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The Mind of Bill James: How a Complete Outsider Changed Baseball
Synopses & Reviews
Speed for a pitcher is like looks for a girlfriend. It is meaningful but not determinative. — Bill James
Bill James has been called baseball's shrewdest analyst (Slate), the Sultan of Stats (Boston Globe), and part of baseball legend (New Yorker), and his Baseball Abstract has been acclaimed as the holy book of baseball (Chicago Tribune). Beginning almost thirty years ago, James introduced a new approach to evaluating players and strategies; and now his theories have become indispensable tools for players, agents, statistics analysts, maverick general managers, and anyone who is serious about the game.
James began writing about baseball while working at a factory in his native Kansas. In lively, often acerbic prose, James used statistics to challenge entrenched beliefs and uncover surprising truths about the game. His annual Baseball Abstract captured the attention of fans and front offices, and went on to become a bestselling staple of the baseball book category. In 2002, the Boston Red Sox hired James as an advisor. Two years later they achieved their long-awaited World Series triumph.
The Mind of Bill James tells the story of how a gifted outsider inspired a new understanding of baseball. It delves deeply into James's essential wisdom — including the significance of a player's stolen-base record, the influence of batting-order performance, and why teams tend to develop the characteristics that are least favored by their home parks. It also brings together his best writing, some of it long unavailable, as well as insights from new interviews. Written with James's full cooperation, it is at once an eye-opening portrait of baseball's virtuoso analyst anda treasury of his idiosyncratic genius.
"I enjoyed The Mind of Bill James immensely — indeed, immoderately." Tracy Kidder, author of The Soul of a New Machine
About the Author
SCOTT GRAY is the author of a series of Street & Smith’s sports annuals. He lives in Charlottesville, Virginia.
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