So when Hurdle needs to make a fast strategy decision in a game, he doesn’t hesitate to rely on his memory and instincts. In an era when managers often are bombarded by intensely detailed statistical analysis, the 53-year-old veteran trusts his gut.
“Playing it by the book covers your backside,” Hurdle said. “But I decided early on I didn’t want to look back and say, ‘That stat sheet got me.’ The scouting report is important, but I do think that sometimes we get too analytical.”
...Baseball always has had a love affair with statistics. But fans who used to talk about win-loss records, batting averages and RBI totals now expound on xFIP, VORP and BABIP.
“Something new always pops up,” Hurdle said. “The challenge I have, looking at all those obscure numbers, is those numbers were all crunched with no human emotion involved.”
...“At some point, it becomes paralysis by analysis,” Catcher Chris Snyder said. “You’ve still got to strap it on and play. The umpire doesn’t say, ‘Reboot your system!’ He says, ‘Play ball!’ “
...“You can use all those (stats) as a tool,” Hurdle said. “But it’s like being a carpenter. You’ve got a tool belt that’s got a number of tools in it. Some you’re more comfortable with than others.”