Anyone who’s read the site for awhile knows that I’m a fan of Bill James. I think he’s a terrific writer, despite his utter failure with capital letters, which if you click on the link and read the essay, you’ll see some evidence of that. I think he’s at least partly wrong on the heart of this matter but it’s thought-provoking, if nothing else. The excerpted piece below isn’t really what the essay is about but I liked it.
One of the common responses to my post was along the lines of “Bill James is in his decline phase.” (I would quote someone specifically, but I blocked them all so the tweets no longer show up.) But when you think about it. . .did I get to be who I am by making arguments that most people would agree with? When I argued in the late 1970s that won-lost records for pitchers often had little to do how well the pitcher had pitched, did people agree with that? When I argued that a .240 hitter could be better than a .300 hitter sometimes, did people agree with that? People thought I was nuts. 90, 95% of the baseball establishment thought I was an ignorant jackass with crazy opinions. I’m in the decline phase now because I believe things that most people don’t? That’s just who I am. If I am to be condemned now for having opinions that everyone knows to be false, let me at least say that this is not a new failing for me.
Source: Bill James, Bill James Online