Thursday, November 8, 2018

Do Bill James' Comments Mean Sabermetrics Are Becoming 'Old School'?

UPDATE: Red Sox strongly disavow comments by Bill James
As some wise sage once said: "Everything old becomes new again—and vice versa". Bill James—a senior advisor on baseball operations for the Red Sox—is the grand-daddy of Sabermetrics. Over the years, James spawned a near cult-like following of stat-geeks—who tried to reduce the game to spreadsheets instead of sliders. To a great extent, Sabermetircs brought a necessary focus on identifying under-valued players by analyzing under-appreciated data. That was a good thing—and a needed departure from the good-old-boy scouting network of times past. But, then, the movement kind of went off-the-rails—best exemplified by MLB Network's insufferable Brian Kenny. And, now, James is embroiled in a new controversy over the true value of players—implying they can all be replaced with little impact on the game. Say what? Said James recently on TWITTER, "If the players all retired tomorrow, we would replace them, the game would go on; in three years it would make no difference whatsoever. The players are NOT the game, any more than the beer vendors are." Holy Mookie Betts! Should this guy really still be working for the Red Sox front office—or has his "new" science become "old school"—and old hat?