The big news of the morning and afternoon on Wednesday was the resignation of Angels General Manager Jerry Dipoto, but for all intents and purposes he was basically deposed from office after some issues that he had with manager Mike Scioscia had boiled over and were made public. Evidently, Dipoto grew very frustrated with Scioscia’s, as well as the coaching staff’s, unwillingness to utilize and present analytical data that he put together regarding defensive shifts among other things. So it was the new school and more progressive analytical mind of Dipoto versus the old school grit of Scioscia. Ultimately, Scioscia and his 10-year/$50 million contract that runs through 2018 prevailed.
If the reports are true and Scioscia has been neglecting the information that Dipoto was preparing for him, then that is a shame that Scioscia is not making the adjustments to a game that is evolving every year with more and more types of different information. The game has progressed so much in the new millennium beginning with the Oakland A’s General Manager Billy Beane and the “moneyball” concept that utilizes sabermetric tools and analytical information to assemble a competitive team with a mid-low market budget.
Then the game took another big step forward in recent years with the onslaught of extreme defensive shifts (the number of shifts used in all of MLB increased 500 percent from 2010 to 2014). Defensive shifts were first made very popular within organizations such as the Pittsburgh Pirates and Tampa Bay Rays who both have made great strides in the recent seasons. Their recent success can be attributed to the way that they established a certain more analytical philosophy beginning in the front office, implemented it throughout the organization (Minor Leagues included), and executed it in games. Continue reading