Bobby Valentine Plans Blending Sabermetrics With Baseball Experience to Make Decisions With Red Sox


BOSTON — When news broke of Bobby Valentine earning the Red Sox managerial job, one of the first perceived conflicts was how a team that heavily relies upon advanced statistics and sabermetrics would select a man believed to be more from a traditional baseball background.

But on Thursday evening, Valentine addressed his plans for decision-making in Boston.

"One of the exciting parts of this situation is that I know information is available to me," Valentine said at his introductory news conference. "And that information has to get in, has to be digested with the other information that I get from my ears and my eyes and my experience, and hopefully it's going to be able to [produce] some pretty good results. It's exciting. I think it's an every-day process and I think it's going to be a learning process for me."

Such a process isn't revolutionary, as many statisticians themselves would say that numbers and metrics can't be the sole guide to on-field decisions. For Valentine, the concepts of a statistical approach to the game won't be entirely new, either.

"When I was in Texas, we had a sabermetrician, if you will, on staff — Craig Wright — who was a wonderfully talented Bill James disciple, actually," Valentine said. "But at the time, I wasn't ready for it, nor was I think the world of baseball to actually make the numbers applicable to the day-to-day managing of the game."

The 61-year-old Valentine said he tried to apply some concepts when he moved on to the Mets and then later in Japan, but the increased use of data in Boston will be unlike any of those stops.

"I think it's the most exciting growth period that I'll ever be in," he said, "to be able to experience new information and advanced metrics in my daily workplace."

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