One great thing about the baseball Winter Meetings is that you have access to all 30 managers (this year that number is 29, as the Baltimore Orioles are currently sans a manager). A formal media session is held for each, and with 30 minutes of allotted time, a multitude of questions are asked by the collection of writers on hand.
I asked the following question, using roughly the same words, to a dozen of the managers: “We’ve seen some non-traditional coaching staff hires as of late, with pitching and hitting analytics being the driver. What are your thoughts on that?”
Here is what they had to say (answers edited slightly for concision and clarity):
David Bell, Cincinnati Reds: “I love having different perspectives in everything we do in this game. Having different opinions and perspectives, from people with different backgrounds and expertise, helps the decision-making process. You’re creating an advantage for yourself. I think it’s an exciting time in the game because of that. And it’s a great time to be a player, because you have all these different resources to pull from to make adjustments a lot faster. You can maximize who you are as a player.
“I do see it as a balance. There are certain parts of this game we all love that aren’t going away. The competition. The hard work. The teamwork. We just have more resource to make all of that work better. It’s important to communicate, and to work together with all departments, and really have no ego, and be able to work really well together.”
Bud Black, Colorado Rockies: “I like the creativeness of thinking from the people who were making hires. I think it shows that it’s not a closed box; it’s opened for whoever might have a skill set that a certain team is looking for, to give it a shot. I think that’s great. Read the rest of this entry »