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Thread: MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference

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    Stat Wanker Hodiernus RedsManRick's Avatar
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    MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference

    Just got in to Boston for this conference and realized I hadn't asked around RedsZone to see if anybody else was going to be here? Anybody?
    Games are won on run differential -- scoring more than your opponent. Runs are runs, scored or prevented they all count the same. Worry about scoring more and allowing fewer, not which positions contribute to which side of the equation or how "consistent" you are at your current level of performance.

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    The Boss dougdirt's Avatar
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    Re: MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference

    I wish.

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    Member joshua's Avatar
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    I would love to go to this, but I'm afraid I'd look like a drooling idiot surrounded by geniuses. Can you give us the gist of what's going on there? I'm extremely interested?

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    Stat Wanker Hodiernus RedsManRick's Avatar
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    Re: MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference

    It's basically the moneyball conference. THere are different threads focusing on business, marketing, performance analysis, etc.

    http://www.sloansportsconference.com...nal-Agenda.pdf

    I'm most looking forward to the first panel tomorrow morning: Revenge of the Nerds. It features Mark Cuban, Michael Lewis, Nate Silver and Darel Morey.

    I'm just going to geek out for awhile.
    Games are won on run differential -- scoring more than your opponent. Runs are runs, scored or prevented they all count the same. Worry about scoring more and allowing fewer, not which positions contribute to which side of the equation or how "consistent" you are at your current level of performance.

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    Member joshua's Avatar
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    Nice. I would kill somebody in cold blood to be there.

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    Member MikeThierry's Avatar
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    Re: MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference

    Oddly enough, there's some football guys like NFC West blogger for ESPN Mike Sando whose there. Football is attempting to set up it's own version of sabermetrics. I like some of the work that they've done thus far but it's in its infancy stage right now.
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    Member joshua's Avatar
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    I'd imagine it would be much harder for football, and way less accurate. You can't judge a RB or QB solely by his numbers, Everyone is too dependent on the players around them.

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    Re: MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference

    I went a few years back in '09 or '10. Good times
    Go BLUE!!!

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    always ask questions bigredmechanism's Avatar
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    Re: MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference

    Quote Originally Posted by joshua View Post
    I'd imagine it would be much harder for football, and way less accurate. You can't judge a RB or QB solely by his numbers, Everyone is too dependent on the players around them.
    Plus the sample sizes. They play a tenth of the games baseball does. It must be insanely hard to get solid advanced stats that you know you can trust.
    Award Winning Baseball Player

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    Re: MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference

    Quote Originally Posted by RedsManRick View Post
    It's basically the moneyball conference. THere are different threads focusing on business, marketing, performance analysis, etc.

    http://www.sloansportsconference.com...nal-Agenda.pdf

    I'm most looking forward to the first panel tomorrow morning: Revenge of the Nerds. It features Mark Cuban, Michael Lewis, Nate Silver and Darel Morey.

    I'm just going to geek out for awhile.
    Rick I'd love to hear your impressions, etc after you get back. Are you attending simply as a fan, or are you lucky enough to have a professional reason to be there?

    I'd love to go sometime. I can almost justify it for work, but not quite...at least not yet. I'm working on that.

    Btw, one of my grad school profs is (might be 'was' at this point) Mark Cuban's NBA stats guy.

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    Re: MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference

    Quote Originally Posted by BRM13 View Post
    Rick I'd love to hear your impressions, etc after you get back. Are you attending simply as a fan, or are you lucky enough to have a professional reason to be there?

    I'd love to go sometime. I can almost justify it for work, but not quite...at least not yet. I'm working on that.

    Btw, one of my grad school profs is (might be 'was' at this point) Mark Cuban's NBA stats guy.
    BRM, I assume you're referring to Wayne Winston. I'll be taking his class 2 weeks from now and am really looking forward to it . He is now the stats guy for the Knicks and for IU. Here's a pretty cool article about the work he's doing in the NBA, trying to bring more analytics to basketball.

    http://sports.yahoo.com/news/dr-wayn...0962--nba.html

    This conference looks awesome. I'd love to go some day.

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    Re: MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference

    Quote Originally Posted by Hillsdale87 View Post
    BRM, I assume you're referring to Wayne Winston. I'll be taking his class 2 weeks from now and am really looking forward to it . He is now the stats guy for the Knicks and for IU. Here's a pretty cool article about the work he's doing in the NBA, trying to bring more analytics to basketball.

    http://sports.yahoo.com/news/dr-wayn...0962--nba.html

    This conference looks awesome. I'd love to go some day.
    Indeed I am! He is one of the most delightfully eccentric guys you'll ever meet. Very smart, very serious in an academic way, and very approachable. If you are interested in the same things he is he will talk to you for hours. I've always had a great time talking with him.

