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Jeff Luhnow on bridging the gap between FO and field personnel

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#1 Willihammer


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Posted 22 August 2014 - 08:56 AM

Really interesting read


#2 JB_Iowa


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Posted 22 August 2014 - 11:27 AM

Thanks so much for posting this. 


In a way this highlights one of the things I've mentioned about Jack Goin.  I have to think that starting out as an intern and working his way up to God of Statistical Analysis in the organization (or whatever his title is) is beneficial to him.


He has worked with the Twins on-field management and front office long enough that he should be able to gauge what approaches might work with them and where he can best introduce change.


He might be shocked by the reception he'd get from a different on-field manager team but I do think he probably has the background to do the best he can with the people currently in the positions.

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#3 Kirby_waved_at_me


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Posted 22 August 2014 - 11:55 AM

Remember that incident towards the start of the season between Jed Lowrie and Houston Manager Bo Porter?


I wonder if there was some residual resentment from Porter to even be in a shift in the first place - that seeing that Lowrie even had the option to bunt against a shift was melting Porter's brain a bit. Like, why are we shifting on this guy, he's not Big Papi, or even Joe Mauer? He wouldn't be bunting if we were playing straight up.


The message being sent from Front Office and/or from the Stats guys in the front office down to the field must be a delicate balance of saying that they've done the work, crunched the numbers, found what will help the team be more successful but not "we know what is best for you" or "Trust us, we're smarter than you". (not that I think they would say something like that or think that, but a manager might feel like that is the subtext) The on field staff has to be willing to trust that making changes to what they've always done is in the best interests of the team's success (and by extension, the security of their own jobs).  

#4 Willihammer


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Posted 22 August 2014 - 12:23 PM


As a result, Luhnow said, the Astros realized that in order to make an experiment stick, “You’ve got to market it to the people that are involved.”5 This spring, the Astros spent an hour explaining the thought process behind the shift to the team’s pitching staff, building a tool to display evidence that would answer any questions the players might ask. “I think they weren’t completely satisfied, but I think they felt like we had at least given them a lot more information, and this year we haven’t had anywhere near the pushback from our pitching staff that we did last year,” Luhnow said. Houston also started shifting in the minor leagues to ease the adjustment to the majors.


Sounds like any other organization really. I know I've been on the ground floor when some decree is sent down from on high, you don't know where it came from, whose idea it was, what their thinking was behind it. Probably your manager doesn't like it either. You try it out for a little while but pretty soon you're cheating it and only after things get really bad does someone show their face and you start a dialogue where everyone can air their objections and then management can go back and tweak the policy to make it better and make everyone happy.


I think its important to get the manager on board first, then approach the grunts with a united front. Give them a chance to respond, tweak the policy if necessary, and then implement the patched policy to get the best results quickest, and earn some respect from employees in the process.