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Michael/Male/26-30. Lives in United States/Pennsylvania/Wexford/Christopher Wren, speaks English. Spends 20% of daytime online. Uses a Fast (128k-512k) connection. And likes baseball /politics.
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United States, Pennsylvania, Wexford, Christopher Wren, English, Michael, Male, 26-30, baseball , politics.

Wednesday, May 26, 2004

Moneyball, Page 69… 

I’ve been reading Moneyball these last few days during breaks in my Barbri (bar exam preparation course) lectures. (I discovered that I had already read much of Chapter Two because it made up most of the excerpt Sports Illustrated had carried last summer.) I’ve gotten up to page 69 and I’m reading a little more about Bill James. This chapter is very interesting because it is helping me understand the theories underpinning sabremetrics a lot more.

One thing that has me intrigued: in his 1977 book, James complains about errors and fielding percentage as a measure of defensive ability. I understand the point and I agree wholeheartedly: that fielding percentage is subjective and that it doesn’t measure a player’s ability to physically get to the ball because even in an error the player gets something right- he interacts with the ball. My question is this: is there ANY way to develop objective defensive stats? Has anyone tried? (Has James?) It was said that in Willie Mays glove triples went to die: how do you statistically quantify that? How do you objectively measure that statement? How do you factor in why teams were afraid to ran on sacrifice flies hit to the Giants centerfield in the 50’s and 60’s? That guys didn’t try to stretch doubles in triples and singles into doubles? I’ve complained about Bell’s defensive miscues (9 errors, a .913 fielding %, last I checked), but I am wondering if maybe Bell is doing better than I thought …

Anyway, I enjoy Lewis’ writing and I am understanding the tenets underpinning the theories of sabremetrics. Has anyone else read / is reading the book?

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