Beane: Tech-driven revolution and the future of sports

From Billy Beane at the Wall Street Journal on July 8, 2014:

Baseball—my passion and profession for three decades—has been at the forefront of the analytics revolution sweeping through sports. And the game is just beginning.

The proverbial tip of the iceberg: Statcast, a 3-D tracking system that provides detailed metrics on the locations and movements of the ball, the players, and even the umpires. While the system is currently installed in only a handful of ballparks, Major League Baseball plans for all 30 stadiums to have it by 2015. Eventually, such systems will proliferate not just through the ranks of all professional sports but to youth sports, affecting everything from how games are taught to the statistical nomenclature of sport.

These technologies, combined with new media devices that will deliver that information, will give fans a new level of feedback about the action on the field and create unprecedented access to players and the game.

I also see change that goes far beyond the fan experience and new methods of performance analysis. Technology will transform the social fabric of sport.

Baseball, for instance, has always been a game of insiders, played by those who could hit, run, field and throw a certain way, and managed by those who played well enough to eventually earn the keys to the front office. The old ideas of who should play in the big leagues, and who should decide who should play, will be replaced with new ideas.

Read the full article here:

Originally published: July 9, 2014. Last Updated: July 9, 2014.