Friday, October 25, 2013

DTB Review deja vu: No parachute

Arthur Gould Lee, No Parachute

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 233 pages
  • Publisher: Time Life Education (June 1991)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0809496127
  • ISBN-13: 978-0809496129
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.6 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars (9 customer reviews) 
  • Price: $48.80 plus shipping (<-- What I paid. Currently, Amazon lists a different printing for $21.20. This printing now sells for $152.00.)
1. Short review:    (Amazon rating: 5 out of 5 stars -- I love it.)
Books that I rate 5 stars I read again. I found No Parachute more enjoyable the second time around.

2. Long review:
2.1. What I liked:  The contemporaneous account by a flyer in the Great War.
Of all the books I have read on air combat in the Great War, No Parachute is the best. Next is Manfred von Richtofen, The Red Fighter Pilot, and James McCudden, Flying Fury.
Roller-coaster or walk-in-the-park? Roller coaster.

2.2. What I did not like: See my first review.

2.3. Who I think is the audience: Air combat buffs. History buffs.

2.4. Is the book appropriate for children to read?  Yes. No worries.

2.5. On the basis of reading this book, will I buy the author's next book? Yes. Writing this post reminded me to order Open Cockpit. The DTB will be here soon; no ebook version available.

2.6. The Contents:
Author's Note
Part One.....The Pilots' Pool
Part Two.....The Ypres Front
Part Three..The Battle of Messines
Part Four....The Vimy Front
Part Five.....Air Defence of London
Part Six.......The Third Battle of Ypres
Part Seven..The Arras Front
Part Eight...The Battle of Cambrai
Part Nine....Cambrai Aftermath 

Appendix A..The Failure in High Command
Appendix B..Trenchard's Strategy of the Offensive 
Appendix C..Why No Parachutes?

     I shall pull out details from the body of the work. I shall not treat with the appendices in this post. I shall treat with each in turn in later posts. 

 2.7. Detail [AGL's words in quotes. My words in plain type.]:

Author's Note:
     "The letters in this volume were written in France in 1917 when I [Arthur Gould Lee] was a pilot in No 46 Fighter Squadron of the Royal Flying Corps. Together with my flying log-book and diary, and some maps, photographs, and official document . . . I have edited them for publication.
     "The names of places and the location of units, of which censorship forbade mention in correspondence, have been inserted throughout. There are occasional extracts from a diary to which were confided both views that might have brought trouble from the censor and subjects too sinister for a young wife to read. There are also linking paragraphs and footnotes . . .  to amplify the text . . . ."

     "This book tells, in unpretentious words, written on the day, hot on the event, of the progress from fledgling to seasoned fighter of one of [the] young flyers of no fame."

Part One.....The Pilots' Pool
From May 18th, 1917, to May 22nd.
     "The gloom merchants [pilots with combat experience] also say that the average life of a scout pilot on the Arras Front is still under three weeks. A lot of bally hot air . . . ." But the gloom merchants were right.
     "I may relieve a time-expired pilot who's done his six months, for that's as much as the average fellow can take if his squadron is a lot in action. If he's not rested then, he begins to crack up under the strain." Prophetic.
     On the 22nd, AGL was posted to 46 Squadron.

Part Two.....The Ypres Front
From May 22nd to May 31st. 
      May 22nd, AGL reported to 46 Squadron. That day, the squadron lost a pilot named Gunnery in a mid-air collision.
     May 23rd. "Today I had my first two flights, I've been to the Lines, and I've seen Hun archie in action. . . . Stephen [another 46 Squadron pilot] had been hit, had come down on this side, but had died of his wounds on the way to hospital. I must say, to have this happen twice in two days put me back a lot. Especially following on Gunnery's funeral, which I attended before my first flip, as one of the six pallbearers."
     May 24th (Diary). "The same sort of thing took place at Stephen's funeral as at Gunnery's. No coffin. But at least nobody fainted. Not a very bracing start for a newcomer to be welcomed with two funerals in two days . . . ."
     May 25th. "R.A.F. 2cs [in the song sung in the pilots' mess] are B.E. 2cs of course. The R.A.F. is the Royal Aircraft Factory at Farnborough, which produced them, and all the other bloodsome B.E. range, including the so-called scout-fighter, the B.E.12. I've flown them all at Filton, and though they're all right for gadding around England, they're completely old rope [obsolete] in France. . . .
     "One if the things I realised from these talks was that the old-timers are not only learning to fly Pups expertly but they're new to air fighting." Until May 1917, 46 Squadron flew Nieuport two-seater reconnaissance planes. "Their first operational flights started only nine days before I arrived on the 22nd."
     May 26th (Diary). "On the way back from La Gorgue [cemetery to visit the graves of Gunnery and Stephen], discussing Gunnery's collision Barrager spoke of the time the machine took to get to the ground, even with one wing crumpled back. . . . He had a long way to go, over three miles, with ample time to escape if only he'd had a parachute. Somebody asked why we don't have them. Hundreds of lives would be saved. After all, the balloon chaps do have them, and use them often. . . . [W]hy can't machines be made to accommodate a parachute? Every pilot would sacrifice a little performance to have a chance of escape from break-ups and flamers. It would be a great boost for morale."
     May 31st. First air fight with "six Albatros D-IIIs".

