On Former ESPN Broadcast Partner Joe Morgan: “I can’t presume to speak for Joe, but I think he definitely feels statistical analysis has its place. He works with Walt Jocketty now; he’s a consultant with the Reds. Walt picks his brain and Joe tells him what he thinks, based on his experience. Walt has his number-crunchers as well.
“Making up a roster based on numbers, or a decision based simply on the numbers, is where Joe disagrees. I remember talking about that with him around the time Moneyball came out. We were in Oakland and the A’s had picked up Ray Durham for the stretch run. It was a winner-take-all game in the Division Series, in the Coliseum.
“I would always kind of prod Joe. I always want the guy to run, or least would say that on the air. Instead of asking Joe a question, I’d say, ‘If I’m the manager, I’m sending him.’ Then Joe could say whether he thought it was a good idea or not. In this case, Durham was on base early in the game.
“Joe made the point that this game was different. You can take statistics over the full course of the season — the benefits and downside of attempting to steal — but with an ace pitcher on the mound it was bound to be a tight game. For the A’s to plant the seed that their guys with speed were going to run, and you better be mindful of it, could be important. It could serve as an added distraction to the pitcher.
“I think a lot of people misunderstand that the numbers themselves — those formulas — are generally based on the season being 162 games. To take one game in October, and manage it based on those numbers, is where Joe would have a disagreement.
...Joe’s era wasn’t about statistics. It was about what kind of heart you had. There are no statistics for that. That’s where Joe started out, and he was told by scouts, to his face — this is when he was in school — ‘You have no future in this game. You need to go into another line of work.’ Joe took that challenge. It inspired the competitor in him.
“Joe understands there are moments in games where you want certain guys on the mound, or at the plate. There are other guys you’re probably better off having up there in any other situation. That’s the whole package with Joe. Many of the people who criticize him could learn a lot from Joe. It would make them even better analysts.”
Posted: April 08, 2013 at 05:14 PM | 11 comment(s)
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