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February 6, 2024 50 mins

The Book of Joe Podcast with hosts Tom Verducci and Joe Maddon begins with the Orioles trading for pitcher Corbin Burnes.  How will the deal affect both the Orioles and Brewers?  Onto the Super Bowl, how much analytics is used in the NFL?  Tom wants to show how huge calls are being made by miniscule percentage points.  What does Joe think about the future of Evan Longoria? Plus, we wrap up with our Super Bowl picks!

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Speaker 1 (00:04):
The Book of Joe podcast is a production of iHeartRadio.

Speaker 2 (00:14):
Hey there, welcome back.

Speaker 1 (00:16):
Come back to the Book of Joe podcast with me,
Tom Berducci and Joe Madden and Joe. I heard something
about a football game or something coming up this weekend.

Speaker 2 (00:26):
We're going to get to that in a minute.

Speaker 1 (00:28):
But there was a really big trade in baseball that
we need to talk about, and that is Corbyn Burns
of the Milwaukee Brewers going to the Baltimore Orioles. Yeah,
Brandon Hides Baltimore Orioles. It was a deal I've been
waiting for all winter. Joe going back to Milwaukee left
handed pitcher Dl Hall and infielder Joey Ortiz and a

(00:49):
competitive balanced draft pick next or this year, which is
about number thirty four of the draft coming up. So
two major league ready prospects and a draft pick for
a guy I believe is one of the best starting
pitchers in the game, Corbyn Burns. Of course, he's in
his last year of control, so he's eligible for free
agency at the end of the year. Joe, give me

(01:11):
your quick take when you heard about this deal. Corbyn
Burns going to a team that won the most games
in the American League last year at the Baltimore Orioles.

Speaker 3 (01:18):
I was happy for Hyder a lot. I mean, obviously,
you're right, this guy is so good, he has been
consistently good. He takes them to another level by getting
to the front of that rotation. They're in Baltimore back
some of those younger guys up that had great years,
but now there's a little less mental pressure on their
performance in a sense, or their status, whatever you want

(01:39):
to call it. So I think it kind of eases
a lot of guys into different roles in a good way.
So from their perspective, you know, there's a one year
deal possibly, you know, with the new ownership in Baltimore,
that may have had something to do with it. I
don't know, but all of a sudden they may have
more open pocketbooks that make it more likely to re
sign Corbin in the future, which to me just would

(02:01):
make all the sense in the world. I don't think
that that they're going to wait to see if he
pitches well or not. They know what they like about him,
they know his age, they know his injury history everything,
so that shouldn't be the issue. But they're very worried
in a sense to always talk about what they may
do in the future, and they want to put those
kind of talks on the side because they're concerned what's
going to sound like and the story that they put

(02:24):
out there. In a sense where listen, I'd like to
have Corborn works for the next five, six, seven years
absolutely so anyway, I hope that works out well for them.
The prospects are another thing that you just don't know.
You don't know when guys like that great pedigree. I
get it, I've never seen these kids play, but you
just don't know when prospects are going to turn out
to be what they're supposed to be or not. Whereas
you know Burns is, and you also know that this

(02:45):
team is World Series ready for a lot of different reasons. Man,
it was a really good move for the Orioles.

Speaker 1 (02:50):
Yeah, listen, you know the Orioles made this move with
no guarantees that they have Corbyn Burns beyond this year,
and as you mentioned, they're at the stage now where
that shouldn't matter. They're trying to get back to a
World series, win a world series. Corbyn is a difference maker.
You know, there's good pictures and then there's aces guys
who really are staff leaders.

Speaker 2 (03:10):
This guy is mentally tough.

Speaker 1 (03:11):
He doesn't want to give up the ball when he's
in the game at any point. He's pitched in big moments.
I truly believe that there are not thirty aces in
the game every team.

Speaker 2 (03:22):
I have to have somebody's start opening Day.

Speaker 1 (03:24):
But you know, I love the fact that they got
not just a really good pitcher, they got a mentally
strong guy who is going to be a staff leader
by the way he carries himself, the way that he prepares,
just kind of the attitude that he's going to give
as far as whether he remains there or not.

Speaker 2 (03:41):
Listen, he's a West Coast guy.

Speaker 1 (03:42):
I think he needs to try on the fit so
to speak with Baltimore, see how it works. I mean,
he just saw the amount of money that was thrown
out there this offseason for Yeshanobo Yabamoto, the highest paid
pitcher in baseball now.

Speaker 2 (03:56):
And you know, listen, he's gonna have tremendous leverage.

Speaker 1 (03:58):
Going into a free agency auction atmosphere, if you will,
so I wouldn't expect him to sign an extension at
this point. Maybe he will later on in the season,
but at this point I think it's about getting the
Orioles back to a World Series. I think this makes
them the team to beat. So I'm happy for Corbyn Burns.
He's worked hard to get to this point. The Brewers
had to make this deal. They couldn't lose him for

(04:20):
just a draft pick play the season out, so I
think it makes a ton of sense on both sides.
We're gonna get into the prospects in the second Joe,
because you brought them up. But curious your take when
you have a pitching staff and you've got that one
guy who's not just getting people out, but he's got
an effect on the other guys because the other rotation mates.
You have John Means, who came back from Tommy John

(04:41):
surgery last year. I love him, but obviously they're gonna
have to be careful with his innings first full year
off of TJ. Kyle Braddish really like him a lot.
Think you take a little bit of pressure off him
by having Burns in front of him, and Grayson Rodriguez
has got a starter stuff. I'm a little bit concerned
about him because they did use him a lot last
year as a young pitcher, really bumped his innings up

(05:03):
and his mechanics. Actually, I think are a concerned Joe.
I think he's a little bit of a late loader.
I'd keep an eye on how much work I give
that kid, and I like having him now having to
pitch maybe in the middle that rotation rather at the top.

Speaker 2 (05:16):
So it makes a lot of sense.

Speaker 3 (05:17):
It doesn't mentally for him to make a big difference too.
I've had that in the past. You're talking about, like
the way starting rotation stacks up, thinking anybody's thinking about
the rays as you're going through all that. That's what
we had eventually, you know, when Shields came on, and
then of course David Price ascend it. Gosh, we even
had the way Davis pitching at one time had to
put him. We eventually put him into bull penetrated him.

