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
Marc Sully's not booin'. He's Youkin'.
for his generous support.

Bookmarks

You must be logged in to view your Bookmarks.

Hot Topics

NewsblogOTP 11 December, 2017 - GOP strategist: Moore would have 'date with a baseball bat' if he tried dating teens where I grew up
(1426 - 9:40pm, Dec 13)
Last: Aspring OTP Dancing Monkey (6 - 4 - 3)

NewsblogOT - NBA 2017-2018 Tip-off Thread
(1971 - 9:36pm, Dec 13)
Last: TFTIO sings Medieval Agrarian History

NewsblogRyan Thibs has his HOF Ballot Tracker Up and Running!
(421 - 9:33pm, Dec 13)
Last: cardsfanboy

NewsblogCardinals trade for Marcell Ozuna of Marlins
(38 - 9:33pm, Dec 13)
Last: snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster)

Hall of Merit2018 Hall of Merit Ballot Discussion
(368 - 9:26pm, Dec 13)
Last: Aspring OTP Dancing Monkey (6 - 4 - 3)

NewsblogUCL of Los Angeles Angels' Ohtani is damaged, according to physical
(19 - 9:21pm, Dec 13)
Last: ReggieThomasLives

NewsblogEric Hosmer will get paid even though the numbers may argue against it
(31 - 8:58pm, Dec 13)
Last: Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad)

Hall of Merit2018 Hall of Merit Ballot
(25 - 8:54pm, Dec 13)
Last: OCF

Hall of MeritMost Meritorious Player: 2010 Discussion
(8 - 8:19pm, Dec 13)
Last: Aspring OTP Dancing Monkey (6 - 4 - 3)

NewsblogMets agree to two-year deal with Anthony Swarzak
(5 - 8:01pm, Dec 13)
Last: PreservedFish

NewsblogJack Morris, Alan Trammell elected to Hall | MLB.com
(209 - 7:56pm, Dec 13)
Last: BDC

NewsblogThe Cincinnati Reds showed us what they showed Shohei Ohtani
(7 - 7:16pm, Dec 13)
Last: Tulo's Fishy Mullet (mrams)

NewsblogOT: Winter Soccer Thread
(352 - 6:42pm, Dec 13)
Last: There are a lot of good people in alt-Shooty

NewsblogDerek Jeter's defense of Giancarlo Stanton trade was weak | SI.com
(50 - 5:52pm, Dec 13)
Last: Nasty Nate

NewsblogIf Kyle Schwarber goes anywhere could it be back to Cubs leadoff spot? – Chicago Sun-Times
(28 - 5:35pm, Dec 13)
Last: Andere Richtingen

Page rendered in 0.2606 seconds
47 querie(s) executed