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Even Home Run Baker nodded

Why Bill James is great: in the 1984 Baseball Abstract he wrote that the Milwaukee Brewers infield was one of the greatest of the postwar era (a judgment borne out by later analysis; it probably still hasn’t been equalled since), noting correctly that it probably had two future Hall of Famers in it.

Why Bill James isn’t God: the two players he was talking about were Robin Yount… and Cecil Cooper.


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He was amazing. The two things I'm always amazed by are:

1. How many things he said 20 years ago were shocking and viewed as being wacko. Things like platoon advantage, minor league numbers indicating major league performance, k/w ratio being a tell for future pitching success and others.

2. How simple his writing was/is. If ever there was an "across the back porch" delivery with the printed word, Bill James was it.

His gift really was that he could use the computer to run fake seasons and then tweak major league equivalencies and project MLB careers and THEN dumb it down for guys like me.

AND he got me back into the most beautiful game on the planet for a time until Bud Selig shot it with his pistole.


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