(05:39):
But when you have those two or three guys, it
could really makes a big difference. You strolling the town
for a three day series and you got three guys
lined up that are that good, it really makes a
huge difference for your team and your attitude as well
as the other team back in the day, So talk
to toughy dire ball people. He was coaching. I think
with the Brewers and we walked in there with Finley
Langston and Jimmy Abbott, and I think that was Oakland.

(06:03):
She was with Oakland, and nobody liked to see those
three lefties lined up. So I don't know that people
really understand that when you when you sash into a
town with that kind of a starting rotation, mentally, there's
an edge component to that that the other team sees,
and that also that your team feels too. So when
you get that going on, it's a difference maker. I've

(06:24):
had Show Hey, I've had Johnny Lester. I think you
have to consider Jake Arietta at his best is also
an a So when you have those guys, believe me.
It also the thing again I think it's talked about
a little bit, is how they can control a losing streak.
Things are going well and all of a sudden it's
their turn. Things change that night, they don't give anything up,
you score two runs and you win, and then what

(06:45):
that means for the next day in the day after that.
There's so much nuance and feel to the through the
course of a major league season that these guys impact,
And of course when you get to the playoffs, best
out of five. If you have three starters like that, Wow,
and then and you get to the best out of seven,
it's it's just a difference maker. And that's why where
the way starting pitching has been almost diminished in a sense.

(07:08):
But the openers and the five innings and all this stuff,
that's the one thing I just don't quite understand why
that is attractive other than keeping salaries down. Because when
you get guys that go six and six plus into
the seventh regularly, wow. As a manager, your strategy into
the game and during the game regarding how you're gonna

(07:30):
use your bullpen completely different. And that's how you keep
these guys fresh, your bullpen guys. I've always felt a
good starting rotation makes for a better bullpen. Always. You
have to evaluate all these different things when you talk
about the addition of a Corbyn Burns, or when you
are lucky enough to have James Shields and David Price
and even at one time Jeremy HeLEX and I mean,
this is like a really good group. I didn't have

(07:52):
the same thing with the Angels necessarily, but I'll just
throw it out there. I do believe some of those
young pitchers out there can develop into some really good
stuff over the next couple of years. So it makes
a difference starting pitching dry the engine have always felt
that way and if I'm running a team, that's exactly
what I'm looking for.

Speaker 2 (08:10):
Yeah, and you mentioned the Orioles new ownership there.

Speaker 1 (08:13):
Their test is not going to be Corbyn Burns because
I just think Corbyn being a West Coast guy and
free agency looming, I think he's going to wait.

Speaker 2 (08:21):
That's just my opinion.

Speaker 1 (08:22):
But I think the true test for this new ownership
group is locking up guys like Adlie Rushman, Jackson Holiday,
and Gunnar Henderson. I mean, you saw the Brewers lock
up Jackson Cheerio, top prospect hasn't yet played in the
big leagues. It was the right thing to do. When
you have a top, top flight prospect, everyday player, don't
go year to year with them. And if you're a
Baltimore Orioles fan at the Rushman, Gunnar Henderson, Jackson Holiday,

(08:47):
those are three franchise players. You give those guys long
term security and you can feel good about it. Those
guys aren't going to change. I think there were Peters
as far as performance goes, attitude wise, make up off
the charts. That to me is something that is priority
number one for this Baltimore ownership.

Speaker 2 (09:04):
Let their fans know it will be a different era.

Speaker 3 (09:06):
And I think that kind of began right with the
Indians back in the day with John Hart, with the
Indians trying to lock up young talent. And although we
talked about moving forward with the Cubbies, we didn't necessarily
do all of that, And some of these guys as
they left Chicago when other places did not really live
up to the pedigree thought of And I gave you
the example a couple of weeks ago of Mark macklamore
what I thought in the beginning and how that eventually

(09:28):
watched out. I get it. I understand locking it up.
I understand understanding your costs and being able to build
in the future and man, but when you're betting on
young talent and I know these guys are good, I
get it. I get it. I get it. I get it.
But I don't believe in the as a scout and
as having done this in thepacit it absolutely is a

(09:49):
lock that these guys are going to play to that
level that you think they are. I get it. I
would probably do the same thing, but I'm telling you, man,
things change, whether it's through an injury or just the
way a guy thinks. With these kids, you absolutely believe
that they're solid. They're not going to change just who
they are and how they are. But nevertheless I would
do it, yes, but I just it's just not absolutely

(10:11):
all luck that it's going to turn out the way
you think it is.

Speaker 1 (10:13):
Yeah, I mean, listen, Joe, I would agree with you,
but I think you're looking at exceptions. Adley Rushman is
just amazing and Gunnar Henderson. The minute I saw him
he came up at the end of the season a
couple of years ago, I.

Speaker 2 (10:24):
Just went, WHOA.

Speaker 1 (10:26):
And you know, the Orioles know these guys, they draft
to develop them. I mean, you have to feel good
if you're going to make long term commitments to people.

Speaker 2 (10:35):
I think you do that for the special ones.

Speaker 1 (10:37):
And again I agree with you overall it can be
risky with a prospect, but not these ones. And speaking
of prospects, let's talk about the two going back to
Milwaukee in dl Hall, the left handed pitcher, and Joey Ortiz,
the infielder. Ortiz is going to hit. I mean he's
a good defender too, but he's got power in his bat.
I think he's going to be the everyday second baseman

(10:58):
for the Milwaukee Brewers and until they unless they trade
Willie a damas the shortstop.

Speaker 2 (11:03):
I like that pick up there.

Speaker 1 (11:04):
Listen, he was blocked by we just mentioned all these
infielders the Orioles have. You know, if you're in the
oriol system right now and you're an infielder, I mean,
get line ticket ticket and hope maybe somebody else, an
organization finds you. So good on Joey Artis, he's gonna
get a chance to play. It wasn't gonna happen. And
credit to the Baltimore development system here, Joe. They've they've
got the ability to deal top prospects, guys backed up

(11:26):
like the planes at O'Hare, so that that's a really
powerful position to deal from dal Hall.

Speaker 2 (11:32):
Yet, great arm.

