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You’ll probably have to lie on your resume to work for the Cubs

Jan 30, 2013, 6:01 PM EDT

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As their new, most excellent consultant Tangotiger points out, the Cubs are on the prowl for a new Director of Research & Development — Baseball Operations. Which is good news for some lucky person out there. All the Cubs are asking for is…

Required Qualifications

  • Advanced degree or equivalent experience in statistics, mathematics, computer science, or a related quantitative field.
  • Demonstrated project management, problem-solving, and teaching abilities.
  • Demonstrated ability to communicate difficult and complex concepts at an appropriate level to colleagues possessing a wide range of backgrounds and perspectives.
  • Demonstrated expert-level knowledge (of at least 5 years) with baseball-specific data, modern statistical techniques, and sabermetric analysis.
  • Demonstrated expertise with R, STATA, SPSS, SAS, or similar software.
  • Demonstrated expertise with SQL Server, Microsoft Access, My SQL, Oracle, database administration/structuring, data warehousing and data modeling.
  • Knowledge and demonstrated ability in the areas of programming, software-coding, ETL, and/or machine learning techniques.

So, yeah, I’m out. I’ve got plenty of SAS and I do have a reputation as a bit of an oracle, but when it comes to programming, even the TI-83 kicked my butt.

The real stumbling block there, however, might be No. 3. The kind of people with the type of knowledge this job requires aren’t always the best at presenting it to the rest of us.

But best of luck to the Cubs and their likely strategy of offering said person one-fifth of what he/she could make at a Fortune 500 company. And then hiring them anyway because everyone wants to work in baseball.

  1. tfbuckfutter - Jan 30, 2013 at 6:11 PM

    I may apply.

    I got all those qualifications except for the math stuff and truth be told I’m not that good at computers yet.

    But I learn pretty quick.

    And also, I mean….it’s the Cubs. So even if I didn’t pick it up would anyone notice? They’ve got like 6 regulars who I don’t even think count baseball as their primary occupation.

  2. anotheryx - Jan 30, 2013 at 6:14 PM

    But they have to compete with gaming industry, which is a much hotter draw.

  3. buffalomafia - Jan 30, 2013 at 6:15 PM

    How many more years will it take the Cubs to win the World Series?

    I’m not a Cubs fan but c’mon already & make it happen!

    I’m praying for you guys!

    • thebadguyswon - Jan 30, 2013 at 7:54 PM

      Never gonna happen. Or put it this way, we’ll all be dead before it does.

      • 84cubs - Jan 30, 2013 at 9:17 PM

        SO clever.

      • thebadguyswon - Jan 30, 2013 at 9:37 PM

        True too.

      • thebadguyswon - Jan 30, 2013 at 9:39 PM

        Listen man….I’d love to see it. And they are building a nice team. But I am still in shock that managed to lose that 03 NLCS. It has me believing they never will.

    • koongoshad - Jan 30, 2013 at 11:49 PM

      As a diehard Cubby fan it really hurts to see them not win, but it gives us solace that we are not and the third class team of the city. All said, i think we are on the right track. hopefully before we need to start our bucket list we will see a championship.

      Keep the prayers going

    • blackandbluedivision - Feb 1, 2013 at 11:47 AM

      Lovable losers. The main draw is their they ultimate underdog. So if they win they lose a buttload of money.

  4. cosanostra71 - Jan 30, 2013 at 6:26 PM

    It sounds like they wrote this job description with a specific person in mind.

    • Jeremy Fox - Jan 30, 2013 at 7:12 PM

      I doubt it. That combination of mathematical and programming skills is expected in various fields. And I’m sure every major league team already employs at least one, and probably more, people with those sorts of skills. So I doubt the Cubs tailored the ad to the one person who could fill the position, because probably there are numerous people in the world who could fill it.

    • Roger Moore - Jan 30, 2013 at 7:55 PM

      I’ll agree with Jeremy Fox that it’s not written for a specific candidate. If it were, they would give very specific skills rather than more general categories. For example, in the software category they list 4 packages and mention “or similar”. If they were targeting a specific person, they’d list only the software that person already knows and leave out the other software; they’d certainly never include “or similar”, which opens the door for other candidates.

  5. westtribetobe - Jan 30, 2013 at 6:41 PM

    That’s not really that ridiculous at all… An advanced degree and 5 years of business intelligence for a director position?

