Tuesday, March 04, 2014


Looks like the new pattern for Shank's picked-up pieces column is once a month, and it looks like Shank's still pissed off at stat geeks:
Picked-up pieces while unpacking from two weeks in Fort Myers . . .

■ Information is good. Every sports team can benefit from data. But why do I feel like there are people who want to erase all scouting and experience from sports? The eighth annual MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference was held at the Hynes Convention Center last week and drew a raft of A-listers from the world of sports. Owners, general managers, and even some ballplayers and ex-ballplayers are knee-deep in the data.

But can we just stop the madness and acknowledge that there are some things in sports that never will be quantifiable? And I’m not just talking about heart, character, makeup, leadership, and ability to play hurt and perform under pressure.

Hockey analytics? Really? Calgary hockey boss Brian Burke told the Globe’s Fluto Shinzawa, “I think it’s still an eyeballs business,’’ while explaining that he has yet to see a worthwhile numbers-based system for evaluating hockey players.

You know why he hasn’t seen it? Because it’s impossible to evaluate hockey players with data!
Yes, you heard that right - impossible. Goals, assists, ice time, plus / minus ratings - balderdash!

The rest of the column is just as insipid. Read at your own risk...

1 comment:

mike_b1 said...

Hmmm...Brian Burke ran the Maple Leafs from November 2008 to January 2013. During that time they were the ONLY NHL team to fail to make the post-season.

He is now head of the Calgary Flames. They were 44 games over .500 from 2008-12. Their record now with Burke in charge? 24-31-7. Also not playoff bound.

Instead of complaining about technology, maybe it's time Burke learned a thing or two about it.