Major League Baseball has completely changed-before teams began stealing signs illegally. From drafting players, to their development, to deeming what approaches stand to be most successful, modern baseball strategists have immersed themselves in logic and science. "Analytics" is baseball's new language, and its contributions are more exquisite than any the sport has ever seen.
Despite the significance and necessity of analytics, there still remains a fine line between using it too much and just the right amount. Analytics is unquestionably logical, but logic has a funny way of undoing itself and becoming illogical-this happens once logic spirals into a dependence. Logic is only as valuable as its counterpart: illogic. Both approaches serve optimally by complementing one another, and the selection of each are meant to be driven by intuition.
With thousands of hours spent observing baseball, and 12 years of professional poker under his belt, Daniel Arfin takes you around the baseball field and
poker table. In drawing parallels between analytics and poker's scientific strategy known as Game Theory Optimal, Arfin explains both the effectiveness of logic and illogic when intuitive heartfelt and gut feelings are left in charge, and their ineffectiveness when intuition is tuned out.
Arfin also provides viewpoints shared by former All-Star Bill Madlock. After dropping by the four-time batting champ's batting cage, Madlock concurred that analytics isn't what baseball is all about. That despite the logic analytics presents, it can't be more compelling, or more cogent, than what comes from an intuitive baseball mentality.