Baseball for the Thinking Fan

Login | Register | Feedback

btf_logo
You are here > Home > Baseball Newsstand > Baseball Primer Newsblog > Discussion
Baseball Primer Newsblog
— The Best News Links from the Baseball Newsstand

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Jonah Keri: Beane Counters

Don’t have time to go through this now as “à la croisée des Stooges et des Cramps” material has crossed my faux desk.

While Moneyball the book and especially Moneyball the movie pumped up certain aspects of the A’s success while downplaying certain others (Messieurs Zito, Mulder, Hudson, Tejada, and Chavez would surely like a word), they perfectly pegged Beane’s distrust of industry insiders. While acknowledging that Melvin’s playing experience helped his candidacy for the manager job, Beane admitted to still harping on the value of outsiders’ perspectives when hiring people for other positions.

“I don’t want a lot of guys like me who played the game,” Beane said. “Quite frankly, I want blank canvases, I want people to come in with new ideas. I don’t want the biases of their own experiences to be a part of their decision-making process. Listen, our whole staff — [assistant GM] David [Forst] played at Harvard, but that doesn’t count because it’s Harvard — didn’t really play. The bottom line is that any business should be a meritocracy. The best and brightest. Period. This game is now evolving into that.”

Beane credited Michael Lewis for helping to spark that shift.

“That’s the best thing about the book and what it became,” Beane said. “I just talked to a young lady, a freshman at Santa Barbara. She’s taking a course, and Moneyball’s one of the required readings. This young lady could dream of one day becoming a general manager. That would have been much harder to imagine 15 years ago.”

One of those outsiders could be in the dugout before long, Beane said. Given the challenge of watching for subtle physical cues such as pitcher fatigue while also cycling through the many possible strategies and outcomes during the course of a game, managers and bench coaches would seemingly benefit greatly from employing a new aide.

“There will be an IT coach at some point” in the dugout, crunching numbers in real time and sitting right next to the manager, Beane said. The A’s have yet to actually create such a position for very practical reasons. “It would be an extra coach, and [MLB] is pretty strict — we aren’t even allowed walkie-talkies,” Beane said about league restrictions on how many coaches a team can have, and what kind of contact they can have with the outside world during games. “But I believe at some point this will happen. There’s too much data that’s available not to want to use it.”

Repoz Posted: March 19, 2014 at 09:19 AM | 4 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: oakland, sabermetrics

Reader Comments and Retorts

Go to end of page

Statements posted here are those of our readers and do not represent the BaseballThinkFactory. Names are provided by the poster and are not verified. We ask that posters follow our submission policy. Please report any inappropriate comments.

   1. aberg Posted: March 19, 2014 at 11:40 AM (#4673932)
I love Jonah, but I did not find this piece particularly informative. The only thing I did not know that I found interesting was the bond between Melvin and the AGM.
   2. Renegade (((JE))) Posted: March 19, 2014 at 11:56 AM (#4673948)
“There will be an IT coach at some point” in the dugout, crunching numbers in real time and sitting right next to the manager, Beane said. The A’s have yet to actually create such a position for very practical reasons. “It would be an extra coach, and [MLB] is pretty strict — we aren’t even allowed walkie-talkies,” Beane said about league restrictions on how many coaches a team can have, and what kind of contact they can have with the outside world during games. “But I believe at some point this will happen. There’s too much data that’s available not to want to use it.”

Are umpires trained to spot the Samsung Galaxy Gear watch?
   3. Pasta-diving Jeter (jmac66) Posted: March 19, 2014 at 12:12 PM (#4673961)
I love Jonah, but I did not find this piece particularly informative.

Agree--I read this yesterday & was going to submit it, but it was too.... meh. A lot of a=a narrative
   4. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: March 20, 2014 at 10:30 AM (#4674403)
There will be an IT coach at some point


I doubt it. But hey, maybe.

You must be Registered and Logged In to post comments.

 

 

<< Back to main

News

All News | Prime News

Old-School Newsstand


BBTF Partner

Support BBTF

donate

Thanks to
Kiko Sakata
for his generous support.

Bookmarks

You must be logged in to view your Bookmarks.

Hot Topics

NewsblogNever get involved in a land war in OMNICHATTER!, for August 22, 2017
(87 - 10:30pm, Aug 22)
Last: Walt Davis

NewsblogOTP 22 August 2017: The myth of baseball’s depoliticalization
(255 - 10:30pm, Aug 22)
Last: McCoy

NewsblogThe totality of Rafael Devers, who is eclipsing everything thought possible
(26 - 10:19pm, Aug 22)
Last: Walt Davis

NewsblogOT-NBA off season thread
(1864 - 10:13pm, Aug 22)
Last: jmurph

Gonfalon CubsThat counted as Now
(17 - 10:13pm, Aug 22)
Last: Moses Taylor, Unwavering Optimist

NewsblogThe Segregated Cornfield
(67 - 8:46pm, Aug 22)
Last: Renegade (((JE)))

NewsblogMets' Steven Matz goes on disabled list | MLB.com
(34 - 8:35pm, Aug 22)
Last: Captain Supporter

NewsblogPrimer Dugout (and link of the day) 8-22-2017
(15 - 8:25pm, Aug 22)
Last: eric

NewsblogJustin Verlander's domination of Dodgers looked like an Astros audition | ESPN
(53 - 7:24pm, Aug 22)
Last: Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad)

NewsblogHow much is Tanaka worth? MLB execs weigh in on $67M mystery | New York Post
(2 - 6:28pm, Aug 22)
Last: Captain Supporter

NewsblogTaking Back the Ballparks - San Diego Padres
(75 - 6:18pm, Aug 22)
Last: Manny Coon

NewsblogColon becomes third active pitcher to beat all 30 teams
(70 - 6:11pm, Aug 22)
Last: villageidiom

NewsblogCan Scouts and Statcast Coexist? | FanGraphs Baseball
(6 - 5:48pm, Aug 22)
Last: Walt Davis

Sox TherapyThe Gauntlet
(84 - 5:17pm, Aug 22)
Last: villageidiom

NewsblogOT: New Season August 2017 Soccer Thread
(167 - 4:49pm, Aug 22)
Last: He who brought the butter dish to Balshazar (CoB)

Page rendered in 0.2475 seconds
47 querie(s) executed