November 12, 2007

The Curse of the Sabremetrician

Filed under: Sports — Tags: , , , , , — skeptisys @ 12:04 pm


Congratulations to the Boston Red Sox, who won their 2nd MLB Championship in the past 89 years, and 2nd in the 5 years since Bill James became a full-time Red Sock. I do believe that Bill James, more than any one man, is responsible for the Red Sox’ 2 recent championships, even though they compete against teams that had the experience of 30 years of his work, all public and well known to all baseball management.

1) The Red Sox management staff is stuffed with professed Bill Jamesians (not the same as Ellen Jamsians).

2) The best player for the 2 championships was David Ortiz, a player obtained for almost nothing after he was released by the Twins. Every other team had a chance to obtain Ortiz. Prior to joining the Red Sox, Bill James published that he did not understand why teams did not obtain this player, and why the Twins insisted on playing Doug Mientkiewicz instead of Ortiz.

I have been rooting for the Red Sox ever since they hired Bill James, but I hope they fire him in an ugly way – causing Bill to publish all his work he now considers confidential. You see, Bill James used to be a man who studied what he wanted, and said what he wanted. He was never limited by how much money he could make, or how controversial. He only wanted to find out the truth, out of intellectual curiosity. Now he seems, based in recent interviews, as a corporate stooge: refusing to answer confidential information by providing elusive answers; and twisting information to make his company look as good as possible. Maybe I am wrong, and I certainly hope so, but he appears to be turning into that which he mocked in the past. I guess we will find out the truth when the Bill James Gold Mine 2008 is released in Feb 2008, if the quality matches that of his Historical Baseball Abstract or Win Shares books, released in 2001 and 2002.

So I call on John Henry, owner of the Red Sox to please fire Bill James. You don’t deserve him, and you don’t deserve to keep his work from the public.


  1. I agree about James & the Red Sox success. His direct involvement plays a part, and their organization is full of his disciples. If only they still had Pedro Martinez & Baltimore’s Daniel Cabrera had a little better aim when he threw at Dustin Pedroia, I’d still be able to root for them.

    This year’s Red Sox team was the first to win a championship with three Dominicans in the starting lineup for every World Series game.

    Interesting observation about James’ behavior since he’s been on their payroll. I don’t read as many interviews with him as I’d like, but your post reminded me of something I just read about the late Bill Veeck.

    Veeck refused to have doors on his office at the ballpark. He explained it by saying something like, “There will never come a day when I feel like conducating the business of a baseball club needs to be done in secret behind closed doors.”

    Comment by Stan White — November 13, 2007 @ 3:19 pm

  2. Thanks Stan. As a Mets and Pedro fan, I am glad the RedSox chose not to re-sign Pedro. Shea stadium is a much better environment for him. Turns out the RedSox made a good decision, as well – if Clay Buchholz performs as expected. He was the taken with the draft pick the Mets surrendered to Boston when they signed Pedro.
    I still don’t know why Dustin was upset. That was the closest Cabrera got the the strike zone in the bigs.
    Veeck was a tremendous owner. Too bad the other owners and commissioner wouldn’t let him turn the Phillies into an all-black all star team in 1943.

    Comment by skeptisys — November 21, 2007 @ 3:24 pm

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