  6. cur68 - Jan 30, 2013 at 6:44 PM

    I can’t program, never managed any of “SQL Server, Microsoft Access, My SQL, Oracle” and I have only an internet search browser’s acquaintance with saberstats but I got the rest. However I can also mange the care of preterm, severely unwell, and/or birth anomalous infants. This should serve me well in dealing with player agents, sportswriters, media in general, and owners. This last more than compensates for my lack of the trivial qualifications mentioned in points 4, 6 & 7.

    Failing this application I would like to be considered for back-up catcher. I can even change my name to “Molina” for this gig. C’mon. I got my own tools of ignorance and everything.

  7. derklempner - Jan 30, 2013 at 6:47 PM

    I’m not sure why “[d]emonstrated expertise with SQL Server, Microsoft Access, My SQL, Oracle, database administration/structuring, data warehousing and data modeling” is part of the job description.

    When I worked for the Cubs’ IT department, we never let anyone outside the department futz with the software (of any kind) on the servers. This was implemented solely because of a few stupid decisions by former front office employees that had negative effects on the IT infrastructure and backbone. Hell, they won’t even let the employees move their own computers if they are switching desks or offices.

    I can tell you for a fact that if there’s anything computer-related (or phone-related or video-system-related) going on in the front office for the Cubs, the IT staff handles it.

    • fanofevilempire - Jan 30, 2013 at 6:55 PM

      thanks for clearing that up.

    • cur68 - Jan 30, 2013 at 7:09 PM

      So I’m good for this gig then? Cool.

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Jan 30, 2013 at 8:50 PM

      You are going to be working with Tom Tango, one of the brightest minds in the SABR world (and the guy who created wOBA and FIP). You don’t think it’s a good idea to know how to query DB’s using SQL/Access when you are running some model(s)?

      • derklempner - Jan 31, 2013 at 3:01 AM

        I didn’t say anything about only accessing databases, but the job description mentioned administrating them. Each of the player development guys have access to the same large database, but actually administrating it? No, that’s something they only let one or two IT people handle; people with extensive experience and who do all of the coding and administration for it, plus other internal sites and databases.

  8. jwbiii - Jan 30, 2013 at 7:13 PM

    Advanced degree or equivalent experience in statistics, mathematics, computer science, or a related quantitative field. 21 years as a programmer/analyst
    Demonstrated project management, problem-solving, and teaching abilities. Not so much.
    Demonstrated ability to communicate difficult and complex concepts at an appropriate level to colleagues possessing a wide range of backgrounds and perspectives. Yeah.
    Demonstrated expert-level knowledge (of at least 5 years) with baseball-specific data, modern statistical techniques, and sabermetric analysis. What’s an expert?
    Demonstrated expertise with R, STATA, SPSS, SAS, or similar software. 20 years with SAS.
    Demonstrated expertise with SQL Server, Microsoft Access, My SQL, Oracle, database administration/structuring, data warehousing and data modeling. No, yes, no, yes, yes, yes, yes.
    Knowledge and demonstrated ability in the areas of programming, software-coding, ETL, and/or machine learning techniques. You can’t have database and stat pack experience without programming/coding experience. You can’t have data warehousing experience without ETL experience. That’s a clown question, Theo.

    • cur68 - Jan 30, 2013 at 7:17 PM

      You invented TOOTBLAN. Put that on the CV. Its gonna count BIG.

  9. APBA Guy - Jan 30, 2013 at 7:13 PM

    A buddy of mine actually has a job like half of this for the Nationals. He structures the stat database(s) and runs a lot of custom queries in response to various team searches and problems, so that’s why the knowledge of Oracle and SQL Server comes in handy. The MS Access stuff comes into play when they need a smallish database done quickly for some rush job with data not in the big database, or extracts from the big database that need some weird manipulations that are easier to do outside the big data structure. In addition to the stat package work there is a lot of custom work that goes on, hence the programming (mainly Oracle scripting, not a lot of C/C++) and so forth. My buddy’s job is obviously on the data side. The higher level interpretation of the results is left to others.

    Which is what surprises me about what the Cubs want. They want the heavy nerd component AND the interpretive qualitative baseball side as well. They may find that, it’s only 1 job, but a lot of teams split the position because the nerd side really is a full-time gig if you expect it to be done with serious expertise. Just the Oracle component alone requires serious investment in time, study , and experience.

  10. Dug - Jan 30, 2013 at 7:28 PM

    Nate Silver qualifies. Unquestionably. Founder: Baseball Prospectus so he knows baseball stats. If he can explain the nuances of elections, polls and demographics to us mere mortals, he can teach anyone anything. As for the rest of the programming ability, who cares? He knows his stuff!

  11. mianfr - Jan 30, 2013 at 7:45 PM

    Do they accept new grads?

