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
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.