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Ruben Amaro Jr. and the Phillies might hire a stat-head

Sep 30, 2013, 2:44 PM EDT

Pittsburgh Pirates v Philadelphia Phillies Getty Images

Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. has always prided himself on making decisions based on scouting and has often mocked the importance of statistical analysis.

But after going 154-170 over the past two seasons Amaro is talking about changing his approach, at least a little bit:

We’re going to make some changes. I think we’re doing some stuff analytically to change the way we do some evaluations. Look, we’re going to continue to be a scouting organization. That said, I think we owe it to ourselves to look at some other ways to evaluate. We’re going to build more analytics into it. Is it going to change dramatically the way we go about our business? No. But we owe it to ourselves to at least explore other avenues.

But wait, here’s the kicker from Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com:

Amaro said the club might hire a person with an analytics background. “We may bring someone in from the outside, but we have not decided that yet,” Amaro said. “If we have any changes at all, they will be pretty minor.”

Does that mean Amaro and the Phillies have yet to employ anyone with an analytics background? If so, that’s pretty astounding in 2013. Or, you know, 2003 even.

  1. andreweac - Sep 30, 2013 at 2:51 PM

    Blasphemy! Geeks in their grandmother’s basements don’t understand tWtW!

    • jwbiii - Sep 30, 2013 at 2:53 PM

      Neither do the players that Amaro & Co. employ.

  2. toodrunktotastethischicken - Sep 30, 2013 at 2:52 PM

    Jonah fucking Hill could probably do a better job than their current stats/analysis department

  3. heyblueyoustink - Sep 30, 2013 at 2:58 PM

    While we’re at it, can someone tell Rueben that they can digitally record things these days, and he can put the film reels back on the shelf.

    • moogro - Sep 30, 2013 at 8:21 PM

      I love when football players talk about watching “game film” when they never have in their lives.

  4. mdpickles - Sep 30, 2013 at 3:02 PM

    Pat Gillick did just fine w/o a stat-head. I’m sure a stat-guy can be helpful, but would a stat guy prevent 5 yr. 120 million contract to Ryan Howard from happening?

    • richarddansky - Sep 30, 2013 at 3:29 PM

      Yes.

    • jwbiii - Sep 30, 2013 at 3:44 PM

      Prevent it? Not really. Strongly advise against it? Absolutely. It is not clear how much influence the analytical front office person to be named later will have in the Phillies’ decision making process.

      • natstowngreg - Sep 30, 2013 at 4:19 PM

        Indeed. How you inform your decisions is one thing. How you make the actual decisions is another. You can be knee-deep in stats and still make bad decisions (in 20-20 hindsight, of course). Or, you can use a Ouija board and be right sometimes. (No, I’m not suggesting that Ruben uses a Ouija board).

  5. sandrafluke2012 - Sep 30, 2013 at 3:09 PM

    Who are you guys to bash this guy? 2 WS and a title

    • paperlions - Sep 30, 2013 at 3:12 PM

      Little of which was this guy’s doing. He was riding the wave of talent drafted and developed by Arbuckle and Gillick.

    • jrbdmb - Sep 30, 2013 at 3:13 PM

      With a lineup handed to him on a silver platter by Gillick. What’s he done since then besides handing out big contracts to aging veterans?

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Sep 30, 2013 at 8:35 PM

        What’s he done since then…

        Lose?

  6. paperlions - Sep 30, 2013 at 3:24 PM

    Many have regularly reffered to the Phillies as not having any sort of analytical department, that is what people mean when they say “every team (well, almost) incorporates both analytics and scouting into their decision making process.

    I really have no idea what Amaro is scared of….the Cardinals have had a growing analytical department since before Jockety left, but most people would still say that it is their player evaluation, drafting, and development that are the strength of the organization…not that their analytical department hasn’t been instrumental in making those decisions….but scouts and coaches would get most of the credit…and should, since they still represent most of the employees.

    Heck, a huge part of the Pirates success has been their awesome defense that is more due to great positioning of fielders and the buy in by players and coaches of what their analytical department was selling with respect to defensive alignments.

  7. scoutsaysweitersisabust - Sep 30, 2013 at 3:48 PM

    I picture Amaro frustrating in his office: “Math is so damn hard. Aw hell, if I had wanted schooling, I would have gone to school.”

    • adimo82 - Sep 30, 2013 at 7:49 PM

      He graduated from Stanford.

      • scoutsaysweitersisabust - Oct 1, 2013 at 8:45 AM

        Does someone need to explain the concept of a joke to you? How about sarcasm?

        Also, big fail on everyone who didn’t pickup the Firefly reference.

      • adimo82 - Oct 1, 2013 at 12:05 PM

        No I get it, I’m just being a smart ass.

  8. zzalapski - Sep 30, 2013 at 4:18 PM

    Analytics background? Hell, someone who can procure scouting reports from less than seven years ago would be an improvement.

  9. Chip Caray's Eyebrows - Sep 30, 2013 at 4:24 PM

    While they’re at it, I hear they’re finally going to upgrade their dial-up internet connection in the club’s offices.

  10. tfbuckfutter - Sep 30, 2013 at 4:50 PM

    It takes a big man to admit he was wrong about something….even if it is 20 years after popular opinion shifts.

    Too bad he’s not a politician. He’d actually be pretty progressive in that respect.

  11. yousuxxors - Sep 30, 2013 at 4:58 PM

    the analytics department isn’t suppose to be the end all be all but its a tool to aid in your scouting and development. why he wouldn’t do that is beyond me.

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