Analytics And The Bucs

May 16th, 2019

Joe is not a big analytics guy. Oh, Joe finds some deep data like NFL NextGen stats very useful and enlightening, but they come with a cost.

Just look how the geeks have destroyed baseball. Joe’s a baseball guy but it is becoming unwatchable and is frankly illogical. These Ivy Leaguers who run baseball ,who never swung a bat past Little League, get their briefs bunched up over bunt singles (oh, do they howl!) yet they celebrate walks and frown on steals. They encourage hitters to hit into shifts with unlevel swings and shrug their shoulders at strikeouts. It’s insane!

(The worst is when a cheerleader home team play-by-play announcer cackles how a strikeout is a “good at-bat” — in what world!?)

“This Joe” does not follow the non-basketball association whatsoever but in reading stories through osmosis has learned that analytics may be behind the heave-a-three-pointer-fad that has (allegedly) taken over the game. Joe also read once where a coach was asked if maybe his team shoots too many three-pointers since his team was a poor-shooting squad and the coach mocked the reporter for not knowing analytics.

Hoo, boy.

Despite this, Joe does find some of the deep stats that discover trends somewhat enlightening (and no, not what the Pro Football Frauds only pump out free so they can slap grades on everything from the snot dripping out of a guard’s nose to the amount of puke a running back tosses after getting drilled in the stomach).

Now Joe knows Bucs AC/DC-loving general manager Jason Licht is an analytics guy (how much he is influenced by the numbers is unclear) and employs numberscrunchers at One Buc Palace. A story in The Athletic by Ben Baldwin goes deep into what he describes as the NFL’s “dark web.”

Baldwin talked to a couple of hardcore math guys who learned computer code and started running NFL teams’ play-by-play data into a software that NFL spreadsheeters use, as in those employed by the NFL. Joe wonders if the Bucs believe in the trends these guys have unearthed.

One trend the keyboard tappers have revealed is too spend little cash on kickers. In short, Baldwin learned kickers are so volatile that consistency from year to year is almost a crapshoot.

What isn’t a crapshoot?

Well, another trend Baldwin found was that passing efficiency is a much bigger tell of success than running the ball. Also, the numberscrunchers Baldwin spoke with for the story each say teams get much more bang for their buck by investing in quarterbacks, wide receivers and offensive tackles than any other positions.

Who are the five highest-paid players on the Bucs’ roster? America’s Quarterback, Pro Bowler Jameis Winston, Mike Evans, Jason Pierre-Paul, Gerald McCoy and Donovan Smith.

While Joe finds these intricate stats and buried trends somewhat interesting, Joe sure hopes the glorified accountants don’t take over the game and bastardize it like they have baseball (and from what Joe understands, basketball too). Joe has seen what this crowd has done to baseball and it is a far less entertaining game.

And yes, sports are entertainment. If you are not entertained, then what the hell is the point of watching or paying attention?

Entertainment is, in part, emotion. Numbers are dry, stale, fully emotionless and in many cases boring to the bone. Unless of course you win the lottery or have a lot of zeros on your paycheck.

16 Responses to “Analytics And The Bucs”

  1. AlteredEgo Says: Your comment is awaiting moderation. Says:

    The best deal in the NFL is hitting on a 1st round QB…..BIGGEST bang for the buck by far !….key is hitting on one…and it shouldn’t take the 5th year to know

  2. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    This is why you always want to draft the skill positions highest…….keep good players at those positions in the pipeline…….We have Godwin & OJ…..but unless Rojo works out….no RB….no QB….no OTs…..
    Once in a while a player will break out and get a big paycheck…..CB…LB….S…

  3. BetterBucFan Says:

    You’re fighting a losing battle Joe. During some NFL broadcasts when they’re introducing the starting roster they put PFF grades under the players as they’re introducing themselves.

  4. Bird Says:

    Speaking of cheerleaders

    We have a dude cheerleader

  5. Joe Says:

    You’re fighting a losing battle Joe.

    Joe is fighting no battle. He understands Cris Collinsworth and the PFF tribe have the right people hoodwinked/paid off.

