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Thread: Why no laptops in the dugout?

  1. #1
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    Why no laptops in the dugout?

    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).

    http://www.tangotiger.net/lwtsrobo.html

    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?

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  3. #2
    1st pick 2022 B.B. draft George Foster's Avatar
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    Re: Why no laptops in the dugout?

    With all the new technology I'd day they are not allowed. You could have a web camera on the other dugout, you could have instant messages from the club house attendants that work for your team etc. Just a guess.
    Not this year...maybe a Wild Card

  4. #3
    Mon chou Choo vaticanplum's Avatar
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    Re: Why no laptops in the dugout?

    Laptops are not very scrappy.
    There is no such thing as a pitching prospect.

  5. #4
    Making sense of it all Matt700wlw's Avatar
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    Re: Why no laptops in the dugout?

    Players would be on Redszone too much...
    Last edited by Matt700wlw; 10-05-2006 at 10:30 PM.

  6. #5
    breath westofyou's Avatar
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    Re: Why no laptops in the dugout?

    From a Thomas Boswell piece

    “We were known early for being computerized,” said Alderson, “but we dumped it a tactical [dugout] level while keeping it at the strategic [front office] level.”

    “We found that [statistical] stuff began to override all the other material tools-intuition, human relationships, recent trends, and hot streaks. We began to have doubts about the computer in a foxhole setting. I was a Marine lieutenant in Vietnam and there is a heat-of-the battle mentality, you don’t want the players thinking that the manager has more faith in a machine then in them.”


    Sandy Alderson 1988
    Is it that the bench coach and manager have sufficient data in their hands via other means (e.g., computer printouts)?
    “Weaver isolated all the important stats 15 years ago.”

    Frank Cashen 1986
    Last edited by westofyou; 10-05-2006 at 10:37 PM.

  7. #6
    The Lineups stink. KronoRed's Avatar
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    Re: Why no laptops in the dugout?

    Quote Originally Posted by vaticanplum View Post
    Laptops are not very scrappy.
    They hustle and play the game the right way.

    As for spying going on, not having laptops wouldn't stop that..a phone call could do the exact same, a txt msg on a concealed cell phone would be even better.
    Go Gators!

  8. #7
    Haunted by walks
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    Re: Why no laptops in the dugout?

    Because they're an excellent shape and weight for throwing at the umpire's head.

  9. #8
    Hisssssssss Yachtzee's Avatar
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    Re: Why no laptops in the dugout?

    Not to be crude, but we all know that if baseball players had webcams and laptops in the dugout, they'd use it for "beaver hunting" and surfing for porn. Just go back and read "Ball Four" and imagine what guys like Mickey Mantle could do with today's technology.
    Burn down the disco. Hang the blessed DJ. Because the music that he constantly plays, it says nothing to me about my life.

  10. #9
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    Re: Why no laptops in the dugout?

    No offense to any players here, but have you ever seen baseball players or coaches try to use a computer. Half of them hardly know how to work an email account.

    Any player over the age of 25, let alone coaches that are 40+, hardly ever used computers. When you dedicate your life to being on the field, this scrappy piece of plastic with the alphabet on it can be an intimidating device.

    I've used a lot of my computer for scouting and projects with a college team I worked for this summer, and every time I did something, all the players and coaches especially, were shocked with what I could do with a computer. My response: "it's only Microsoft Word."

    That's just my experience. Too confusing for them and it would take too long to make decisions.

  11. #10
    Member redsrule2500's Avatar
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    Re: Why no laptops in the dugout?

    If you think about it, computers could be the ultimate strategy tool. What to do in any situation, and webcam record signs ....etc.

    Amazing.
    redsrule2500
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  12. #11
    post hype sleeper cincinnati chili's Avatar
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    Re: Why no laptops in the dugout?

    Quote Originally Posted by D-Man View Post
    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?
    As of 2002, when I interned for an MLB organization, "electronic equipment" was forbidden in the dugout, by major league rule.

    I imagine that hasn't changed, or we'd have heard about it.

    Personally, I think the game would be better if it were allowed. But I also favor the automation of ball/strike calls, and a lot of other uses of technology.
    How, then, are those people of the future—who are taking steroids every day—going to look back on baseball players who used steroids? They're going to look back on them as pioneers. They're going to look back at it and say "So what?" - Bill James, Cooperstown and the 'Roids

  13. #12
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    Re: Why no laptops in the dugout?

    Interesting issue.

    I'm not sure the laptop would have made a difference to Randolph. He had already used two relievers, still had three innings to go, and probably wanted to get two relief innings from Mota to preserve his bullpen. He may well have taken the risk under those circumstances.

    But I think the use of computers by coaches during the game will become an issue in sports, particularly in baseball where the pace of the game allows time to actually make use of that tool.

  14. #13
    Baseball card addict MrCinatit's Avatar
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    Re: Why no laptops in the dugout?

    Wouldn't this be sort of like the coach's box in the NFL? Forgive my ignorance, but I honestly don't know the answer to that - doesn't the NFL coach's box have computers, televisions and the such?
    If they can do it in football, why not in baseball. After all, we are in the 21st century - why not update the game?

  15. #14
    Be the ball Roy Tucker's Avatar
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    Re: Why no laptops in the dugout?

    I'll volunteer to be the Reds' IT coach.

    Perhaps they could instant poll RZ as to what to do at strategic times. Have an open IM session with Jerry Narron?

    Just hope you don't core dump or blue screen at inopportune times.

    Pay attention to the open sky

  16. #15
    Hey Cubs Fans RFS62's Avatar
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    Re: Why no laptops in the dugout?

    They already have tons of data in the dugout, it's just not in a computer form.

    Ever see LaRussa and Duncan with all their three ring binders of scouting and statistical material they have in the dugout?

    Raw data, advance scouting reports, statistical analysis..... it's all right there at their fingertips the old fashioned way, on paper.

    I have a lot of doubts that they'll ever be able to do "what if" analysis or calculate the odds of a particular move in real time on the field. They still have to do their own interpretation of the data they have and use it accordingly.

    One of the catch phrases of the Earl Weaver dugout was "book him". It referred to using splits or stats to make decisions, and the Earl was one of the first to heavily rely on splits and matchups.
    "Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover."
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