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So much for Bill James

El Gordo

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I submitted a questiom to Hey Bill on his web site, regarding park factors at OPACY leading to Jones' and Markakls' extreme home/away split./ This is his response:

Hey Bill, there is a huge discussion raging among BALTO die hard fans regarding the defensive metrics of Nick Markakis and Adam Jones. UZR splits show them to be much better away than at home. In 2010 e.g, Markakis was about -13 H and +7 A. Jones -15 H, and +6 A. these numbers reflect a general trend over their careers at OPACY. Are there park factors at work here, that aren't being taken into account by the measuring system? Or are these two guys the Jeyklls and Hydes of OF defense? Do proprietary numbers indicate that other OF struggle on defense when they play at OPACY?

Asked by: elgordo

Answered: 12/27/2011

I have NO idea what OPACY is .....:scratchchinhmm::eek:

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He really couldn't put the pieces together and figure out what OPACY means? Even if he couldn't understand the acronym, the context it's in should make it obvious.

Even if he never heard of OPACY before, the context of the question makes it perfectly obvious. It's almost as if he didn't want to answer the question.

Whoops, as usual, someone says exactly what I was typing two minutes before I do. I need to up my WPM. (That's words per minute, Bill James)

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It's nice and all to think that OPaCY is a standard abbreviation but if someone wrote O.CC I wouldn't immediately think Overstock.com Coliseum, even if we were discussing Brandon McCarthy's splits or something similar.

I couldn't even tell you the names of half the stadiums in MLB, because the names change so frequently. But it is obvious that el gordo was discussing home/away splits from the first couple of sentences of his question.

Hopefully, some readers will take James to task on this one.

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He is far from a baseball genius...
Why would a reviewer make the point of saying someone's not a genius? Do you especially think I'm not a genius?

You didn't even have to think about it, did you?


Seriously, though, I'm not sure how you quantify genius, but James changed the way we think about baseball, for the better. He's close enough to a baseball genius that I'm relatively convinced neither you or I is in any place to judge.

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Perhaps he had some flunky fielding questions during the Holidays.
I have no doubt it was some snarky intern who does his mail. Can't imagine a guy like James taking all the tome needed to answer daily questions from a web site. However he is responsible for how that flunky represents his brand, and alienating a the best message board for any ML team can't be good for that. I did re submit the question making it clear, what OPACY and UZR stood for. We'll see.
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He is far from a baseball genius and frankly,as an

employee of the Red Sox, I dont think its professional to be answering questions analyzing other teams.

I really don't know what his deal with the Red Sox is, but clearly he is allowed to publish the stuff that appears in billjamesonline.com and in his books. I don't think he'd be giving away a state secret if he simply said whether he thinks that +/- accurately captures the differences that different ballparks present.

In the Fielding Bible voting, James voted Markakis the best defensive RF in the AL. So, he has already stated his opinion on Markakis.

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