clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Evaluating Joe Maddon

My latest at the Boxscore attempts to quantify a small part of the manager's job. It's a rough attempt, but something to give a general idea, if not the whole idea. I go into details of the process in that article and I'll summarize it here:

Before I begin explaining the method and give the results I want to strongly disclaim these statistics are hardly perfect (in fact the entire thing is quite flawed) however I'm presenting this is a "general idea" rather than a "definite" or "near definite". There are other aspects of managing that I'm clearly ignoring, and you will have to fill those blanks in, unless I go through each team and study the situations and playing time intently. The aspect I will focus on is the last part, IBBs, SHs, ect.

After collecting the mass numbers I ran linear weights on them, with one exception; turning the IBB value into a negative, because remember I'm not weighing team B walking team A's hitters, but rather team A's manager walking team B's hitters. That leaves us with the following formula:

(SBs*0.193)+(CS*-0.282)+(SH*-0.09)+(IBB*-0.176) = Managerial runs created.

Maddon ranked pretty well in the initial test, actually finishing second to Terry Francona and decently in the second test which was....

After I accumulated the data, I talked with Peter and Sky about actually using it. My biggest concern (as well as theirs) was the lack of context in these numbers. The abundance of negative numbers is to be expected, after all the only way managers can "gain points" in this measurement is by having a successful stealing team, and even that is part luck. After some more discussion, I arrived at this "solution": using Baseball-Reference's "high leverage" splits for pitching and offense to compile the numbers. I did so, and let me just inform everyone I now know every team B-Ref's tag, fun!

Maddon finished an average of fifth, which is pretty damn good for the stuff I measured.  Of course this is rough and just a small bit of his managerial tasks, but the other stuff (bullpen, who plays, lineup structure, ect.) was seemingly decent for the regular season. Thankfully this evaluation excludes the World Series where some, uh, questionable decisions were made.

I won't comment on the manager of the year awards other than to say him winning was expected. Surprise team + really good team + quirky stories about motivational tactics = Manager of the Year. Thankfully he's a little bit more than 9=8.