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Britton on the use of analytics in New York vs. Baltimore

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This blurb was buried in David Laurila's Sunday Notes round-up on Fangraphs. If the moderators feel it would be more appropriate in the MLB forum, so be it, but it mentions Baltimore's approach to analytics and I thought it germane to the board's discussion of the club's leadership and direction.

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Zach Britton experienced a sea change of data usage when he changed teams in July. As the Yankees reliever put it when I talked to him prior to last night’s ALDS Game Two, “There’s a gigantic difference in how we use analytics here compared to Baltimore.”

As you might guess, that difference is to the lefty’s liking.

“I’d never been exposed to that amount of information,” said Britton, who was drafted by the Orioles in 2006. “And it’s not just ‘Here’s a stack of stuff to look over.’ It’s (targeted) to each individual player. I don’t want to get into specifics, but some of it is how my ball moves, both my sinker and my slider, compared to different hitters’ swings. It kind of opens your eyes to things you maybe didn’t think of when you didn’t have that information.”

Astutely, the southpaw recognizes that the Yankees aren’t alone in October.

“If you look at the teams in the postseason, most are well-known for their analytics departments,” observed Britton, who proceeded to name-check the notables — one of which merited a modifier: “Especially the Astros.”

 

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5 minutes ago, Babkins said:

This blurb was buried in David Laurila's Sunday Notes round-up on Fangraphs. If the moderators feel it would be more appropriate in the MLB forum, so be it, but it mentions Baltimore's approach to analytics and I thought it germane to the board's discussion of the club's leadership and direction.

 

I think it belongs here because it's another example of how the Orioles are still operating in the 20th Century. They've largely ignored the international market and now we know they haven't embraced analytics either. Another reason to go young with their next Manager and GM / President of Baseball Operations. 

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Stuff like this is why we need a new GM. Dan Duquette had 6 years and analytics is something he should complete control over...and he largely punted it. Whereas the international market is definitely something to slight Angelos for, I can't imagine Angelos giving 2 craps about analytics enough to put a kibosh on it.

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2 minutes ago, LookitsPuck said:

Stuff like this is why we need a new GM. Dan Duquette had 6 years and analytics is something he should complete control over...and he largely punted it. Whereas the international market is definitely something to slight Angelos for, I can't imagine Angelos giving 2 craps about analytics enough to put a kibosh on it.

Maybe. But then again, the Owner would have to okay the funds to hire people.

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6 minutes ago, Satyr3206 said:

Maybe. But then again, the Owner would have to okay the funds to hire people.

Stop making sense. 

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1 minute ago, Satyr3206 said:

Maybe. But then again, the Owner would have to okay the funds to hire people.

Of course. But it's a GM's job to convince management. I was never convinced Duquette was somebody like that of a Neil Huntington. Duquette is more of an old school kind of GM. Even in the way Duquette spoke to the media about players that were acquired...he always came across as he was talking about things like ERA or OBP more often than talking about things like shifts, spin rates, pitch framing, yada, yada, yada. 

All the more reason to go young and new school. 

 

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5 minutes ago, Can_of_corn said:

Sad thing is they did add an analytics person.  Evidently they are not getting the job done.

I doubt Buck wanted any interference with how he wanted to run his club.

He made a lot of subtle digs at analytics. 

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Also, I don't think people realize how much of a drop in the bucket a true analytics department would cost. But it comes from the top. And by the top...I don't mean the owner. I mean the GM. 

Look at what Huntington did. He got Clint f'ing Hurdle to buy into it. He had a rag tag group of people that was integrated every day on the field, with the players, strategizing with Hurdle, etc.

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1 minute ago, LookitsPuck said:

Of course. But it's a GM's job to convince management. I was never convinced Duquette was somebody like that of a Neil Huntington. Duquette is more of an old school kind of GM. Even in the way Duquette spoke to the media about players that were acquired...he always came across as he was talking about things like ERA or OBP more often than talking about things like shifts, spin rates, pitch framing, yada, yada, yada. 

All the more reason to go young and new school. 

 

Dan is the one who pushed shifts with the Orioles. 

You are way off base here. 

Dan was pushing analytical thinking 2 decades ago. 

http://grantland.com/the-triangle/10-minutes-with-orioles-gm-dan-duquette/

At least you are consistent in your message. 

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2 minutes ago, eddie83 said:

Dan is the one who pushed shifts with the Orioles. 

You are way off base here. 

Dan was pushing analytical thinking 2 decades ago. 

http://grantland.com/the-triangle/10-minutes-with-orioles-gm-dan-duquette/

At least you are consistent in your message. 

Duquette jumped on early with the shifting revolution, but the Orioles and Duquette were hardly pioneers. If I recall, that was more of a Rays and Pirates thing.

 

Quote

 

Q: One unique thing about the Pirates is that Fitzgerald travels with the team and serves as an analyst on the road from the clubhouse. How did that come about and how quickly did manager Clint Hurdle and the players come around to it?

A: This is where I think the Pirates’ competitive edge comes in with analytics. This really starts with Clint Hurdle and Dan Fox and their relationship. When Hurdle was first hired in 2011, he sort of kept Fox at a distance. There was information available, but he was still sort of skeptical – Hurdle’s kind of an old-school guy. But in 2012, they had developed more of a relationship and they were meeting more often, and Hurdle was developing a trust level. So more of the data started to trickle onto the field in the second half of 2012 – we saw defensive shifts increase a little bit by the end of that season.

So in 2013, they started to ramp up the frequency of these meetings even more. In 2012, Hurdle was meeting with Fox at the start of every series. But by 2013, they were meeting every day and on the road having a conference call. And by the second half of 2013, he wanted his coaches to have even more interaction with a quantitative analyst, so they started to have Fitzgerald do some traveling, and Fitzgerald made most of the trips in 2014.

It wasn’t just top-down communication from the analytics department to the field staff. The coaches developed more of a confidence in Fox and Fitzgerald and started to want more information from them. It really became a very good spirit of collaboration and trust within the clubhouse, which is perhaps unique to the Pirates. I think that’s really where they did their damage – relationships and communicating ideas.

 

More: http://www.sloansportsconference.com/mit_news/qa-travis-sawchik-on-big-data-baseball-and-the-rise-of-the-pirates-through-analytics/

That was a great read (Big Data Baseball), btw.

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15 minutes ago, Can_of_corn said:

Sad thing is they did add an analytics person.  Evidently they are not getting the job done.

They're probably just figuring out what slugging percentage is.

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25 minutes ago, LookitsPuck said:

Stuff like this is why we need a new GM. Dan Duquette had 6 years and analytics is something he should complete control over...and he largely punted it. Whereas the international market is definitely something to slight Angelos for, I can't imagine Angelos giving 2 craps about analytics enough to put a kibosh on it.

I know this will probably make me sound like an ageist, but I think Dan and Buck were both too "old school" to embrace and/or push the use of analytics. 

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Just now, wildbillhiccup said:

I know this will probably make me sound like an ageist, but I think Dan and Buck were both too "old school" to embrace and/or push the use of analytics. 

After reading someone else's post I stand corrected on Duquette. And it's another reason to believe that his hands were tied and/or he was being undermined for most of his tenure as GM. 

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