The Baseball Analysts have part three of Rich Lederer’s interview with Bill James up on their site. Very interesting.
Rich asked Bill to comment on several players. Take a look at this excerpt:
RL: Mike Schmidt.
BJ: Sabermetric superstar. A .270 hitter but such a great player despite a modest batting average that everyone had to figure out he was a great player anyway.
RL: Joe Morgan.
BJ: Similar. We all wish he was as good a broadcaster as he was a player.
RL: Johnny Bench.
BJ: I don’t have any comment on him.
Now, I wonder what James could have meant by that? Does he have some reason to dislike Bench? Who knows? I just thought it was an odd response. Otherwise, the article in whole was very entertaining. (For what it’s worth, I agree on his assessment of Morgan).
Here’s my post yesterday discussing the interview, along with links to the other parts of the interview.
I didn’t read anything negative into the Bench non-comment. James’ subsequent statement on Gary Carter was to the effect that Carter did everything Bench did, but not as spectacularly. What that says to me is that James just didn’t feel like he had anything enlightening to say.