  6. Duthsty Rhothdes Says:

    good thing bucs didnt trade for Pat P

  7. NOSBOS Says:

    Say it ain’t so Dushty..


    Duthsty it’s a shocker we didnt trade for him n then find out hes gonna be suspended for 6 games cuz u know #itsabucslife 🤷‍♂️😂

  9. D-Rome Says:

    A strike out can ultimately be a good at bat if the batter ended up making the pitcher throw 14 pitches in an at-bat. I mean, in today’s baseball with pitchers with strict pitch counts a single batter chewing up pitches can be a great at-bat even if it ends up being a strikeout.

    Generally speaking, I’m with you about baseball. I don’t care about launch angles and exit velocity. I can’t imagine the majority of baseball fans do.

  10. Joe Says:

    launch angles and exit velocity

    Here is a new one for you: Spin axis!

    Don’t give two spits about launch angles and exit velocity either. Means nothing, actually.

  11. Joe Says:

    A strike out can ultimately be a good at bat if the batter ended up making the pitcher throw 14 pitches in an at-bat.

    Can’t even call that good. Who is to say the pitcher won’t have a complete game or throw a no-hitter? For a “good at-bat” shouldn’t something, you know, good come out of it? At least if a guy puts a ball in play something good could come out of it.

  12. AlteredEgo Says: Your comment is awaiting moderation. Says:

    Joe Says:
    May 16th, 2019 at 2:33 pm
    launch angles and exit velocity

    Here is a new one for you: Spin axis!

    Don’t give two spits about launch angles and exit velocity either. Means nothing, actually.
    LOL…Gumpy Ole Joe growing and scowling at his TV…hehehheheeee

  13. Tony LA Says:

    Those who fully study and understand the analytics realize quickly that they are measurables to utilize when all other things appear equal. Say you like two RBS that you have ranked VERY close based on the eye test…

    One is blazing fast but sub 210lbs and not a good receiver.
    The other is a tad slower but over 220lbs.

    Those analytics will clearly show you that the 220lb guy and his metrics have a 65% hit rate in the NFL while the sub 210lb guy who can’t catch has a sub 10% hit rate.

    Makes the choice easy.

    Why do I write this? Because it’s clear Licht doesn’t rely on analytics or he would have never drafted the sub 210lb guy who couldn’t catch in ROJO last year – a guy all those stat geeks absolutely HATED due to his metrics and profile.

  14. Barack's Crack Pipe Says:

    Bird Says:
    “We have a dude cheerleader”
    Thank the Glazers for forcing this Babylonian side show on Christian families. Personally, I’m not wanting to have to explain this crap to my children.

    If they want dudes to ogle at so badly, they could have traditional male cheerleaders; otherwise just ditch the cheerleaders altogether. It’s not worth destroying society. The Glazers probably gag at the word “traditional,” though.

  15. Barack's Crack Pipe Says:


    I’ve got to agree with D-Rome on the good at bat thing. Making a pitcher throw 10+ pitches in an at-bat is a good thing (although I agree with you that a bunt single would be even better).

    The Rays front office has really been on the cutting edge of analytics in baseball, and it has actually helped them gain an advantage that is badly needed against the big budget teams. I’m all for that, but again I agree with you that receiving obscure statistical facts about each and every big hit is pretty annoying. I think by next season or so, they will probably stop forcing the announcers to feed us that crap. I’m pretty sure there is a contract in place right now to publicize NextGen.

  16. Sport Says:

    Another great article. Damn nice piece to read.

    Its not just analytics, they were kept early on I baseball, purists love keeping a box score at the games. Then there were some who loved the game and access to the data so much they took it to the next level.

    However, it really took off when small market/budget MLB Teams decided they needed to compete in a different way. Not every has team has YES Network cash to blow. Hence, Billy Beane and the competitive A’s of yester-year

    If you are a reader, I strongly suggest you read Moneyball (the movie, as usual with books-to-movies, didn’t do it justice). Its one of the best business books you can read and it provides the background on why the big market clubs are using it.

    All that being said, it has definitely changed the game, I don’t care if they shift, I just don’t want to see a 4 hour baseball game.