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Bill James's Quotes

Bill James profile photo

Born: 1949-10-05
Profession: Writer
Nation: American
Biography of Bill James

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Baseball does become slow sometimes. It's totally unnecessary. The - you can play baseball fast. You can play it slow, and for some reason, we have chosen to play it slow, you know, which is unfortunate, but nothing you can do about.

Tags: Baseball, Become, Sometimes

Baseball would be a quite remarkable activity if it was the one place in the world where your co-workers didn't have any impact on how productive you were. But in fact, baseball is a high-stress occupation, and those sort of stress-inducing activities... just have a huge impact on how the team functions, I think.

Tags: Baseball, Place, Team

Bunting is usually a waste of time. The - generally, yeah, I mean, if you think about it, bunt is the only play in baseball that both sides applaud. The - if the home team bunts, you get a base. The home team applauds because they get an out, and the other team applauds because they get a base. So what does that tell you?

Tags: Baseball, Home, Time

Crime shapes how we think about the world; it shapes social decisions that we make; it shapes our base of knowledge. But we don't talk about it intelligently.

Tags: Decisions, Knowledge, Talk

Do we need to have 280 brands of breakfast cereal? No, probably not. But we have them for a reason - because some people like them. It's the same with baseball statistics.

Tags: Baseball, Breakfast, Reason

I do have a family, and obviously I spend as much time as I can with them. Though even when I'm with my family, my mind tends to drift toward baseball.

Tags: Family, Mind, Time

I think among the population at large, people are openly fascinated with crime and don't feel any shame over it. It's only the opinion-makers and the 'opinion elites' who turn up their noses.

Tags: Crime, Opinion, Turn

I would never encourage my children to be athletes - first because my children are not athletes and second because there are so many people pushing to get to the top in sports that 100 people are crushed for each one who breaks through. This is unfortunate.

Tags: Children, Second, Sports

If a candidate for office starts talking about thinning the deer population or investing in barriers to reduce the number of deer on the highways, the other side will probably just ignore him, because they're not going to know what to say about it. But there is a chance that the issue will resonate with voters in an unexpected way.

Tags: Chance, Him, Ignore

If you go to a party populated by the NPR crowd and you start talking about JonBenet Ramsey, people will look at you as if you had forgotten your pants.

Tags: Party, Start, Talking

It's extremely damaging to a fair trial to have people reaching judgment about the case in the newspapers and on the radio before the facts are heard in a case.

Tags: Facts, Fair, Heard

None of us are claiming that the statistical analysts understand the game of football as well as the football coaches do, or that our analysis should take precedence over the informed opinions of experts. I'm not saying that at all.

Tags: Football, Game, Saying

Our society is very, very good at developing certain types of skills and certain types of genius. We are fantastically good at identifying and developing athletic skills - better than we are, really, at almost anything else. We are quite good at developing and rewarding inventiveness.

Tags: Else, Good, Society

Some people give themselves over to their most evil desires, and those people becomes evil. But in general, it's reductive to think of evil as something foreign and separate from the rest of us. Evil is part of everyone. We all have the capacity to commit evil acts.

Tags: Everyone, Evil, Give

The fact is that everybody around a college basketball game - the coaches, the announcers, even the referees at a lower level - calculates when the game is really over. They calculate it with intuition and guesswork.

Tags: Basketball, College, Game

There are many things that you can't measure. But the great fun of what I do for a living is figuring out ways to measure things that people previously considered intangible.

Tags: Fun, Great, Living

We need new athletes all the time because we need new games every day - fudging just a little on the definition of the word 'need.' We like to have new games every day, and, if we are to have a constant and endless flow of games, we need a constant flow of athletes.

Tags: Games, Time, Word

I have always been much better at asking questions than knowing what the answers were.

Tags: Answers, Knowing, Questions

Any of us are capable of doing things we're not proud of under the wrong kind of stresses.

Tags: Capable, Proud, Wrong

Computers, like automobiles and airplanes, do only what people tell them to do.

Tags: Computers, Tell

Crime cases tend to be fascinating until you figure out what happened.

Tags: Crime, Happened, Until

Crime stories show us the part of people's lives they try to keep hidden.

Tags: Keep, Show, Try

Do people really believe there's something different about the eyes of murderers?

Tags: Eyes
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Famous crime stories almost always lead to the passing of new laws.

Tags: Almost, Crime, Famous

I like to feel that I understand little things about sports.

Tags: Sports, Understand

I try to take large, general questions that are difficult to resolve and break them down into small, very specific questions that have clear answers.

Tags: Difficult, Small, Try

In a crime story, the details become tremendously important - where the staircase was in relation to the bed, for example.

Tags: Become, Bed, Story

It's easy for people to grow up in our society believing that certain lifestyles are risk free when they certainly are not.

Tags: Easy, Free, Society

Professionalism in law has brought us the O.J. Simpson case in lieu of justice.

Tags: Brought, Justice, Law

Professionalism in medicine has given us medial miracles for the affluent but hospitals that will charge $35 for aspirin.

Tags: Charge, Medicine, Miracles

Serial murders are just the worst stories. It can take an emotional toll on you.

Tags: Emotional, Stories, Worst

Television is full of fictional and real violence that's turned into entertainment.

Tags: Full, Real, Violence

The business of popularizing crime is how we expose the faults in our justice system. It's how we expose police misconduct.

Tags: Business, Justice, Police

The human race has been in a long struggle to eliminate murder. And we will succeed.

Tags: Human, Struggle, Succeed

There are, I believe, many more false confessions to murders than true confessions.

Tags: False, True

There comes a moment during a job interview when you're still talking, but you might as well take off your shoes.

Tags: Job, Moment, Off

We don't genuinely need more literary geniuses. One can only read so many books in a lifetime.

Tags: Books, Lifetime, Read

Well, stealing bases adds some runs but very few, and you lose most of the runs that you gain by having runners caught stealing.

Tags: Few, Lose, Stealing

When I was a small kid, I grew up in the newspapers.

Tags: Kid, Newspapers, Small

When people disagree with you, what you ultimately have to do is persuade people to agree with you - period.

Tags: Agree, Disagree, Period

You can't ultimately dodge defeat by winning close elections.

Tags: Close, Defeat, Winning

You know one little way in which baseball changes us? We don't even think twice about Japanese names anymore. You know what I mean?

Tags: Baseball, Changes, Mean
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