Sunday, May 01, 2005

Let's Hold a Bake Sale

So Jack Voigt has been filling in for Ron Darling the past 2 days on the MASN telecast, and he talked about the Nats stat-keeping, which he does as a "roving coach" for Frank Robinson. Here's the current state of affairs:

Voigt and bench coach Eddie Rodriguez are keeping all the stats by hand, as he said, erasing and rewriting over numbers after each at bat.

The video guy has written a computer program for all this, and they hope to have it working after the next road trip, but first the club needs to buy Voigt a computer.

The Nats do not subscribe to the stat service MLB offers to each club with detailed stats, charts, etc. Voigt said Bowden was "interested" in subscribing to it.

The adage is "action speak louder than words". On Friday Voigt said Frank "looks at the numbers, but he's always willing to go with his gut." These are not the actions of a team that relies on stats in any meaningful way.

Voigt left the impression that the club simply isn't willing to spend the money on his new computer or the stat service. I think the Nats Bloggers could raise the funds in a week. Maybe they should work with Giant and Safeway like the schools do for computers.

Actually, I've got the solution .... Guzman should buy them.

3 Comments:

At 12:43 AM, Anonymous John said...

It's stunning that such an enormous commodity could be managed with such willful ignornance.

I'm seriously considering sending the front office a copy of Moneyball and Statistics Without Tears.

It's frightening to think that I've got more info in the palm of my hand at games then they've got in the dugout. I've taken to scoring most games on my PDA, which gives up to the minute stats and updates with changed stats across the league whenever I hotsync.

 
At 11:33 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I guess that the use (or non-use) of statistics is really a short-term issue. In the long run, whoever buys the team is going to set the tone.

Hopefully, whoever ends up buying the team will recognize the value statistics bring to the game and give the Nats a budget to hire some guys that know how to collect and interpret stats, some software to track it, and oh yeah, some training. Guys won't use what they don't understand.

I was too much of a whoos to go to the game last night (because I knew it was going to rain), and I've been feeling guilty all morning. BUT, that did give me the opportunity to watch Voight. He wasn't great, but he was a big improvement over Ron Darling. Darling is a little on the boring side. As for Voigt, he had some really interesting points about Earl Weaver's use of statistics. He pointed out that the guy who originally started collecting the stats for Weaver, a dentist of all people, ended up working as VP for the Red Sox. So it makes me wonder about Frank Robinson, since he played for Earl. I'd really like to find out more about Frank and Earl's different management philosophies. I wonder if Frank is espousing the oriole way. It seems to me he's got his own way of doing things.

What I really like about Frank is the way he and Randy St. Claire manage the pitchers. They do a great job in my opinion.

 
At 1:15 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Orioles dentist story was a good one from last night, but it wasn't told by Voigt, but by Mel Procter, who spent a long time working on Orioles telecasts, and who is pretty good, IMO

DM

 

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