Baseball analyst Bill James said on Twitter he believes all major-league players are replaceable.
The tweet, since deleted, was part of an argument about MLB salaries, in which he defended that most players are overpaid.
“If the players all retired tomorrow, we would replace them,” James wrote. “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.”
A long-time baseball historian, James is considered one of the fathers of analytics, introducing statistics such as runs created and win shares and coining the term “sabermetrics”. He has worked as senior a consultant with the defending World Series champions Boston Red Sox since 2002. The team sent out a statement in defence of Major League players following the tweet.
James’ statement also generated negative reaction from members of the baseball community, such as Houston Astros pitcher Justin Verlander and former infielder Michael Young.
Here are some reactions from the baseball world.