Baseball Prospectus: Scout’s Honor Review

Nate Silver at Baseball Prospectus posts his review of the anti-Moneyball, Scout’s Honor by Bill Shanks. Nate’s critique is similar to mine. Here are his main points.

I’m a big fan of everything that the Braves have done, and of the way that they do business.

That’s why I was so disappointed with Bill Shanks’ Scout’s Honor. It would have been enlightening to read about how the Braves scrutinize and solve baseball problems. Instead, we are left with a series of anti-Moneyball platitudes, most of which have very little to do with the way that the Braves actually do business….

It’s disappointing, however, that Shanks spends so much time talking about philosophy, and so little time talking about the execution of those philosophies. What does distinguish the Braves from the Devil Rays? We never really find out.

The bottom line is that winning organizations execute well. If you’re scouting and developing players, do it right. If you’re doing analysis, do it right. Adopt and apply championship-caliber business practices. Treat your people well, and make sure that everybody is on the same page. Shanks contends that the Braves’ success is a repudiation of the analytically-oriented approach to the game. I can’t see how he connects the dots that way.

No one can, Nate. Scout’s Honor isn’t a search for truth, it’s dogma.

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