Matt Thomas is referenced in the following articles.
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|2010-11-02 13:00:00 (link to chat)||Hi Eric. Last summer, you wrote up the Sportvision '09 summit for ESPN and talked alot about the fielding part. How do you see work like Jeremy Greenhouse, Greg Rybarczyk, and stuff like this (http://whowins.com/wherefieldersfield201007.pdf) from Sportvision '10 fitting in with Field f/x, if and when Sportvision ever releases Field fx? Thanx!|
(Brian from New Athens, IL)
|At last year's summit, Rybarczyk and Matt Thomas gave tremendous presentations on ways to improve the accuracy of fielding data. Rybarczyk's presentation dealt with thinking of the field as a compass, and how each outfielder, for instance, will need to move differently to field the same ball. A flyball hit to right-center will require the centerfielder to move southwest while the leftfielder moves northeast. The idea was that the fielders should be evaluated on what they had to do to get to the ball, not whether or not they got to the ball.
Similarly, Thomas's work deals a lot with how far the fielder had to move to field a ball, and is equally important. Knowing this information will help us get past many of the biases our eyes have when watching a game. For instance, Shane Victorino will scurry his little legs to the same flyball Carlos Beltran naturally glides to. Our eyes tell us Victorino made the better play, when in reality Beltran is better to the point that it looks easy. Being able to compare those two plays and then see that they both had to travel the same distance and had the same amount of time to do so will help erase something like that. (Eric Seidman)
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