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Nerd Alert

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Gaslamp Baller David, formerly of davidlizerblog and current bassist for San Diego's own Kite Flying Society, sent an email out to his baseball nerd list today. Being on that list is kinda like having access to his now defunct blog only without the little photo of him in the corner. Here's the email cause I haven't written about Petco Park food yet:

Baseball nerd alert! Today Prospectus recently published an interview with Bill James. As always, I'm amazed at how many facts he has at his disposal. This exchange illustrates that, as well as showing how many factors you need to consider when you are comparing players - just going to the Answer Machine and looking at the numbers would not have given you a picture this complete:
DL: Looking at their overall value, how would you compare the careers of Alan Trammell and Brooks Robinson?

BJ: Well, Trammell was quite a bit better than Brooks as a hitter. But Robinson not only was a far superior defensive player, but also Robinson played for a team--Baltimore in the 1960s and 1970s--that was much more dependant on their defense for their success than Trammell's teams. One tends to assume that a shortstop is carrying a larger defensive role than a third baseman, but that's not universally true, and it's not true in this case. The Orioles won by defense, more than any other team post-World War II. Robinson played 6,000 more innings on defense than Trammell. Robinson's defensive impact, I think, is a long measure ahead of Trammell's. I would evaluate Trammell's 1987 season, when he didn't win the MVP Award, as being clearly better than any of Brooks's seasons, including 1964, when he did win the MVP Award. But their top seasons are generally in the same range of value, in my opinion, and Brooks has more of those truly valuable seasons than Trammell does, by a count of eight or nine to six. So I would have to say that Robinson had a better career.
See if somebody asked me the question, "Who's better... Alan Trammell or Brooks Robinson?" I would've raised one eyebrow, stroked my chin and said, "Who do you think is better?" Then, no matter the response, I would follow up with, "But are you sure you're taking into account VORP's influence on the EqA's statistical push on WARP?"

And then again... Regardless of the response to that, I would respond with, "That's what she said."

And that's why Bill James gets paid the big bucks.

P.S. I really encourage you to check out the interview. It really is very good and not necessarily just for nerds.