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Tony La Russa is a member of the MLB Hall of Fame as a manager. The man helped introduce video study and analytics to the game of baseball when he was manager of the great Oakland As teams in the late 1980s and 1990s. He understands the value of data, but he also gets that data only gets you so far before humans have to adjust to the situation in front of them.
In an interview this week with the Boston Globe, LaRussa talked about the strengths and limitations of using data. “If you think your info is so strong that it can forecast once the game starts, on how it’s going to flow, how hitters and pitchers are going to react in game situations, then you’re foolish. It’s great stuff until the first pitch is thrown, and then what you have to do is invest in your managers and coaches,” LaRussa, who is now a special assistant to Red Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski, told the Globe.
LaRussa - Comment - Variation - Mike - Tyson
LaRussa’s comment is a variation on the Mike Tyson quote: “Everyone has a plan until the first punch in the mouth.” The fact is the data can only get you so far. Humans have to take that data, use it and react to what’s happening around them. This applies to business as much as it does to baseball.
Every week we hear about some company abusing its customers. The people working with the customers in this age of data collection have a ton of information on those customers on their computers. They know what they like and don’t like, what their interactions...
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