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Thursday, January 13, 2005

Statheads vs. scouts

I haven't blogged much about baseball in a long time. But I'm in Boston and the Red Sox get a lot of coverage even in the offseason...

And I've just started reading The Pitch That Killed, by Oklahoman Mike Sowell. I previously read his One Pitch Away.

Plus, Saturday I intend to attend the local SABR chapter meeting at BU...it's scheduled for six hours and will feature Sports Illustrated writer Leigh Montville, among other speakers. One of the presenters is going to talk about steroids and baseball.

Finally, today I read a great piece on the Baseball America webpage featuring a discussion moderated by Alan Schwarz. Two stateheads and two scouts sit down and talk about baseball prospecting.

The discussion includes this quote by the Red Sox stathead:
VOROS McCRACKEN: Certainly, we in Boston are not antagonistic to the concepts in “Moneyball” either. Obviously they hired me as a consultant. When they promoted Theo [Epstein], basically the idea was he was going to try to meld the two approaches and get them to where they were not only getting along, but are complementing one another. The stats can help the scouts zero in on the guys they should be zeroing in on. And the scouts, once the stats are sorting things through, can tell you who exactly are the best guys to go after. The success of that can obviously be overblown because a World Series championship is a big thing, big news. How much it had to do with stats, how much it had to do with improved scouting . . . I think the point is that Boston has at least tried to reconcile the two positions.
It's a great read if you are into those sorts of things.

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