In the April Edition of Esquire, is a feature on Bill James entitled “Abstract No More” which mentions:
(When James stopped writing the Abstract nearly twenty years ago, he intended to turn his attention to something else, but he’s never been able to outrun baseball’s countless riddles.) The Red Sox are waiting for one of the four reports—some of which have stretched to two hundred pages—he’s contracted to write for them each year, with rankings of free agents and minor league talent and prospective objects of affection. He refuses to reveal the contents of his latest batch of recommendations, but one of his earliest studies for them, following the 2002 season, suggested that Boston consider either David Ortiz or Brad Fullmer, who, by his calculations, were virtually identical: aggressive pull hitters who picked up a lot of doubles and a few home runs and were liabilities in the field. For reasons James has never been privy to, the front office decided to nab Ortiz, perhaps because Fullmer once fractured a coach’s cheekbone with his bat. Backslaps all ’round, even though James admits that he “couldn’t see much of anything between them. Sometimes, all it comes down to is luck.”
Why, oh why, didn’t the Red Sox take Fullmer instead of Ortiz? What a difference that would have made over the last three years….for New York.