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Thread: The Value of Good Coaching

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  1. #1
    Box of Frogs edabbs44's Avatar
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    The Value of Good Coaching

    Article from BP by CJ Nitkowski. Good read. And for the record, it isn't a saber bashing article but it could seem that way from the intro I pasted below. I just didn't want to paste too much article and get grounded.

    One thing that has always bewildered me about the sabermetric community, more specifically its members in the media, has been its general discounting of the value of coaching, especially at the major-league level.

    I have read more times than I care to recount how little impact a manager can have on wins and losses, but that’s another topic for another day. What really befuddles me, though, is when a sabermetric scribe plays down the value coaches can have at the big-league level, with doubt about their usefulness dripping from every sarcastic word.

    What I find most puzzling is that not only is it not true, but it comes from a source that could never understand what makes a good coach in professional baseball without guessing. Those opinions on MLB coaches are about as valid as mine on ballet instructors.
    http://www.baseballprospectus.com/ar...rticleid=18964

  2. #2
    Matt's Dad RANDY IN INDY's Avatar
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    Re: The Value of Good Coaching

    Quote Originally Posted by edabbs44 View Post
    Article from BP by CJ Nitkowski. Good read. And for the record, it isn't a saber bashing article but it could seem that way from the intro I pasted below. I just didn't want to paste too much article and get grounded.



    http://www.baseballprospectus.com/ar...rticleid=18964
    Talent is God Given: be humble.
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    Member mdccclxix's Avatar
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    Re: The Value of Good Coaching

    I guess coaching is a supposed stable factor in all the numbers, which isn't an assumption I'd guess anyone would care to make after it being pointed out. Good stuff. I think the line of talk that states "you're just managing egos" has pervaded the public perception about the coaches role. Interesting to hear from a player on this topic.

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    Matt's Dad RANDY IN INDY's Avatar
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    Re: The Value of Good Coaching

    Baseball is a game of constant adjustments, and having highly competent coaches who can analyze and offer suggestions is very important. At that level, I don't think you can force yourself on players, and like all levels, you have to make the player believe that you, as a coach, have something that is valuable to them, something they want and need. Some players are very stubborn. Some have trusted people and coaches from their past, outside of the team, that they go to for help when things are going bad. That may even be "Dad" in some cases. You have to build trust, as a coach, to be effective.
    Talent is God Given: be humble.
    Fame is man given: be thankful.
    Conceit is self given: be careful.

    John Wooden

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    Flash the leather! _Sir_Charles_'s Avatar
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    Re: The Value of Good Coaching

    This stuck out for me....

    The final and most important piece of the coaching puzzle is an ability to communicate and relate to your players. Knowledge and commitment are almost givens at the big-league level, but communication is a different skill set, and not all do it well.
    This, to me, screams Dusty Baker in my book.
    2014 predictions:
    99-63 WS champs (Cards take 2nd WC, Mil 3rd, Pit 4th, Chi 5th)
    Bruce/Votto neck and neck MVP race (neither takes it)
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    Five Tool Fool jojo's Avatar
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    Re: The Value of Good Coaching

    What really befuddles me, though, is when a sabermetric scribe plays down the value coaches can have at the big-league level, with doubt about their usefulness dripping from every sarcastic word.
    Fortunately CJ is only rarely befuddled if he ever actually has been. I can't think of an instance where a saber writer has done what he describes.
    "This isnít stats vs scouts - this is stats and scouts working together, building an organization that blends the best of both worlds. This is the blueprint for how a baseball organization should be run. And, whether the baseball men of the 20th century like it or not, this is where baseball is going."---Dave Cameron, U.S.S. Mariner

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    Matt's Dad RANDY IN INDY's Avatar
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    Re: The Value of Good Coaching

    All coaches don't offer valuable information and aren't "engaged." Since I have retired from coaching at this point in my life, I have asked Matt what his coaches say when he begins to struggle and they come out to the mound. It's usually the same thing. "Throw strikes," or "You need to focus," or "You're not picking up your target," or something trivial that a lot of TV announcers might say. He usually waits till the inning is over and comes to the fence to ask me, "What am I doing wrong." A lot of it is taking the time to know your pitcher's mechanics and having a few quick fixes for game situations that aren't necessarily the long term cure of the problem. Coaches that take the time to know their players and their mechanics are always the best. That takes work, though, and a lot of coaches don't like that part.

