This is the question I was thinking last night when Willie Randolph chose to keep Guillermo Mota in to hit with the bases loaded and two outs in the 6th. The run expectancy for that situation must be more than a run (1.54 runs for a single, 2-3 runs for an XB hit).
A laptop would have provided a quick sanity check--i.e., is this a wise decision? The data shows that this is not a good move. Essentially Randolph was giving away an offensive run in a relatively late and close situation, hoping to save a run by allowing his preferred bullpen arm to pitch the next inning. (Ironically, Mota fell apart in the next inning.)
Why is it that every other profession in America puts laptops or computers in the hands of managers/decision-makers? Even pro football coordinators have laptops in the booth. I'm trying to avoid the simple, cynical answer (e.g., baseball coaches are backwards, etc.).
Is it a social thing--no coach wants to be the first one to show up with a laptop in the dugout?
Or are laptops actually there, and bench coaches keep them out of sight in the dugout or clubhouse?
Is it that the bench coach and manager have sufficient data in their hands via other means (e.g., computer printouts)?
Is it a cultural thing--baseball managers are expected to make decisions based on gut feelings?