Today, Ruben Amaro talked to reporters and said some words about the Phillies and their use of analytics. Behold, quotes from Todd Zolecki's piece.
"We're going to make some changes," Amaro said. "I think we're doing some stuff analytically to change the way do some evaluations. Look, we are 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..."
That is vague and non-committal, but still slightly encouraging. Now if you would, Mr. Amaro, please destroy the small amount of hope you just gave me.
"...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..."
So you haven't explored it, but you're already saying that it's not going to dramatically change the way you do things. I think that's a great attitude!
"...We may bring someone in from the outside, but we have not decided that yet."
As far as the rest of the front office and scouting department, Amaro said, "If we have any changes at all, they will be pretty minor."
So you want to incorporate more stats into your evaluation, something that you're presumably not doing now, but you're not sure if you want to bring in someone who actually knows how to do that. Nor do you want to make any other big changes to your front office and scouting department, rewarding them all for a job well done this year. If the beats had let Amaro talk any longer, I'm guessing he would have said "I'm also going to find the person who suggested we use six year old scouting reports for Delmon Young and give them a big promotion and a crown to wear around the office. That guy is tops!"
Listen, I'm pleased as punch that Amaro is even acknowledging that advanced stats might be able to help the team. But his comments don't give me a lot of hope they're going to have an open mind. They're going to continue to be a scouting organization, no big changes are going to be made, and they don't know if they're going to bring in a professional analytics guy. Oh yeah. they'll "look" at other ways to evaluate, but his quotes make me think he's just doing his due diligence as the GM of a team that just got their ass walloped.
Maybe I'm being too hard on Amaro here, but I'm no longer at a point where I'm just going to take him at his word. The man has to earn it. I'm happy he's talked about it, but they're just words, and tepid ones at that. I'm not about to throw a parade for him for saying something that most other GMs have both realized and actually put into practice years and years ago. Plus, look at his words! Amaro talked about using analytics and then followed it up by saying that new information is not going to markedly change the way things are done! Can you blame me for being skeptical?