    The last time I saw him I was kidding him about helping turn around IU basketball (right before last season started) and he took it very seriously. He got very defensive and insisted that he talks to Tom Crean all the time, even showed me his contact info in his cell phone. Hilarious.

    If you want to get him going, ask him about his infamous evaluation of Kevin Durant. It all sounds pretty reasonable when he explains it, but still...

    If you are about take his class, you must be in Bloomington. I really enjoyed my time there!

  15. #13
    Stat Wanker Hodiernus RedsManRick's Avatar
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    Re: MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference

    Quote Originally Posted by BRM13 View Post
    Rick I'd love to hear your impressions, etc after you get back. Are you attending simply as a fan, or are you lucky enough to have a professional reason to be there?

    I'd love to go sometime. I can almost justify it for work, but not quite...at least not yet. I'm working on that.

    Btw, one of my grad school profs is (might be 'was' at this point) Mark Cuban's NBA stats guy.
    Happy to. Mark actually mentioned his backstory with his UI prof; nice that you have an in.

    I've read before and my experience confirmed, the focus is definitely not on baseball. The conference was started by Rockets GM Daryl Morey and basketball and football got the most attention. But since I was there solely to geek out, it was still really fun. I got to see/hear a bunch of people.

    About 1000 of the 2700 attendees were MIT students; that has a noticeable impact on the feel of things. Lots of too eager, too polished business school students and undergrads wearing ill-fitting suit-coats. I didn't want to be yet another fanboy, so I mostly chose not to introduce myself to people. The lone person was Jonah Keri, who I met after one of the few baseball specific paper sessions. It was a paper on improving FIP and that one was fun because Voros McCracken was in the audience, sitting with Cory Schwartz of MLBAM.

    While I really enjoyed the panels (Herm Edwards is just as just as you might suspect, Jack Del Rio came across much smarter), the smaller sessions were more hit and miss. It's tough when you have people from teams who basically can't say anything interesting.


    In any event, it was a blast. Happy to answer to any specific questions. But after having gone to this, I think SABR might be even more fun. If you're going with the intent of job seeking, just realize you're going to be one of literally hundreds. I'd try to make some connections in advance and get meetings set up outside of conference time.
    Games are won on run differential -- scoring more than your opponent. Runs are runs, scored or prevented they all count the same. Worry about scoring more and allowing fewer, not which positions contribute to which side of the equation or how "consistent" you are at your current level of performance.

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    Re: MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference

    Quote Originally Posted by RedsManRick View Post

    About 1000 of the 2700 attendees were MIT students; that has a noticeable impact on the feel of things. Lots of too eager, too polished business school students and undergrads wearing ill-fitting suit-coats.
    Wait, are you talking about the Winter Meetings or the MIT conf? I kid.

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    breath westofyou's Avatar
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    Re: MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference

    Good article

    http://ourgame.mlblogs.com/2013/03/0...dsey-and-cook/

    Although the impulse to improve our understanding and appreciation of baseball through the laying on of numbers had been present from the game’s beginnings, it was not until August 2, 1954, in of all places Life magazine, that the New Statistics movement was truly born. On that date there appeared an article by the game’s designated guru Branch Rickey, supported considerably by statistician Allan Roth, which was optimistically titled “Goodby to Some Old Baseball Ideas.” With the aid of some new mathematical tools, it sought to puncture long-held misconceptions about how the game was divided among its elements (batting, baserunning, pitching, fielding), who was best at playing it, and what caused one team to win and another to lose. This is a pretty fair statement of what the New Statistics is about.

    Although the old ideas remained in place despite his efforts, Rickey had shaken them to their foundations. He attacked the batting average and proposed in its place the On Base Average; advocated the use of Isolated Power (extra bases beyond singles, divided by at bats) as a better measure than slugging percentage; introduced a “clutch” measure of run-scoring efficiency for teams, and a similar concept for pitchers (earned runs divided by baserunners allowed); reaffirmed the basic validity of the ERA and saw the strikeout for the insubstantial stat it was; and more. But the most important thing Rickey did for baseball statistics was to pull it back along the wrong path it had taken at the crossroads long ago: to strip the game and its stats to their essentials and start again, this time remembering that individual stats came into being as an attempt to apportion the players’ contributions to achieving victory, for that is what the game is about.

    “Baseball people generally are allergic to new ideas,” Rickey wrote. “We are slow to change. For fifty-one years I have judged baseball by personal observation, by considered opinion and by accepted statistical methods. But recently I have come upon a device for measuring baseball which has compelled me to put different values on some of my oldest and most cherished theories. It reveals some new and startling truths about the nature of the game.


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