Speaker 1 (11:33):
This is a lefty who can throw the upper nineties
and he did out of the bullpen last year. A
couple of things concerned me, Joe, and I want to
get your take on this in terms of the way
he throws a baseball.

Speaker 2 (11:43):
He's got a really long arm swing.

Speaker 1 (11:45):
He's got what I call a forearm flyout with that
that forum is really far away from his head. You
look a guy like Corbyn Burns and that that forum
is really packed in closely at Greg Maddox type Bartolo
Cologne long long arm swing where that ball is pointed
towards center field. And I know a lot of youth
coaches would teach that, I'm not a huge believer in

(12:06):
just pointing the ball towards center field with a long
arm swing. He has had some elbow ten and ice issues,
stress reaction in the elbow. He's got some walk issues,
fifteen percent walk rate in Triple A. So to me,
they're not sure with the injury history and the mechanics
that he's going to be a starting pitcher in the

(12:27):
big leagues. Really good arm reminds me a little bit
of aj Puck, And you know, the A's and Marlins
went back and forth.

Speaker 2 (12:34):
Can he start?

Speaker 1 (12:35):
Can he relieve he's better as a relief pitcher. So
obviously you just talked about starters, Joe. I think your
value is much higher as a starting pitcher if you
can go six innings. But he may be looking at
being and there's nothing wrong with this, don't get me wrong,
But the preference is to start, and I'm sure they'll
give him a shot, but he could be a dominant
bullpen arm. And you know that was the Josh Hader track.

(12:55):
You know, a guy who had a long arm swing,
strikeout stuff much better in the pen as we see.
So bottom line is I like the two editions. I
think they made some real good decisions. I'm getting these
two from Baltimore. The key for me is whether Haul
can develop as a starting pitcher or his futures in
the bullpen.

Speaker 3 (13:11):
How tall is he six ' four plus something like that?

Speaker 1 (13:13):
Six to two yeah, six two left, he's twenty five
years old. Was a high school draft pick.

Speaker 3 (13:18):
I like that better than six or five or sixty six, right,
because remember Miller ended up with the Indians and the
forty millyea, Andrew right, that's when you when you started talking,
I was thinking that guys with the big armswing like that,
sometimes it might take them longer. There's so much the
time out, there's so there's so much timing involved with
that with all those lengthy levers. Man, when the foot hits,

(13:42):
all the arm comes around, there's days they feel it. Man,
when they feel and everything's in time, they're kind of unhittable,
and like you said the other times you mentioned it
that the walk rate really goes up, and that's always
a concern. The shorter armstroke in the back, even Roger
Clemens had short I mean the shortest was k Hill.
Kenny Hill had the shortest arm stroke. I think I've

(14:03):
ever seen that throws ninety five to ninety seven miles
an hour, and it's just it's easier to control a
shorter swing like that, so they know what they're seeing,
what they're getting. If he's young, I'm assuming he's still
a young man, right, the early twenties probably.

Speaker 2 (14:17):
Yeah, it's twenty five, twenty five years old.

Speaker 3 (14:19):
Yeah, that would be more concerning. It be twenty five
a little bit. But getting that swing under control, it's
not as easy as you think sometimes and a lot
of it has to do with the command issues because
stuff wise, I'm sure it's going to be there. You've
talked about the potential for injury, of course, which happens
with everybody. But my take has been guys like that
tend to be wild in a sense, or they missed

(14:42):
his zone a little bit, but once they figured out,
like Andrew Miller did, man that got nasty and you
talk about hater and he's got such a not only
that arms swing, but a kind of rotation with his
shoulders too, which makes it even more difficult to see
the ball. And there's also that kind of fear factor
from the hitter's perspective. There's a lot of deception involved
when guys are able to command that kind of a swing.

(15:03):
And I'm a guy too, so it's just one of
those things. That's why scouting is so important. You have
to rely on people that you know and could go
out and look at somebody and for me, some picture
like that, I would really want some veteran eyes on him.
What do you see there? What you've seen in the past,
Pitching coaches that have worked with guys like this, what
do you got? How do you make this thing work?

(15:24):
That would be a really big question for me regarding
the acquisitional process with the guy like that. But I listen,
it's interesting. I'm sure he's very good. I'm sure he's
going to be good. But that's those are the issues
I would be looking at.

Speaker 1 (15:38):
So to me, Joe right now, and this is not
a World Series prediction, but I'll tell you on paper
right now to me. The Baltimore Orioles are the best
team in the American League. And that's not a knock
on the Texas Rangers. They won it all last year.
I thought the Rangers would do more in the off season.
I thought hater was winding up there. Instead, they were
a little bit hamstrong by the uncertainty about the RSNS

(16:00):
and how much money's coming in. There still a really,
really good team, but I've got to have Baltimore one,
Texas two, and maybe New York three. How about that
starting out? And again it's early, but on paper right now,
I just love what this has done. The Burns trade
for Baltimore.

Speaker 3 (16:17):
Oh yeah, absolutely have to. I mean Baltimore, what they
had done last year, they're just inexperienced when he came
to the playoffs. Did not play their best games there,
but a lot of times you got to get that
close in order to really make it work the following season.
They do have everything in order right now. And the
fact that they know what it takes to get there,
and the fact that they do not like the fact

(16:39):
that they lost. I mean, there's a motivation and that's
that's going to matter with the young group, and it
seems like you've talked about you mentioning these guys in
regards to potentially long term contracts. Their makeup seems to
be outstanding. And that's another component of this that I
think isn't spoken about enough when you really want to
consider long term contracts. What do you think about this
guy and how do you think he's going to hold

(17:01):
up over a period of time? Is I mentioned earlier,
is it going to change him at all? Is it
going to remain the same? And I'd have to believe
what I've seen. I don't know these kids with Baltimore,
but it seems like you're right on with that. So
that's that's probably an easy get is to predict or
say that they're going to be the best team in
the American League. You know what you said with Texas
up up absolutely is gonna is going to hold true

(17:23):
with Boach there and see why in the front office,
I think you're going to see there may be like
a little bit of a tough sledding in the beginning,
but they're going to get their stuff together. And I
don't even know what's Houston's up to these days in
New York. New York's very interesting and all of that.
Their success, to me, is going to be really going
to be contingent upon that pitching staff. In the addition
of Stroman Radon making a comeback or not. There's a

(17:46):
lot of stuff going on there. But yes, they definitely
have the people to be within the top three of
the American League.

