Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Here's old school: "We probably won't win until 2018," Pat Gillick.

Here's new school: "The hell with that, let's tweak a little here and there and give the Faithful something to be proud of in 2016."

Matt Klentak, 35, is the new GM to replace Junior. Klentak's  baseball pedigree is short as a  rat's tail. He was the former shortstop for the Big Green at Dartmouth. And, he did a couple of internships,

Whoa, internships? Most of the Faithful — especially the patrons at the Rosewood Tavern and Chickie & Petes — will think he was a ship captain somewhere.

But here's the thing. The kid is most likely smart, coming from Dartmouth, and there's a good chance he might be baseball new school.

The first clue being, Andy MacPhail: he has the "keen ability to understand cutting-edge baseball analytics."

Keen in this case being: "finely sharpened as an edge, so shaped as to cut or pierce substances." Thank you for the online dictionary.

So let me break it down for you.

What's old school? See first sentence reference to Pat Gillick,  who's right now fishing for Black Bass in the Puget Sound. Throw in Larry Bowa, Dave Montgomery, Joe Torre, Pete Mackanin, plus all those dearly departed, like Casey Stengle, John Vukovich and Yogi Berra. Mix it all up and you've got old school baseball.

New school? You know that baseball numbers are as important as the PSSA state tests — how else can you tell if a kid is reading or doing math at grade level? You give him a test.

New school baseball means that you take baseball numbers and create formulas, such as the Pitchf/x, Fieldf/x and Hitf/x formulas, which collect a whole bunch of new data you won't find on BaseballReference.com.

With that new information, you create graphs so complicated you'd think NASA was planning a trip to Mars. Or, you can hire a firm such as Baseball Info Solutions,  to do it for you. On its website, Baseball Info Solutions boasts, "has been supplying top notch, timely, and in-depth baseball data and analytics to it customers for the last ten years."

This is also called sabermetrics, or, "use of keen ability to understand cutting-edge baseball analytics." Thank you, Andy MacPhail.

What teams use sabermetrics? Plenty of them, and you can start with the team that just won the World Series, the Kansas City Royals, with a team payroll of $112.8 million.

So here's the bottom line. New Phillies GM Matt Klentak is a  sabermetrics guy. At least that's what MacPhail said. It's about time the Phillies got into sabermetrics, only took ten years.

So Mr. Klentak, here's what the Faithful want to know:

Can you create some graphs right away and see if you can tweak a few numbers here and there and get two-three new players to add to the Phillies young and upcoming team?

Players that will make 2016 a good year? (definition of good year: not 99 loses.)

Truthfully, we'd be beholden.

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Comments to Roncostello@mail.com

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