Tuesday, February 23, 2010
Bill James ThingsPosted by Dave Studeman
The latest Bill James Gold Mine will be shipping soon. The Gold Mine is full of Bill's essays—the "pure gold" part of the book—as well as ten-to-fifteen special statistical insights for each team—the nuggets. Yours truly contributed nuggets for five teams; see if you can guess which ones. The Gold Mine is available from ACTA or Amazon.
Most of the essays in the Gold Mine are reprints of articles he has posted on Bill James Online (BJOL). BJOL is a subscription site, but it may be worth the price for you. For example, Bill's latest essay, I Knew It!, uncovers something I hadn't even thought about: We all know that the number of "long" outings by starting pitchers has declined, but it turns out that the number of "short" outings has declined, too.
Here's how Bill explains it:
People think that modern managers are only concerned, and are over-concerned, with not over-working their starting pitchers. That’s not exactly true. Rather, in the modern world we believe in regular workloads. Whereas managers in the fifties and sixties believed that some days pitchers just didn’t “have it”, and jerked the pitcher out of the game quickly when they thought he didn’t have it, we believe now that you get maximum production and minimal risk of injury with a regular, predictable workload. And, really, this is progress, because the whole thing about the pitcher just “not having it today” is mostly just nonsense.
Bill also has a series about the best pitching duels of each decade going, which is also fun reading.
(Full disclosure: I also work for Bill on BJOL.)
Finally, reader Ken Cale has been playing around with Bill's Win Shares system and developed his own way of ranking players with Win Shares. You can download Ken's system in this PDF file. THT doesn't "endorse" Ken's system, but some of you may find it interesting.
Dave was called a "national treasure" by Rob Neyer. Seriously. Comments about this article can be sent to him through the miracle of e-mail.