This week, the Baseball Hall of Fame will announce a new class of inductees, setting off rounds of celebrations — and debates. Fans will argue over whether Mariano Rivera deserves unanimous approval, or whether the use of performance-enhancing drugs should permanently block the enshrinement of Barry Bonds.
Oddly, amid these debates, one of the Hall of Fame’s key omissions is likely to be overlooked. How is it that it has left out — and perhaps not even discussed — the man who has had the greatest influence on baseball in the last 40 years, who has changed how the game is understood, how it is enjoyed and even how it is played? I’m talking about the statistician and historian Bill James.
A graduate of the University of Kansas, James began his professional involvement with baseball in the late ’70s, while working nights as a security guard at a cannery. When not foiling pork-and-bean burglaries, he used his free time to record and analyze baseball statistics. He had a quirky curiosity that led him to ask offbeat questions, whose answers he extracted from the numbers he kept. He wasn’t afraid to deflate reputations or debunk conventional wisdom. He turned his findings into articles, and eventually best-selling books. His writing was smart, funny, contentious, and unlike anything fans had ever read.
It may be hard for younger fans to grasp how innumerate baseball was. There were homers and R.B.I.s and batting averages for hitters; wins and losses and E.R.A.s for pitchers. Teams had winning and losing streaks. Instead of analysts, broadcasts had color commentators.
As a result, fans had little understanding of the game’s subtleties. Suddenly, here was James, unearthing hidden explanations, revealing lame assumptions, uncovering the value of overlooked variables. How much did it cost the Cubs to play day games in Wrigley Field? Did Ted Williams lose more homers playing in Fenway Park than Joe DiMaggio lost playing in Yankee Stadium?
James did his best work re-evaluating reputations. He showed that the infielder famous for diving catches actually lacked range, that the genius manager who strategically bunted was actually squandering outs, that more of your favorite slugger’s homers could be ascribed to close fences than to his prodigious power.
James revealed a game in which your eyes deceived you. A banjo-hitting second baseman who walked a lot was a bigger offensive asset than the long-ball threat who struck out a lot. The wily catcher who knew how to frame pitches might be more responsible for strikeouts than the pitcher who threw them.
James did not invent analytics — other students of the game formed the Society for American Baseball Research years before he began his studies. But his lively, provocative writing helped him elevate the field at just the right time. The new network ESPN integrated stats into its programming. Players of the new pastime, fantasy baseball, hungered for stats. Agents and general managers alike gobbled up stats to justify free-agent contracts. Numbers enriched the whole show.
I met James once, at a corporate event in the early ’80s. We were part of a group that attended an ordinary game at Shea Stadium between a poor New York Mets team and the first-place Los Angeles Dodgers. James was a typical fan; he drank a beer, he did the wave. But he also carried a bedraggled notebook, in which he recorded the lineups and the game conditions, drew stick figures showing the pitchers’ windups, and noted every pitch that was thrown.
We were in the middle of a scoreless game when James did something astounding. The Dodgers pitcher had just recorded out No. 1 for the inning, and James said, “The Mets are going to score this inning.” Yeah, right, I thought. One out, nobody on, average hitters coming up. But then, yes, the Mets scored, and again, and again.
“The Dodgers’ starter took 11 pitches to retire the first hitter," James explained. “Pitchers usually need 15 pitches to get through a whole inning.” With the pitcher faltering, he said, “the Mets’ chances dramatically increased.”
This year, watch any game, and you will almost certainly hear the announcers discuss spin ratio, exit velocity, wins above replacement and other analytical concepts. Teams will shift defenders, arrange lineups, substitute players and choose pitches all based on the numbers. You may even gripe about the preponderance of strikeouts and homers — another stat-derived trend. James did not uncover all these findings, but his analytics revolution pervades baseball — and all major sports are now influenced by analytics. Did you know goalies who start on back-to-back nights record save percentages on average 11 points lower on the second night? N.H.L. general managers do.
Fundamentally, baseball is the same game it has always been — hit, throw, catch. But thanks to Bill James, there have been changes. For one thing, James is now an executive with the Boston Red Sox. But more important, a new era of fans knows that inside good old country hardball there’s a deeper, richer game. Cooperstown, the next move is yours.
Jamie Malanowski is a speechwriter for Gov. Andrew Cuomo of New York.
