The [Oakland] A’s have no intellectual advantage, as evidenced by their performance.Oakland is certainly not helping their cause with incompetent managing. After Oakland's Orlando Cabrera hit a leadoff double in the first inning of tonight's game against the White Sox, the team was in an excellent position to score runs - teams can expect to score 1.19 runs when they have a runner on second and no outs. But then the A's made a stupid, conservative error; the manager ordered Adam Kennedy to sacrifice bunt, moving Cabrera over to third. This move increased the chance that the A's would score at least one run (from 62% to 70%), but decreased their expected runs to 0.98, a loss of 0.2 runs. If the A's make one dumb decision like this every game (a low estimate), they cost themselves about 32 runs during the season. If the game is tied in the eighth or ninth inning, it makes sense for the A's to try to get a single run to take the lead. But at the beginning of the game it makes no sense to be reducing EV by pursuing low-risk strategies - the A's need to pursue the highest expected value course, even if, sometimes, they end up stranding the runner at 2nd. Unfortunately the manager is much more likely to listen to criticism for not moving the runner over than he is for not being risky enough. I'm somewhat ashamed to see the A's, whose front office puts such a high emphasis on statistical analysis, completely abandoning the math in their on-field decisions; it's as if there's a complete disconnect between the front office and the manager. Perhaps the A's have given up on the season already, and Beane and co don't care about what the manager does.
Liked what you read? I am available for hire.