2 scouts, 2 stat guys debate the Moneyball revolution

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From Baseball America:



Angels fans, some of what this Bane guy has to say makes me consider him well named ("intangibles").

Dr Morbius (Dr Morbius), Friday, 7 January 2005 20:41 (fifteen years ago) link

Based on that interview, Eddie Bane comes off as a picture-perfect stereotype of an old-fashioned scout. He's practically a parody. All those comments like "Buddy Boy Weaver, Tip Anderson, Earl Nipper, Viper Smith, Wes Davis, Happy Woodson, they're outstanding people. Great scouts. Fantastic human beings. Great men. They know the game. If you're gonna give 50K to one of them or 50K to a stats guy, who's it gonna be? Why? Why is Buddy Boy on the street when some Ivy League Stathead Whippersnapper is working for Houston? That's not right".

Toward the end, he begrudgingly admits that scouts will have to better understand what the stats guys are doing, right before insisting that stats will never replace scouting, no way, not on his watch, oh no (of course, nobody's claiming that they should, i.e. the number one misconception about stats from the people who are scared of stats).

MindInRewind (Barry Bruner), Friday, 7 January 2005 22:02 (fifteen years ago) link

I'm gonna go against the grain here and stick up for Bane.

Bane immediately says that he's familiar with Hackabay and McCracken's concepts and writing.

Also when Bane talks about intangibles... ["No, it wasn't his elbow, he pulled a hamstring." "He had a drinking problem in the past." I'm going to have the DIPS information already. I mean, this stuff if fabulous. But I've got to have the other stuff too--the intangibles.]... I would like to kindly remind Dr. Morbius that these are the very-same intangibles that Billy Beane was interested in during the draft preperations in Moneyball. They gave a name for the guys with make-up challenges* and threw them off the draft board. The name was either the last name of an ex-A's scout or player that Lewis was told was a real nutjob.

gygax! (gygax!), Saturday, 8 January 2005 03:53 (fifteen years ago) link

But Bane goes out of his way -- many times during the interview -- to press the point that stats can't replace scouting. That sort of paranoia leads me to believe that he really doesn't understand where many statisticians are coming from.

Also, he uses himself as a counter-example to state that pitchers with success in AAA aren't always successful. He's saying to McCracken "see, you just never know what can happen" (preaching to the choir, because McCracken explicitly stated that no stats can predict the future). But the main thing Bane doesn't appreciate there is the fact that he's just one data point. The AAA stats that McCracken is working on are attempts to recognize trends, and the performance of one guy (Bane) is not a trend that can be applied across the board.

MindInRewind (Barry Bruner), Saturday, 8 January 2005 05:39 (fifteen years ago) link

>these are the very-same intangibles that Billy Beane was interested in

'gax, what I was specifically mocking is that THOSE AREN'T INTANGIBLES! Injury history or drug/alcohol problems are ascertainable facts; they're data that the New Analysis breed has never ignored. You hear meatheads talk about anything outside of the triple crown stats as "intangibles." They should save that word for horseshit like "character" and "making players around him better."

Dr Morbius (Dr Morbius), Monday, 10 January 2005 14:18 (fifteen years ago) link

don't forget "good face"!

j blount (papa la bas), Tuesday, 11 January 2005 06:15 (fifteen years ago) link

We're not selling jeans here...

gygax! (gygax!), Tuesday, 11 January 2005 16:42 (fifteen years ago) link

twelve years pass...

Know the scout lingo. Always appreciate "high ass" myself.


Supercreditor (Dr Morbius), Thursday, 22 June 2017 06:00 (two years ago) link

three months pass...

It's a harrowing time for scouts, who more than ever fear the bounty of Statcast data renders their jobs irrelevant in teams' eyes. 1/9

— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) September 22, 2017

mookieproof, Friday, 22 September 2017 16:57 (two years ago) link

one year passes...

What would we learn if we could see what an MLB team’s scouts saw? For the first time, we can: A former member of the Cincinnati Reds front office provided The Ringer with a copy of the Reds’ scouting database from between 1991 and 2003, consisting of more than 73,000 reports. Throughout this week, we’ll be using this newly declassified scouting gold mine to analyze old-school scouting’s strengths and weaknesses, profile players who defied the scouts’ expectations, and examine how scouting has evolved in recent years. In Monday’s Part 1, we crunch the numbers on how well scouts projected players.


a Mets fan who gave up on everything in the mid '80s (Dr Morbius), Tuesday, 5 March 2019 12:30 (eleven months ago) link

four months pass...

based on The MVP Machine, it seems the Edgertronic/player development revolution will be worse for scouts than the Beane Moneyball one was. Per the book the Astros are down to ~20 scouts now. Even the ones who are technology-friendly are losing their jobs... Houston increasingly just uses cameras and data to choose players.

a Mets fan who gave up on everything in the mid '80s (Dr Morbius), Thursday, 11 July 2019 20:30 (seven months ago) link

(also per the Passan tweet above)

a Mets fan who gave up on everything in the mid '80s (Dr Morbius), Thursday, 11 July 2019 20:31 (seven months ago) link

Houston increasingly just uses cameras and data to choose players

...and steal signs lol

Jersey Al (Albert R. Broccoli), Thursday, 11 July 2019 20:42 (seven months ago) link

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