Part Three..The Battle of Messines
From June 1st to June 14th.
     June 1st (Diary). "Last night I lay awake thinking of my narrow squeak in my first scrap. That group of bullet-holes behind my back, plus having a jam in the middle of a dog-fight. The odd thing is that I didn't have time to be scared, it all happened so quickly. . . . It's only later on, especially when you get to bed, that you begin to think about what might have happened."
     June 4th. "I was in another scrap today, and this was a real one, with a Hun shot down, the first the squadron has had confirmed since it re-equipped with Pups. Courtneidge led me and Odell on an early (7.45) O.P." (Offensive Patrol - a flight 1 to 10 miles over the German side of the lines.) "Courtneidge claimed his Hun and I confirmed it."
     June 5th. "The squadron has two big D.O.P.s today." (Distant Offensive Patrol - a flight 10 to 15 miles over the German side of the lines.)
     June 9th (Diary). "I keep thinking of the flamer today. The pilot jumped. He had a light-yellow flying coat, and it bellied out, momentarily checking his fall, like a parachute, so that the machine left him behind. Then he turned over and dived after it, alongside the column of black smoke. A horrid sight. . . . The Hun pilot could easily have got away with it if he'd had a parachute, he'd enough time to get clear before his plane lit up."
      June 12th. "Another new man, Fleming, has arrived, who makes the seventh since I joined the squadron . . . ." In AGL's first three weeks with 46 Squadron, out of a total of eighteen pilots the squadron lost seven. 

Part Four....The Vimy Front
From June 17th to July 10th.
      June 24th. "As we watched [the front], a balloon to the northwards lit up . . . We saw two parachutes beneath, like white parasols, and through field glasses spotted the dark blobs below which were the observers, going down very slowly . . . ."
      June 29th. "[Flight leader] Scott left [our patrol] because he'd shot away half his propeller. The Sopwith-Kauper interrupter gear with which the Pup is fitted is complicated mechanically, and sometimes goes wrong, and then the bullets go through the prop. It's this gear which slows down the rate of fire of the Vickers. In the air, when you press the trigger, instead of getting the fast rattle of a ground gun, you have a frustrating pop! pop! pop! pop! The Huns have a much more efficient gear, for the Spandau fires very fast."  ['Spandau' refers to a license-built Maxim machine gun built at the Spandau Arsenal, Berlin. The British Vickers company had purchased the Maxim company before the war. The Vickers machine gun was a Maxim gun with slight improvements. Thus, the British and Germans used essentially the same machine gun throughout the war.] The reduced firing rate of its gun was a severe handicap to the Sopwith Pup.
     July 8th. "Such wonderful news! It is 5 a.m., and we're all up, dressed, ready to fly to England! Yes, the squadron is coming to England."

