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

Friday, May 30, 2014

Passan: The baseball employment revolution: Why thousands have signed up for a free online course

Over the past month, since registration opened for the free online course Sabermetrics 101, a 13,464-person army of the curious, the dreamers, the scholarly and all other kinds signed up and turned a clever idea into a rousing success. The course launched Thursday morning. Nerdery went massively mainstream. The world did not end.

Actually, it got better, much better, and not simply because the brains behind the course, Boston-based professor Andy Andres, has put together a curriculum that explains the importance of baseball analytics, their history and even offers a tool through which students themselves can code projects. SABR101x, as it’s called, is the latest signpost of the ongoing employment revolution in baseball, one that stretches from analytics to scouting and will continue to upend the makeup of front offices across the sport.

It’s well underway already, with students parlaying math talents into internships and low-level baseball-operations positions while writers for mainstream sites Baseball Prospectus and FanGraphs land higher-up gigs with striking frequency. The combination of their contributions and a far more qualified pool of applicants only encourages teams to look beyond the typical hire of the past – former ballplayer – and consider those like Andres’ students from the in-person sabermetrics seminar he has taught at Tufts University since 2004.

“When I started, there were less jobs in baseball ops,” Andres said. “Now there’s more. That’s just one factor. The other factor is when there were jobs, the only candidates really were ballplayers. If you look at the roster of people who are GMs or assistant GMs today, most of them come from D-I, D-II, D-III programs. That’s how you did it. If you played baseball, you could get the job. They would take the ballplayer over that guy.

“That’s what’s shifted. Now you can be a nerd-type who’s willing to plug away, and you can get that job.”

Thanks to Los.

Repoz Posted: May 30, 2014 at 07:06 AM | 10 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: 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. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 30, 2014 at 09:10 AM (#4715982)
Sign up Dayton!
   2. Fernigal McGunnigle has become a merry hat Posted: May 30, 2014 at 09:42 AM (#4716003)
Passan focuses on people who are trying to get jobs in baseball, but I wonder what percentage of the registrants (and even of the ~10% who will finish the class) have that as a goal. Small sample size, but I know I registered because I love baseball and numbers and want to get a better understanding of both, and have no intention of seeking any sort of baseball-related work. I'm guessing that I'm far from unique in this.
   3. boteman is not here 'til October Posted: May 30, 2014 at 09:55 AM (#4716020)
Too many people chasing too few jobs. Yeah, I have to believe there are far more hobbyists enrolling to edumacate themselves than there are job seekers.

Most teams don't employ a hell of a lot of people anyway, although a buddy sent me the Dodgers 2014 yearbook and it's mostly a celebration of Vin Scully, rightly so. But in the back they have page after page with photos of what must be every employee in the Dodger system and they are legion! I was surprised; must be nice to be filthy rich.

I remember when the Nationals first hit D.C. under the "stewardship" of Major League Baseball somebody said they had something like 13 employees working out of a couple trailers in the parking lot of RFK. I sure hope they've expanded on that since then!

Still, I think it's wishful thinking to expect a job from a MLB club without substantial evidence that you can help them, a la 538 and others.
   4. Pat Rapper's Delight Posted: May 30, 2014 at 10:03 AM (#4716028)
I'm in it to learn SQL and R better for my line of work using a data set more fun than telecom network system logs. I have no designs or even interest in working for a major league club. But yeah, I'd listen if one called.
   5. Moeball Posted: May 30, 2014 at 10:09 AM (#4716034)
Wish they had something like this 30+ years ago when I was a student.

As it was, I got my hopes up one time when John Thorn was looking for an assistant.

Submitted my application and some research articles I'd written; alas, just got a "Thanks, don't call us, we'll call you!" letter in reply. But at least for a short period of time I thought I'd found the perfect calling.
   6. Topher Posted: May 30, 2014 at 12:24 PM (#4716110)
I'm in it to learn SQL and R better for my line of work


That describes me.
   7. 6 - 4 - 3 Posted: May 30, 2014 at 02:12 PM (#4716170)
Yeah, I'm just trying to get reacquainted with SQL.
   8. dr. scott Posted: May 30, 2014 at 02:37 PM (#4716183)
Thanks for posting this. I just signed up to make myself get acquainted with R (know matlab quite well) and do more with SQL.

Should be interesting. I'm trying to get my wife to join as well.... Ill let you know how that turns out.
   9. RTSquared is not on the Rangers' DL...yet... Posted: May 30, 2014 at 03:55 PM (#4716214)
I joined up to learn R. There's also the bit about learning data science, which might be interesting depending on how deep into that we get.
   10. winnipegwhip Posted: May 30, 2014 at 04:22 PM (#4716225)

I remember when the Nationals first hit D.C. under the "stewardship" of Major League Baseball somebody said they had something like 13 employees working out of a couple trailers in the parking lot of RFK. I sure hope they've expanded on that since then!


They did. I think they have a couple double-wides in the Nationals parking lot now.

The city is paying the Nationals to allow them to park the trailers in the lot I believe.

You must be Registered and Logged In to post comments.

 

 

<< Back to main

BBTF Partner

Support BBTF

donate

Thanks to
James Kannengieser
for his generous support.

Bookmarks

You must be logged in to view your Bookmarks.

Hot Topics

NewsblogGiants purchase contract of 2B Uggla
(8 - 12:09am, Jul 28)
Last: Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick.

NewsblogSchoenfield: Why didn't the Braves win more titles?
(42 - 12:05am, Jul 28)
Last: Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick.

NewsblogOT: Monthly NBA Thread- July 2014
(966 - 11:46pm, Jul 27)
Last: 'zop sympathizes with the wrong ####### people

NewsblogOMNICHATTER 7-27-2014
(145 - 11:46pm, Jul 27)
Last: Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim

NewsblogDJ Short: Maximum stay on Hall of Fame ballot changed from 15 to 10 years
(55 - 11:33pm, Jul 27)
Last: McCoy

NewsblogFull Count » Mike Carp explains why he requested a trade from Red Sox
(15 - 11:30pm, Jul 27)
Last: Dale Sams

NewsblogGossage on Bonds, McGwire Hall hopes: ‘Are you f–king kidding?’
(105 - 11:25pm, Jul 27)
Last: Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October

NewsblogHall of Fame Announces Changes to Voting Process for Recently Retired Players, Effective Immediately
(81 - 11:18pm, Jul 27)
Last: Booey

NewsblogFull Count » Mike Carp, Felix Doubront and the challenges of player discontent on a struggling team
(3 - 11:15pm, Jul 27)
Last: Dale Sams

NewsblogHoVG: John Rocker Shows Up in Cooperstown… “Survivor” Up Next
(31 - 10:52pm, Jul 27)
Last: depletion

NewsblogDodgers and Diamondbacks Triple-A teams involved in wild brawl
(8 - 10:43pm, Jul 27)
Last: depletion

NewsblogRoger Angell goes into the Hall of Fame
(27 - 10:19pm, Jul 27)
Last: Howie Menckel

Hall of MeritMost Meritorious Player: 1956 Ballot
(7 - 9:28pm, Jul 27)
Last: neilsen

NewsblogOTP - July 2014: Republicans Lose To Democrats For Sixth Straight Year In Congressional Baseball Game
(3287 - 9:07pm, Jul 27)
Last: robinred

SABR - BBTF ChapterWho's going to SABR??
(100 - 6:40pm, Jul 27)
Last: Scott Fischthal

Page rendered in 0.2334 seconds
54 querie(s) executed