Monday, April 11, 2005

Frank Says RAM This!

So Big Frank doesn't like computers. Are we shocked? I mean, the guy's 104. He likes to nap. He sends out toastariffic relief pitchers into close games to ensure there's no chance of a comeback and extra-innings, so he can get the early bird special at Sizzler. He and Tom McCraw probably play bingo on the team plane. He's a typical senior citizen.

Predictably that article, and its Times counterpart, are getting discussed at Primer. Surprisingly, however, he's not being eviscerated like I thought he would. Thankfully, no one gives a rat's ass about the Nats, otherwise that thread could develop into one of those Sabr Holy Wars.

Frank talks about managing from his gut and not relying on the numbers. He’s right, even though he probably doesn’t realize it.

When Frank talks about computers, he’s not talking about looking at advanced metrics to determine a player’s worth. And besides, that’s the GM’s job anyway. Frank’s talking about looking at the worthless scouting reports and seeing that Carlos Baerga is 3-7 off a pitcher and deciding to play him over Nick Johnson because the Walking Stick is 0-4.

So many of those stats are junk, and no true stathead would ever use them. It’s easy for sportswriters and crusty ol’ scouts to scoff at those computerees by mocking stats like batting average against left-handed pitchers during day games. But, that’s just a straw man. No serious stat-minded person would say those are useful. It’s just trivia. Trivia that the PR departments put out on those worthless pre-game notes sheets to give writers and broadcasters data to stretch an extra few column inches or fill half an inning of broadcast time.

It’s a good thing that Frank’s not following those junk stats!

And, so far, Frank hasn’t appeared to be a small-ball-type manager either. There’s only been one questionable sac bunt: Livan’s last start, he bunted a runner from second to third with one out. There were two botched hit and runs, probably because Cristian Guzman was mystified as to how BPro could determine that he was the best Free Agent signing of the winter.

Besides, Guzman’s a good candidate to hit and run with. He’s pretty effective at slapping the ball in play. (And if you want to get technical, the traditional hit and run is not supposed to result in a single, it’s merely to move the runner up. If he gets a hit, it’s gravy!)

Other than his 1960s-style lineup construction, which Guzman’s execrableness has saved us from, there hasn’t been a whole lot to complain about. (Not that that’s going to stop me from picking every last nit.)

So whether he’s using computers in a BPro-approved way or not, he’s getting the results and he’s not doing anything wacky (Such as when Joe Torre batted Enriquefuckingwilson against Pedro just because he had a few doinks off of him.)

As long as he refrains from that crap, keep on not using computers, Frank! (But, you’re missing a lot of porn!)


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