After the disaster with Milton last night, I got to thinking some about decision making. Just some random thoughts.
Stats are fantastic tools. I'm growing to appreciate them more and love that Redszone has opened my eyes to numbers beyond the standard BA, RBI, ATM, Etc. However, some have argued that the only "good" decision is the one that is the good percentage for success. Even if it doesn't work out it's good because it was the "right decision". I have to dissagree. This isn't an anti-stats rant as you'll see below.
My objection to the "high probability for success = good descion making" argement is twofold. First is the notion that if you make the "right decision" but it doesn't work it was still a good decision. We'll, in a logic class at universtity that would be true, in the world of baseball however, if it results in a W that is all that matters. You can agrue about having more W by making the "right" decisions on another thread. Success is baseball is measured by wins. If you have more wins than the other guys it's largely irrelvant how you got them.
My other objection is this. In life, if you only make the "percentage plays" then we'd be like General Meade...sitting in camp waiting to build the perfect army before heading out. We'd never of landed at Normandy. We would have never landed at Inchon. Grant would have never taken Vicksburg. Man would have never gone to the moon. Many medicines would have never been invented. All because comon logic at the time said, "the percentage bet is...". I'm drawn to people who take risks and know they can acomplish more that what some stack of numbers says.
I know these examples probably don't apply perfectly to baseball. I'm just explaining where I'm comming from. Frankly, I'm not even sure why. I guess I'm thinking out loud here.
A manager has to use his gut sometimes. But this assumes that the manager's gut is a good one. Not all managers are Sparky's or Derochures or Berra's just as not all people are Bradleys, McArthur, Grants, Kennedys, or Pastures. Because of this, they have to augment their gut instincts with data. That's where stats come in. They have to have objective data to be able to make the right choice more often then not because there are too many factors for lessor managers to consider.
I hope Narron does a far better job in the 2nd half of knowing when to use his gut and when to use numbers. You can't be succesfull using one exlusivley.
Like I said, this is mostly thinking out loud. Take it for what it's worth.