As the days go by and the Chicago Cubs are celebrated for breaking their 108-year-old World Series drought, much has been made of Theo Epstein embracing analytics and how that decision has won the President of Baseball Operations three titles in the past 12 years (the previous two came with Boston).
While Epstein is celebrated for his ingenuity, some have rolled their eyes about the obsession with analytics.
Dating back to the release of , Michael Lewis’ book profiling the rise of Oakland general manager Billy Beane in the early 2000s, there has been a butting of heads between traditional talent evaluators and the new age of decision makers focusing more on statistics and analysis.
It doesn’t sit well with me, no matter how many homers you hit.” A few hours before Dozier connected off a Daniel Norris fastball in the third inning, the Twins formally requested permission to interview Chicago Cubs executive Jason Mc Leod for their top baseball operations job.He had the Cubs bottom out, then drafted hitters Kris Bryant and Kyle Schwarber with his top picks, eschewing the notion that young pitchers were the most valuable commodity.He hired Joe Maddon, one of the game’s most forward-thinking managers, and, when the opportunity presented itself, opened the checkbook for playoff-proven veterans Jon Lester, John Lackey, Ben Zobrist and Jason Heyward.Instead of making decisions because “that’s the way we’ve always done it”, Epstein put all of his intel on the table to construct the Cubs roster.He didn’t reinvent the wheel - he just put it upright and began rolling it. Data, statistics and video aren’t going to win any games by themselves.