Organizations say they want new ideas and approaches. “Fail faster, succeed sooner” is branded on many R&D departments. But scant few are able to accomplish it. If organizations want change, why do they so often fail to achieve it?

A large body of research on this paradox indicates that companies across many industries espouse their desire to have creative and “game changing” minds but rarely promote them into leadership positions. Despite stated intentions to the contrary, studies consistently find organizational bias against creativity.

New ideas challenge existing practices and routines. Creativity can run afoul of people who have spent a long time in an organization and who have established a significant number of powerful connections and allies. There are sub-routines that discourage transformative change. Who reports to whom, performance evaluations and how organizations set expectations for employees – all run interference with the desire to generate and implement new ideas.

Short version: Organizations say they want to incorporate new ideas but find it hard to implement them in practice.

The Hiring Call

That brings us to the Cincinnati Reds – specifically the two new analytics positions they advertised last week.

The Reds new general manager, Dick Williams, through several interviews has expressed a preference for the club to more deeply incorporate modern statistical analysis into their decision-making. What do the new positions indicate about Williams goal? Is it evidence, as some in the press have said, that the Reds are becoming more analytical?

First, it is unambiguously good that the Reds are fortifying their ability to process information. As Steve pointed out earlier this year, Major League Baseball is gathering oceans of new data that teams must assimilate to use effectively. Expanding the Reds capability in this area is welcome.

While the Reds need numbers crunchers, they also need to build upward and incorporate new ideas into their decision-making process. The Reds need people who can find new and creative patterns in the data. They need people who know the cutting-edge of data analysis and can design programs to take advantage of the knowledge it produces. The front office must view new ideas – not just data incorporation – as the lifeblood of the organization. Instead, the Reds chose to build downward and not upset the existing relationship between departments inside the club.

Hiring downward is evidence of an organizational ceiling. The Reds are unwilling to hire above the credentials of their existing employees, people who hold only bachelor’s degrees in mathematics and limited to no experience working with other organizations. This reflects a misdiagnosis of the problem. The Reds appear to believe they just need to become better at what they are currently doing and not seeking out new ways to use data.

The Los Angeles Dodgers recently advertised for a person in their analytics department. The basic requirements included, among other things, a Ph.D. in Computer Science (Machine Learning), Statistics, Operations Research, or related field from a top-tier university and a minimum of five years work experience in mathematical, statistical and predictive modeling.

This position will allow the Dodgers to build proprietary software incorporating self-updating algorithms for any number of purposes, such as: helping to identify when individual pitchers start to fatigue and lose control, what are your best batter-pitcher match-ups, or how many days rest should a player receive? The Dodgers decided that they didn’t just need to build upwards, but they needed to identify the best talent, both on the field and on the keyboard.

Moving Forward

When it comes to baseball experience, Dick Williams is a Reds lifer. So essentially is Sam Grossman, the director of the club’s analytics department. The problem with people who have only worked for one organization is they tend to have a restricted view of their industry. How much “newness” is it reasonable to expect from people who have never been a part of doing it any other way?

Contrast this with the Milwaukee Brewers. The Brewers just hired a 30-year-old general manager who has worked for Pittsburgh, the Mets, Cleveland and Houston. He also had time in the Commissioner’s office. That’s a wide variety of experiences and practices from which to draw. The Cardinals also assembled people from a wide variety of backgrounds when they decided to become a data-driven franchise.

These two new positions suggest the Reds are satisfied with the scope of their current department and want it to do more of what it already does. Bringing on a couple low-level numbers crunchers, after all, is how Walt Jocketty would have expanded the Reds analytics department. Since Williams’ only experience in a major league baseball front office has been with the Reds, he might believe the same thing.

Just like every major league organization, the Reds need a revolution in data management, not an evolution. On Friday, the Reds implied a strategy of gradual evolution.

Bottom Line

Even if Dick Williams has a genuine desire to incorporate analytics into the Reds decision-making, and there’s no reason to doubt that, plenty of organizational headwinds stand in the way. The Reds front office could become yet another in the long list of organizations that say it wants fundamental change but has a hard time delivering.

Williams’ old boss will be around mentoring and consulting for the next few years. Will the new guy feel comfortable overturning past practices? It’s even harder to bring substantial change when your dad and uncle have had a part in hiring the people who would be challenged by new ways of doing things. Last Friday’s job notices are more of an endorsement of the status quo than the leading edge of a new way forward.