Speaker 1 (17:53):
Okay, we mentioned something about a football game coming up, Joe,
we need to talk about the Super Bowl and especially
decision making by coaches.

Speaker 2 (18:02):
Yes, this is a favorite topic of ours.

Speaker 1 (18:06):
Leadership, decision making in game, and we can talk about
the two coaches who will be making those decisions and
will they be making them on their own or will
they be getting help.

Speaker 2 (18:17):
We'll talk about that next, all right.

Speaker 1 (18:30):
Joe, we'll talk about you know, from baseball it's the manager,
and football it's the head coach. The guy making the
decisions has more help now than ever before.

Speaker 2 (18:41):
And we've talked about this a lot. The numbers are great.

Speaker 1 (18:44):
You go into a game with so much more information
than you used to have, and then once that game starts,
what happens?

Speaker 2 (18:52):
Do you rely on the numbers even more so?

Speaker 1 (18:56):
Do you use it as just informative pieces in your
decision making tree. We've got two veteran coaches in the
Super Bowl. Here, of course, Andy Reid. I don't think
anybody's going to tell him how to run a game.
He's been around forever, extremely successful. And then Kyle Shanahan,
he's forty four years old, he's had twenty one years
of coaching experience, eight with the Niners.

Speaker 2 (19:16):
It's done a fabulous job there. Seventy two and fifty four.

Speaker 1 (19:20):
He was on KMBR in San Francisco in October. Joe
and I want to throw his quotes by you here
because I think it's really fascinating because the analytic movement
in football really dovetails is what has happened in baseball.

Speaker 2 (19:35):
It's probably a little bit.

Speaker 1 (19:37):
Behind, but we're seeing now the effects in football the
way that we saw it in baseball. It started, you know,
really fifteen years ago, twenty years ago, and it's full
on in both sports right now.

Speaker 2 (19:51):
Here's what he had to say.

Speaker 1 (19:52):
I've gone to these meetings a lot in other buildings,
meeting other teams, and even here you meet with an
analytics department and they bring out this whole book and
there's two million numbers to memorize. I've watched coaches try
to do that and you just melt during games. It's
too much info, and you realize most of this stuff
is pretty natural, and some of it is fifty to fifty,

(20:16):
some of it is your preference. I try to keep
my mind on it and go with what's natural and
whatever there. And whenever there are these obvious ones like
when to call time out here with two minutes or
two thirty, you know, all those things where analytics are
one hundred percent right with and the math is totally there.

Speaker 2 (20:33):
I don't even want to waste the time to learn.

Speaker 1 (20:36):
That stuff because, hey, guys, when it's that automatic, just
tell me and that's when I'll do it. But when
it's not automatic, if it's a fifty to fifty thing,
just always let me go with my gut and my experience.
Because I'm always thinking about the three technique. I'm thinking
about the weather, I'm thinking about the quarterback and the
other side. I'm thinking about what play I have ready,

(20:56):
what the fronts are doing, all that stuff.

Speaker 2 (20:58):
I'm not just thinking of.

Speaker 1 (21:00):
Well, over two hundred times in this situation, it's fifty
eight percent to forty two. So therefore, if you go
for it, you'll win over time. Well, I'm not playing blackjack.
I love that this is a coach, and I'm sure
he's got a deep analytics office there at San Francisco,
basically saying, guys, I want your help. Thank you for

(21:20):
your help. But when it comes to nailing a situation
in real time in a game, there are many more
factors to consider, so the decision rests with me. I
just love the way he approached that, Joe. Nobody's saying
he doesn't like analytics. He's saying, in those moments of
crunch time, there's just too many factors that the numbers

(21:43):
cannot account for.

Speaker 3 (21:45):
Well did I say that or did he say that?

Speaker 2 (21:47):
That's unbelievable.

Speaker 3 (21:48):
And when you started that diatribe there I was. I
wrote down two words before you even began, confusing or helpful.
That's exactly what I wrote down. And then on top
of all that, I'm not gonna tip my hand, but
my quote for today is based on decision making. So
yes to what Shanahan had said, that is a perfect description,

(22:09):
and it pretty much boils down to, yes, I want
all this information. Yes, thank you, you know, dropping on me,
But like he said, also, I want to know the
absolutes the stuff that's like he said, fifty to fifty
can be very confusing. And to attempt to even take
all of this, these these volumes of information presented to

(22:31):
based on even just one major league game, one major
league game, not even like that's one game a week
that you get to digest. This is one game on
a Monday, then there's another game on a Tuesday, and
all this stuff that needs to be devoured and utilized.
It's just impossible. And he mentioned that there's so many
variables that occurred during occur during the course of a
game that it's there's no way for numbers to be

(22:54):
able to predict all of that in advance and matter.
And yes, I love that if it's an absolute and
that's kind of what I tell my guys, Like something
you feel very strongly about, let me know, let me
know if you feel that strongly. And again, that's another
way I guess saying in absolute, yes, I need to
know that so that I will incorporate that. But again,
if it's again, if you do it like this, if

(23:16):
you choose this route, it's gonna work. Like you said,
fifty eight percent of the time, that's not good enough. Man,
I'm sorry, because that particular day you're playing. What kind
of a frame of mind is your team within the
picture that you're starting that night, how kind of a
role or non roles the other team been on. There's
there's so many things that consider that the number just
cannot the number lax emotion, It has no feel for

(23:39):
the day, and it's generated. I think he kind of
insinuated this based on kind of a bias of the
group that's creating the numbers. All those things have to
be considered and good for him, and of course, like
you said, Andy Reid, my god, I would believe that. Again,
he would tell his group listen, if you really believe something,
tell me it. Otherwise keep it to yourself. And more

(24:01):
than anything, I think it's been obvious that the department,
the analytical departments have been involved in football based on
going for it on fourth downs. It really kind of
gives the coaches courage to try different things because they
know they're going to be supported if it fails. And again,
the safety and nefferent decision making is analytics, so it's
not really knowing anything. That's another thing that people have
understand the analytics is really that you don't really know

(24:24):
what you're talking about. All you know is what the
numbers say that you're talking about, And there's a difference
between that and Shanahan was really speaking about knowing based
on experience, where the numbers just know what it's based
on percentages, spit out of a machine. Two different god worlds. Completely.

