“(Disclosure: I delivered newspapers to Davey Johnson’s house as a kid when he played for the Baltimore Orioles. He was a great tipper and a favorite customer!)”
A Ph.D. with a strong statistical background on leave from the faculty of Princeton, Bernanke, like many economists, is a devotee of Sabermetrics, baseball’s version of advanced analytics, pioneered by Bill James 30 years ago. And the Nationals, who’ve been in D.C. just 7 years, are this season’s biggest success story, compiling the best record in major league baseball.
Bernanke’s thesis is that, despite all the political turmoil around town, there‘s a noteworthy example of excellent leadership in the nation’s capital – in the person of Nationals manager Davey Johnson. (Disclosure: I delivered newspapers to Johnson’s house as a kid when he played for the Baltimore Orioles. He was a great tipper and a favorite customer!)
...Bernanke cites the example of Nats shortstop Ian Desmond, a talented young player who’s struggled over his first few seasons. Johnson overruled the statistical “book” in Desmond’s case this year, keeping the budding star in the lineup, emphasizing that the job was his. Desmond’s “response was to have an absolutely sensational year.”
In sum, Johnson’s style deftly combines analytics, empathy and emotional intelligence. “He strikes the right balance between relying on the tangible (data) and the intangible (confidence and motivation) and shows the rare ability to make the right trade-off” between the short and long run.