Somewhere in my parent’s basement is a plastic storage box with the remnants of my youth. Among the Boy Scout medals, NFL pennants, yellowed newspaper clippings are some of the annual reports Bill James used to send out in the 1980s.
I can’t recall how I learned about James, probably in a Peter Gammons column, but I can remember sending away to Kansas to get one of his reports and being fascinated at how he looked at baseball.
This is a long way of saying I’ve always appreciated statistical analysis, or at least tried to. So when Will Carroll of Baseball Prospectus invited me to their promotional gathering tonight in the city, I was happy to attend.
A good time was had by all at Foleys NY. Got to meet Steven Goldman, Jay Jaffe, Joe Sheehan and Derek Jacques from BP. The guy who inspired me to blog, Alex Belth of Bronx Banter, was in the house along with Christian Stone and Mark Bechtel from Sports Illustrated.
Met Steve Lombardi of Was Watching for the first time, too, along with Mark Healy of Gotham Baseball and so many readers.
It’s amusing when the BP guys and their disciples are dismissed as “stat geeks” who don’t really love baseball. The truth is they love baseball so much that they have come up with different ways to evaluate the players and the game. Trust me when I tell you, most of these cats know far more about baseball than some of the dopes who show up in the press box.
When Jason Giambi was chugging around second base for this triple, we were all yelling at the TV and having a good time.
Sounds like a pack of baseball nerds, right? Maybe so. But you know who showed up at the end of the night? Will’s friend Jenn Sterger, the famed Florida State cowgirl.
Three games on TV, cold beer, lots of good baseball talk and hot babes? Let’s have one these every week.