Back Patting Encore

Yesterday I wrote that Bill James and I have been friends for more than 30 years. Here is what Bill graciously wrote as a cover “blurb” for my first book: “[He] knows more about who’s in the minors, and who’s any good, than anybody in the world.” (If that were ever true it certainly isn’t, anymore.)

The Wall Street Journal wrote this about my third book: “Without a doubt the best book [of its kind] ever written.” [of its kind] was the subject of the book. Here is a reader review of the book:

“This is the finest book on [this topic] ever written, in my opinion. [The author] uses a strict system of mathematics and statistics to measure teams and sets forth meaningful criteria to separate the wheat from the chaff. To the reviewer above, I say this: Isn’t the whole point to win in the playoffs? How can a team be considered among the GREATEST EVER in a sport if they fail to win the most meaningful games of all?
[His] arguments are lucid and intelligent, not given to histrionics or buffered by boorishness. This is an exhaustive book, [he] leaves no stone unturned and even displays some good humor in the face of his intimidating statistical virtuosity. This is about as objective a study as I have seen on this often touchy subject. I would love to see this sort of method applied to my other favorite sport, pro hockey. If you love intelligent, objective and interesting writing, then I suggest you do yourself a favor and buy this book.”

Here is part of a review of my second book from The AVClub (I think), “Ultimately, the last word in applying logic to a game of art belongs to [him], who notes that ‘so much of what happens in baseball is just random deviation from an unobservable mean.’ To a rational person, that’s poetry.”

By the way, I believe that last quoted remark applies to life and not just to baseball. I believe that life is basically a Monte Carlo simulation.

I am a disaffected man for good reason, I believe. The fact that I cannot find an interesting and fulfilling work situation is an indication that life is not always fair or that America is broken (drowning in credentialism and age discrimination) or that something is amiss or all of the above and then some.