Speaker 1 (24:42):
Yeah, And I love the blackjack analogy that he made
because he said, you know, I'm not going to sit
at a table for an hour, and over time the
odds will work in my advantage.

Speaker 2 (24:54):
He said, I've got one shot.

Speaker 1 (24:57):
So on those decisions, I don't even want to talk
about it, meaning the analytics. And here's an example, Joe.
You mentioned the fourth down, and I think it's great
that the analytics have shown that in a larger picture,
teams should.

Speaker 2 (25:11):
Be going for it on fourth down more, and they are.

Speaker 1 (25:14):
I think the football has really changed in that regard
the idea that you know, just always try for the
points and or punt the ball to fourth down. There
are many more times teams go for it on fourth down,
and I think analytics have opened that window, and I
think overall it's a great way to win a football game.
But here's the thing. When you're watching the game on TV.

(25:37):
I don't know if this will happen on this Super Bowl,
but you've seen it, Joe. It's a fourth down situation
and graphic comes up on the screen that says, analytics
say go for it, right, like it's just an obvious answer.

Speaker 2 (25:50):
Well, I thought this was fascinating.

Speaker 1 (25:52):
Remember that game forty nine Ers Lions where Dan Campbell
had a couple of options to go there on fourth down, right.

Speaker 2 (25:58):
We've talked about that.

Speaker 1 (25:59):
Well, according to analytics, when the Lions first fourth down
call with the lines ahead by fourteen, the analytics gave
Detroit a ninety five or ninety point five percent chance
to win by going for it and a ninety point
three percent chance to win by kicking a field goal.

(26:19):
The difference was zero point two percent. And then the
second decision, the win probability for a field goal was
thirty eight point eight percent and by going for it
it was thirty nine point one percent. That's a zero
point three percent edge. So I'm telling you, as a fan,

(26:40):
are you're watching the game, if they're gonna put a
graphic up there that says analytics say go for it, folks,
that's basically a rounding error. When you're talking about a
less than one percent chance that the quote unquote right
decision is to go for it.

Speaker 2 (26:54):
I mean, I'll defer to the coach.

Speaker 1 (26:56):
I mean again, my decision was kick the field goal
without really looking at any numbers.

Speaker 2 (27:02):
He wanted to go for it. That's ain't is wrong.

Speaker 1 (27:04):
I'm certainly not saying he went by analytics, but I'm
telling you as a fan, if you see it says
analytics say go for it, just keep in mind, people,
it's not blackjack, and sometimes the numbers are razor thin,
as they were twice in this case.

Speaker 3 (27:19):
And again by just by going for it, if it fails,
it's okay. He doesn't have to really answer it anybody.
And if somebody media wized asks him that question afterwards,
you could easily say, well, if he wanted to that,
the analytics supported my decision, which then is supported by
the front office and the people within the organization. And
believe me, that's important. People. I hope you understand that

(27:40):
that is really important. From a coach's perspective. To be
a lone wolf, you have to be Andy Reid or
Shanahan in his situation right now or at Belichick. Is
Belichick a couple of years ago went for it on
fourth down. I remember, I can't remember exactly the year,
but it was it failed, and then he was blasted
for going on and fourth down, where today, if a
guy goes for it on fourth down, it is not successful,

(28:00):
not nearly as blasted public about it or within his organization.
That's what you have to understand that when the courage
of a lot of the coaches is based on support,
and there's a time when you did not have the supporters.
Maybe even today, some groups don't have the support to
do what they're doing based on field knowledge, experience, whatever.

(28:21):
And if it's good, it's good, but nobody really patched
them on the back. It's almost like, hey, just you know,
next time, consider this because you might have been lucky
according to people, and that's kind of a thing of
the past. So the decision making based on analytics normally
today is supported by a large group of people within
an organization. So it's kind of a safe route for

(28:41):
a coach to take.

Speaker 1 (28:42):
Yeah, that's well said, the safe route because they are
these departments have gotten larger and they are empowered. I mean,
let's face it, most people who own football or baseball
teams come from the business world, and the business world
is run on analytics and algorithms and logistics, and that's
the language business people understand really well. It works for

(29:05):
them as far as running their businesses. Why wouldn't it
work in a sport, right, So I completely get it,
and no one's you know, I really don't like the
way it is portrayed sometimes that it's an either or
you know, you're either on board with analytics or you're not.
Of course everybody is on I think it's a matter
of a balance, Joe. I think it's a matter of
how it's applied, how it's used. And in the past,

(29:27):
without analytics, there was probably too much reliance on gut
and the pendulum almost has swung so far the other
way that the rebalancing now is what we're talking about.

Speaker 2 (29:37):
I think that's what Kyle Shanahan is talking about.

Speaker 3 (29:39):
You're right on with all that, because listen as you're
saying that, I'm remembering, you know, when I first came
outboard with the Rays, we were getting into that more
than anybody else was, and I had already been into
it with my own methods. Part of that with the
Angel they did not have all the sophistication and all
the numbers and all the computers and this bevy of
guys working within an office, but there was time. I
mean I would ask specific questions of my analytical group

(30:03):
regard aring things that I saw during the course of
the game that they would then include on my sheet
the next day, things that I thought were important, and
then I would ask the question. They would then, like
I said, it would be there the next day, and
because of that exchange, they would probably come back at
me with something else based on what I had said,
what they concluded and now have you thought about this?

(30:24):
And that happened often and it was very helpful. I
mean when it came down when I first started there
with the rays, the bullpen usage, you know, there's different
guys that I had, And again when it comes down
to reverse split guys, the analytics could really identify an
a reverse split guy, both hitter and pitcher. And that's
very helpful because you're going to start making decisions, like

(30:45):
the time I brought Jp hall and to pitch to
Albert Pulholtz in Saint Louis and it's like, what are
you doing? And he jammed them and hit a ground
ball to second base because JP was so good at
that front hip comeback or to right handed hitters. Even
that we threw eighty six miles an hour. It is
kind of like a left handed Kyle Hendricks. But I

(31:06):
was supported by the numbers, based on the analytical numbers
that I saw what I thought I liked about jpl
up the front hip stuff. But now it's saying, yeah,
if you looked at the number, really read well against
Albert in that situation, So let's go for it. There's
a lot of confidence is gained through that. So all
the balance. You said, the word balance, it's so important.
I don't understand why it's so difficult to understand. Again,

(31:29):
I've talked about the analytical departments. There's a lot of
redundancy in that, and again I think they can be
called down you want it. There's things that you want
and shanhandle to ask his group for some specifics. I'm
sure Andy Reid asks his group for some specifics, but
you can't handle all of it. It's impossible. The teams
with better players are going to win, and it's easy

(31:51):
to say that. You know, both Kansas City and the
Niners have among the best players in the league and
they happen to be playing in the Super Bowl. What
a coincidence.

