Red Sox advisor and noted analyst Bill James caused quite a stir on Thursday when he tweeted out that baseball players are not nearly as important to the game as we think, and they would simply be replaced if they all disappeared today.
In a since-deleted tweet, James said, “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."
Of course, many players took issue with James' opinion, including the MLBPA, who called James' comments "both reckless and insulting" to the game of baseball.
The Red Sox, who currently employ James as a consultant, released a statement condemning James' comments.
Several current MLB players have chimed in as well, including Justin Verlander, who asked if the Red Sox would still have won the World Series had Mookie Betts, J.D. Martinez, or any number of their main contributers had simply been with someone else.
Wonder if the @RedSox win the World Series with a replacement player for @mookiebetts or @JDMartinez14 or @DAVIDprice24 or #Bogaerts or @JackieBradleyJr or #ChrisSale or @RickPorcello or @asben16 or #Devers or @kimbrel46 or........ https://t.co/jtk6lz96y2— Justin Verlander (@JustinVerlander) November 8, 2018
James is a well-known statistical analyst who wrote the book behind the concept of "Moneyball".
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