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SportTechie: Mike Matheny’s Analytics Makeover: Why the Baseball Manager Went Back to School

Mike Matheny (Flickr/Corn Farmer)

Mike Matheny’s immediate managerial prospects seemed dim after his dismissal as St. Louis Cardinals skipper in July of last year. Though he had great success on the field in the win-loss column, most GMs “these days,” (as if the mid-2010s no longer fit that definition) are looking for their field skipper to embrace analytics the way they do: i.e. wholeheartedly.

That hasn’t been the old-school Matheny’s way, but Joe Lemire notes in his SportTechie piece that taking a class taught by renowned baseball analytics expert Ari Kaplan was a factor in his hire by the cross-state Kansas City Royals in October.

“One of the things I knew I wanted to get better at, improve on, and be more well-versed in, is the world of analytics,” Matheny says. “How can we create a culture and atmosphere where everybody is growing and learning and figuring out, one, how they’re being evaluated but, two, trying to find a competitive edge? I knew that was something I hadn’t put time into.”

Jerry Milani
Jerry Milani is a freelance writer and public relations executive living in Bloomfield, N.J. He has worked in P.R. for more than 25 years in college and conference sports media relations, two agencies and for the International Fight League, a team-based mixed martial arts league, and now is the PR manager for Wizard World, which runs pop culture and celebrity conventions across North America. Milani is also the play-by-play announcer for Caldwell University football and basketball broadcasts. He is a proud graduate of Fordham University and when not attending a Yankees, Rams or Cougars game can be reached at jerry (at) jerrymilani (dot) com.
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