Speaker 1 (32:00):
You know, you use that word courage for a manager's
life as coach to make some decisions that defy analytics. Unfortunately,
you're right. You know, I also like the word conviction.
It does take someone who's you know, very secure both
self confidence and secure in his job to make those

(32:20):
kind of decisions. And that's why, you know, I love
some of these things that happened and in the Super Bowl,
whether it's Sean Peyton kicking an on side kick, the
year A Belichick had a young Tom Brady and decided
not to run out the clock but to go for it,
and they won the Super Bowl on a rally when
some people thought he should just play for overtime. In

(32:40):
the case of Pete Carroll throwing the ball and Giants
stadium on the one yard line didn't work out. But
I believe, Joe, in this football game, you're going to
see something like that happen.

Speaker 2 (32:50):
First of all, you've got the two weeks to prepare.

Speaker 1 (32:53):
You've got two coaches who, to me do have conviction
to do something out of the box. And Andy Reid
to me, has always always been great about that. I'm
telling you right now, Andy Reid has something up his sleeve.
He loves doing this to keep his players loose, give
them a new play, a trick, play, a gadget in
the course of practice time to lighten things up, especially

(33:14):
with the two weeks leading up to the game. Do
not be surprised that he pulls something out of his
hat and let's say it's going to work. But I
love when they have the conviction, especially in the game,
of that magnitude to do something outside the box.

Speaker 3 (33:28):
Safety squeeze. I mean, you're talking about the safety squeeze.
We won that game playoff game against the Cardinals. Jamie Garcia.
Heimy Garcia was pitching, and we went back to back
safeties and that was the end of the game right there,
and probably the end of the series. Little things like that,
and not only the fact that it worked, but what
it does to their team mentally and confidence wise, and

(33:49):
then what it does to your team in regards to
the ability to execute in that moment something that you
had practiced and he comes to the forefront and all
of a sudden, it's such a difference maker in attitude
and like I said, confidence, things that are you just
cannot evaluate necessarily, not at all through numbers. But it's felt.
It's absolutely felt, and you're in a dugout man and

(34:12):
things start shifting, and we talked about this that so
I like to stand on the top step of the dugout.
I could feel, you could feel through the crowd into
the other side, and it looks on their faces. You
could see and feel, Okay, this is what's going on.
Your guys know it. Their guys know it, and all
of a sudden advantage, whether Cubs, rays or Angels, you
feel that, and that's it. You prepare. Another one was

(34:36):
Anthony Rizzo when we slaughtered in between the mound and
first space to take away the bunt when the National
League was still in the National League. We got I
don't know how many double plays on balls bunted back
to Anthony by pictures. You don't do it just against anybody,
but versus pitchers. And then all of a sudden, everybody
stopped bunting against this because we took the bunt away,
which I was good with because now the pictures swinging

(34:56):
the bat. So these are the little things that would
really boaster the attitude and confidence of your group, but
it takes practice to take to buy, and it takes
commitment from the entire group in order to make it work.

Speaker 2 (35:08):
Hey, we need to take a quick break here, Joe.

Speaker 1 (35:10):
But when we get back on the Book of Joe,
I want to ask you about two of your former players.
One is retired and one maybe still playing. We'll see.
We'll talk about that right after this. Welcome back to

(35:36):
the Book of Joe podcast, Joe Madden. I know we've
talked a lot about glue guys, and Evan Longoria had
to be a glue guy for you, even at a
young age.

Speaker 2 (35:47):
And he's at a situation now where he had a
good year, a.

Speaker 1 (35:50):
Good finish to his season for the Arizona Diamondbacks, made
it to the World Series with that team, key contributor unsigned.
As of now, he is undecided about whether he's going
to keep playing or not. I can tell you he
has nineteen hundred and thirty hits, just seventy hits short
of two thousand. He's got three hundred and forty two

(36:11):
home runs, so just eight short of three fifty. There's
only been seventy six players in the history of the
game with two thousand hits and three hundred and fifty homers.
That is an incredible career that he has had. I
don't know if it's the end, Joe for Evan Longoria.
From what I saw last year, you can still play.
You gotta be careful about the volume and the workload
that you give him. But I think he's a guy

(36:33):
you want around your players, especially a team that is
in contention. I look at a team like the Mets,
I look at a team like the Cubs. I think
he's a good fit for a few teams. Those are
two that.

Speaker 2 (36:43):
Come to mind for me.

Speaker 1 (36:45):
Obviously, it's going to be up to Evan whether he
wants to take a deal with someone.

Speaker 2 (36:49):
But I think he can still play.

Speaker 1 (36:51):
And listen, you've had him, Joe, you know what he
can bring to a team. Give me your thoughts on
the guy who might be looking at retirement.

Speaker 2 (37:00):
But I think still has some baseball left.

Speaker 3 (37:02):
Yeah, if he thinks he does, he does. That's that's
first of all with me. He would not be going
out there putting himself out there. He's not the kind
of guy I don't think that would want to go
out there just to chase some numbers. He's always loved
to play the game. And if he thinks that he can,
then I think he can. He's a Long Beach State guy.
He's a dirt bag, And God do I love those players,

(37:23):
Dave Stone, that group that really created that program out there.
Mike Weathers followed, I'm a big fan. I used to
go out there right around January with Kenny Riviza and
practice my opening day speech to my teams with the
Long Beach State dirt bags. It's like a dirty old
clubhouse at blair Field. God did I love. I still
love that place. That is the essence almost of minor

(37:45):
league baseball. It's even beyond collegiate baseball. And Longo is
a product of that. He's a product of that environment.
To Lwitski was another kid that went there. There's a
bunch the tarre Weaver. I mean, I love any player
that came from that situation. What's his name McNeil right now,
I would take that guy. So if this kid says
he want the play, he wants to play, and I wrote,

(38:06):
I wrote down the Mets before you said that. I
know they're having issues with third base. The thing about Longo,
You're right, I would match him up. And this is
an analytical situation for me, like Longo, there's going to
be you're going to read his numbers or his potential ors,
whatever they have to say, matrix why matrix wise, I
would match him up against those pictures righty or lefty.

