Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Review of "The Bill James Handbook 2006," by Bill James ISBN 0879462965

Review of

The Bill James Handbook 2006, by Bill James ISBN 0879462965

 I still remember a line I read in “Baseball Digest” decades ago. A reader had sent in a short piece containing some refined data. The editor responded with the line, “There is nothing that the baseball fan likes more than statistics.” While I disagree, there is nothing better than a walk-off homer in the ninth inning, the editor was right.
Bill James has done more to change the statistical approach to baseball than any other person, he was the primary inventor of sabermetrics, the deep diving into statistics in order to derive more accurate measures of a player’s worth.
This book contains statistical summaries of all active players through the 2005 season. There are detailed pitching, batting and fielding statistics for the players. Sections of data on managers, stadiums, pitchers vs. left-handed and right-handed batters, leaders in several categories for the 2005 season, win shares and hitter and pitcher projections for the 2006 season.
 Although it is ten years out of date, I still found the book interesting to look through, especially the projections. As a mathematician, it was fun to compare the projections to the reality. Accuracy is of course limited, but considering the vagaries of major league baseball, not all that bad.

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