Bill James, father of sabermetrics, consultant for the Boston Red Sox, and guy who routinely shares the sort of opinions that get him publicly clowned by his daughter, unleashed a doozie last night.
While engaging in a discussion on Twitter about whether MLB players are overpaid, James wrote in a since-deleted tweet,
“If the players all retired tomorrow, we would replace them, the game would go on; in three years it would make no difference whatsoever. The players are NOT the game, any more than the beer vendors are.”
Not only is James’s take extremely stupid and wrong, it’s the kind of thing that’s pretty alarming to hear from a guy who holds a prestigious position in an MLB front office. It wasn’t all that surprising to see MLBPA president Tony Clark come out firing:
That put the Boston Red Sox in a tough position, and they decided to try and downplay the situation by assuring everyone that, actually, they don’t even know Bill James that well!
If nothing else, this is good practice for the Red Sox, who will likely have to go through this again when James inevitably tweets something about the scientific merits of phrenology.