago, the game went on.The Twins are as popular now as they were then.The Angels have the best player in the universe and do not sell more tickets than before. Ohtani played 114 games. Did not matter. James is blunt, but correct.


#9 DocBauer

DocBauer

    Senior Member

  • Members
  • 4,567 posts

Posted 09 November 2018 - 08:59 PM

IMHO, he was stating a truism concerning the enduring love and history of the game. Stars are made. Players retire. Another wave rises to replace those who leave the game. And the game goes on.

I think what he said was true. But what he said was stated very poorly and with bad taste.
  • Riverbrian and snepp like this

"Nice catch Hayes...don't ever f*****g do it again."

 

--Lou Brown


#10 Sconnie

Sconnie

    Touch ‘em all!

  • Members
  • 3,926 posts
  • LocationNW Wisconsin

Posted 10 November 2018 - 09:00 AM

He said it poorly, but if he were wrong, why do we have all of the different developmental leagues, drafts, free agency, and trade mechanisms to acquire new talent?

#11 ashburyjohn

ashburyjohn

    Haighters gonna Haight

  • Twins Mods
  • 19,977 posts
  • LocationNatick, MA

Posted 10 November 2018 - 09:14 AM

He said it poorly, but if he were wrong, why do we have all of the different developmental leagues, drafts, free agency, and trade mechanisms to acquire new talent?

His comments were probably in response to something. I don't know what that something is; it had to do with salaries and players being overpaid. The missing context might change my view.

 

If his intended point is that "no one is bigger than the game", then he misunderstands something when he actually says that you could replace everyone all at once and things would go on just the same.

 

There is an old joke about someone putting up for sale George Washington's original axe that chopped down the cherry tree: "the handle has been replaced only twice, and the blade only once". It may seem unimportant to him, but the continuity that makes the Yankees "the Yankees", likewise for the Red Sox, the Dodgers, and the Twins too, would be irreparably broken in fans' minds if you summarily dispensed with the present players. It may not be logical, but it's real.

 

That's independent of the fact that replacing all the current players would mean an inferior level of play. It might still be competitive, but it would be less skilled. That new game would indeed not be worth the price of the current one.

 

And some of the value of Mookie Betts or Joe Mauer is the connection to the history of their respective teams, and the connection they in turn will provide to the next wave of players.

  • Sconnie, Doomtints and Nine of twelve like this

A painter should not paint what he sees, but what will be seen.-- Paul Valery


#12 Sconnie

Sconnie

    Touch ‘em all!

  • Members
  • 3,926 posts
  • LocationNW Wisconsin

Posted 10 November 2018 - 11:11 AM

His comments were probably in response to something. I don't know what that something is; it had to do with salaries and players being overpaid. The missing context might change my view.

If his intended point is that "no one is bigger than the game", then he misunderstands something when he actually says that you could replace everyone all at once and things would go on just the same.

There is an old joke about someone putting up for sale George Washington's original axe that chopped down the cherry tree: "the handle has been replaced only twice, and the blade only once". It may seem unimportant to him, but the continuity that makes the Yankees "the Yankees", likewise for the Red Sox, the Dodgers, and the Twins too, would be irreparably broken in fans' minds if you summarily dispensed with the present players. It may not be logical, but it's real.

That's independent of the fact that replacing all the current players would mean an inferior level of play. It might still be competitive, but it would be less skilled. That new game would indeed not be worth the price of the current one.

And some of the value of Mookie Betts or Joe Mauer is the connection to the history of their respective teams, and the connection they in turn will provide to the next wave of players.

the ebbs and flows of rebuild, going down a similar path as the NBA and NHL are about to test your hypothesis.

Of course i don’t hear much about growing popularity of any of MLB, NBA or NHL... which might prove your point.
  • ashburyjohn likes this

#13 Nine of twelve

Nine of twelve

    Rochester Red Wings

  • Members
  • 1,186 posts
  • LocationEarth, for the time being

Posted 10 November 2018 - 08:35 PM

With a nod to Tennyson, players may come and players may go but baseball goes on forever. I suppose looking at it like that you could say that no specific players are the game.

But the game is only an abstract concept without someone to play it. Players of the past were the game of the past, current players are the current game and future players will be the future game. The beer vendors are not the game, the executives are not the game, the writers are not the game, the stat-heads are not the game, and even the fans are not the game. 

  • Carole Keller and Hosken Bombo Disco like this

#14 ashburyjohn

ashburyjohn

    Haighters gonna Haight

  • Twins Mods
  • 19,977 posts
  • LocationNatick, MA

Posted 11 November 2018 - 03:35 PM

Here is something that was posted to the SABR email list the other day.

 

Because I “follow" Bill on Twitter, I happened to see his remarks soon after he posted them. Interestingly, he didn’t know anyone was taking issue with what he said until the next morning, when he heard about the union’s response. After partially digesting the criticisms, he bravely asked his "Twitter Nation” what people were so upset about. I believe he was simply meaning to make a general statistical statement about an average player’s value—but he didn’t think about the more human side of it.

 

I was one of those who replied to him, making the point that his statement could be taken as being anti-players and pro-owners, and that furthermore the average fan might well feel bad that Bill was minimizing the importance of some of his or her favorite players. And as it has been said here already, fans are the game, and the fans like the game because of the players and their unique human qualities. I strongly suspect that if robots were to replace the human players, few humans would continue to watch the game. We form emotional connections and do not merely appreciate statistics and efficiency. Bill responded to my tweet, denying that he had meant anything of the sort, but I’m not sure he really got it. Still, he seemed sorry about the whole affair.

A painter should not paint what he sees, but what will be seen.-- Paul Valery