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Red Sox owner John Henry was interviewed by the press when he showed up at spring training, and as part of a longer session, he mentioned that his team had relied too heavily on analytics in recent years. This, predictably, was interpreted by many to mean the Sox were giving up on analytics, despite the fact that numbers are how Henry made his money, how the team has been so successful overall during his time as owner, how they managed to win three World Series in 10 seasons after not winning a single one for 86.
If you think they are giving up on analytics, please take a deep breath and explain why you think this, other than that it's the end of February and you aren't quite sure what else to yell about while there's no real baseball to distract you. The Sox have actually invested more money and personnel into analytics since Dave Dombrowski took over as the team's President of Baseball Operations. Dombrowski wasn't an analytics guy in the past, but much of that had to do with the teams he worked for, too: he entered into a new position at the head of one of baseball's largest analytics departments, and he not only kept it that way, but added to it.
What Henry means by the Sox relying too heavily on analytics is that there was a lack of balance. Their scouting and player development on the minor-league side has been incredible: over the last few years, it's helped them graduate Xander Bogaerts, Mookie Betts, Blake Swihart and Eduardo Rodriguez, and others such as Yoan Moncada, Rafael Devers, Andrew Benintendi and Anderson Espinoza are on the way. On the big-league side? Hanley Ramirez. Pablo Sandoval. The trade for Allen Craig and Joe Kelly. Carl Crawford. Three last-place finishes in four years. Mistakes were made! Better blending of scouting with analytics could give them a chance to avoid similar mistakes. Is that so bad?
- Dexter Fowler re-signed with the Cubs after reportedly agreeing to a deal with the Orioles, and announced as much by just showing up to spring training with his new/old teammates.
- MLB made some changes to the rules that should help eliminate the takeout slide at second base.
- Let's all take a vacation to this lazy river at the Frisco RoughRiders' stadium, even though they don't use a space in between "Rough" and "Riders."
- David Ortiz said some ignorant things about domestic violence in defense of his friends, and that's a reminder that MLB has work to do on the education side with their new domestic violence policies.
- Now that the Cubs have Dexter Fowler back, maybe it's time the Rays revisit trade discussions with them. Jorge Soler is like, right there.
- To make room for Fowler in the first place, the Cubs sent Chris Coghlan to the A's.
- At Camden Chat, they're just trying to figure out how Fowler went from reportedly close to the O's to being back on the Cubs.
- We're just days into spring training, and Anibal Sanchez is already dealing with some arm issues.
- There is a summer baseball team in Savannah, and they are named the Bananas. The Savannah Bananas. Savannah is in the Peanut Butter dimension, so this all checks out.