Better Metrics in Baseball

Harvard Business Review has a great article by Scott Anthony that highlights the use of metrics in baseball.

“Better metrics give Theo Epstein a competitive advantage over his rivals. And better metrics can give you an advantage over yours — and create better innovations that benefit all of us. What else do you think would be in an ideal innovation encyclopedia? Is there an open source way to create a “good enough” starting point?”

Scott’s article on the use of metrics as an evaluation of success in baseball and its correlation to business is a reminder to be intentional about what we measure. Theo Epstein in his role as owner of the Boston Red Sox is looking at how many ‘outs’ a baseball player creates, not their Runs Batted In (RBI) production. Look at the back of a baseball card and the RBI statistic is prominently listed but ‘outs created’ is nowhere to be found. The very idea of winning a baseball game is simple, score more runs than your opponents before you reach 27 outs. If you can extend the amount of chances (play) you get between each out, one could assume you get more chances to score. Perhaps baseball management and the public are looking at different measurements for success because they have different outcomes. One pays pays for the business of performance and winning the other pays to be entertained. Fans can easily find other forms of entertainment if their team does not perform or at least entertain them. Finding another baseball team to own if your does not perform is almost impossible.

How do you measure success?