In recent interviews, Dick Williams has said he would “put the Reds analytics department up against anybody.” Maybe that’s pure public relations and he knows better. It’s the other possibility that should concern Reds fans: that he actually believes it.

65 Responses

  1. Michael_Øk

    Dick Williams was a banker of some sort, if I’m not mistaken. So I’m not too surprised that he would be favorable of a by-the-numbers approach, if you will.

    All in all, it will be interesting to see how this all plays out. Because if you are going to shift the way an organization does things: rebuild mode would be the perfect time to do so.

    Nice article, Mike.

  2. Michael Smith

    “In recent interviews, Dick Williams has said he would “put the Reds analytics department up against anybody.” Maybe that’s pure public relations and he knows better. It’s the other possibility that should concern Reds fans: that he actually believes it.”

    This is corporate speak or management speak. You do not throw a department under the bus unless you absolutely have to ala VW and there RD department with the current scandal.

    • jdx19

      Great post, Michael. I agree completely. If he actually believes that statement we have problems ahead.

  3. redslam

    It is always hard to predict cultural change other than to say “it is hard… and it is unlikely”. Your premise makes me even more concerned. Now is not a time for incremental improvement at the margins – we need strategic and fundamental change imho. I indeed hope this is just one of several steps that Dick Williams takes and he is only holding back this year b/c he doesn’t truly have the reins yet – and perhaps he wants to get to know the lay of the land a little better first, but yeah – a couple of low-level wonks is good step, but maybe not the shift we truly need.

    It is noteworthy that the McKinsey report conducted a few years ago predicted a massive shortage in “analytical expertise” and highlighted the fact that the shortage will be GREATER in management than in analyst ranks…. it is not an intuitive finding, but once you think about it completely makes sense – and resonates perfectly in the context of the Reds.

  4. Doug Gray

    I’ve said it for the last year or so, but the Reds were more statistically advanced than they were given credit for based on what I know about the things that they do. I think the problem was more that Walt didn’t want to listen to the stats guys nearly as much, but they certainly had people in the front office using things that were further ahead of what a lot of people believed.

    • redslam

      That makes sense – just hope with the departure of Walt that this stops. Frankly, it is more damaging than just making bad decisions. If I was a top analytics guy in their department, I would have been shopping myself around to any of the more forward-thinking clubs with the hope that my hard work would mean something…

    • RedAlert

      Yep – can see Walt using his abacus for his analytical purposes – hope he didn’t overdose on tryptophan over the holiday with the winter meetings right around the corner

      • greenmtred

        You ever see an expert use an abacus? It’s true that an abacus can’t play left field or hit a good breaking ball, but computers can’t, either. Yet.

    • Chuck Schick

      While it may be true that Walt preferred hunches and traditional scouting to advanced analytics, it would be fair to point out that certain organizational mantras hinder long term thinking and negate many of the benefits associated with an empirically driven approach.

      Bob C seems to run things like a SEC athletic director. All available resources are directed towards immediate success. Maximizing payroll and winning as many games as possible in a given year override the long term need to create a culture focused on player development. Spending 5 million on bargain bin veterans is deemed a better short term investment than using those same dollars to add instructors or strength coaches. Winning 83 games today is more desireous than being positioned to win 95 games in the future

      • Doug Gray

        Absolutely. I think more and more we are seeing owners step in and try to play GM/President of Baseball Ops than we used to. More George Steinbrenners than ever before, and for as much money that is at stake, I get it. It’s frustrating though as more than a casual fan. I’m sure the casual fan would rather see 83 wins instead of 74, even if that means a lot more 83 win seasons instead of pushing 90 in a few years while dealing with those 74 win seasons in the middle.

        It would seem that Bob wants his cake and to eat it too, but unless you’re willing to spend like the big guys, that’s just about impossible to do. Maybe we are finally seeing him understand that it’s time.

  5. WVRedlegs

    The question about Williams is will he be a man of action? Or will he fall more in line with Jocketty, and be more talk than action? Actions speak louder than words. And all we have seen from Williams since being named GM is all talk and no action. A lot like Jocketty. Time will tell though. We’ll see what he is made of next week. Will the Reds accomplish their goals at the Winter Meetings? Or will it be another winter of nothing more than Jocketty speak? You know the line, “We talked to several teams, but we just couldn’t find the right match.”

    • Michael Smith

      He has listed job postings for analytics department. I would call that the first step in an action plan.

      • WVRedlegs

        Just like Jocketty, doing the bare minimum. Williams has hit the ground…, with a mild stroll. Certainly not running. We’ll see if he is up to speed by next week.

