The first session will highlight three topics: the MLB Hall of Fame scoring system (JAWS), Pythagorean records (The Hit List), and the expansion of Defense Independent Pitching Statistics into the mainstream. Jay Jaffe will discuss their statistical underpinnings and the way such truths make their way into the mainstream.
Speaker: Jay Jaffe (Baseball Prospectus and Futility Infielder)
Jay Jaffe is the founder of the 10-year-old Futility Infielder website (www.futilityinfielder.com), one of the oldest baseball blogs. In addition to covering the annual Hall of Fame ballot for Baseball Prospectus since 2004, he writes the weekly Prospectus Hit List and Prospectus Hit and Run, and began covering the Yankees for the YES Network's Pinstriped Bible in the summer of 2010. In recent years he's contributed work to six Baseball Prospectus annuals as well as their It Ain't Over 'Til It's Over and Mind Game books as well as Will Carroll's The Juice, and the Fantasy Baseball Index annual. A graduate of Brown University, he once came in third in the famous Milwaukee Brewers sausage race, and in December 2010 was elected to become a member of the Baseball Writers Association of America.
Competing (and Winning) with Sports Analytics The field of sports analytics is growing at a fast pace. Teams in a variety of sports have employed the tools of sports analytics to gain a competitive edge in many areas such as in game strategy, player projections, salary cap management, and player development. Sports analytics is essentially a new technology evolving in professional sports, and as such, faces barriers that are both unique to sports and common across all industries. As the tools evolve, many of the teams that embrace the new technology are shown to benefit significantly through more informed decision making that has resulted in more wins.
Speaker: Ben Alamar (Editor for Journal of Quantitative Analysis in Sports and Oklahoma City Thunder NBA franchise)
Benjamin Alamar, PhD: Professor Alamar is the founding editor of the Journal of Quantitative Analysis in Sport, a professor of sports management at Menlo College and the Director of Basketball Analytics and Research for the Oklahoma City Thunder of the NBA. He has published academic research in football, basketball and baseball, has presented sports related work at the annual conventions of the Society for American Baseball Research, the American Statistical Society and the New England Symposium on Statistics in Sports. Additionally he has consulted for teams in the NBA and NFL and provided statistical analysis for author Michael Lewis for his recent book The Blind Side. Professor Alamar is also an award winning economist who has worked academically and professionally in intellectual property valuation, public finance and public health. He received his PhD in economics from the University of California at Santa Barbara in 2001.
Sports, Statistics and Economics
The publication of Moneyball (in 2003) was certainly not the first attempt to put sports, statistics and economics under one roof, or between two covers. But it generated a vast amount of popular interest among intelligent lay readers, various media, and academic scholars -- economists, statisticians, law and business faculty, and other social scientists – in the application of models and measurement, and strategic decision-making, to winning ball games and making money at it. Currently “The Economics of Sports” is taught at many universities across the country and abroad. In our time together we will look at the hits, runs and errors of the past decade, and the past 50 years, to examine where the intersection of these three fields has advanced the ball, where it comes up short of the goal line or net, and where it’s likely “headed” – pun intended – in the years ahead.
Speaker: Allen Sanderson (Department of Economics, The University of Chicago)
Allen Sanderson is a senior lecturer in economics. He came to Chicago from Princeton in 1984; served eight years as associate provost of the University; and has also been a senior research scientist at NORC. In addition to his popular sequence in introductory economics, Economics 198 and 199, he teaches a course and does research on the economics of sports. He is also the organizer of a team-taught multidisciplinary course, “Sport, Society and Science.” In 1998 he was a recipient of the Quantrell Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching.
Mr. Sanderson is an oft-cited authority on sports economics issues, a contributor to op-ed pages on sports and non-sports topics in newspapers around the country and a frequent guest on national and Chicago-area television and radio programs. Recent speaking engagements include lectures in Osaka, Japan; Beijing, China; Paris, France; the Economic Club of Chicago (with baseball commissioner Bud Selig); and at University of Chicago alumni clubs in the U.S., Canada and France. His most recent professional journal article is on the economic impact of colleges and universities on their communities.
More information is available on his homepage: http://home.uchicago.edu/~arsx/
Conversation with an ESPN columnist
Aaron Schatz will talk about the development of advanced football statistics, and the difficulties that outsiders have getting information about the National Football League as well as college football. He will also take questions from the audience about the upcoming season (or, depending on the labor situation, lack thereof).
Speaker: Aaron Schatz (Football Outsiders and ESPN columnist)
Aaron Schatz is the creator and editor-in-chief of FootballOutsiders.com and the lead writer of the Football Outsiders Almanac book series. His innovative statistical methods and analysis of NFL play-by-play led the New York Times Magazine to call him “the Bill James of football.” He is a regular contributor to NFL coverage on ESPN.com as well as in ESPN the Magazine, and has written in the past for The New York Times, The Boston Globe, The New Republic Online, and Slate.com. He has also done custom research for a number of NFL teams. He has a BA in Economics from Brown University and lives in Framingham, Massachusetts with his wife Kathryn and daughter Mirinae.
CCASA Members: $145