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November 05, 2005

The Bill James Handbook 2006

Two years ago, I had the privilege of reviewing The Bill James Handbook 2004 for NetShrine.com. Now, I have the pleasure of reviewing The Bill James Handbook 2006 for WasWatching.com. (And, my thanks to the folks at Acta Publications for making this possible.)

The handbook is full of league, team, manager and player stats. But, it also has fun sections on Team Efficiency Summaries, Park Indices, Leader Boards, Win Shares Data and Player Projections for 2006, careers, and injuries.

Quickly thumbing through The Bill James Handbook 2006 this evening, I saw the following 2005 facts that would interest Yankees fans:

* The Yankees' 49 wins after the All-Star break were the most for any team in baseball.

* Jorge Posada's Batting Average, Runs Scored, Walks, RBI, HR, On Base Average, and Slugging Percentage have each gone down now for three years in a row.

* Derek Jeter led the AL in pitches seen (2,883) and was second only to Bobby Abreu in the majors.

* On the bases, Jason Giambi went from 1st to 3rd in 47% of his chances (14-30) whereas Tony Womack did it 33% of the time (5-15).

* The Yankees had 111 SB Attempts last year - the lowest number ever by a Torre Yankees team.

* Tom Gordon led all AL non-closers in Blown Saves (with seven).

* The Yankees led the AL in pitch outs with 50 - for a point of comparison, the Red Sox had 11 and the White Sox had 15.

* Only Tampa Bay (0.53) and Baltimore (0.48) had higher Unearned Run Averages than the Yankees in the AL (0.43).

* The two highest home batting averages in the AL belonged to Derek Jeter (.354) and Alex Rodriguez (.351).

* According to Baseball Info Solutions Injury Projections for 2006, the pitcher in all of baseball with the 4th highest % chance of any injury is Carl Pavano (33.3%) and he's directly followed by Jaret Wright (at 32.4%).

* Alex Rodriguez, assuming he stays healthy, projects out to 816 career homeruns.

* The top two slots in the AL for most pitches thrown in a game belong to Carl Pavano (133 on 5/17) and Mike Mussina (131 on 5/7).

I also saw some Red Sox related items that would interest some Yankees fans:

* Pedro Martinez threw 217 IP in both 2004 and 2005. He hit 16 batters in 2004 but only 4 in 2005.

* Boston hit more HR on the road in 2005 (107) than they did at Fenway (92).

* David Wells' average fastball last season was thrown at 87.6 MPH.

It's facts like these that make The Bill James Handbook 2006 so much fun. (And, there's a ton more great things in the book. I found these in minutes.)

I highly recommend The Bill James Handbook 2006 - not just for Yankees fans, but for any baseball fan. If you like stats, this book covers all the bases (regardless of your favorite team or teams).

Posted by Steve Lombardi at November 5, 2005 11:14 PM