      • Chuck Schick

        What exactly is it that you want him to do? Make trades for the sake of making trades? Try to obtain TARP funds in order to increase payroll? Sign affordable stiffs that marginally improve short term results at the expense of long term success?

        The other teams aren’t looking to help the Reds…they aren’t going to give up their best hitting prospects for 1 year of Chapman or 2 years of Frazier or Bruce. There’s nothing wrong with being patient and waiting for the right deal.

      • Chris

        Isn’t the premise of this article that the “first step” – hiring two entry level guys – isn’t likely to bring real results?

    • jazzmanbbfan

      It’s awfully early to be drawing conclusions on Williams’ lack of “action”.

  6. ohiojimw

    The data issue is a multi sided problem. The best models and captures are pretty much useless if the information they generate doesn’t reach the end users (decision makers) in a timely manner and insightful format.

    Recall Bryan Price’s initial response to the trial use of iPads in the dugout during games. He said it could create more confusion than good and that he liked the idea of being able to find the data on page whatever of a (hard copy) notebook.

    Perhaps these first additional hires will be tasked to more effectively bridge the gap between the information generators and users which in the whole scheme of things might be viewed as a more immediate tactical problem versus the longer range issue of developing more complex and sophisticated modeling.

  7. TR

    We fans expect the Red’s analytics dept. to be leading the way next week on the prospects the Reds should get in the Chapman trade.

  8. Dan

    Going out to get someone with a PhD is a waste of time especially if they are fresh out of school. Means that they just spent a minimum of 8 years studying information that was 10 years outdated.
    Let the Dodgers do what the Dodgers are going to do, I don’t see them piling up championships with their current efforts and it seems like they feel like they can simply buy their way to the top.
    The Reds need to focus on balance and the basics. Right now the organization from top to bottom can’t find hitters that can either take a pitch or lay down a bunt. Let’s start with that so maybe they need to go out and fill their organization with little league instructors because that is 2 things they teach the wimpy kids on day 1 of baseball camp.

    • Chris

      “Going out to get someone with a PhD is a waste of time especially if they are fresh out of school.”

      Perhaps. And that’s why the Dodgers are seeking someone with “a minimum of five years work experience in mathematical, statistical and predictive modeling.” It’s right there in the article.

      But by all means, more bunting.

    • jdx19

      Finding hitters that can “lay down a bunt” is about as far away from what the Reds need to do as possible.

    • Chuck Schick

      Having a baseball R and D department doesn’t exclude you from focusing on fundamentals. Teaching bad players to bunt isn’t a recipe for success.

      I’d rather have a PH.d with no pre conceived notions or biases quantifying data than someone who thinks he’s Tony LaRussa….or the actual Tony LaRussa.

  9. lwblogger2

    So, I’m seriously thinking of applying for the Reds Baseball Operations Analyst position. I check most the boxes from a technical perspective except my degree is in Information Technology. I have a rather strong baseball background and still have a few friends/contacts who are in baseball professionally. The main selling point could be my experience with Amazon Web Services and an ability to help build the necessary infrastructure to help move the analytics department forward. It makes me wonder what the position pays but honestly, for a chance to work in the Reds front-office, I might be willing to take a pay cut. What do you guys think? Should I go for it?

    • jdx19

      Absolutely. This is one of those once-in-a-lifetime sort of chances, really.

      I’ll live vicariously through you! I have all the technical side, but none of the pro baseball side, otherwise I’d think about kicking the tires, too!!

    • jdx19

      Think about it… you could be Dick Williams’ successor! LWBLOGGER2 for GM!!

      • lwblogger2

        I’d probably be a lousy GM. I don’t have the negotiating skills. Thanks for the vote of confidence though!

    • ohiojimw

      By all means LW, go for it. If I recall you were expressing some mid to late career dissatisfaction several weeks backs. You sound right in the vector of their needs.

      It has been 15+ years since I did database management versus hardware infrastructure plus I retired 5 months ago; and, the thought still crossed my mind…

      • lwblogger2

        Not really dissatisfied but wondering which direction to go next. This would be out of my field but actually could tie in because of my strong background in mathmatics and my Amazon Web Services certification. AWS has done some awesome things with analytics and with machine learning that I think could go a long way to help the Reds analytics department. I’m gonna go ahead and try for it. I’m not one to job hop but this is too good of a chance for me to pass up. I think I’d kick myself if I didn’t try.

