Thursday, February 12, 2015

Nerds Rule the Roost - Dodgers Seeking Mathematically Inclined Baseball Analyst

"All these guys who run these organizations who talk about analytics, they have one thing in common -- they're a bunch of guys who have never played the game, and they never got the girls in high school, and they just want to get in the game."
-Charles Barkley

The battle between the jocks and nerds is alive and well, apparently.  Over much of the past decade we've had to endure the whiny platitudes of Ivy League sophisticates as they school us on how best to evaluate the game.  All the while, musclebound meat-heads screamed blood murder.  After all, aren't they the ones who actually play the game, and aren't they the only ones with opinions that matter?

Obviously, no.

This week we saw the loudest voice in sports make a fool of himself (once again), and I can't say I didn't enjoy it.  It was like witnessing a real-life version of "Revenge of the Nerds," and realizing that Ogre is actually a tall and bald former basketball player. 

Clearly, there are those that continue to feel threatened by statistical and information analysis.  But have no fear, folks.  The movement to better understand the intricacies of the game will not be abated.  Instead, it'll expand.

In fact, the Dodgers, one of the leaders in this new way of thinking, are working to do just that.

The Dodgers are now actively looking to beef-up their front office with a Baseball Research and Development (R&D) group, and have placed several job opening announcements seeking math-orientated professionals to join their ranks.

Go here to check out the job opening postings for a Research and Development Analyst and an R&D Intern.  The deadline for applying for both jobs is on Sunday, February 22nd.  Here is what the posting for the analyst job says:
The Los Angeles Dodgers are seeking an entry-level analyst for the team's Baseball Research and Development (R&D) group.  Our current focus is on identifying highly-talented, mathematically-oriented candidates as we seek to build and maintain an industry-leading analytics team.
Job Functions: 
  • Developing core components of the R&D roadmap 
  • Modeling and analysis to support one or more forward-looking research projects 
  • Testing, automation, and implementation of mathematical and statistical models 
  • Independent research and evaluation of new techniques and technologies 
  • Data collection and ad hoc queries to support model development 
  • Preparing reports and presentations to disseminate model results
Basic Requirements/Qualifications:
  • B.S. or M.S. in mathematics, statistics, computer science, operations research, or a related quantitative-field 
  • One to three years of experience building and validating mathematical and/or statistical models, preferably in Python, R, MATLAB or STATA 
  • Computer programming experience 
  • Experience with writing and optimizing SQL queries 
  • Knowledge of the state of the art within the public baseball research community 
  • Desire to work in a collaborative team environment
BTW, these aren't the only jobs the Dodgers are looking to fulfill right now.  There are a whole bunch of openings currently; including Ball Boy/Girl, Bobblehead Character, DodgerVision Crew Member, Concession Stand Attendant, et al.  Go here to check them all out.

* Please follow on twitter @ernestreyes *
* Dodgers Blue Heaven home page *

Blog Kiosk: 2/12/2015 - Dodger Links - The Lasorda Gnome and Olivera

The Dodgers are finally bringing the gnome to Los Angeles.  This coming Monday, May 25th the Dodgers will be giving every fan in attendance a Tommy Lasorda garden gnome - a first for the franchise.  Check out what it'll look like in the photo above, pic via @Dodgers in twitter.  Also, at the very bottom of this post is a instagram gif of the Lasorda gnome running around Dodger Stadium.

Below are some more links to check out:
  • Via  Mark Saxon at, "Commissioner staying out of Dodgers TV dispute."  Boo!  At this point I think it's fair to say that they are no closer to a resolution then they were last season.
“Distribution issues are fundamentally issues between the rights holder and the distributors. I have no role or leverage in terms of inducing anybody to do anything in that process,” Manfred said. “We stay in touch with the Dodgers, the Dodgers are very concerned and obviously want to have distribution, as do we, but we just don’t really have a seat at that table.” 
Olivera looked like a man among boys. To some degree, that literally was true, since there were several teenagers on the field. Yet there were also several Cuban players in their mid-20s and even 30s on the field, and the difference between Olivera and everyone else was striking.
  • FanGraphs has a video up at YouTube that focuses on Olivera from the workout mentioned above.  Watch it below:

Video Link:
A video posted by Thomas Charles Lasorda (@tommy2lasorda) on

* Please follow on twitter @ernestreyes *
* Dodgers Blue Heaven home page *