Part Five.....Air Defence of London
From July 11th to August 30th. 
     "Britain entered the war without the means to resist air attack. During 1916 an unco-ordinated assortment of naval and military aeroplanes . . . was able to dispose of the menace of Zeppelins, but when the Germans turned to day raids by fast well-armed Gotha formations the planes that rose to meet them . . . were hopelessly outmatched . . . . [O]n June 13th fourteen Gothas reached London and circled around dropping bombs at their pleasure, causing a casualty list of 162 killed and 432 injured . . . . Lloyd George and his War Cabinet hastily decided to double the size of the R.F.C., a futile gesture when even existing demands for aircraft and engines could not be met. . . . Saturday, June (sic, July) 7th, the Gothas came again, twenty-one of them releasing their bombs on the capital without interference, and causing 250 casualties. . . . [T]he cabinet held an immediate meeting in an atmosphere bordering on panic. . . . Following this meeting, [Chief of the Imperial General Staff Sir William] Robertson telegraphed [Commander-in-Chief of British Expeditionary Forces Douglas] Haig: 'The Cabinet have decided at a special meeting this afternoon [08 July 1917] that Home Defence Forces must be strengthened at once by two first-class fighting squadrons tomorrow to England.'" Haig ordered Commander of the Royal Flying Corps Hugh 'Boom' Trenchard to dispatch two fighter squadrons immediately. "Trenchard selected No 46 and another squadron. . . . [T]he Cabinet decided on the 9th to make do with one squadron" and the other squadron -- delayed by weather -- stayed at the front.
     For six weeks, 46 Squadron flew out of Sutton's Farm, Essex. They taught themselves to fly what I know as fingertip formation, flew exhibitions, and passed their time at badminton and gardening.
     "[D]uring the six weeks that 46 Squadron spent in England, it never once came within shooting distance of the enemy."
     AGL related this part in narrative written for the publication of the book. "During the time the squadron was in England, [AGL] wrote no letters, for the simple reason that [his] wife was with [him]."

Part Six.......The Third Battle of Ypres
From August 30th to September 6th. 
     August 31st. "It wasn't until I began to write this letter and put down the date that I remembered this is my birthday. Twenty-three! . . .
     "Until a week or so ago, 45 [Squadron] had aged Sopwith two-seaters, but they're re-equipping with Camels, and absolutely rave about them. They say they can now make the Albatros look foolish, and have already shot down a few."
     September 3rd. "[G]ood news about Barrager. He was wounded in the leg . . . . Good old Barrage, a blighty for him, maybe even to Canada." (AGL means Barrager had a wound serious enough to cause him to be withdrawn from the front and posted to the Home Establishment squadrons in England or to a training squadron in his home land, Canada.)
     September 4th. "I've got a Hun at last! And all on my own. And confirmed. An Albatros V-strutter, a D-III. . . . I suppose I ought to say that when I saw him go down, quite certain that I'd got him, I was filled with a wild sensation of triumph, and all that sort of thing, but in fact I was so busy concentrating on what I was doing that I forgot to be excited. In the Mess, afterwards, celebrating, I did feel pretty thrilled, but not at the time."
     September 6th. "The squadron is being moved from this front, as it is too hot for us. We can't hold our own against the newest Huns, especially now that they have triplanes which can literally make rings even round Pups. It's too much like pitting pigeons against hawks. . . . [T]he lack of daily fighting and patrolling for nearly two months has put us older pilots out of practice, and we have five inexperienced chaps, including the two who joined us at Bruay -- the third, Bird, has already gone."

