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Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Danny Farquhar’s data-centric approach paying dividends for Lucas Giolito – The Athletic

Danny Farquhar, future pitching coach.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 20, 2018 at 01:45 PM | 20 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: the athletic, white sox

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   1. The Interdimensional Council of Rickey!'s Posted: February 20, 2018 at 03:17 PM (#5627567)
I really have come to hate the phrase "data-centric approach."
   2. Pat Rapper's Delight (as quoted on MLB Network) Posted: February 20, 2018 at 03:21 PM (#5627570)
So you're not a change agent by championing the innovation of this disruptive paradigm shift?
   3. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: February 20, 2018 at 03:27 PM (#5627582)
He's driving solutions, is what he's doing.
   4. eddieot Posted: February 20, 2018 at 03:41 PM (#5627599)
From Farquhar's lips to Giolito's ears, to my fantasy league championship. Might as well just cancel the season now and give me the trophy.
   5. Zonk cooks his superfish with raisins Posted: February 20, 2018 at 05:38 PM (#5627691)
I'm just glad we finally live in a world where all thinking happens outside of the box.
   6. zenbitz Posted: February 20, 2018 at 06:13 PM (#5627702)
Thread delivers!

If you think data-driven machine learning nonsense is bad in the commercial (or uh, "sports analysis hobby") world, I think it may be actually ruining (biological) science.
Ironically - because it kinda works. If you are interested in predicting things ("especially about the future") it has significant utility. But science (to me) isn't about predicting the future. That's astrology. It's about understanding the WHYS of cause and effect. Something that (we used to call) statistics is very, very bad at. Even specialized rule-based "deep learning".


Also, get off my lawn.
   7. Der-K: downgraded to lurker Posted: February 20, 2018 at 06:30 PM (#5627711)
ruining or complicating?
   8. zenbitz Posted: February 20, 2018 at 07:30 PM (#5627739)
compicating? You can't realistically complicate biology. It's absurdly fractal in it's complexity. I mean "ruining" because (as near as I can tell) using models like this are so opaque as to prevent any true understanding of the physical-chemical processes involved.
   9. Walt Davis Posted: February 21, 2018 at 01:15 AM (#5627822)
Been seeing ads for "Solution Designer" lately ... near as I can tell, what was called a Business Analyst 5-10 years ago. I just love the title and the way the ads are written -- basically they're looking for someone who can just float around from one problem to the next and provide a solution ... whether it's a more efficient production process, keeping Bobby from groping Susie, regularly running out of TP in the men's room or that Jake Arrieta has lost a couple of miles off his fastball ... no matter your problem, Solution Designer will fix it.

Now statistics (what statisticians call statistics ... or at least applied statisticians) loves to test your supposed understanding of the WHYS against real data, in the presence of uncertainty, and estimate and evaluate the remaining uncertainty and explore whether in fact the assumptions of the model are met then predict out-of-sample outcomes from your brilliant model (while acknowledging the uncertainty). There's nothing statisticians love more than modeling except possibly demonstrating the model is full of crap. Very few "real" statisticians consider machine learning to be all that interesting and spend most of their time groaning about how data scientists don't know crap about statistics (generally true).

But, y'know, the money is where the money is, so they're generally more than happy to train the data scientists of tomorrow.
   10. I Am Not a Number Posted: February 21, 2018 at 07:29 AM (#5627842)
Been seeing ads for "Solution Designer" lately ... near as I can tell, what was called a Business Analyst 5-10 years ago.

The re-branding of corporate job titles, years (decades?) in the making, continues its march unabated. Everyone used to be an analyst, whether or not they actually analysed anything. Now they are architects (whether or not they actually design anything) or solution designers or consultants. The verb solutioning seems to have been invented and as far as I can gather, it means solving a problem by finding the person who can actually do the work and having them do it.

And any schmuck who can do a VLOOKUP in Excel is now happy to claim they are doing analytics when it's actually much closer to what Jethro Bodine would have called ciphering.
   11. TomH Posted: February 21, 2018 at 07:45 AM (#5627850)
nice writeup, Walt. Kinda describes me; a statistician at heart, but cleverly disguised with an engineering degree, since almost 40 yrs people all said that was where the jobs were. Which was true I suppose, but I do get to play with numbers and uncertainties and sample sizes a lot. I'm in the flight test world, and flight testing is reeeeally expensive.
   12. manchestermets Posted: February 21, 2018 at 07:57 AM (#5627853)
Been seeing ads for "Solution Designer" lately ... near as I can tell, what was called a Business Analyst 5-10 years ago.


Christ, I hope not. A business analyst should just be presenting me with a list of requirements. As a developer, I'll design and implement the solution, thank you.
   13. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: February 21, 2018 at 08:50 AM (#5627873)
If you would have told me 20 years ago that I would someday live in a world where 'solution' is a verb and 'spend' is a noun, I think I might well have asked you to kill me before that happened.
   14. Zonk cooks his superfish with raisins Posted: February 21, 2018 at 09:15 AM (#5627888)
Christ, I hope not. A business analyst should just be presenting me with a list of requirements. As a developer, I'll design and implement the solution, thank you.


This "Content Solutions Architect" says that you'll build what I tell you how I tell you:-)

But we'll design it collaboratively, ensuring full buy-in from all stakeholders to stay on our roadmap...
   15. I Am Not a Number Posted: February 21, 2018 at 09:18 AM (#5627891)
I would someday live in a world where 'solution' is a verb and 'spend' is a noun

Someone like John McWhorter might argue that this is the natural evolution of language (nouns becoming verbs and verbs becoming nouns). Doesn't make it any less painful to endure, though, especially in a corporate context where language choices are meant to dress up simple ideas to look like rocket science.
   16. McCoy Posted: February 21, 2018 at 10:22 AM (#5627929)
I love consultants, which is what these people are but with newer titles, they basically get paid way more than companies are willing to spend on their actual employees and they usually tell you things you already know and ways of accomplishing goals that you already know. It's like a diet. Everyone knows how to lose weight the real trick is actually losing weight and consultants don't do that for you. They basically tell you to do 30 push ups and eat less, now where's my check?
   17. asinwreck Posted: February 21, 2018 at 10:52 AM (#5627969)
Kudos to James Fegan for overhearing an offhand comment by a marginal reliever and following up. He got a story that no other reporter was seeking, and some perspective into how players talk to each other about their craft.
   18. zenbitz Posted: February 23, 2018 at 02:11 PM (#5629695)
I would be a FANTASTIC Solutions Designer.
   19. Zonk cooks his superfish with raisins Posted: February 23, 2018 at 02:17 PM (#5629703)
I would be a FANTASTIC Solutions Designer.


It is an awesome job... truly - I love it. You get to say that you're too smart and valuable to write code when it's time to ask for a raise; while you also get to fall back on being too dumb to write code if things go wrong and you want to escape culpability.

When I finally got this role ~5 years ago - I went from having a job to a career.
   20. This is going to be state of the art wall Posted: February 23, 2018 at 02:21 PM (#5629708)
This is an amazing article. Discussed it a couple days ago on Soxtalk.com. It's worth the sub cost for the Athletic almost by itself. And a hat tip to Lloyd McClendon, who apparently noticed how Farquhar was getting guys out up in the zone with his mediocre 4 seamer before they had the data to confirm it.

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