Gennaro: Stats or no stats, a controlled experiment?

From SABR President Vince Gennaro at Diamond Dollars on April 1, 2013:

Over the last week, two articles appeared discussing two teams’ contrasting approaches to making baseball decisions. The Washington Nationals were called a “scouting first” organization that integrates statistical analyses into team decisions. By contrast, the Philadelphia Phillies seem proudly defiant of the trend to incorporate advanced metrics into their decision criteria.

While there are a large number of MLB teams that put significant energy and dollars into objective analysis of data, the other end of the spectrum is often a mystery. Who are the clubs and how do they process information? In recent years teams like the Orioles, Dodgers and Giants have been accused of shunning stats in favor of intuition or the perspective and wisdom of career baseball people. However, when pressed these teams typically deny an aversion to the numbers side of the game and in fact tout their otherwise low-profile prowess in this area.

It now seems that the Phillies are willing to be the proud flag-bearers for a shrinking group of ballclubs who believe that “new stats” fail to add value to decisions. We may finally have a controlled experiment of the stats team vs. the no-stats team. If two clubs, who fit those descriptions were to maintain their loyalty to their respective internal decision processes, it would be interesting to see how they perform over the next 4 or 5 years.

Read the full article here:

Originally published: April 1, 2013. Last Updated: April 1, 2013.