Part Seven..The Arras Front
From September 7th to October 21st. 
     September 11th. "We tried out our new flight tactics this morning, and they worked well. Net result, one two-seater L.V.G. shot down out of control, shared between Scott and me."
     September 14th. "I went with Charles Courtneidge on a joy-ride to Bellevue aerodrome, ten miles south of here, to see one of the 11 Squadron chaps we knew. The have Bristol Fighters, and are doing very well on them, mainly owing to a Canadian, McKeever. He told me that he handles his machine as if it were a scout, fighting with his front gun while the gunner protects their tail." When first introduced, the Brisfits followed the doctrine for two-seaters: fly level and let the gunner do the shooting. The first patrol of six Brisfits ran into Richtofen and his Circus. Result: four Brisfits shot down. When McKeever started flying the Brisfit like a fighter, things changed. On this date McKeever had twelve kills. By the end of November 1917 his total was thirty-one. 
     September 15th (Diary). "Today I found myself thinking what a stupid thing war is, especially when you don't know what it's all about, yet I couldn't have stayed out of it. Now I'm stuck in it, with no thought for the future. . . . [N]ow we can't imagine life without war. I suppose older people can, but most of us have never tasted anything else since we left school or university. And what's so strange is how easily all of us accept this existence of killing or being killed as absolutely the normal."
     September 21st. "'C' Flight also had some excitement, and got another L.V.G., shared by Scott and me. . . . In your last letter you ask why I touch wood just before a scrap when I could pray. But why should God grant me any special favour? The Hun I'm fighting may be calling on Him too. . . . How can I call on God to help me shoot down a man in flames?"
     September 22nd. "As I swirled around, I saw a D-III try to get behind and below [Charles], but I slid behind him, drew close, fired thirty rounds. He jerked up behind the Brisfit, fell over and span (sic, spun) down."
     September 23rd. "We've had definite news at last about the casualties of September 3rd. McDonald died of wounds, but Bird and Williams are prisoners. We get this information through Huns flying over our side periodically with a streamered message bag containing the list of R.F.C. and R.N.A.S. casualties. We do the same for them . . . ."
     September 30th. "I saw below me the D.F.W.s we'd originally spotted. . . . The observer began to fire as I came down, but I dived behind and below him, then zoomed up under the impetus of the dive. From underneath, before the pilot could jink, I got in a long burst along the underbelly. The machine reared up, fell over sideways on to its back, and dived slantingly, turning on to its back twice more before I lost it."
     "When [Armitage] joined us at the hangar we found he'd been wounded in the leg. It was painful, as the bullet was still there, but nothing very serious, though good enough for a blighty."
     October 1st. "Armie's [that is, Armitage's] replacement, called Warwick, has arrived and the batmen are putting his things in the cubicle behind mine, previously occupied by Ferrie, who has just moved to another hut because we other three in the Nissen groused about the noise he made in nightmares -- dreaming his machine was in flames or breaking up, and so on." 
     October 2nd. "In the afternoon several of us drove over [to the hospital] to see Armitage. He'd had an operation, but seemed comfortable, and very cheerful at the prospect of being soon back in England."
     October 4th. "There's been no serious flying for two days, and this afternoon 'C' Flight took the opportunity to go and see Armie again, and take him some chocs and apples, but were surprised to find him looking so ill. The nurse would only allow Nobby and me to see him, and then only for two minutes. She said he'd had another operation and the [anaesthetic] gas upsets him."
     October 5th. "Early this morning came the shocking news that Armie died last night of gangrene poisoning. We can't believe it. Although he looked pale yesterday, he seemed cheerful enough, braced at the expectation of soon being sent to England. What on earth could have caused a simple wound like his, under treatment by hospital staff within an hour of it happening, to go wrong so quickly?"
     October 11th. "I shot down another Hun today, a D-V shared with Joske." (Do you recall how excited AGL was 04 September 1917 when his got his first kill? Now he is matter-of-fact about it.) 

Part Eight...The Battle of Cambrai
From November 7th to December 7th. 
      November 8th. "I've done five flights today, including two short ones on the Camel." In November 1917, 46 Squadron exchanged their Sopwith Pups for Sopwith Camels. At this point, the squadron had only one Camel.
     November 17th. "There are no more Pups in 'C' Flight!" Within days the whole squadron flew Camels.
     November 19th. "So many Camels are being damaged in bad landings that the mechanics are working into the night, getting them serviceable . . . ." Camels were killers, both of the Germans and of Allied flyers. More combat kills were credited to the Sopwith Camel than to any other Allied fighter during the war. More operational losses -- that is, crashes -- were lodged against the Sopwith Camel than against any other Allied fighter during the war.
     November 24th. Flying ground attack 22 November, AGL was shot down by ground fire. He spent two days traveling to get back to his squadron. "Charles was wounded while trench-strafing in the attack on Bourlon Wood yesterday, while I was still out, and has gone to hospital with a nice blighty. Also yesterday, young Hanafy went down the other side, feared dead, and on the 22nd Atkinson was missing. Also on the 22nd, MacLeod, flying with me, crashed into a tree in the mist, and died of his injuries next day."
     November 26th. Flying ground attack, AGL was shot down again by ground fire.
     November 29th (Diary). "[L]ast night, about midnight, I was awakened by awful screeching noises. It was Tommy [Thompson]. I took a torch and went in to him. He was struggling and sweating and shouting, in the throes of a nightmare. The chaps in the other two cubicles heard, and came in, and we awakened him. he was very shamefaced. He'd just been shot down in flames, he said. Of course, this is the same sort of thing that Ferrie used to do in the cubicle behind me until he moved, and he's as stout as they make them."
     December 1st [Writing of the events of 30 November.]. "Once more I have been shot down on the battle front, and am very lucky to be at Izel writing this letter. My companion of the job, Dusgate, is in Hunland, and I don't know whether he's killed or a prisoner. . . .
     "I saw a V-strutter come down with an S.E. after it -- the wings folded back, the pilot was thrown out and fell with the wreckage barely a quarter of a mile from me. Another loss of life that could easily have been saved with a parachute . . . .
     "While I was circling at 4,000, trying to discover the extent of the [German] breakthrough [at Gouzeaucourt], a D.F.W. came gliding along from the south, its occupants too deeply engrossed in examining the ground to notice me. I turned and gave them a deflection shot at 200 yards, fifty rounds, not expecting much, and was staggered when the machine suddenly dropped into a nose dive, engine on, and went down to hit the ground between Havringcourt and Flesquières. . . .
     "Suddenly a D-V passed across my front from the west, about 200 feet below. As it slid by, I saw the pilot looking out of the further side of his cockpit at the smoke of battle below. He hadn't seen me. I swung steeply down on to his tail, and caught him up so quickly he seemed to be coming back towards me. At twenty yards' range I pressed the triggers. The tracers flashed into his back. The machine suddenly reared up vertically in front of me, and I banked to the right to avoid him. He fell over sideways, and went down in a vertical dive. I swung over and followed him down for a thousand feet, but he was going too fast. He didn't pull out, and crashed west of Bourlon village.
     "As I was flattening out at under 3,000 there was a sudden crump! of archie. Then crump, crump, crump. Black bursts all round me a clang in the cowling -- a thud somewhere in front. My engine stopped dead. Not even a splutter. . . .
     "I got down to the ground, and was quickly surrounded by troops, from whom I learned that I'd come down south of the Bapaume-Cambrai round, west of Graincourt, well under a mile this side of the fighting. "

