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Nice guy.  Have some blogs.  Do baseball research.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Billy Beane, field managers should not be former players. Wake the heck up!

Billy Beane played in 148 big league games with 315 plate appearances over six years: 1984-1989.  He's been the Oakland general manager since 1997.  Beane has never been a field manager.

Terry Francona played in 708 big league games with 1,827 plate appearances over 10 years: 1981-1990. Francona has never been a general manager but has been a field manager for 14 years with Philadelphia, Boston (two championships) and currently Cleveland.

Managers should not be former players.  Sunday, July 19, 2009

MLB has moved beyond former players as general managers. Now teams hire business or statistics hot shots to implement the new concepts and search for even newer ones to provide their teams with a competitive advantage. However, even these new type GMs have not completed the transition. Teams continue to employ former players as field managers ... The common denominator is that they are all former players who are expected to behave within about one percent of conventional wisdom. That needs to change. Head coaches in the NFL and NBA are much more likely to have never played in those leagues.

Shift fear: why are managers afraid to order their batters to bunt against the shift?  Thursday, April 10, 2014

Managers are no longer afraid to deploy the shift on defense but they are afraid to order their batters to bunt against the shift.  What gives?

Billy Beane on the Future of Sports: A Tech-Driven Revolution
The A's General Manager Says New Systems Will Transform How We Play—and Watch—Sports

July 7, 2014 3:56 p.m. ET  The Wall Street Journal

Baseball ... has been at the forefront of the analytics revolution sweeping through sports...

Baseball ... has always been a game of insiders ... managed by those who played well enough to eventually earn the keys to the front office...

... the line between the "outsiders" and "insiders" will narrow...

Increased demand for the technical skills required to interpret the "big data" produced by 3-D tracking systems also will dramatically change the composition and demographics of front offices, which historically have drawn on former players.

... those who make the evaluations—will fundamentally change ...

... sport will no longer be the exclusive domain of "insiders,"

Terry Francona June 26, 2013
by Keith Allison
via Wikimedia Commons
Today on WFAN radio in New York Fat Mike was interviewing Terry Francona.  They discussed the shift.  Francona said that Cleveland has data that shows they are saving runs by shifting against opposing batters.  Francona did not indicate how many runs or anything like that.  More importantly, neither Francona nor the interviewer addressed what should have been the obvious issue of whether Francona's team has achieved a net benefit from shifting against opponents but not having the basic common sense and fortitude to have their own batters combat the shift when it is deployed against Cleveland by hitting the other way or, preferably, bunting the other way.

This is the most basic example of the ever increasing disconnect between the rapidly evolving changes in the front office and what is actually happening on the field.  Beane never even mentioned this in his article.  Beane is as clueless and old fashion as any in ignoring this fundamental change that will eventually happen.  And Beane runs one of the most advanced teams.  It's much worse with stuffy old fart teams like the Yankees who are in an inescapable downward spiral.

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