On Monday, the advanced statistics-loving community of Chicago Cubs fans got a welcome surprise when noted “saberist” Tom Tango announced he was working exclusively for the Cubs. In a post titled Psst…wanna work for the Cubs (and with me)?” Tango noted the Cubs were looking for a Director of Research of Development in Baseball Operations and dropped that “I am now providing my consulting services exclusively the Cubs.”
The Cubs confirmed the hire to ESPNChicago.
...Theo Epstein talked about how, and I can’t think of the phrase here, there are fewer places for teams to find an edge anymore. For example, the reporters who didn’t read “Moneyball” but hate it anyway, always bring up the A’s old obsession with OBP, etc. Is pitcher health one to examine? I know the Cubs are pouring money into video analysis, etc. Is health the great unknown for teams right now?
TT: It does seem as if we were as fascinated with Stephen Strasburg’s performance as we were with his usage last year. I was anyway. I think Will Carroll will tell you that there’s a tremendous amount of injury time for pitchers every year, which means a tremendous amount of money in the dugout. Keeping the money on the field is a win-win-win for the team, the player, and the fans.
If the Cubs win a World Series, will you reveal your identity and ride a float downtown with Steve Bartman? (Editor’s note: This was a joke question he answered seriously. Which is cool.)
TT: You know, when I introduced Leverage Index to a larger audience, I did it the day after Game 6.
And what was clear then was that Bartman had very little effect to the game. There were three clear plays that had a far bigger impact: (Alex) Gonzalez flubbing a potential double play and getting no outs, (Derrek) Lee doubling as (Mark) Prior’s last batter, and (Mike) Mordecai doubling as (Kyle) Farnsworth’s last batter. It’s easier to focus on the unusual play, but the focus should have been on the substantive plays.