    _Sir_Charles comment about communication, above, is right on the money. Some coaches see the problem, know how to fix it, but can't communicate it to the player.
    Last edited by RANDY IN INDY; 11-20-2012 at 11:46 AM.
    Talent is God Given: be humble.
    Fame is man given: be thankful.
    Conceit is self given: be careful.

    John Wooden

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    .377 in 1905 CySeymour's Avatar
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    Re: The Value of Good Coaching

    Quote Originally Posted by RANDY IN INDY View Post
    All coaches don't offer valuable information and aren't "engaged." Since I have retired from coaching at this point in my life, I have asked Matt what his coaches say when he begins to struggle and they come out to the mound. It's usually the same thing. "Throw strikes," or "You need to focus," or "You're not picking up your target," or something trivial that a lot of TV announcers might say.
    I always laugh when I hear coaches yell these things. Like the kid is trying not to throw strikes!
    ...the 2-2 to Woodsen and here it comes...and it is swung on and missed! And Tom Browning has pitched a perfect game! Twenty-seven outs in a row, and he is being mobbed by his teammates, just to the thirdbase side of the mound.

  9. #9
    breath westofyou's Avatar
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    Re: The Value of Good Coaching

    A good coach can save/make a players career, I don't believe a bad coach can ruin someones career

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    Matt's Dad RANDY IN INDY's Avatar
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    Re: The Value of Good Coaching

    Quote Originally Posted by westofyou View Post
    A good coach can save/make a players career, I don't believe a bad coach can ruin someones career
    They certainly can ruin pitchers at an early age by throwing them so many innings in the summer.
    Talent is God Given: be humble.
    Fame is man given: be thankful.
    Conceit is self given: be careful.

    John Wooden

  11. #11
    breath westofyou's Avatar
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    Re: The Value of Good Coaching

    Quote Originally Posted by RANDY IN INDY View Post
    They certainly can ruin pitchers at an early age by throwing them so many innings in the summer.
    True, I suppose I should amend that to the bad coach can ruin a pitchers career while a bad coach likely can't ruin a position players career

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    Stat Wanker Hodiernus RedsManRick's Avatar
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    Re: The Value of Good Coaching

    I'd love to see some of these articles where sabermetric scribes talk about the uselessness of coaching.

    Why did Billy Beane have to write that book anyways?
    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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    breath westofyou's Avatar
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    Re: The Value of Good Coaching

    Quote Originally Posted by RedsManRick View Post
    I'd love to see some of these articles where sabermetric scribes talk about the uselessness of coaching.

    Why did Billy Beane have to write that book anyways?
    There out there, let's not pretend that the BP of 2004 wasn't snarky at all, because I read it religiously and it was

  14. #14
    Stat Wanker Hodiernus RedsManRick's Avatar
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    Re: The Value of Good Coaching

    Quote Originally Posted by westofyou View Post
    There out there, let's not pretend that the BP of 2004 wasn't snarky at all, because I read it religiously and it was
    Of course it was. But I don't think the critique was about the tone of sabermetrics in 2004.

    Why do some prominent sabermetricians in the media dismiss the value of MLB coaching?
    Last edited by RedsManRick; 11-20-2012 at 12:46 PM.
    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.

  15. #15
    breath westofyou's Avatar
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    Re: The Value of Good Coaching

    Quote Originally Posted by RedsManRick View Post
    Of course it was. But I don't think the critique was about the tone of sabermetrics in 2004.
    2004. 2011, 1984... does it matter?

    Ever read any early Bill James?

    Tone is easy to pick up, I certainly don't miss it or assign it to one era or as being extinct


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