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How Bill James Changed Our View of the Game of Baseball Hardcover – March 1, 2007


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 139 pages
  • Publisher: ACTA Publications; First Edition edition (March 1, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0879463171
  • ISBN-13: 978-0879463175
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 6.4 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,740,416 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

On the upside, it's very short.
JeffG
Bill James may not have embraced fantasy baseball as much as some people think he should, but he hasn't disdained it either.
D. McSpadden
The word "disciples" came to mind while reading this, and that may only overstate the case a bit.
WDX2BB

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

23 of 24 people found the following review helpful By D. McSpadden on March 3, 2007
Verified Purchase
I've been a big fan of Bill James and have longed for a critical review of his work. Doing that probably wasn't the intent of this book, but what we get is somewhat disappointing. It reads like there are 11 different writers contributing forewords to the next Bill James book. . .but then, there is no book. Granted, each of these writers are accomplished in their own rights and they are probably saving really good stuff for their own books.

Some of the best stuff is from Hal Richman (founder and CEO of Stratomatic)who mixes his contribution with praise for James, as well as noting the difficulties he has had with examining defense. Daryl Morey, the assistant GM for the Houston Rockets, writes about how he has tried to apply some of James' ideas to basketball. I also enjoyed Ron Shandler's chapter on Fantasy Baseball, but I would disagreed with some of his observations. Bill James may not have embraced fantasy baseball as much as some people think he should, but he hasn't disdained it either.

I was also disappointed with Neyer's contribution. Neyer, no doubt, has plenty of anecdotes he could share about James. He only shares a couple, but I am sure there are some great ones where he and James clashed over some analysis or conclusion. Those are the stories I want to hear about.

So, all in all, it's okay. I would only recommend it to the die hard Bill James fans.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By JeffG on February 9, 2008
As most paeans, this is short on conclusions and long on feelings. If you've read Bill James' work, there's nothing new. It's nice to be reminded of some of James' best lines, but that's not enough excuse to read the book. On the upside, it's very short. The writers are mostly very skilled and are more or less the people one would hope were there. But for no apparent reason, random fans get a sidebar here and there, and they, sadly, are not all capable writers. All in all, go reread one of James' books instead.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By David Alden on February 3, 2008
Whether I would recommend this book to a friend depends on a single fact, whether that friend knows the work of Bill James and feels that it changed how the friend views the world. If the answer is yes, then this book is the path to inform my friend that he is not alone, but shares a sense of wonder with numerous talented and accomplished folks. If the answer is no, then this book is a puzzling hagiography to a crusty curmudgeon who spent his life on trivialities.

Others may argue, with cause, that the book could have provided more insights into James, his work, and his character. But if we accept the thesis that the primary goal of the book was to assure the readers that they are not alone in their deep appreciation for what James has brought to their lives, then the book succeeds admirably.

Highlight: The Susan McCarthy chapter is an intriguing insight into an unconventional but successful marriage. Lowlight: The formatting, with its numerous distracting sidebars, was a poor choice. For the latter, I'll subtract a star. But if, like me, you discovered James in the 1980s and he has informed your world view ever since, you should read this book.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By L. Laferriere on September 17, 2007
When you talk hardcore Bill James fan, you talk about me. Have all his book since BB Abstract 1980, read everything. There is very little stuff worth reading or new in this book, the best coming from Hal Richman. Not a bad reading but nothing out of ordinary, bordeline boring at worst. This is the problem; when we see something about Bill James, we always expect something extraordinary, something new. Not in this case
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