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买马报子“【不】【对】【啊】，【怎】【么】【会】【这】【样】？”【蜻】【魅】【嘀】【咕】【道】。 【寻】【鸢】【也】【发】【现】【了】【苍】【蓝】【的】【这】【副】【模】【样】【跟】【她】【有】【几】【分】【相】【似】，【不】【过】【正】【是】【因】【为】【这】【几】【分】【的】【相】【似】【让】【寻】【鸢】【的】【心】【中】【更】【加】【的】【感】【性】【起】【来】，【她】【看】【着】【苍】【蓝】【的】【模】【样】【心】【中】【感】【慨】，【上】【天】【居】【然】【真】【的】【给】【了】【她】【一】【个】【姐】【姐】。 “【怎】【么】【了】？”【苍】【蓝】【有】【些】【紧】【张】【的】【问】【道】。 【蜻】【魅】【的】【脸】【色】【很】【不】【好】【看】，【难】【道】【是】【因】【为】【她】【变】【身】【失】【败】【了】【吗】？
【十】【月】【三】【号】，【我】【终】【于】【完】【成】【了】【我】【人】【生】【里】【的】【第】【一】【本】【小】【说】。 【七】【月】【二】【号】【稀】【里】【糊】【涂】【地】【开】【了】【一】【本】【小】【说】，【连】【自】【己】【都】【想】【不】【到】【像】【自】【己】【这】【么】【失】【败】【的】【人】【都】【可】【以】【签】【约】，【慢】【慢】【地】【就】【在】【放】【弃】【中】【又】【咬】【牙】【坚】【持】，【从】【失】【落】【中】【有】【绽】【放】【开】【心】【的】【嘴】【角】。【我】【终】【于】【还】【是】【完】【本】【了】！（PS：【虽】【然】【很】【烂】。） 【我】【想】【了】【好】【多】，【却】【终】【究】【只】【能】【打】【出】【这】【么】【几】【个】【字】【来】，【嗯】……【我】【写】【下】【的】
【天】【罚】【神】【的】【诅】【咒】！ 【作】【为】【创】【世】【神】【最】【狂】【热】【的】【拥】【趸】，【艾】【比】·【霍】【夫】【曼】【自】【然】【明】【白】【这】【是】【什】【么】【意】【思】。 【但】【是】，【为】【什】【么】？ 【为】【什】【么】【同】【为】【神】【明】，【与】【创】【世】【神】【处】【于】【同】【一】【时】【代】、【同】【样】【近】【乎】【万】【年】【没】【有】【出】【现】【于】【人】【前】【的】【天】【罚】【神】，【居】【然】【要】【诅】【咒】【一】【个】【仿】【佛】【与】【他】【毫】【不】【相】【干】【的】【人】【类】？ 【艾】【比】【对】【此】【并】【不】【能】【明】【了】，【但】【唯】【有】【一】【件】【事】【是】【已】【经】【确】【定】【的】。 ——【格】【罗】【不】买马报子【三】【生】【剑】【帝】【背】【后】【生】【寒】，【猛】【然】【回】【头】【却】【什】【么】【也】【没】【有】【看】【到】。 【忽】【然】，【眼】【前】【一】【花】，【伊】【正】【平】【再】【度】【站】【在】【了】【他】【的】【面】【前】。 “【以】【牙】【还】【牙】，【以】【眼】【还】【眼】……” “【啊】【啊】【啊】【啊】！！！！”【他】【疯】【狂】【地】【往】【前】【斩】【去】。 …… 【现】【实】【中】，【伊】【正】【平】【缓】【缓】【地】【将】【月】【白】【神】【剑】【推】【入】【了】【三】【生】【剑】【帝】【的】【心】【脏】【当】【中】。 “【水】【中】【映】【月】【能】【无】【限】【延】【长】【时】【间】，【还】【有】1【分】【钟】【你】【就】
【就】【在】【居】【间】【惠】【队】【长】【刚】【说】【完】，【这】【段】【感】【动】【人】【心】【的】【话】【之】【后】，【一】【道】【光】【芒】【闪】【过】，【居】【间】【惠】【队】【长】【转】【头】【望】【去】，【是】【汽】【车】【的】【车】【灯】，【它】【在】【照】【耀】【着】【沉】【睡】【的】【迪】【迦】。 【而】【与】【此】【同】【时】，【从】【城】【市】【的】【各】【个】【角】【落】，【不】【断】【跑】【出】【一】【大】【堆】【人】，【他】【们】【都】【拿】【着】【手】【电】【筒】，【有】【车】【的】【人】【开】【着】【车】，【都】【来】【到】【了】【迪】【迦】【的】【面】【前】，【把】【他】【们】【的】【光】【传】【递】【给】【迪】【迦】，【这】【是】【他】【们】【唯】【一】【能】【做】【的】【事】【情】。 “【迪】
“【原】【谅】？” “【除】【非】【我】【死】！” 【魏】【姌】【默】【然】【一】【笑】，【语】【声】【决】【绝】。 【转】【身】，【只】【留】【下】【一】【个】【冷】【漠】【背】【影】，【消】【失】【于】【层】【层】【珠】【帘】。 【萧】【琰】【黯】【然】【伫】【立】，【盯】【着】【魏】【姌】【离】【开】【之】【处】，【周】【身】【气】【息】【慢】【慢】【变】【得】【森】【寒】。 【李】【公】【公】【在】【一】【旁】【打】【了】【个】【冷】【颤】，【头】【越】【发】【的】【低】【了】【下】【去】。 “【传】【旨】-” “【将】【皇】【贵】【妃】【禁】【足】【于】【朝】【阳】【宫】，【无】【朕】【的】【旨】【意】，【任】【何】【人】【不】【得】【探】【访】
【戎】【迁】【的】【话】【像】【是】【带】【着】【魔】【力】，【小】【九】【仿】【佛】【已】【经】【看】【见】【了】【戎】【迁】【为】【她】【描】【绘】【出】【的】【闲】【散】【生】【活】，【他】【们】【从】【此】【不】【问】【世】【事】，【会】【像】【寻】【常】【的】【夫】【妻】【一】【样】【相】【濡】【以】【沫】，【共】【度】【余】【生】，【他】【们】【还】【会】【有】【可】【爱】【伶】【俐】【的】【孩】【子】，【再】【也】【不】【参】【与】【六】【界】【的】【任】【何】【争】【端】。 【就】【像】【是】【忘】【川】【河】【底】【的】【杳】【娘】【和】【十】【郎】，【再】【也】【没】【有】【什】【么】【能】【够】【把】【他】【们】【分】【开】。 【小】【九】【双】【眸】【泛】【着】【水】【光】，【眉】【心】【间】【的】【狐】【形】【花】【钿】【灼】