10 Things I learned at MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference 2014- Day 1

Since I have no interest in writing the full-fledged entries I’ve done the past, and I actually wouldn’t be able to for this day, since I missed most of it because I had to Skype into a 2.5 hour class I was missing in Minnesota, I decided to just impart some of the things I learned from each of my two days at the conference. I will also do this same kind of entry for tomorrow at the conference.

  1. Coaches/Managers like to have the illusion of control, but chaos is often helpful (via Bill James). For example, Jeff Van Gundy’s most effective play when with the Rockets was labeled “random” where the play just broke down and the offense played randomly. (via Daryl Morey)
  2. Many sports suffer from it, but in the 1950′s, baseball thought it was a perfect sport and suffered greatly because of it. (via Bill James) He also added the tidbit that you would think people would be over the DH rule when it happened 41 years ago.
  3. Landon Donovan and Robbie Keane are by far the best duo in terms of working together in the MLS.
  4. People don’t like it when you talk over Skype while someone is giving a presentation about the bias umpires have when making different kinds of strike calls.
  5. Skyping on your phone takes up a huge amount of phone data and battery. (As in I drained my iPhone 5s’s battery in an hour and used 60% of my data plan in the same window of time that is usually allotted for a whole month’s worth of phone usage.)
  6. Stan Van Gundy likes numbers but doesn’t trust them at all. (via Stan Van Gundy)
  7. Paul George ran 138 miles in the 2014 season. (via Stan Van Gundy) who then went onto say, “why the heck do I want to know that?”
  8. Brad Stevens, despite being labeled an analytical coach feels he is given that title unfairly so. (via Brad Stevens)
  9. Jerry Rhinesdorf likes knowing things. And Phil Jackson knows more about basketball than him. (via Phil Jackson)
  10. Jonathan Kraft feels as though Tom Brady would still be a sixth-round draft pick if he were coming out of Michigan today.

And now here are some of the pictures I took from the events:

IMG_2497 IMG_2500 IMG_2511 IMG_2512 IMG_2514

I definitely will have a better (read: completely legitimate) list of things I learned, but again, I missed a bunch of panels and didn’t take particualrly good notes on the ones that I did attend. But until then, I’m going to take a brief nap that most people call a night’s sleep before heading out to tomorrow on the conference.

3 Comments

Nice post. Interesting stuff. On another note, I completely forgot about the trivia prize thing. Can you let me know what prizes aren’t taken, and then I will pick. It would be easier to reach me through me email: chicubs99@gmail.com

You should have called. I would have had you over for dinner, or at least taken you out to dinner

Mike- You’re right. I didn’t even think about it since I was focused on the conference and seeing my family for the first time since winter break. I don’t know if I’ll be back in Boston before that, but I’ll almost definitely be at the conference next year and will call you to meet up then.

Hello, observers of baseball. Let me know what you though of the entry no matter what you thought of it. Additonally, let me know if you'd like to see me do anything in specific or what I'm doing right or wrong when I do write entries.

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