Covering the Front and Back Pages of the Newspaper
May 17, 2003
BASEBALL: Bill James Chat Wrap
Bill James, the master himself, made an appearance over at ESPN.com the other day. Some highlights:
Jake (Mountlake Terrace, WA): Bill, can we gleam anything from the Win Shares system after only 40-odd games, or is it a tool that's truly accurate after a full 162-game schedule?
Bill James: Nothing. Win Shares are a tool used to analyze a season after it is over. They have no relevance at all to a moving object.
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Jake (Mountlake Terrace, WA): Kansas City Royals: will they merely settle in as a slightly-above .500 team, or will they crash and burn like the 2001 Minnesota Twins? How do you see the young pitchers progressing (or regressing)?
Bill James: I don't honestly see tham as being any better than they have been. Pena has very significantly re-educated a bunch of the young pitchers, many of whom frankly don't look anything like they did last year. This is ONE step toward making them good major league pitchers--but it is just one step along a long road.
(Looks like Jake was hogging the chat)
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Jason Rose (Chicago): What players would you say are the most valuable commodities in all of baseball, taking into account everything (talent, age, contract status, expected durability)? I would say 1) A Rod, (2) Vlad Guerrero and (3) Mark Prior.
Bill James: I think I would be Prior ahead of Guerrero, but that's a REAL good list. I don't know that there is anybody else who would break up that top three.
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Bill James: I don't know; when did you get the last one? I'll have a book to a publisher next spring. . .don't know when it will appear.
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Jordan: There's been a lot of chatter about moving Piazza to 1B. My feeling is that he's of more value as a catcher even with all the stolen bases, especially with offense at such a premium for the Mets. What's your take?
Bill James: I'd move him, and let Mo Vaughn catch. I think he'd throw out about as many runners, and it would be more entertaining to watch.
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Kevin (Harrisburg, PA): Bill, do you think the comparisons of Randy Wolf to Glavine are legit?
Bill James: Yes. If you put Wolf on the Braves, he would win 18-20 games.
Read the whole thing.