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Thursday, July 10, 2014

Twins Stathead Application

Fangraphs.com is a stats and analytics heavy baseball website that can be found on the internet (aka the world wide web) and doubles as one of my favorite ways to procrastinate while I should be studying.  For nerds like me, it’s one of the meccas of baseball knowledge and advanced thinking about the sport.  It attracts an audience of really intellectual baseball fans and high-level thinkers (myself not included), and every so often, MLB teams post job openings when they’re looking for a nerd with a calculator who never played the game.  In the latest posting, my favorite ballclub is looking for a new stathead to crunch some numbers, and since I took a couple of stats classes and like baseball, I am a wonderful candidate.  I sent in my resume, cover letter, and application (fingers crossed), and even dropped Dave St. Pete’s name (my cousins used to babysit his kids so this whole thing is just a big formality), but just in case they go in another direction, I’m just going to make this available so the other 29 teams don’t miss out.
JOB FUNCTION:  As a member of the front office, collaborate with the Baseball Operations staff to develop, deliver, and maintain data driven solutions for analytics and architecture of player information and evaluation systems. This position requires strong statistical, software development, and database management skills.
Strong statistical background—I used to be an Actuarial Science major but switched out because it’s too hard and I’m not smart enough because I was bored and don’t test well.  I got a C+ in a class taught by a prof with a thick Russian accent, so I’m more than qualified.  CHECK
REPORTS TO:  VP, Technology & Manager of Major League Administration & Baseball Research
Last time I checked, this isn’t Bill Smith, so I’m still interested.  Just wondering, will I be making more or less money than Billy upon hire?  That’s kind of a sticking  point since I never traded Wilson Ramos for Matt Capps, just saying.
ESSENTIAL FUNCTIONS:
Work with Baseball Operations, Scouting, and Minor League staff to maintain and expand upon the existing player information and evaluation systems.
I can get a subscription to Baseball Prospectus when my first paycheck clears and I listen to podcasts all the time.  Plus I’ll be at the Futures Game on Sunday, and would be willing to scout those guys and see which of them would best fit The Twins Way.
Use an iterative software development approach for quick roll-outs combined with incremental improvement process to existing systems and environments.
Quick roll outs?  I been rolling out quick since Luda dropped Roll Out back in my elementary school days.

Review existing data structure and define any necessary changes or additions to that architecture to produce efficient and intuitive data structures.
I imagine this involves proofreading a Microsoft Word doc, maybe an Excel spreadsheet or two at worst.  Nick Punto hit second most of his career with the Twins, there honestly can’t be a ton of analytics going on.
Integrate multimedia and data from outside providers into data architecture and player information system.
I can help Gardy bookmark baseball-reference.com onto his Internet Explorer homepage, check.
Design and develop procedures to calculate advanced player statistics and manage player evaluations, rankings, and other information into an integrated system.
Advanced player statistics?  You mean like Moneyball, right?
Continually work with Baseball Operations staff to identify features and areas of improvement within the player information system to facilitate a user-friendly research tool.
Facilitate a user-friendly research tool?  Sure, I’ll help get Gardy acquainted with the computer, I’m more than qualified after teaching my mom how to use her iPhone.
Create standardized reports through the use of graphs, charts, text, etc. to be consumed by Baseball Operations staff.
That’s something I can do.  I used to be really good at art in elementary school, with my work being featured in the Minnesota Timberwolves Game Day Program, so drawing a few graphs and pie charts should be no sweat.
Perform advanced statistical analysis on large sets of baseball data to help in the decision making process of the Baseball Operations Department.
I took STAT 333 last fall and got a C+.  I could do most of the homework myself (Remember, not a good test-taker), but got help sometimes.  I think I still have those other kids’ numbers, so if I run into any problems I’ll shoot them a text.
Assist Manager of Major League Administration & Baseball Research in identifying technologies and data sources that offer value to the Baseball Operations department.
I will point him in the direction of literally anything Tom Tango has ever written.
Communicate results to appropriate staff members through presentations, written reports, and tools.
Wrote a research paper on cybermetrics in my senior English class in high school and got an A-, so written reports I can do.
Be a liaison between the Minnesota Twins Baseball Operations Department and the Office of the Commissioner and MLBAM in regards to baseball-related technologies.
Cool, liason to Bud Selig means I’ll get to travel because we all know he doesn’t email.
TECHNICAL QUALIFICATIONS:
  • 4 Year Bachelor’s degree in Technology.
That’s a funny way to spell “Economics.”  We’ll make it work.
  • 2+ years of hands-on development experience with .NET Framework, C#, ASP.net MVC, XML, HTML, CSS, JavaScript, jQuery, AJAX, Entity Framework, Web API, and the MVVM design pattern.
We’ve made it this far and this is our first hang up.  I’m doing pretty good.
  • Experience with basic front-end user experience design.
…..
  • Proficient with Microsoft SQL Database management and schema design.

  • Experience with developing solutions that consider massive quantities of data.
…….
  • Proficient with Visual Studio.
Define proficient
  • Working knowledge of Microsoft IIS.
Working knowledge is kind of a loose term if you ask me.
Ok, so I kind of just blew the save (baseball term).
REQUIREMENTS:
  • Experience with Sabermetric player evaluation techniques and concepts.
I’ve been reading Fangraphs for years, so experience I got.
  • Experience with Pitch f/x, play-by-play, and/or TrackMan data sets.
Pitch f/x is really super cool and I usually read when Jeff Sullivan writes about it, so if this is an interview I would say that yes I am experienced.
  • Ability to communicate effectively with all aspects of Baseball Operations, Scouting, and Player Development staff, and understand their job functions and subsequent software needs.
I am a wonderful, prodigious communicator, and I have expressed that on every resume and application I have ever filled out and turned in.
  • Ability to lift and transport items up to 55 lbs.
That’s kind of a loaded question, but yes, I’m interning this summer and have no problem swallowing my pride, rolling up my sleeves, and finally cleaning out Bill Smith’s office for you on a day where I have some downtime.
  • Must be able to sit for extended periods of time.
Check.  Big time check.
  • Ability to relocate to the Twins Cities area.
I will do that as long as the Twins let me have time off to drive back to Hibbing to play for the Miners every summer weekend and a few days a week.  Nothing we can’t work around.

1 comment:

  1. Legitimately one of your funniest blogs. Cool take on running through the whole application. Not quite on a KFC level, but black KFC would be proud of the Luda reference. A-. #HireJim

    ReplyDelete