      • WVRedlegs

        Do it. Do it. Do it. Email your resume into the posted place. Then go to Nashville, TN (Winter Meetings) to the Opryland Resort next week and hand deliver it to Williams personally. They have some sort of job fair there that many MLB and MiLB teams do interviews for posted jobs right at the site.

    • Chris Esberger

      Worst case they say no….best case you become one of the guys we complain about because Jay Bruce wasn’t traded for Mike Trout.

      Good luck

    • greenmtred

      Go for it, for sure, lwblogger. Best of luck.

      • lwblogger2

        Thanks… Going to send my info tonight.

    • zaglamir

      Go for it! I was thinking the same thing. I have a PhD in Physics and spend a lot of time sorting billions of data points via code to find statistical fluctuations, etc. But I’m still in my first “real” physics job, so I don’t think I have the experience necessary. A few years from now, I think I’ll throw my resume at a few clubs and see what happens.

      • ohiojimw

        I’d think they are looking for somebody to apply what you do to baseball data streams. They probably have the baseball mind power to know what they want to look for but don’t know how.

      • lwblogger2

        I’d say go for it. The more resumes they get and the better the candidate pool, the better chance they will find a talented person for the role.

    • kmartin

      The second job position the Dodgers are advertising seems to be very closely aligned with your Web services and building infrastructure skills.

      • lwblogger2

        I saw that. Unless they would let me work remotely, I probably couldn’t do it. One of the things that’s kept me out of baseball the last few years is an inability to relocate. I can do a certain amount of travel, especially with a decent amount of notice, but I can’t move too far from the Greater Cincinnati area at this time.

  10. lwblogger2

    News break: St. Louis signed Brayan Pena to a 2-year deal. Looks like they like him as a backup for Molina. Nice signing for them. He really doesn’t fit with the Reds anymore either unless Mesoraco can’t catch. You’d have to think that Tucker is the backup to Mes so really no place for him with the Reds anymore.

    • jessecuster44

      Lol – Reds sign broken down ex-Cards, and now Cards sign serviceable ex-Reds.

      • ohiojimw

        Yeah, collective bargaining rules aside, would the Cards have offered Barnhart the same deal if both had been unfettered FA’s. I doubt it.

      • earmbrister

        I’m happy with the soon to be 25 yr old Barnhart vs the soon to be 34 yr old Pena. It’s a good signing for the Cards, but Tucker at MLB min is a good fit for the Reds. Pena had a poor defensive year last year, which could be the tip of the aging iceberg (or, in fairness, it could have been an off year for him).

        We need to get younger across the roster, and can spend such money better elsewhere.

      • earmbrister

        Look for Mattheus to be non-tendered on Wednesday. Blake Wood is the low cost alternative.

      • ohiojimw

        I don’t disagree with you given the the Reds situation. It is just sad the the Reds are in such a mess. Actually, if they determine Meso is capable of being an everyday catcher, why not go and move Barnhart in favor of Ramon Cabrera, the September call up? Per Jocketty, “Cabrera really proved to us that he’s really capable of catching in the big leagues”

        Cabrera would be an acceptable back up catcher who likely would hit as much as Barnhart while costing them a hundred K and change less this year and much less the next two seasons when Barnhart is arb eligible.

      • earmbrister

        I don’t see it as the Reds being such a mess; I see it as the Reds being in transition. Once Chapman has been moved, for what will presumably be a young building block prospect, we will be a move away (BP) from being a much more affordable team. Homer will be the only expensive pitcher, with Iglesias being what should prove to be a bargain, while the rest of the pitching staff will be making at or near MLB minimum for the next couple of years (except for Hoover who’ll make about $ 1.1 Mil next yr.).

        If Meso comes back to 2014 form, and if an answer is found for LF, the heart of the lineup should be strong. The pitching is young and inexperienced yes, but is talented and full of promise, with a lot of strong arms in the pipeline. Yes, that’s a handful of “ifs”, but we all saw what looked to be a mess of a Mets team/offense in late July get hot and make a run at the WS. The return of David Wright to the lineup, along with the acquisition of Cespedes, ignited what had been a moribund offense. The return of Meso, along with a key addition in LF, could prove to be invaluable for this offense.

        However, the return of Mesoraco is hardly certain. I don’t know if I’d be comfortable moving Barnhart even if Meso was healthy, considering the wear and tear of the position, and the lack of another catching option in the upper minors after Cabrera. It was nice having a Corky Miller available in AAA, waiting for the emergency call-up, but he’s long since hung up his shin guards. Cabrera and Barnhart are way too valuable to consider moving for now.

