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Wednesday, February 04, 2015

Royals manager Ned Yost developed app to teach baseball strategy

Yost described the game as “a baseball IQ test.”

On your phone or tablet, you will be given the option of playing any of the nine defensive positions on a baseball field.

The game then fires off different scenarios, and you’re supposed to touch the base where you’d throw the ball.

...

“You’ve got 30 seconds to answer as many as you can,” Yost said.

There are different levels and things get progressively more difficult. Is the infield in or back? Is the ball hit to your left or right? Is the runner fast, medium or slow? Is it a scenario in the first six innings or the last three?

“With nine positions, we have over 110,000 different scenarios, Yost said. “It just teaches kids to think, teaches them to think quick and where to properly throw the ball. Even college coaches said, ‘I would make my kids do that.’”

Zach Posted: February 04, 2015 at 12:16 PM | 54 comment(s)
  Beats: apps, ned yost, royals, strategy

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Bill James Mailbag - 12/20/14 - 12/23/14

Is it time for the airing of grievances yet?

Bill, Will Myers was just trades to the Padres? Can you think of someone traded TWICE while in the minors and/or their early career and went on to become a great player? The only one I can think of is Sammy Sosa.

The Big Papi. Joe Cronin. Edd Rousch, Paul Konerko, Curt Schilling. Bobby Abreu, maybe.

Gary Sheffield was traded twice by 25.

Right, but he had a big season before the second trade.

Hey Bill, if I’m not mistaken, you referred to Herman Long a long time ago as Herman (Why On Earth Aren’t You in the Hall of Fame) Long. If you still feel that way, could you briefly discuss why you think he belongs, and/or why you’re surprised he hasn’t been elected? If you no longer feel that way, what changed your mind?

I’m 65. I’m not responsible for anything I wrote before I was 40.

In the head-to-head HOF, it’s Pedro v Clemens, and Pedro is winning…

Well, I voted for Clemens. Pedro was pretty good. . ..

Hey Bill, if you had a Hall of Fame vote (by the way, what a joke it is that you don’t) and believed that more than 10 candidates were deserving, how would you proceed? Would you engage in “strategic” voting? (This could take the form of, e.g., not voting for “sure thing” Randy Johnson. Or it could take the form of voting for Johnson to get him in and “unclog” the ballot going forward, while not voting for e.g. Alan Trammell, who seems to have little chance.) Or, would you just vote your top 10?

I would just vote for the ten best players.

Hey Bill, I’m far from a basketball expert, but what struck me about the [Sacramento] Kings considering the 4-on-5 defense is that it would be introduced at the absolute highest level of play. Doesn’t it make more sense for a college team or even a high school team to try such a thing? Or have those teams tried it out, and I just haven’t noticed? It seems like most major strategic overhauls happen at a much lower level of competition, like the Loyola Marymount team that shot a three as quickly as possible, or the Division III football team that decided to go for it every fourth down and never punt. Isn’t that usually where these innovations come from?

I think not. I believe innovation in baseball usually begins at the major league level and flows down. Innovations that try to bubble up from the bottom—like aluminum bats—never make it to the top. Innovations that start at the top—like new fielding gloves or weighted donuts for the bat in the on-deck circle—move quickly downward.


Friday, October 03, 2014

Passan: Orioles’ ALDS win shows why Buck Showalter is the playoffs’ best manager

It’ll be hilarious if Yost or McClendon wins the award.

Perhaps the worst trend of modern relief pitching is the intractability of bullpen roles. Their very existence is manicured. At some point, when baseball recognized that, yeah, it probably is a good idea to exploit platoon splits, managers started slotting relievers in specific situations. Seventh inning for one guy, eighth for another, ninth and only ninth for the closer. And even if the heart of the order was up in the eighth and Scrub Jones, Slappy Jackson and Pipsqueak Fontana in the ninth, roles are roles, and roles must be adhered to.

Then there is Buck Showalter, the manager of the Baltimore Orioles. On Thursday, he took a tire iron to roles. He threw arguably his best reliever in the sixth inning – and let him pitch another for good measure. He went to his closer for an out in the eighth inning, fully intending to use him for a four-out save. He managed like he always does: with a keen sense of the moment, a singular ability to suss out the right thing for the right time…

“I was ready, and I’ll be ready throughout the postseason if he needs to use me in the eighth, seventh, wherever it is,” [closer Zach] Britton said. “I don’t think people feel like they’re entitled to throw a certain inning. That’s a lot of it. Some guys maybe feel like if you’re the closer you only throw the ninth. It’s not our mindset here. We’re team guys. If he needs to throw us in the fifth, we’re going to throw the fifth.

“He’s going to throw the best guy for the situation. If that’s you, you’re going into the game.”...

“I wouldn’t have signed on for six more years if I didn’t like him,” said Orioles star Adam Jones, he of the six-year, $85.5 million deal.

The District Attorney Posted: October 03, 2014 at 11:49 AM | 61 comment(s)
  Beats: buck showalter, orioles, strategy

 

 

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