Posts tagged with "MLB"

Denver will get All-Star Game after MLB dumps Atlanta over voter-suppression laws

April 7, 2021

Coors Field in Denver reportedly has been chosen to host this year’s All-Star Game on July 13 after Major League Baseball decided to pull the event from Atlanta over Georgia’s new voter-suppression laws, The Daily Beast reports.

Commissioner of Baseball Rob Manfred issued the following statement: “”Over the last week, we have engaged in thoughtful conversations with Clubs, former and current players, the Players Association, and The Players Alliance, among others, to listen to their views. I have decided that the best way to demonstrate our values as a sport is by relocating this year’s All-Star Game and MLB Draft.

“Major League Baseball fundamentally supports voting rights for all Americans and opposes restrictions to the ballot box. In 2020, MLB became the first professional sports league to join the non-partisan Civic Alliance to help build a future in which everyone participates in shaping the United States. We proudly used our platform to encourage baseball fans and communities throughout our country to perform their civic duty and actively participate in the voting process. Fair access to voting continues to have our game’s unwavering support.”

The new, restrictive voting legislation—signed last week by Georgia’s Republican Governor Brian Kemp, imposes ID requirements for absentee ballots; and makes it illegal to approach voters to give them food and water as they wait in line to cast their ballots.

Although the move hasn’t been officially confirmed, leaders in Colorado already are buzzing with excitement that the game might be coming back to Denver for the first time since 1998, The Daily Beast notes.

Democratic Colorado Governor Jared Polis said: “I’m excited and hopeful that Major League Baseball makes the best decision and formally chooses to play the 2021 All-Star game in Denver.”

Research contact: @thedailybeast

Calling the shots: Study finds that coaching can win the day for collegiate and pro sports teams

March 19, 2019

You can’t win them all—but a good coach can help a collegiate or professional sports team rack up points on a regular basis. Those are the findings of a University of Chicago study on the importance of leadership in athletics.

Scholars at the university’s  Harris School of Public Policy analyzed hundreds of seasons of data—including wins and losses, and sports scores and statistics— and found that coaches account for 20 % to 30% of the variation in team outcomes.

To reach their findings, Professor Christopher Berry and Associate Professor Anthony Fowler looked at the impact of coaching in Major League Baseball, the National Football League, the National Basketball Association, the National Hockey League, college football, and college basketball.

“Coaches are often credited or blamed for their team’s success or failure, and are compensated as if they are among the most important assets a franchise possesses,” said Berry. “We find that coaches do, in fact, matter—and suggestions that coaches are interchangeable, which has been the dominant view in the sports analytics community, are not true. In every sport we studied, we found that coaches impact variables that contribute to a higher winning percentage.”

The study came up with a number of findings, which Berry and Fowler presented March 1 at the MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference in Boston—among them:

  • MLB managers affect runs scored, runs allowed, run differential, and victories. They have greater impact on runs allowed than on runs scored.
  • NFL coaches affect points allowed and the point margin. They significantly affect the number of fumbles and penalties a team commits.
  • Coaches matter more in college football than in the pros. They significantly affect points scored, points allowed, point differential,  and victories.
  • Coaching is highly significant in both NBA and Division I college basketball outcomes—influencing points scored, points allowed, point differential and victories.
  • NHL coaches matter, although they matter much more for goals allowed than for goals scored.

“Although virtually every aspect of player performance has been examined since the recent emergence of sports analytics, we wanted to bring the same level of rigor to coaches as there is for everyone else on the field at a major sporting event,” Fowler said.

The study was conducted with a method called randomization inference for leadership effects, which accounts for player quality and strength of schedule. Berry and Fowler first created the approach to estimate the effects of political leaders on various economic and policy outcomes. The method holds promise for additional research to assess the impact of individual coaches, as well as better understand why and how coaches matter.

Research contact: crberry@uchicago.edu