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Rob Neyer Newsbeat

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Cwik: Brian Kenny is ready to televise the sabermetric revolution ... again

Rob Neyer *and* Kevin Millar working together? That was awkwarrrdddddd.

The broadcast should be similar to MLB Tonight’s live look-ins, where the hosts will frequently jump in between games as the action unfolds. Sometimes, they’ll go directly to the local feed or the game, but other times the analysts may talk while the action is still going on.

Kenny said that the latter approach can often lead to some interesting discussions, and that’s what the panel is hoping to capture here. Having four different opinions from four men who have viewed the game through different lenses should help immensely.

“I think with the four of us, it’s just going to be a little more analyst-heavy, but I think it’s the right group. And I think there’s a possibly that this will be something that’s evolutionary in sports broadcasting.”

“In today’s day and age, you want a little more instant analysis and commentary, and we do that all the time on MLB Tonight. I think this is a good way of incorporating it within MLB Now, where we have more in-depth analysts.”

The game, however, will still be a main focus. “I don’t like to let two pitches go by without saying what the count is, or who’s up, or what the options are, or who’s on deck,” Kenny explained. “I think a fan still likes the play-by-play. You still need to have things underlined.”

At the same time, things have changed. While no one is arguing to get rid of traditional broadcasts, the advanced stat revolution has made it so that Kenny and his crew can perform this experiment.

There will still be some who are opposed to advanced metrics, but it’s nearly impossible to ignore how much they are being embraced within the game right now.

“This has been a revolutionary year in baseball,” Kenny said. “The tide has turned. Things that I thought wouldn’t be possible a few years ago are now happening. Troy Tulowitzki is leading off and no one is saying a thing about it. Most every team has an excellent hitter in the two-spot. That wasn’t happening years ago.”

“Managers got smart overnight. And it’s now become a lot more accepted, and hip even, to be able to utilize this information. Jeff Banister and Kevin Cash and A.J. Hinch speak about it all the time openly with pride.”

“That was not the case with managers a few years ago. It was the case in the front offices a few years ago, but now it’s all throughout organizations all the way down to the dugout. I see this as just a natural extension.”

JE (Jason) Posted: August 11, 2015 at 09:51 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: brian kenny, mlb network, rob neyer, sabermetrics

Monday, July 06, 2015

Neyer: Where There’s Smoak, There’s Fire

This contest determined by popular vote has totally devolved into a popularity contest!

Flat-out question: If you’re building two teams for the rest of the season and you get two of everything including six outfielders, how many Royals’re you choosing?

You know what? I think Gordon and Cain actually make my team, perhaps even as starters! With Perez backing up Russell Martin. So, yes—with the exception of Escobar, the Royals’ starters are pretty well-deserving. By this standard that I’ve just invented, anyway.

Well done! Good job, Major League Baseball and All-Star voters!

Still, I can’t quite get rid of this nagging little thought in the back of my mind that whatever the results might suggest, THE PROCESS IS ROYALLY FAKAKTA.

What else, after all, are we to make of a system that might have given us seven Kansas City Royals in the starting lineup, including Omar Infante?

What else are we to make of a system suggesting that Justin Smoak is more popular than Albert Pujols?*

* I mean, seriously, folks. This column will be on the site for about six seconds before someone tweets at me, “Don’t you know it’s a popularity contest, idiot!” Yeah, I do. I also know that Albert Pujols is more popular than Justin Smoak, by literally ANY OTHER MEASURE designed by man or beast.



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