Part Nine....Cambrai Aftermath
From December 8th to January 7th.
     December 9th (Diary). "I had proof last night that this darned trench-strafing had begun to get on my nerves. I performed a show like Thompson's -- maybe it's catching! Apparently, I was yelling in a nightmare, and he had to come into my cubicle and waken me. I was shaking and sweating with it. I was diving, diving, into a black bottomless pit with hundreds of machine-guns blasting up endlessly at me. I didn't like it a bit."
     December 15th. "[T]he Wing [Medical Officer] came to see me again this evening, ostensibly about my appendix. He was very chummy, and said that maybe I didn't know it, but I'd had enough. Being shot down three times had done me no good, apart from other things, such as shell-bursts. He told me that even though I wouldn't admit I was on the way to cracking up, my body knew it, hence the tummy pains and other symptoms. I said there was nothing wrong with me that another good binge wouldn't cure."
     December 22nd. "It is teatime now, I must away and toast. There are four toasting forks, which we use in turn to make a slice, which is then smothered with butter. It's one way of getting warm, because we usually have a decent fire in the Mess, even if there's ice everywhere else. Tea and breakfast are my best meals now, I seem to have gone off lunch and dinner."
     December 26th. "Just before dinner the officers all trooped along to a slap-up champagne dinner which the [enlisted] men were having in a hangar. Then the Major gave them the news, that three of them had been awarded the Military Medal! The three I recommended, Sergeant Dolittle, and Leeding and Edmunds. . . . [These were the only combatant awards gained by other ranks in 46 Squadron throughout the war. In the R.F.C. it was rare for such decorations to be won by other ranks, other than on flying duties.]"
     December 28th. "I slept most of the day, and after dining on my usual milk and brandy, settled down to write this." AGL living on milk and brandy reminds me of Roy Brown in April 1918. When he shot down Manfred von Richtofen, Brown was living on a diet of scotch and soda.
     January 1st, 1918. "After lunch, the Major asked me not to fly any more, as he's recommended me for [Home Establishment]."
     January 3rd. "Ferrie has been killed. . . . A parachute could have saved him, there's no doubt about that. What the hell is wrong with those callous dolts at home that they won't give them to us?"

     "After a spell of leave, and some months of instructing on Camels at Joyce Green, [AGL] was posted to do a second tour, this time on Salamanders, the new armoured plane for ground strafing. The war ended before the squadron could get to France."

