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Culling the Bill James Handbook

One of the few positives of the end of the baseball season is the Annual Bill James Handbook (aff link) arriving on my doorstep. At one time it was the only place to easily find a number of uncommon stats. Sites like Fangraphs and Baseball Reference and the rise of Pitch F/X data make some of these stats easier to come by, but the Handbook is still a trove of baseball stats.

This year’s edition has the usual favorites like:

Posted by on November 8, 2009.


Categories: 2009 Season, Statistics

2 Responses

  1. oh my, Bill…you werent kidding…those leaderboard stats are awesome!

    Im so excited Fu TeNi did so well…i was just talking to my friend in Taipei yesterday. They’re extremely proud.

    by ian (seattle) on Nov 9, 2009 at 10:39 am

  2. The first I heard of Bill James was in 1983 when an article was published in the Free Press. He talked about how Tony Armas, recently moving from Oakland to Boston, would “tattoo the Green Monster”, and how Robin Yount was the most productive batter the previous season. He justified this with a formula to calculate runs created. I remember it assigned run values for each kind of batting event. Walks and HBP were 0.25 (it took 4 to create a run), singles were .35, stolen bases were .33, and so on. I saw a similar chart recently, but the values were different (I remember seeing walks as .25 and HBP as .28 – even though they have EXACTLY the same effect on scoring…hmmm). Anyway, I love this sort of thing. I use those numbers to calculate salaries in a card-and-dice baseball simulation game I’ve invented.

    By the way, last year I emailed Billfer asking if he knew where I could find information like how many times a runner took more bases than a batter (going from 1B to 3B on a single) to help create a nice formula for calculating base-running acumen. He pointed me to Retrosheet, but this exact item is used as an example. It’s been many years since I bought a Bill James book. Looks like my holiday wish-list just got another item.

    by Coach Jim on Nov 9, 2009 at 2:12 pm

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