More on ‘Clubhouse Confidential’ From FanGraphs’ Dave Cameron

From Dave Cameron at FanGraphs on November 9, 2011:

On Monday, MLB Network rolled out a new show hosted by Brian Kenny called Clubhouse Confidential. The show billed itself as an analytical take on the days news and the happenings in the sport, and the description of the show mentioned that it would involve contributions from the sabermetric community. Given that I’ve always enjoyed Kenny’s work and that this was something of a new venture, I was interested enough to watch the first couple of episodes on Monday and Tuesday.

So far, I have to say that I’ve been pleasantly surprised with how well the show has been produced. Since we’re at the start of the off-season and there isn’t a ton of news to report on just yet, the show centered around a different central topic each day, and I thought both were interesting and well-handled.

 On Monday, Kenny proposed what he called a “tournament baseball” model for handling a pitching staff, pointing out how heavily the Rangers and Cardinals used their bullpens in their respective League Championship Series, and how that helped propel them into the World Series. It’s a topic we wrote about here during October quite a bit, and it was great to see a national broadcast discuss the relative effectiveness of starters and relievers using relevant data. Kenny not only offered his own take on the subject – he was clearly a fan of the way Washington and LaRussa leaned on their bullpens – but he also brought in the perspectives of various baseball minds, including SB Nation’s Rob Neyer and the always entertaining Peter Gammons. Both made interesting points on the subject, and helped discuss the issue rationally without getting into some kind of contrived shouting match where one side had to play contrarian.

On Tuesday, the central theme revolved around the wisdom of giving out $100+ million contracts, and Kenny brought Vince Gennaro (president of SABR) onto the set to discuss the risks associated with committing that much money to any one player. Gennaro and Kenny had a nice discussion about the various risks and rewards of that kind of contract, and were able to explain things like aging curves in a manner that still seemed relatively accessible to the common fan.

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Originally published: November 9, 2011. Last Updated: November 9, 2011.