MLB Advanced Media hires Tom Tango

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If you have dabbled in Sabermetrics to any degree, you’ve likely heard of Tom Tango or at least read the book he helped author, along with Mitchel Lichtman and Andrew Dolphin, called The Book: Playing the Percentages in Baseball. To say Tango has influenced the use of and popularity of Sabermetrics would be a tremendous understatement.

MLB Advanced Media has hired Tango as a Senior Database Architect of Stats, as Dave Cameron revealed in a Q&A with Tango at FanGraphs. The two discuss Tango’s role with MLBAM and what lies in the future for Statcast, which has given us some useful metrics like exit velocity and launch angle. Tango touches on some of his personal data priorities and in particular details how important it is that the new data shows us where the fielder begins. (That’s big, for example, in figuring out route efficiency.) The Q&A is a pretty good read if that’s your thing.

MLB has already hired a couple pillars of the Sabermetric community in Daren Willman and Mike Petriello. It’s good to see yet another one added and put in a position where they can make a real impact. So, congratulations to Tango. I am selfishly excited to see what Statcast data will look like in the near future.

Donaldson ejected for kicking dirt on plate after home run

David Banks-USA TODAY Sports
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Minnesota’s Josh Donaldson managed to get ejected while hitting a home run.

Donaldson barked at plate umpire Dan Bellino for the second time in the sixth inning of a 4-3 loss to the Chicago White Sox on Thursday.

With the score 2-2, Bellino called a strike when the 2015 AL MVP checked his swing on a 2-0 pitch from Reynaldo Lopez.

Manager Rocco Baldelli came out to speak with Bellino, and Donaldson homered down the left-field line on the next offering. After rounding the bases, Donaldson kicked dirt at home plate as he crossed it.

Bellino ejected him immediately, and Donaldson, realizing he had missed home plate, returned to the plate to touch it and then argued as he kicked more dirt on it.

Donaldson also had argued with Bellino on a 1-1 breaking ball in the first inning that appeared to be high but was called a strike, leading to a strikeout.

“We need Josh on the field, out there playing, and at third base,” Baldelli said. “That’s when we’re at our best. And so that’s really the end of it. I think we can move past it at his point, and go from here.”

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