Watch Bill Speak Live From Web Summit in Lisbon

November 8, 2016
 Watch Bill speak live here Wednesday at 7:25 am Eastern.
 
 

COMMENTS (5 Comments, most recent shown first)

OldBackstop
I like the interviews when Bill goes into crime and politics, and he must as well. How many times can you tell the pork and beans story and self publishing and Moneyball stories, he must feel like Raph Branca. And even getting to Saber 201 glosses most eyes over...Sabr 301 he even loses me.

To me, personally, the thoughts he has about the philosophy breaking into other areas are what interests me most. But these are funny...I crack up when he says stuff like "Raise your hand if you can't hear me." lol....it's too fast for most people, but that's why it's funny....
12:37 PM Nov 12th
 
Gfletch
boutilij, thanks for the link - that's a great interview, much better than the television job.
2:43 PM Nov 10th
 
Gfletch
Live interviews with Bill don’t come across very well, to my mind. If it was someone I had no prior knowledge of, I’m sure I would change the channel.

One reason is that the host / interviewer is often trying to introduce Bill and sabermetrics to people who have only a superficial awareness of the subject (at best). A lot of the questions seem like attempts to get Bill to tell cute stories about ballplayers. Bill James and sabermetrics aren’t the stuff of Entertainment Tonight.

Another reason is that Bill himself is revealed to be a very thoughtful person, tends to think over what he has been asked rather than giving a quick, glib answer. At least in this format that seems to be the case. Sometimes this process of thinking things over comes in the form of thinking out loud…with the hesitations, qualifications, thought course corrections and so on.

Bill’s writing is so fluid, insightful and entertaining that the reader is swept up and borne away – you’d never guess at how much work has gone into it. Certainly this is true when writing about things he is interested in.

In spite of all that, there were at least two things that came out of this interview.

1. Bill touched on how so much of success in baseball – success in any human endeavour – is due to people skills, to managing your ballplayers / employees. As I recall, this came in the context of the host wanting to talk about statistics and Bill (as he has always done) talking about how statistical analysis is just a tool in the search for information (in the ongoing search for truth).
2. I forget the other thing.

Oh, wait…I remember. He talked about how in Moneyball part of the narrative was the conflict between the scouts and management. Bill says part of the success of the Red Sox in this regard was how they courted the scouts, respected them, learned from them.

Yes, of course. People skills. He also talked about how it’s easier to change the environment of ideas than it is to persuade the participants (the players, the managers, the general managers) of a sport. The example here being that his ideas didn’t gain traction in MLB until many of his readers began working for big league teams, or writing about baseball.

See, I still get a lot out of this stuff. But I prefer Bill in written form, not live broadcast form.

2:30 PM Nov 10th
 
boutilij
In case anyone hasn't seen it, here's an interview with Bill from today's Buffalo News, where he talks about polling and the election results, among other things: buffalonews.com/2016/11/09/bill-james-fears-civil-war-says-time-overhaul-polling-methods/
10:55 AM Nov 10th
 
OldBackstop
One of Bill's better pieces. Nobody is talking over him, which is always a problem because he is too damn courteous for TV. Sharp suit and tie. Starts at 1:26.
7:45 PM Nov 9th
 
 
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