Update: The biggest takeaway from the book is to bang a trashcan as hard as you can in the dugout to tell Altuve that a 2-1 curveball is coming his way.
1. Sig Mejdal on behavioral economics.
“[Sig] learned that human beings do not always make decisions that serve their own long-term self-interest, even when they are equipped with a wealth of experience and knowledge of the mathematical probabilities that ought to guide their choices.” – Page 12
2. Jeff Lunhow on communication and group think.
“Human nature is to tell us what we think you want to hear, and that’s not what we’re looking for.” – Page 34
3. Sig Mejdal on if the world is flat (not really).
“If you way the world is round and I say it’s flat, we don’t agree to disagree. There was always a right answer. The trick was becoming as good as possible at finding it.” – Page 37
4. Sig Mejdal on a good process leading to better results.
“What if we don’t have good results? I love my job in baseball. It would be terribly disappointing. But all we can control is the process, and I’m confident we’re creating good processes and making good decisions. The rest is hope.” – Page 58
5/6. Sig Mejdal and Mike Elias on conviction.
“It’s one thing to get somebody with college-level statistics to create a model. It’s another for the decision-makers to really use it. I don’t mean use it as a tiebreaker, or to throw the analyst a bone late in the draft. I mean, really use it, from the first pick.” – Mejdal on Page 76
“I don’t think we have any special insights or special knowledge or that we’re any smarter than anyone else. I think we’re operating with the information and techniques that are more or less out there in baseball. … The thing that can be a competitive advantage for us is having the discipline and conviction in our information to stick with it even when it feels wrong.” – Elias on Page 76
7. Sig Mejdal on adversity.
“People who focus on processes over outcomes, and who have a growth mindset, don’t allow one setback to derail them.” – Page 105
8. Bill James on growth.
“If you divide the world into shit that you know and shit that you don’t know, and you study the stuff that you know, then you’re not going to learn very much.” – Page 153
9. Sig Mejdal on analyzing the unknown.
“Just because you can’t quantify it, doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist.” – Page 155
10. Sig Mejdal on sports analytics.
“Data could help guide best practices, but it was unwise to confuse those with perfect practices. If people who denied the power of data could no longer compete, neither could those who believed that data alone provided an answer, not a tool.” – Page 235