Dirk Hayhurst: On sabermetrics and broadcasting

From Blake Murphy at Beyond the Box Score on October 31, 2012:

When Dirk Hayhurst retired from professional baseball early in 2012, he thought he was done with the game he had spent his whole life playing. He had planned to pursue further education while working on his third book, a follow-up to his two hit books, The Bullpen Gospels and Out Of My League. Instead, in the mould of The Godfather III, just when he thought he was out, the baseball world pulled him back in.

Hayhurst is now a baseball analyst for Rogers Sportsnet 590 Radio in Toronto, co-hosting Baseball Central at Noon every weekday during the season. I spoke with Hayhurst at length about his transition into broadcasting, the challenges associated with his new career, and the introduction of sabermetric analysis into baseball telecasts.

Blake Murphy: As a Jays fan I was privy to your work with Sportsnet over the summer. I appreciated you occasionally mixing in some of the more advanced stats that may not be familiar to everyday fans. Was this something that was requested of you or something you wanted to incorporate on your own?

Dirk Hayhurst: When I started with Sportsnet for Baseball Central at Noon, Sam (Cosentino, his co-host) and I had never met each other before. So we’re going to work together on this show and I had never done broadcasting and he had never worked with me. So we were trying to get each other felt out, and he said, “I think it’d be great if we did advanced sabermetrics because that’s stuff’s getting big!” and I was like, “sure.” But I didn’t want it to be like Dungeons and Dragons conversation.

So I was intimidated. I’m not great with stats. Actually, most of the players I know don’t do any of their research themselves; it’s all brought to them by somebody who is hired to do this. So we’d get color sheets, just these squares with colors, and you want to go at the blue ones and stay away from the red ones, and that’s about it.

Read the full article here: http://www.beyondtheboxscore.com/2012/10/31/3577994/dirk-hayhurst-interview-sabermetrics-broadcasting

Originally published: October 31, 2012. Last Updated: October 31, 2012.