      • ohiojimw

        Earmbrister, I understand what you say about opportunity versus disaster; and from where they are now, that is really the only constructive point of view to take.

        However, the way the devolution of the starting rotation was mishandled was a mess. The looming situation was right in front of them and plain as day from a couple of years out. The only thing not specifically predictable was the Bailey injury; but, certainly the odds all along were that somebody would go down long term over that period of time. Yet, other than picking up Desclafani, they did nothing to prepare for the day.

        In one convoluted sense the Bailey injury may have been a blessing as with a healthy Bailey, they well could have been in the fringe of the WC race at the trade deadline, held their hand, and ended up with no return on Cueto and Leake except for a comp pick on Cueto.

      • earmbrister

        Yeah, I just don’t agree that the dismantling of the starting rotation was mishandled. If you and I and everyone else on this site saw the “looming situation’; rest assured the Reds FO saw it, and probably sooner than most. I’m pretty sure that they have access to Baseball Reference.

        The Reds had a window of playoff opportunity from 2010 on. They made the playoffs 3 of the 4 years from ’10 to ’13. Injuries (along with some failed moves with the BP and the bench) derailed ’14 & ’15. The loss due to injuries of Votto, Bruce, Phillips, and Meso et al stuck a fork in their playoff chances. That said, the starting rotation was the strength of those teams. In ’12 5 SP had 30+ starts. In ’13 4 SP had 31+ starts. The reason they we’re in the playoff hunt was the starting pitching, so they should have traded it off sooner and end any possibility of making the postseason? They did not have the benefit of 20/20 hindsight at the time.

        As for doing nothing to prepare for the day, the Reds let Bronson Arroyo leave after the 2013 season (replacing him with Alfredo Simon in the rotation). On 6/27/14 they signed Raisel Iglesias to a 7 yr contract.

        After the 2014 season, the Reds traded Simon for Jonathan Crawford and Suarez. Also on 12/11/14, they traded Matt Latos for Anthony DeSclafani and Wallach. Meanwhile, there were some setbacks with their likely replacements. Robert Stephenson was delayed in his progress. In 2013 Stephenson pitched 3 levels (A, A+, & AA). After 2013, it would have been reasonable to expect that this top prospect would make it to the majors by 2015. In addition, Tony Cingrani didn’t develop and had injury issues. After Cingrani had 18 GS in ’13, he had 14 GS in ’14, and 1 in ’15.

        In July 2015, the Reds traded Mike Leake for Keury Mella and Duvall. And they got quite the haul for Cueto in Brandon Finnegan, John Lamb, and Cody Reed, which corrected, in one fell swoop, a lack of lefties in the pipeline.

        The way I see it, the Reds quickly and efficiently turned an older and expensive rotation into a rotation filled with inexpensive quality prospects. The top of the rotation should be solid going forward, with DeSclafani, Iglesias, and Bailey. There are plenty of talented candidates for the 4th and 5th spots in Lorenzen, Finnegan, Lamb, Moscot, Stephenson. And there are a number of other quality prospects a couple of years away in Mella, Garrett, Travieso, Reed et al.

        The jury is still out, but the future looks bright for the Reds pitching staff.

    • Tom Diesman

      Reds have re-signed MiL FA’s IF Hernan Iribarren (Age 32, .256/.324/.305/.629 2015 AAA) and IF/OF Jermaine Curtis (Age 28, .273/.362/.344/.705 2015 AAA) .

      They’ve also signed MiL FA’s RH SP Tim Melville (Age 26, 4.63 ERA, 1.378 WHIP, 152 IP 2015 AAA), RH RP Dayan Diaz (Age 27, 2.53 ERA, 1.316 WHIP, 57 IP 2015 AAA), and IB/LF Brandon Allen (Age 30, .273/.350/.478/.828 2015 AAA).

      • TR

        Will Curtis and/or Allen challenge for the left field position in 2016?

      • Tom Diesman

        No, these guys are AAA roster filler most likely. If all the stars aligned just right they could fill a bench/PH type role. Allen has a better chance at that, being a LH bat with pop and on base skills.

      • ohiojimw

        Anybody else think Melville could be a poor man’s choice for the back of the rotation innings eater role? I looked into him a bit last week when word of his pending signing leaked out.