  12. indaburg - Jan 30, 2013 at 8:09 PM

    Great, now you’ve got me wasting time looking at all of MLB’s available job openings.

    • thebadguyswon - Jan 30, 2013 at 9:49 PM

      Most of them are junk.

  13. Minoring In Baseball - Jan 30, 2013 at 8:42 PM

    Looks like they’re looking for a ‘seven tool’ emplyee. They may have to draft a four tool one, and hope he/she develops the other requirements necessary.
    http://minoringinbaseball.com/

  14. jimmerg31385 - Jan 30, 2013 at 9:52 PM

    If you know how to use sas you most likely now SQL. Stata is extremely easy to use.

  15. umrguy42 - Jan 30, 2013 at 10:57 PM

    Advanced degree or equivalent experience in statistics, mathematics, computer science, or a related quantitative field. – MS in CompSci, with PhD work (incomplete)
    Demonstrated project management, problem-solving, and teaching abilities. – Some management, and did teaching work as a Grad TA (including complete control over a couple classes).
    Demonstrated ability to communicate difficult and complex concepts at an appropriate level to colleagues possessing a wide range of backgrounds and perspectives. – Hopefully. See the teaching, also, presented a few papers at conferences. (Maybe call this “work in progress”?)
    Demonstrated expert-level knowledge (of at least 5 years) with baseball-specific data, modern statistical techniques, and sabermetric analysis. – Ok, you’ve got me here.
    Demonstrated expertise with R, STATA, SPSS, SAS, or similar software. – Okay, nope. I can claim some passing experience with Matlab, though :)
    Demonstrated expertise with SQL Server, Microsoft Access, My SQL, Oracle, database administration/structuring, data warehousing and data modeling. – Yes, sorta, yes, a little, not really, no, and I don’t think so. Can fudge it, maybe. Took a data mining class in grad school.
    Knowledge and demonstrated ability in the areas of programming, software-coding, ETL, and/or machine learning techniques. – See the data mining bit. Would have to fudge it.

    Of course, my biggest problem? I’m a Cardinals fan :D

    • jwbiii - Jan 30, 2013 at 11:50 PM

      If you can handle Matlab, you can fake SPSS.

      • cur68 - Jan 31, 2013 at 1:40 AM

        With the help of google anyone can fake SPSS.

  16. psousa1 - Jan 31, 2013 at 9:37 AM

    There should be a disclaimer in the job description that states: “President (Epstein) reserves the right to scrap job description and lavish money on players who have demonstrated they are in a career decline and then claim he was a victim of .”

    Good luck Cub fans. You have a guy at the helm who only points with his index finger and never his thumb and when all else fails leaks the dirty laundry to Peter Gammons.

    (It is ironic how after Epstein triumphantly declared the emancipation of baseball ops, from the front office, the Red Sox went into decline and became a POS on wheels. Oh wait, I just read this last week, it wasn’t his fault.)

    • mazblast - Jan 31, 2013 at 11:52 AM

      Nothing that went wrong with the Red Sox during Theo’s tenure was his fault. Everything that went right with the Red Sox in 2004 and 2007, even if done by Duquette before The Boy Wonder arrived on the scene, was Theo’s doing. Theo said so, therefore it was true.

      It must be great to control the narrative the way Theo used to be able to do.

      Getting back to the subject–Looks like a wish list to me. Seven “must” qualifications; they’ll be lucky to get five.

      • 18thstreet - Jan 31, 2013 at 4:50 PM

        Good grief, the man won two world series with the Boston Red Sox. We’re willing to overlook a few flaws.

  17. unlost1 - Jan 31, 2013 at 9:53 AM

    no, i don’t have that experience, but i’m willing to learn. would that work?

  18. 18thstreet - Jan 31, 2013 at 10:10 AM

    I think they should just sign the players with the most RBIs.They don’t need fancy computers.

  19. flosox - Jan 31, 2013 at 4:12 PM

    I’m not sure I understand any of that to EVEN lie about it…ha ha

  20. stew48 - Jan 31, 2013 at 7:07 PM

    cur68—I am an ancient Cubs fan. Thanks for the laughs. All I could think of during the comments was that scouts and others no longer evaluate players. For instance, would you use Oracle to describe Bill Mazeroski’s pivot at second base on the DP? It is still, easlily, the very best I have ever seen. Would Williams’ ability to see the seams be reduced to some nerd term for evaluation? I bet 90% of today’s managers shudder when called into player evaluation meetings. No matter, thanks again for some chuckles.

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