James Surowiecki interviews Bill James

February 22, 2008

Bill James can be credited with popularising sabermetrics – the study of numbers in baseball. I’ve put up an interview of his with Surowiecki here after a back and forth in the comments with Srivaths. Will numbers grow to reveal more in cricket than they do now? If effectiveness is a team’s goal, then yes.

Here’s a Q&A that caught me:

Surowiecki: Finally, do you think most baseball teams will eventually adapt, and incorporate sabermetrics into the way they work on a day-to-day basis? Or will there always be a Pope to the sabermetrician’s Galileo?

James: There will always be people who are ahead of the curve, and people who are behind the curve. But knowledge moves the curve.

Spot on. In-depth knowledge of a player’s worth takes the whole enterprise forward. This is so true for the IPL. Do read the whole interview.

Update: Also check out Cricinfo’s new numbers blog, It Figures. Corny name aside, the analysis is interesting.

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