2.8. Links: 
Open Cockpit
Fly Past 

2.9. Buy the book:
hardback with ugly cover: No Parachute 
hardback with misleading cover: No Parachute (used) 
paperback with pretty cover: No Parachute (used)

Saturday, October 12, 2013

eBook Review: Moneyball

Michael Lewis, Moneyball

Product Details

  • File Size: 551 KB
  • Print Length: 316 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0393057658
  • Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company (August 15, 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B005G5PPGS
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars (865 customer reviews) 
  • Price: $9.57
1. Short review: *:D big grin (Amazon rating: 5 out of 5 stars -- I love it.)
If I give a book 5 stars, you can bet money and give odds that I will read it again. 

2. Long review:
2.1. What I liked: Great writing. Moneyball is about baseball's use of the wrong statistics. Baseball fans who are mathematicians strove to devise the right statistics and get the major outfits to accept them.
Roller-coaster or walk-in-the-park? If -- like me -- you have done professional statistics and know how hard it is to get the right measurements, it is a roller coaster. Else, it is a brisk walk-in-the-park.
Worth the money and then some.

2.2. What I did not like: Nothing that I can think of.

2.3. Who I think is the audience: Statisticians. Baseball rebels.

2.4. Is the book appropriate for children to read? Yes.

2.5. On the basis of reading this book, will I buy the author's next book? Yes. Just discovered that Michael Lewis also wrote The Blind Side. I loved the movie. It's an odds-on bet I'll love the book.

2.6. The plot in a nutshell.

     Given that this is non-fiction (why do we refer to books about reality in the negative?), there should not be a plot, but there is.
     The tension in the book builds with the chapter devoted to Bill James. James worked to devise meaningful statistics for baseball. As opposed to the old statistics. James published his work under the title Baseball Abstracts. James was not the first to approach baseball measurements by the scientific method, but, like Christopher Columbus's discovery of the Americas, his work was the one that led to meaningful exploitation. James cried out in the wilderness for 20 years before a single team in major league baseball started to use his numbers.
     That team was the Oakland A's. Sandy Alderson, the penultimate general manager of the A's, applied James's Sabermetrics to his farm system but not to his major league club. The A's owner at the time, Walter Haas, pumped money into the club to buy championships. That changed when Haas sold the team. The new owners, Lew Wolf and John Fisher, ran and run the A's as a business. Billy Beane became the A's GM when Alderson left. Without the deep pockets of Haas, Beane turned to Sabermetrics to build winning teams on the cheap.
     Beane's decision to use Sabermetrics should have been a non-event. Instead, it started a war.
     If you are keeping score in the war, Sabermetrics is winning.

 2.7. Other:

     The movie of the same title portrays Beane and his manager, Art Howe, as being in constant conflict. The book does not give that feeling at all. The book makes it clear that the A's were run by Beane's directives, not Howe's. If anything, the book hinted that Howe feared Beane.

     Why is there a war over Sabermetrics?
     I was watching a playoff game last week, and I saw the broadcaster post an 'Innovative Stat': OPS. OPS is a Sabermetric for On-base-percentage-Plus-Slugging-percentage. This stat is the most accurate measure available of a hitter's value to his team. Why call it innovative?
     'Cause it ain't Batting Average. That's the traditional stat.
     What about Batting Average?
     It's crap.
     Think about it. Batting Average (Avg) is the number of hits (H) divided by the number of at-bats (AB). Avg = H/AB. But walks do not count as at-bats. Nor do they count as hits. How blind is that?
     If you manage a baseball team, you want runners. Does it matter to you if they got to first by a hit or by a walk? You may think you don't care, but a walk requires more pitches of the opposing team's pitcher and reduces the number of innings he can pitch. In truth, you prefer walks to singles.
     Worse, a single counts the same toward Batting Average as a home-run. That is totally blind.
     Baseball stats came about through the efforts of an Englishman, Henry Chadwick. Chadwick was familiar with cricket and tried to measure performance in baseball using stats from cricket. Cricket does not have walks. Chadwick did not know what to make of walks as measures of performance. So he ignored them. He invented the concept of error which is his opinion of what should have happened. Henry Chadwick is responsible for the nonsense that is baseball statistics. The men of baseball have blindly followed Chadwick's statistics for a hundred and fifty years. These have become the traditional statistics.
     Why don't the-powers-that-be in major league baseball abandon Chadwick's nonsense for James's falsifiable (that is, testable) Sabermetrics?


2.8. Links: Sabermetrics

2.9. Buy the book: Moneyball