Jim Margalus of South Side Sox, transcribing an interview with Steve Stone on the Boers and Bernstein Show on 670 The Score, writes that White Sox broadcasts will include more Sabermetrics during the 2014 season. A snippet of the interview provided by Margalus:
Stone: I just want to mention one thing that you’ll be really interested in. I have actually been studying up, and will continue to, because we’re going to kind of introduce — we might not call it this because this is, y’know, the evil empire — but we’re going to introduce some sabermetrics into the broadcast this year.
Bernstein: /exaggerated gasp
Stone: We’re going to actually explain to our viewers a bit about how it’s used as a tool, and try to explain that it’s not *the* tool, but it’s *a* tool, and used correctly.
Stone cited Wins Above Replacement (WAR), batting average on balls in play (BABIP), and defensive runs saved (DRS). You can imagine Hawk Harrelson’s enthusiasm right now.
David Ortiz did one of those “Undercover Lyft” spots for, well, Lyft, in which famous people disguise themselves while driving passengers around. Yes, they’re ads, but they’re still pretty funny. At least this one was.
Best parts: (1) the woman who says she has two David Ortiz shirts to which Undercover Ortiz responds, “actually, all my shirts are his shirts”; and (2) when Ortiz agrees with someone that baseball games are “so loooong.” Oh, and at one point he tells a woman who said she was going to the Red Sox game that night that he was too. After he unmasked himself, she explains his own joke to him. Which, ooohhkay.
In other news, people who take Lyfts in Boston either don’t watch much baseball, because Ortiz’s costume is NOT very concealing, or else they simply don’t look at their Lyft driver while in the car, at all.
Scouting in Venezuela: “Someone is going to get killed. It’s just a matter of time”
Ben Badler of Baseball America has a story about how major league scouts who cover Venezuela are unhappy with the rules imposed upon them by the league. Rules, they say, which unreasonably prohibit them from scouting Venezuelan players in centralized, team-controlled locations or, alternatively, flying them to team facilities in the Dominican Republic or elsewhere.
The result: international scouts are forced to travel all over Venezuela to evaluate prospect. And, given how destabilized and dangerous Venezuela has become, they believe their safety is at risk:
“MLB’s rules that limit our ability to travel a Venezuelan guy to the Dominican Republic, that limit our ability to get them in a complex at different ages, all these rules are solely contributing to the risks that all of us are taking traveling from complex to complex, facility to facility in the streets,” said one international director. “Someone is going to get killed. It’s just a matter of time, and it’s on MLB when it happens, because they’re the ones who created these rules.”
As Badler notes, Major League Baseball itself has moved its annual national showcase out of the country due to safety concerns. It will not, however, relax scouting rules — which seem arbitrary on their surface in the first place — in order to make the job of international scouts safer.
It seems that Rob Manfred and the league owe their employees better than this. Or at the very least owe them an explanation why they don’t think they do.