After the 82-80 record season, the New York Yankees infamous analytical department came under scanner. Fans and analysts alike believed that perhaps the Bronx Bombers are too reliant on technology and numerical data. Moreover, the lack of instinctive on-field decisions cost the Yanks the 2023 season, the fans feel.
Thus, to acknowledge the concerns, Hal Steinbrenner lived up to his promise and hired a third-party company to conduct a “deep dive” audit of the organization. Amid growing concerns about the workings of the outside firm, the assistant general manager of the club shared insights on the team’s true nature of its relationship with the firm.
Zelus Analytis Not Hired To Audit The Yankees, Says Michael Fishman!
While the New York Yankees have historically been at the forefront of incorporating advanced analytics into their decision-making processes, the 2023 lost season enforced a change in approach. After the statistics department came under the scanner, owner Hal Steinbrenner hired an outside firm called Zelus Analytics to overview the club’s working structure. However, Michael Fishman, the assistant general manager of the Bombers, clarified the relationship between the two firms. He says that Yankee’s inside information will remain confidential and will not be shared with an outside firm under any circumstances. “We’re getting access to what they’ve done. They’re not getting access to what we’ve done,” said Fishman. Apparently, the club will view the firm’s work and decide on what to incorporate and what to reject.
Thus, Zelus Analytics was not hired to audit the Yankees, confirmed Michael Fishman. Having said that, the assistant GM addressed the growing concerns about the communication gap between players and the numerical department. He confessed that the Yanks lacked in that area. But that does not mean they are not finding ways to do better in the future. Fishman further added that he held a positive conversation with the director of quantitative analysis, David Grabner, to review player feedback. “There are changes we have decided that we plan to make but haven’t fully implemented,” said Fishman. Overall, the club personnel backed the analytics department while acknowledging the concerning gaps. Nonetheless, Michael Fishman promised a better workflow now that the organization is fully aware of the problems.
“You Can’t Overreact,” Fishman On Yanks Off-Season Plans!
Apart from defending the analytics department, Michael Fishman also opened up on the New York Yankees’ off-season plans. He says that in spite of the lost season, the club cannot overreact and completely overhaul the roster. Decisions taken under pressure are not in the best interest of the franchise. Thus, the decision-makers will carefully evaluate every potential target before reaching a consensus. Further, Fishman defended Yanks’ player evaluation model, stating that it is not outdated.
Owing to the Yankees’ recent trade busts, fans are beginning to question the team’s player scouting and evaluation model. Michael Fishman said that models are constantly changing and evolving according to needs. The franchise does not rely on one set model just because it seems to be working. The personnel are constantly working to tie loose ends and develop new error-free models. “We continue to test that model. So even some of the models we’ve had success with, there have been tweaks over the years to make it a little better,” said Fishman.