Cincinnati Reds President of Baseball Operations Dick Williams joined local sports talk radio host Lance McAlister on Tuesday night on 700 WLW. He was on there for 16 minutes and there were some very interesting things that he had to say. You can listen to the entire interview below. But I will share the part that jumped out to me the most. McAlister asked about analytics and how the organization was positioned to process stuff like that.
It’s important that somebody come in here and be able to and be comfortable with pulling from all sources of information. And that doesn’t just mean analytics. It means blending all of the different sources of information that we get. And that’s evolving quickly. But we have been very successful at investing more and more in our department that we call analytics, which is the information gatherers. They’re getting more and more information. We did feel like we were not doing an adequate job of translating that into the game planning and game strategy. And that’s a big key to succeeding. (Inaudible).
At the end of the day you still have to get pitchers and you still have to get hitters. You still have to provide talent to the roster. But all of these things have to go hand in hand. We’ve got to get better about putting talent on the roster and we have to get better at game planning and game execution. And I really believe with David’s voice and the coaching staff, as it evolves, and working closer with our information department, I think we’ll be in a much better position to execute and put players and the team in a better position to succeed.
There’s a whole lot in there, but I felt that what was said was very important. And very insightful, though not a great look, either. The good news is that they seemed to be admitting a mistake. They didn’t take good information and get it onto the field in the past. That’s a very bad look. Unfortunately, it’s something that plenty of people suspected was happening.
The good news is that it seems to be something they’ve identified as a problem and are attempting to fix. Part of that comes along with hiring David Bell. He’s seemingly very open to newer baseball ideas and strategies. It helps to have a manager who can be on board with that. It will be very interesting to see if there are any obvious changes in how the team uses strategies. Will the pitchers go about attacking hitters differently? Will their pitch selection change? CAN NON-PITCHERS STOP BUNTING?! Sorry for yelling.
It’s tough to know what kind of information, exactly, that Dick Williams was suggesting in the interview. What I do know, though, is that I’m looking forward to seeing it used on the field in 2019.
You can also listen to interviews with new manager David Bell and former reliever Danny Graves if that’s something you’re interested in. I listened to the interview with Bell and didn’t find it particularly interesting. I did not listen to the interview with Danny Graves.