        He had TJ surgery in 2012/13 but has made 53 starts the last two seasons, 26 in 2014 at AA and 27 in 2015 all at AAA. He works consistently in the 92-94MPH range and occasionally gets up to 95/96. He has always had a high K rate but until last season that was offset by a high BB rate.

        In the Reds situation, with 150+ innings last year in his age 25 season, there would seem to be no reason not to send him to mound every 5th day all season if he can throw about like he did in AAA during 2015. It would certainly save wear and tear and service time on a couple of their more valued prospects.

      • Redgoggles

        Why are we needing to fill AAA rosters with aging MiL FA’s? What does that say about our drafting/development? Mr. Jocketty, I’m looking at you. I mean, it’s not like the vaccuum was created by recently promoted players (with possible exception on the pitchers.)

      • Chuck Schick

        While there are many rightful grievances that can/should be directed towards Walt and the rest of the Reds “Brain Trust,” it seems that you may not understand that even the best teams fill out their AAA roster with aging MiLFA’s. Each team has a relatively small number of guys who are genuine “prospects” and the rest of the players exists primarily to allow the league to function. Who else are you going to sign? You need a lot of bodies.

        No team has 20-30 actual “prospects” at the AAA level and you need to fill the roster with guys who are good enough to play at that level …who may not be good enough to advance….in order for the actual prospects to develop.

      • Redgoggles

        I do understand that, but am just frustrated from the last couple of seasons when they really were limited with farm options as the injuries piled up. I think the farm depth, especially at the higher levels has been poor in recent years, which was my original point. Walt’s trade record has been largely stellar, but his draft/development one is especially disappointing given the economic boundaries the Reds operate under.

      • lwblogger2

        Allen reminds me of a LH Josh Satin with more pop. I like that pickup in particular. Let’s hope we don’t need to call him up but he could maybe help in September and it’s nice to know he’s there in an emergency should we need him.

      • Tom Diesman

        They’ve also just added 27 year old RH RP JC Ramirez. He posted a 5.32 ERA, 1.521 WHIP in 23 IP in the majors in 2015 between Arizona and Seattle. He also had a 2.72 ERA, 1.302 WHIP in 43 IP in AAA in 2015.

  11. Yippee

    Cardinals sign Brayan Pena, 2 yr 5 mil….he was “expendable”, but that’s still a bummer, couldn’t he gone anywhere else?? haha

    • Matt WI

      Yup, I understand the move, but I enjoyed him on the team. It’s a rare Cardinal that will be hard to root against.

      • jdx19

        Good point.

        It is an interesting juxtaposition; the Cards now roster the catcher I dislike the most (Neck Tattoo) and the non-Red catcher I like the most (Brayan Pena).

      • lwblogger2

        Don’t like Molina but man is he a good catcher. He’s one of those guys that if he’s on an opponent’s team you hate him and if he’s on your team you love him. I remember a 2B/3B that I played against. We hated the guy. He was just a motor-mouth, always talking trash and very good at getting under guys’ skins. He also was a very, very good player and seemed to always kill us, especially with the bat and on the bases. Then, he ended up on our team. We went from loving him to hating him. He was a tireless worker, hustled his butt off and the talent was there too. After getting to know him, he actually was a really good guy too. The on the field trash-talk was just part of his act. Yep, Molina may be one of those guys that when you’re against him you hate him and when he’s on your team, he’s an awesome teammate.

  12. streamer88

    I like the article, however, I respectfully disagree with your conclusion. At this point we are still in the “Left seat – right seat” change over from Jocketty to Williams. They may not even have changed offices yet. And in this very early transition, someone (Williams perhaps?) has already convinced Bob C (and Jocketty) that they need more bodies in the stats department, it’s been vetted through all channels and now they’re in a hiring phase. The fact that this happened so soon, IMHO, suggests either (a) this organization’s leaders are actually *yearning/begging* for change or (b) that there is less dysfunction at the top than some would suggest, or both.

  13. Frogger

    Completely unrelated to this article, but I can’t seem to find the answer to this on the web. Who determines the pitch fx strike zone for a batter? Who programs the software?

  14. WVRedlegs

    Holy Criminy. Did david Price just sign with the RedSox for 7 yrs./$217M?? $31M per year. Astounding.

    • TR

      Now it’s understandable why Johnny Cueto turned down 120 million for 6 years from the D-backs. That only comes to 20 mil per year.

    • lwblogger2

      Yeah, that’s an unbelievable contract and the Sox are going to be hating it in a few years if not sooner.