David Berri and Martin Schmidt of Wages of Wins fame have just published their new book Stumbling on Wins. The authors do a great job of showing how math can help teams make better player personnel decisions and better in game decisions. I hope you will pick up a copy.
My favorite chapter of Stumbling on Wins discusses the merits of various NBA coaches, They conclude that among the studied coaches,Phil Jackson is the best coach.Their methodology is to look at at every player who was traded to a coaches’ (say Phil Jackson) team and look at how the player’s productivity (as measured by Wins Produced or Win Score) changed. The coach with the highest (standardized) increase in player performance is deemed the best coach.
We did a similar study in which we used a player’s Adjusted +/- rating as the measure of player performance. We found Rick Carlisle to be the best coach. Mark Cuban stated that this analysis helped convince him to hire Rick Carlisle. I would love to see a similar study involving OPS, DIPS or win based baseball statistics that would analyze the merits of baseball managers. This might help use decide if Cub fans are right to blame the recent disapointing seasons on Lou Pinella.