Joe Maddon’s Still Mad About MLB Analytics

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Analytics are an increasingly used tool all across sports. Joe Maddon helped pioneer the use of them in baseball, but today, he’s not all that fond of them.

At least, he doesn’t like the way analytics are used in modern baseball.

Maddon appeared on “The Athletic Baseball Show” podcast and spoke his mind about analytics’ — and his own — place in the game.

Maddon said front offices and analytics departments are creeping into dugouts and taking away the autonomy managers previously had for decades.

“You have to be philosophically aligned, you have to be able to disagree, you have to be able to argue, and you have to be, as a manager, left alone, also, when the game begins,” Maddon said.

“Because if groups only want middle managers, I’m not going to fit anymore.”

The former Rays, Cubs, and most recently, Angels manager said that the analytics were getting overused when just a little bit of info would do the trick.

“It gets to the point where the pregame is a meeting every day. And it’s an elongated meeting. And players don’t need all this information, quite frankly,” Maddon said. “They need nuggets. They don’t need dissertations.”

Maddon Thinks Oversuing Analytics Could Cost Baseball Its Human Element

Maddon touched on his relationship with former Cubs general manager and current Major League Baseball consultant Theo Epstein.

While the two are associated with the use of analytics, both have changed their tunes.

“But what’s happening now, what Theo is talking about, and I know what I’m talking about — I think we’re on the same page — is, again, (people are) just relying on numbers, and the human element is being subtracted.”

Maddon went on to drop a very Joe Maddon line to illustrate this point.

“I’ve talked about data versus art for the last several years, and that is really overrunning the heartbeat. The art of the game is really being held secondarily, where it’s the numerical component that everybody wants to promote.”

That’s deep, man.

The Angels fired Maddon earlier this season while the team was in the midst of a t12-game losing streak.

Follow on Twitter: @Matt_Reigle

Written by Matt Reigle

Matt is a University of Central Florida graduate and a long-suffering Philadelphia Flyers fan living in Orlando, Florida. He can usually be heard playing guitar, shoe-horning obscure quotes from The Simpsons into conversations, or giving dissertations to captive audiences on why Iron Maiden is the greatest band of all time.

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