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Phillies possibly acquire supercomputer

Are the Phillies the MLB "mystery team" that's brought in dangerous, sexy new technology to gain the upper hand during a game?

Chris Trotman

Cork Gaines tells us that a "mystery team" has acquired a huge supercomputer for analytic use during games. The Phillies have a history as a "mystery team," so let's outline the facts from the article:

"While electronic devices are banned from Major League Baseball dugouts, that won't stop one mystery team from using a supercomputer during games to direct strategy."

To date, the Phillies' in-game technological advancements have been simply staggering:

The team has begun a nerdly renaissance this offseason, going so far as to hire an analytics guy, allow him to talk to the internet, and not sign the free agent with the most dingers.

The next natural step would be not just a computer, but a supercomputer.

Ruben: Yeah, hey, guy. Need one of these.

**Taps computer with World Series ring**

Computer salesman: A, uh... computer?

Ruben: **snorts condescendingly** Yeah.

Computer salesman: Well do you have any idea what sort of model you're interested in? Or do you want to tell me what sort of usage you're trying to get out of your--

Ruben: **makes 'speed it up' gesture while looking out window**

Computer salesman: I'm sorry?

Ruben: Look, why don't you give me the one with the biggest engine and then you can cuddle back up inside one of these things and nurse on some wires sticking out of the mother board or whatever.

Computer salesman: **speechless**

**Ruben leaves store with refrigerator with 'SUPERCOMPUTER' spraypainted on the side**

"Cray CEO Pete Ungaro recently told The Economist that an unnamed MLB team purchased a Cray supercomputer with the intention of being able to analyze large volumes of information in a very short amount of time. Specifically, the supercomputer will allow the team to process information during a game quickly enough that they will be able to use the information to influence strategy during the same game."

The Phillies have a lot of catching up to do, and most teams have computers. Not wanting to embark on a Hinkie-esque era of chess moves and waiting patiently, the Phillies may believe they've purchased a machine big enough to bypass all that general managing everyone seems so keen on. Cray supercomputers go for up to $6 million, or 8.3% of one TV deal.

Scientists have spoken for generations about man's progression from binoculars to refrigerators they think are supercomputers.

"The Economist says Ungaro described the team as one that 'exemplifies an organization that, five years ago, most people would not have dreamed would need, or even want, a supercomputer.'"

Phillies Executive Offices, 2009

Ruben: **pops comically large champagne bottle, begins watering plants with it** Nothing but the best for you. You're all my champions.

Scott Proefrock: Hey, Ruben, glad I caught you. I've been doing a lot of reading on what they're trying to do in Oakland, and I've gotta say, it's starting to make a lot of sen--

Ruben: Scott, what did I do this year?

Scott: ...

Ruben: Scott.

Scott: Please don't--

Ruben: SCOTT.

Scott: *sigh* "crushed it."

Ruben: I crushed it. And what did I do to your inhaler?

Scott: ...You crushed it.

Ruben: Learn to breathe, dorkus! Anything else, take it up with my assistant.

**Knock at the door**

Ruben: Yeah!

**Kyle Kendrick enters**

Kyle: Mr. Amaro, Scott Proefrock is here to--Oh.

" sounds more like a big market club that has recently been successful without a heavy Sabermetrics reputation."

  • Big market club
  • Recently been successful
  • Without a heavy Sabermetrics reputation

It's the Phillies.