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FanGraphs Interview With Bo Porter Discusses Communication, Analytics

Earlier this summer, Bo Porter gave an interview to FanGraphs covering a variety of topics. You can find the whole interview here, but here are a few choice excerpts to give you a sense of what his managerial style may be. (Hat tip to Mad Martygan for finding the interview so quickly last night.)

“In the American League, it’s a huge advantage when you have a nine-hole guy who is like a second lead-off guy — a high on-base-percentage guy — because now you have three on-base guys in front of your three- and four-hole hitters.

Wait, leadoff guys are more about on-base percentage and not speed and/or bunting abilities? Blasphemy!

Porter also discussed talking with Tony La Russa about strategy and batting the pitcher eighth. Maybe that's when he popped up on Luhnow's radar the first time?

“The idea of hitting your pitcher eighth has always made sense to me. I talked to Tony LaRussa about it when I was in Florida and he was managing the St. Louis Cardinals. You want your best hitter to hit third, and his reasoning was that he wanted an extra everyday hitter in front of Albert Pujols. Instead of having the pitcher in the nine-spot, he had a position player. Once the lineup got rolling, it was almost like [Pujols] was hitting fourth, but still was guaranteed to hit in the first inning.”

And here's the obligatory data-driven question:

On using data: “We use it a lot, but we also have really good baseball people. It’s almost like we coexist with the information that statistical analysis can give us. We take into consideration the player’s ability to perform. The statistical analysis gives you information, but once you get into the flow of the game, that flow dictates how you use the information. I love the strategic side of the game. It’s something that really drives me and excites me.”

Really, though, go read the entire thing, because it's a great read and really gives you a solid insight into Porter. It almost makes up for him not being at his own press conference.