Chat wrap with Bill James.
Lots of great stuff.
Jurgen (Toronto): Bill--What's your take on the explosive starts of Alfonzo Soriano and Rocco Baldelli? How do they manage to hit for average and power so well with such poor BB/K ratios? Are they both getting by on such raw talent that the usual rules for evalutating players don't apply?
Bill James: Baldelli's a lot of fun. In my office we were making fun of some scout who compared him to Joe DiMaggio, but when you see him play you realize what people are reacting to. Of course, he doesn't have DiMaggio's entire package, but he does have more than half of it.
Eric (Massachusetts): Bill, is infield defense overrated? I remember that in the offseason Red Sox beat writers and sports radio hosts were critical of them signing Todd Walker over Rey Sanchez. I think Walker brings much more to the table. I'd always take a good hitter/average fielder over a good fielder/average hitter.
Bill James: Well, Walker's been great...absolutely the best #2 hole hitter I ever saw, except that Sandberg hit second one year when he was having an MVP season. But part of the mix is, his defense is just far better than he is given credit for. People got an idea that he couldn't field, but he's been fine. And our infield defense has been fine, which frankly I was very worried about going into the season.
Bill James: Hey, guys, I'd better sign off. Thanks for all your questions...go Red Sox. I'm sorry that we didn't get more questions about Moneyball, and also that no one gave me a clear opportunity to point out that the Red Sox have a better bullpen ERA than the Yankees do, or that we are below the major league average in blown saves. Next time, I guess. Bill
tells the story of Rangers phenom David Clyde, who was baseball's biggest attraction for a short time in 1973. (Dallas Observer)
Prospectus Triple Play: Diamondbacks, Royals, Phillies
. "You read it here first: sometime in the next month, Jeremy Affeldt is going to have That Game. The game where he finally achieves national recognition--a two-hit shutout, a 13-K masterpiece, or maybe both." (Baseball Prospectus)