(38:28):
I mean sometimes Longo actually was better against righting's than lefties.
And the other thing Longo was really good. I was
elevated fastball velocity more than down down in a way
that was kind of his kryptonite. So these are the
kind of things you look for. Who do you match
him up with? And you do that Defensively, he was
as good as anybody asked to call him Montana because
he could pick up a groundball and throw it on

(38:49):
the run accurately as well as anybody. It's something you
would never teach, but he did it so well. I
never said anything to him, something Bob Clear taught me
one hundred years ago. But he's good at it. There's
a lot of young g infielders today that are much
better throwing on the run that the previous generation was
able to do. Can do that. He's very good at
the bunt, and he's a clutch hitter. He's a professional.

(39:10):
You know, I'm building a case. But yes, Matt's Cubs.
I don't know who's going to play third base for
the Cubs with that ballpark could be very conducive. And
the other thing the energy, the excitement, Like I don't
think that the Diamondback Stadium, even though they did what
they did last year, is going to be a buzz
on a nightly basis. I think if you under that
period of your career, you want to be on a
good team. A team has a chance to do something,
and an environment that's going to make you come to

(39:33):
play on that particular day is going to create that vibe,
that energy that's necessary. That's the same thing. So I yeah,
I don't know what he feels like regarding big cities
and living there. I guess the biggest has been San Francisco.
But I take a shot at him. If I talk
to him and he tells me he's inspired and he
wants to do this, and he's in good shape, and
you know, you go through all the you look at

(39:55):
him and the medicals and all that stuff. If he
wants to play, I take.

Speaker 1 (39:59):
Him and Joe, the other guy I wanted to ask
you about, and he's been on our show, is Sean.

Speaker 2 (40:04):
He pitched for you. Where was it Midland?

Speaker 3 (40:06):
Right?

Speaker 1 (40:06):
He pitched for you at Midland in the Angels minor
league system. If you're watching the Super Bowl, you will
probably likely see shots of Sean Perty, brock Purty's dad
in the stands, and you can tell he's like a
little league parent.

Speaker 3 (40:21):
Still.

Speaker 2 (40:22):
He gets nervous, he gets excited.

Speaker 1 (40:24):
He'll react to things that happen on the field with
his son in big moments, so be prepared to see him.

Speaker 2 (40:30):
But tell us a.

Speaker 1 (40:30):
Little bit about Sean Perty, friend of the show. I
looked at his minor league career, Joe, this guy pitched
eight years in the minor leagues and went fifty eight
and thirty seven with a three point nine to one
ERA and a strikeout to walk rate greater than two
per You know, you get you have those numbers. In
today's game, the way teams turn through pitchers, you're getting
a shot to pitch into big leagues. He was backed

(40:52):
up there, you know he went. I guess probably became
a better relief pitcher later on. But listen, eight years
at this game in the minor leagues without getting the
show and putting up some numbers. There had to be
some perseverance there.

Speaker 3 (41:04):
Yeah, I mean the velocity wasn't a heavy velocity guy.
He had more deception, but definitely a good breaking ball
and I don't remember it was a splitter, a change up,
but he had deception. And again, if you watch his
son play, you're watching Sean pitch. It's a very competitive method,
you know, not a great body from a distance. Again,
like he'd wind up and throw the ball. There was

(41:24):
there was not this tremendous fluidity about it, but dang,
it was effective. And when he when as a manager,
when he's on the mound for you, you expect good things
to happen for your team. He's one of those guys.
What do you expect when Rock Purty gets under the center,
Some good things are going to happen for your team.
It is it's the apple. Definitely did not fall far

(41:44):
from the tree or the ball to hutball, far from
whatever the mound or the line of scrimmage. He's just
he's just like that. I mean, that's what he's like.
You watch his kid, That's what he was like. He played,
he competed, he wanted to win. He was tough minded,
he worked hard. You just like being around him. He
was all those different things. So I watch when the
camera shoots him in the stands right now, Gosh, it's

(42:06):
the same cat. He looks the same. It's kind of like,
you know, he's kind of got these the blocky figure.
He's not this body beautiful guy. And if you get
the chance to speak with them, which we did, you
could see how sincere straight. He's a present, tenseky man,
nothing flowery about that. He's not trying to dissemble. He's
telling you exactly what he's thinking. Is a very Christian man.
That's who Sean Purdy is. So when I watch his

(42:29):
kid play, and then when you ever hear Brocks speak that, Okay,
what's his dad like? That's what he's like.

Speaker 1 (42:36):
I love what you said too, that you felt like
when he was on the mound, good things were going
to happen. You know, listen, it's hard to define, but
I know exactly what you're talking about. One of the
first things that jumped out at me looking at his
minor league record was his winning percentage fifty eight and
thirty seven. I mean, that's amazing over an eight year
period in the minor leagues. Now, listen, of course, I

(42:58):
know that when one lost percentage is a product of
the team and a lot of factors that are out
of the control of the pitcher. There's plenty of guys
who pitched great and never got a w and it
happens all the time.

Speaker 2 (43:09):
I get all that, but there is also you have.

Speaker 1 (43:12):
To acknowledge something to people who just have a knack
of finding a way to win, or they've got this
way that teams will rally around them. And I'm seeing
the same thing with his son. Is Rock Purty as
good as Joe Burrow? No, but you know what, they're
winning percentages in the NFL are almost identical. So just
keep that in mind that you know, if it's the

(43:34):
fourth quarter and listen, it's tough.

Speaker 2 (43:36):
To go against Mahomes.

Speaker 1 (43:37):
I get that, but just don't roll his kid out
because I think he's done it long enough and like
his dad, just finds a way to be on the
winning side.

