AP Hockey Story of the Day: October 22

Considering that a large part of what I use twitter for is finding great things to read, and then to tweet them out to my followers, I’ve decided to streamline this process a little bit. Considering that some of my analytics work (but don’t worry, not all) will be transferring to Hockey Prospectus, I’ve decided to pick a piece of writing, every day (okay probably not every day) that I believe to be truly great. This could be a work of analytics, something conceptual, it doesn’t even necessarily have to relate to sports, although it most often will. Instead of posting said piece on twitter, I will post in hear under the headline “AP Hockey Story of the Day” and, time-willing, will offer some brief thoughts on the piece.

So long story short, if you like reading the types of articles I tend to tweet out, make sure you either visit the blog frequently, or at the very least keep tuned to my twitter account as I tweet out links to these pages each day.

Without further ado, my story of the day for October 22nd is this piece by Jack Moore of vice, “How Wall Street Strangled the Life out of Sabermetrics“.

Some thoughts:

1. Moore writes something of a bittersweet tale of the birth and, to an extent, death of the public analytics movement in baseball. Morganization, the process that the business world underwent in the early 20th century revolutionizing efficiency, is a great parallel to what took place in baseball ten years ago, and what seems to be occurring in hockey today.

2. The big question is what comes next. How far do hockey teams go in their attempts to keep advanced knowledge out of the public sphere, and has the so-called “Summer of Analytics” in fact set the sport back in terms of public analytical progress.

3. The next big frontier in hockey is determining a valid catch-all statistic. Not because a catch-all in itself is important, but because it’s critical in evaluating performance monetarily. For example, how much does a win cost? How much does a 30-goal scorer cost? How much is a top-end GM worth? With that type of analysis, the market should correct itself even more than it already has. Sidney Crosby will make more money. Stan Bowman will make more money. Eventually, Stan Bowman’s analytics team (if it can continue to distinguish itself from the pack) will make more money.

4. I loved the anecdote about British mathematician G.H. Hardy. The guy was thrilled to be working in meaningless mathematics because his work couldn’t, say, help scientists to build weapons of mass destruction. Sure enough, after his death, Hardy’s work became the foundation for modern cryptography. It had use after all.

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