Bultman: Meet Maggie O’Hara, Tigers analyst with an eye toward change

From Max Bultman at The Athletic on June 15, 2018:

Maggie​ O’Hara arrives​ with a notebook.

She is not likely​ to​ need it —​ she is​ the one being​ interviewed​ —​​ but damned if that isn’t on brand for this University of Chicago alumna working as a baseball operations analyst in the Detroit Tigers’ organization. It is rare for members of the analytics department to do any media, let alone a nearly 40-minute sit-down in the Tigers’ dugout. And yet, here she is, with a notebook and a water bottle and a pen.

There are a couple of topics, over the course of the interview, that are unavoidable. The mystique behind the department is one. There is a baseline understanding of what a modern baseball analytics department does, but details tend to be sparse. The other is O’Hara herself — at 23, she is the only woman on the Tigers’ 14-person analytics staff, which includes five interns.

That is the norm across major league baseball. A scan of publicly available front-office directories appears to turn up fewer than 20 women listed as full-time staffers in team baseball analytics departments. These directories aren’t always complete, and don’t include interns, so the number of women working in analytics may be higher, but the disparity is clear.

This gender imbalance is reflective of neither interest nor capability. O’Hara’s story can attest to that.

Read the full article here (subscription required): https://theathletic.com/389460/2018/06/15/meet-maggie-ohara-a-tigers-analytics-staffer-with-an-eye-toward-change/

Originally published: June 15, 2018. Last Updated: June 15, 2018.