Talking Phillies with Spike Eskin

I spoke with Spike Eskin yesterday on his “Time’s Yours” podcast. We discussed my book as well as Phillies memories of yore, the 2012 team, and the traditionalist/Saberist divide. Click here to listen to it, and make sure to follow Spike on Twitter @SpikeEskin.

I will be on ESPN’s Baseball Today podcast next week and perhaps 610 WIP towards the end of February, so be sure to keep tabs on that. Regular posting should resume here this week — apologies for the lack of content lately as I have been extremely busy with the book. And, to be quite honest, there has been almost nothing interesting to talk about. Is there anything you would like us to cover? Let us know in the comments below.

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6 comments

  1. Ed

    February 07, 2012 09:05 AM

    I’d like too see a comprehensive case for why you think the phillies are/aren’t saber oriented.

  2. Ed

    February 07, 2012 11:33 AM

    Thanks Bill! So I read it and I wanted to run an idea or two by you.

    I’m not so convinced I buy the argument that for close to ten years now the Phillies have successfully employed a misdirection/cards close to the vest strategy. Although it is entirely possible for in-house information to never make it to media, I believe that info is equally likely to not make its way to other clubs over that time period.

    No, the Phillies havn’t written a flag planting book like Moneyball, but we know of several teams who openly embrace sabermetrics (think of any Theo Epstein club for example).

    Over 10 years its possible that some Phillies’ baseball-side people have changed organizations (scouts etc.). Assuming this has happened, they would carry with them information on how the Phillies embrace/or not embrace sabermetrics.

    This is still a difficult question to answer as Bradley Woodrum threw the Phils in the ‘in between’ section of an article on this very topic today: www.fangraphs.com/blogs/index.php/2012-sabermetric-teams-the-market-for-saber-players/

    Thanks again!

    -Ed

  3. Bill Baer

    February 07, 2012 11:44 AM

    In retrospect, it seems like the Phillies’ biggest strength over the past ~15 years was scouting (lots of overlap with the Mike Arbuckle era, and he has since found success with the Kansas City Royals). Since Arbuckle left, the Phillies haven’t seen nearly as much success with prospects, though to be fair, their draft slots have been considerably lower (and even non-existent in some areas).

    I remember reading recently that the Phillies were one of only a handful of teams that didn’t have a data analyst. You’ve seen teams pluck guys out of the Saber world such as Mike Fast (Astros) and Josh Kalk (Rays). The Phillies haven’t entered this realm, at least as far as the public has seen.

    I think Woodrum’s “in-between” label is accurate. It would be a hell of a coincidence for the Phillies to not adopt the most solid tenets of advanced statistical analysis and then improve drastically in those areas in only a short period of time. They are, however, definitely not as literate as the Indians, Rays, and Red Sox in that regard.

    It’s a very interesting question and one I don’t think we’ll ever truly know, at least not in the near future.

  4. Fredrick Chang

    February 08, 2012 12:01 AM

    I will keep my ears open during my frequent tune ins to WIP.

    Still one of your lurkers.

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