Speaker 3 (43:45):
Agreed. I mean, look at the winning percentage for him,
look at the winning percentage of his dad. I mean,
it's the same cat. And again I talk about this,
I think we mentioned it, but give the Niners credit.
They drafted him for a reason. They saw some things
they saw some things, and it probably was primarily through
conversations talking to coaches. There was something about his make up,
the guy that they were sold on, and they say,

(44:08):
you know what, he's probably worth taking a shot at
this particular time. Look at his winning percentage from the past.
He'd be evaluate his arm. They probably had specific numbers
on his arm average, slightly below average, slightly above average, accuracy,
how quickly he can get rid of the ball. They
thought of his feet, and I know the other day
they were criticizing that he did not run often or
that he wasn't effective. Then all of a sudden, he

(44:29):
gets two first downs on some nice runs. Why because
he's Sean perty Son, That's why. Because that's how he
plays the game, and he sees things, and he's a winner,
and there's something to be said for that man. The body,
beautiful guys, I don't know how many times we often said,
well I wish so and so had so and so's body,
because you know, the big body, beautiful dude can't play,

(44:50):
or the guy with the less stand body keeps beating
everybody up. I wish he looked like, well you know what, no,
stop wishing take this Marcel Lashman taught me that with
pitchers too, latch best pitching coach ever. Everybody was always
hung up on Vlow sitting and Buddy beautiful. But Marceill
would always make sure that I looked at and you
said it, what was his numbers? Like? What was this

(45:11):
record like? And listen, I'm gonna argue that point because
guys have good win loss records because guys care about
that and they compete and they are they have a
tendency to win. That's Buddy black about that. A's getting
really former good major league starting pitcher with the one
loss record meant to them. It means everything to them.
We're trying to teach them that it's not as important anymore.

(45:32):
But if you teach them that it is, if they
really believe it, you're gonna see more guys in the
sixth and seventh any man saying I'm okay to go
back out because I want the W because it does matter.
This is this is a learned process that it doesn't matter.
It's not true. That's that's an analytical trope that I
really not I'm not into.

Speaker 1 (45:50):
Yeah, when you mentioned that, I started thinking about Johnny Lester. Yeah,
look at his one loss record. It was important to
them to stay in that game, give us team a
chance to win and be out there longer, which is
how you get w's. So in the game, Joe, I was,
I really would like to see brock Purty win the game.
But I think you're looking at Patrick Mahomes right now
is completely at the top of his game, and I

(46:12):
just know the forty nine ers better not let him
have the ball last in the game because you're not
going to beat him.

Speaker 2 (46:18):
He's going to find a way to win the game.

Speaker 1 (46:20):
Because he's got that it factor and he's just got
incredible skills and incredible decision making. So it'd be hard
to go against a guy who's I believe Patrick Mahomes
right now is playing his best football of his career,
which is saying something. But again, I think it would
be a great story if Brock Purty wins the game.

Speaker 2 (46:39):
What's your thought in the game.

Speaker 3 (46:41):
Yeah, you know, they both have wonderful skill players. I mean,
if you start talking about McCaffrey and the check o
and you talk about their tight ends with Kittle and Kelsey,
and they talk about Samuel and who's the wide receiver
for the Chiefs. Thing there, they're really balanced out. Again,
one thing, I look at his line play, and I'm

(47:03):
a big line play. That's why I thought the Eagles wild.
Really surprised me that the Eagles failed a bit because
I love their line play both sides of the ball.
So that's something that's really rarely evaluated. And I still
think that again, if I'm running a football team, yeah,
you need a quarterback. You cannot win without a quarterback,
period exclamation point not possible. But number two would be
offensive and defensive line play. I would really want some

(47:26):
really stellar groups in that in the trenches. That that
really is why football is football, and white teams could
be successful on an annual basis at the end of
the day, I like what you said. Mahomes is a
different animal, but also I do like the overall of
the forty nine ers. I do like the McCaffrey. To me,
it is just a different but Chaco's like again, these

(47:48):
are like two wonderful running backs. But I like McCaffrey
a lot. So I'm going to say a very close game.
I got the Niners coming out on top, and I
got Brock Purty walking off the field looking first pop.

Speaker 1 (47:59):
That will be cool and I know you mentioned earlier, Joe,
You're gonna take us out with something about decision making,
which I love because with these two coaches here and
these teams, I think, as you just said, very evenly matched,
you're going to have key decisions in this game, no
matter what, whether it's for the better for the worse.
And you know it'll be a little bit of a
chess match as well. Besides the players on the field,

(48:21):
the coaches will have a lot to do, as they
always do on who wins the Super Bowl.

Speaker 2 (48:25):
So with that setup, Joe, you had something planned. You weren't.

Speaker 1 (48:29):
You didn't know I was getting to no decision making.

Speaker 3 (48:32):
But here we are, dude, I swear to god, I
was debating different things this morning. I'm sitting here and
I just said, you know, decision making, and it's I
was also thinking about, you know, the building a baseball team,
and you brought it up with Corbyn Burns and the Orioles,
et cetera. But this was like on the money, and
this comes from somebody that many many years ago. But

(48:55):
he wrote, A good decision is based on knowledge and
not on numbers Plato, A goodness decision is based on
knowledge and not on numbers. And again that's the point man.
Everybody looks at analytics and numbers as being knowledgeable they do,

(49:16):
or as if they if that's the source of their information.
That you actually know something you don't. You don't. You
don't know it until you feel a taste it, live it.
You don't know it. You don't know it. And there
lies the difference. And that's what Shanahan was talking about,
and that's what Andy reads all about. A good decision
is based on knowledge and not on numbers or math.

(49:38):
You could augment good decision making with math or numbers,
absolutely you can, you want that, But at the end
of the day, experience, feel all that stuff matters. Experience
in regards to making consistently good decisions, I believe. I
just want to believe also that as a as a

(50:02):
human race, we're going to continue to rely on those
methods because the moment decision making lacks of motion and
real feel about it. Yeah, things have a really good
chance of going sideways fast.

Speaker 2 (50:15):
I'm well said, why not have both?

Speaker 3 (50:17):
That's right. Absolutely, enjoy the game, Joe.

Speaker 2 (50:20):
We'll see you next time.

Speaker 3 (50:21):
Okay, by to you too.

Speaker 1 (50:31):
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