Friday, March 17, 2006

The Mind Of Bill James

To any and all interested metricians, there is an interview with Papa Bill James in the April Edition of Esquire. It's not worth really paying for, unless you love Chuck Klosterman like me, or just love a good periodical, but a couple of interesting notes:

1) James has about 150 new statistics he has devised but hasn't found time to write about.

2) One that he is close to unveiling is the Good Fielding Play (GFP), a "sort of anti-error that counts the number of outstanding defensive plays from a particular fielder."

3) Another is The Hustle Factor, "the number of times a player really, truly gives something like 110 percent." Watching a season's worth of games to analyze this factor has lead James into a new-found appreciation for outfielder Coco Crisp. Hmm.

4) His job with the Red Sox entails writing four reports a year. Sometimes the reports are as long as 200 pages.

5) In 2002, James told the Red Sox that they could sign either David Ortiz or Brad Fullmer as free agents. By his calculations, the players were virtually indentical. Well, Fullmer is no longer in the league. And Papi? Well, ask a Yankees fan what they think about Big Papi. James' response: "sometimes, all it comes down to is luck."

Amazingly, "The Mind of Bill James" is actually available for purchase in some of Edmonton's bookstores.


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