Ruben Amaro, always the smartest guy in the room (in his mind, anyway), gave an unlikely interview to FanGraphs today. Talk about strange bedfellows. FanGraphs is a Sabermetrics-focused site and Amaro is, well, an idiot. But he doesn’t think so. Here’s what he told them about the Phillies’ competitive advantage that aided in decreasing their win total from 81 to 63 over the last four seasons:
“You can’t ever deny the numbers. That’s true for every GM and every baseball person, regardless of whether you’re ‘old school’ or ‘new school.’ When a scout walks in, the first thing he does is pick up a stat sheet and look at what the player does and what he’s been doing. The numbers don’t lie.
“I’ve always believed in analytics. I just didn’t make it all public (in Philadelphia). I thought it was more of a competitive advantage for me to keep our thought-process about analytics closer to the vest. We didn’t boast about what we were doing — we didn’t discuss it openly — because I didn’t think it was anybody’s business but our own as to how we evaluated.
“We got a little more aggressive, as far as building our analytics department, probably three-or-so years ago. It did maybe become a little more public then. But that doesn’t mean we weren’t utilizing analytics to some degree earlier than that.”
HAHA. This is the same guy who said Phillies scouts used analytics because they picked up a stat sheet and who doesn’t understand the difference between plate appearances and at-bats.
“I was a biology major (at Stanford) and my area of concentration was physical therapy and sports medicine, so when I looked at medical reports, I knew a little more about them than most guys would. I was very proud of our medical staff in Philadelphia. Mike Ciccotte and Scott Sheridan were very knowledgeable. They were always learning about, and developing, preventative measures.”
I had a token major at Stanford, so I’m basically a doctor. And then he exalts the medical staff that oversaw Roy Halladay’s career careening off a cliff, Chase Utley’s degenerative knee issue, and Ryan Howard’s slow decay into a doughy amoeba with the muscular integrity of a beached whale drying out in the sun. Yeah, man, Amaro and the Phils were so good at, like, math and doctor stuff, it’s a wonder they ever blew up the whole thing.
Read the interview here— it will make you want to punch your own face.
H/T to Hardball Talk