Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Brian Cashman has assembled an army of nerdcakes to dissect and guide the Yankee braintrust

Brian Cashman recently gave an interview to Index Universe, a nerdsite devoted to bean-counter wonks who crunch spreadsheets, and revealed that the Yankees now employ 14 people to do statistical analyses. Says B.C.

We have created a quantitative analysis department and hired a director of quantitative analysis. That department has grown to some 14 people who manage a number of different information streams. Not only do they pool that information, but then it is dissected and produced in a meaningful way about what is truly taking place on the field in present performance and then future predictable performance.

In other words, we're dead. The calculators have won.

Forget that moment in the 1996 World Series when Joe Torre stared into David Cone's eyes and came away believing Coney could get the final out of the inning. Forget Aaron Small. Forget Babe Ruth's shot, Lou Gehrig's farewell and anything Yogi ever said that might have contradicted itself. The future of the Yankiverse belongs to fourteen people with bad skin and slowly herniating discs, mired in their push-pin cubicles, wearing velcro wrist guards and tapping on number keys, as they quantify the fate of our summer passion - in time to get out for ComicCon.

Fourteen people. Good God. There must be a wonk who does micrometer measurement's of Arod's nutsacks. They must have a wonk who crunches placement of pitches at home during The Roll Call.  Somebody must chart the flows of spit. They must have an addition specialist who works half an equation, who then hands off to the subtraction specialist, who closes.

Good God. Imagine fourteen nerds sitting around the commissary, debating Matt Nokes vs. Ron Hassey until somebody throws a cafeteria tray in a momentary pulse of anger. A few probably bring their lunches - egg salad sandwiches - and are totally unpleasant to watch. They argued for obtaining Will Venable from the Padres, the issue that spawned the fight at this year's Christmas party, when the director of quantitative analysis got hammered and drunk-dialed Nick Swisher, to tell him about the shirtless screen-saver of Swish that had been circulating around the office.

Fourteen nerds, analyzing the Yankiverse. We are so dead.

Interesting interview. Still, I wonder sometimes what Cashman thinks when talking shop to outsiders Seems to me, the interviewer's questions didn't much differ from what he'd get from River Ave or Lohud. The Oscar Madison days of checkered suits and hip flasks ended with Torre's long stare into Coney's eyes. The modern Gammonites still include a few chuckleheads - always will - but more and more, the folks who cover baseball are more likely to contribute a statistic than a cool nickname for Brett Gardner. (That's for John Sterling, I guess.)

Fourteen nerds. More than the U.S. Supreme Court. We are so dead. 

5 comments:

John M said...

Hey, Duque...I think that guy putting up all the nearly intelligible comments on the Rivera post works in the Yankees Wonkees Department. That would explain a lot.

If we could assemble as great a group of eggheads, maybe they could invent a time machine and we could go back to keep the parents of whoever invented Sabermetrics out of the back seat of the car he was conceived in. Then all of Buzz Girardi's little stat books go away, all the geeks posing as baseball bloggers find gainful employment, and the world is righted on its axis.

Worth a shot.

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bennyboy said...

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bennyboy said...

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I'M SERIOUS. I BOUGHT THE ROPE WHEN WE SIGNED HIM TO THE 10 YEAR CONTRACT. I PUT IT SOMEWHERE IN MY ROOM WHEN WE WON IN 2009. I'M GOING TO FIND IT AND HANG MYSELF. WRITE SOMETHING FUNNY.

Joba Chamberlain said...

Sorry, bennyboy. I borrowed your rope for a spring training gala. We're going to have a "Welcome Kevin Youkilis Party". It'll be great! I learned how to make a noose when I was in the Boy Scouts in Oklahoma. Buzz Girardi is going to wear his braces to the party, and A-Rod has promised to spike the punch with something special. We might even get to see Jeter's new sex tape! Anyway, we will get your rope back to you by the end of March, OK?