Don’t get too excited here, but it looks as though the Jays have a rather interesting opportunity.

A few of them, actually. Currently listed on Rogers’ jobs site are listings for a Baseball Operations Analyst, as well as a scouting intern, and an analytics intern.

Why do I say not to get excited, you ask? Those sound like pretty exciting opportunities, you say?

Well, actually yeah. They are, if that’s your bag. But for one, I can’t help but wonder if the actual position– less so the internships– might not be a posting for a job that’s already been earmarked for someone, even though the company still has to go through the formal process of putting up a job posting. Don’t companies do shit like that? I’m entirely just speculating baselessly on that, but my immediate thought was that it sure would be a hell of a process, having to go through a torrent of applications from the public, full of all sorts of dubious research credentials and over-eager dreamers hoping to get a foot in the door.

Or maybe not. I don’t know. And it doesn’t really matter, because secondly, I’m pretty sure the guys behind the brand new Jays-focussed analytics blog Breaking Blue are going to own us all in a matter of months anyway, so the Jays will probably be snapping them up any minute now to take whatever position is available.

Obviously I half-joke, but their work– which first came to my attention after Chris Carruthers’ post at FanGraphs Community Research (which is also on his own site) on the effect R.A. Dickey had on pitchers following him was getting all kinds of Twitter love yesterday– is slightly terrifying. In a good way, I mean– in terms of ingenuity and execution, and also in making me (and several other folks sitting around here in theScore’s blog jail) feel mighty old. Mighty fucking old indeed.

Hey, but that’s alright. Good on ‘em. And shit,  there is precedent when it comes to big league clubs hiring analytics writers from the web– in particular, of course, when it comes to Baseball Prospectus, who’ve had a number of guys hired away by different organizations.

One of those guys is Mike Fast, now with the Astros, who offered which I can only assume is some excellent advice today– all of this stuff is pretty much entirely above my pay grade (yeah, but how well can these guys squeeze “fuck” into the middle of common, everyday words, huh????)– on some prompting from our own @DrewGROF (as well as Noah Sherman, whose work you’ll probably recognize from Bluebird Banter) based on the “qualifications” section of the Jays’ job posting for the analyst position.

One of the recommended qualifications is that an applicant has “demonstrated strong knowledge of databases, SQL, and R and how they apply to baseball.”

Here’s what followed:

So if you have any idea what the hell they’re talking about there, get your resume in order! Obviously there are all kinds of folks out there already doing work that would be an asset to a club– especially one that we sometimes fear may fall a little too heavily on the scouting side of things. *COUGH* (One that, y’know,

And if all this R, SQL, Perl and Python stuff is completely foreign to you, have a look at the postings anyway– and, in particular, the rest of the qualifications and the lists of responsibilities. They give lot of insight into just goes into these kinds of front office roles, and are doubly interesting when you compare them to a current listing on LinkedIn for a similar post with the Arizona Diamondbacks (who, for example, don’t seem as interested in publicly available research as the Jays are– at least not when it comes to the role that’s posted).

Shit, just get a resume together anyway, drop it off at 1 Blue Jays Way, and see if you can’t find Alex to tell him to make with some damn transactions already! [Note: Don't actually do this.]


Image via 2K Sports.

Comments (106)

  1. I applied for the internship a few years back. Went through a bunch of stages – initial application, a long questionnaire (about scouting, stats, draft, etc.), phone interview, and finally an in-person interview with a couple of people, including one of the Assistant GMs.

    Obviously didn’t get the job, though I believe I was one of the final four they considered. Was told the candidate they chose had great programming skills, which I did not.

    So that would back-up the comments about how important those skills are for getting into baseball, and also, I think, shows that they were truly looking for someone and not just filling it with someone they already identified.

    Was a pretty great experience, though obviously disappointing as hell when I got the rejection phone call.

    • Bret, don’t give up. You never know where front office folks look nowadays or the identity of commenters. I know that this site has been visited multiple times by the Jays. Andrew, send in a resume, this is an excellent site, you and Drew have a lot to offer. Apply, see where it goes, the Jays value metrics.

    • Have you applied anywhere since?

      • Nope, I haven’t. Wouldn’t have been able to afford moving to any other city based on the intern compensation.

        • That sucks. I vaguely remember Dave Cameron saying in a chat that he never really considered internships for MLB teams because of the crappy deal they get (work like a dog, no promise of a full time job). Congrats on getting really close though, it must have been tough!

          • Thanks!

            • So of the first 6 posts, 3 of them are Bret. Writing about Bret. Bret on Bret.

              • Jays internship is $11 an hour, and they have in the past offered to continue the interns on at that rate (when other orgs are offering the same people near 6 digits). It’s a shame that they can’t see that there are brilliant young minds that could truly help them out. Bret do you still have the written part of the hiring process. I tried to find mine but I’m sure it’s on my other laptop. I have it somewhere though and will post the questions when I find it.

                PS. Stoeten that Breaking Blue is an off-shoot of the same messageboard community that you were ripping on a few months ago.

                • Knew I’d find it. This was for the Operations internship

                  1) What baseball websites do you read? Which are your favorite and why? What are the most recent books you have read about the sports industry? What did you like or dislike about them?

                  2) Give a detailed description of a problem that you solved analytically—either at a previous job or in school. Please discuss your process for working through the problem as well as what you found. In hindsight, would you have handled things differently? Why or why not?

                  3) If given the time and resources needed, what’s the first question about baseball you would research and why? How would you go about conducting your research? How would this research benefit a MLB baseball operations department compared to publically available research? Do you see any potential obstacles in the way of your research?

                  Subjective and Objective Analysis:

                  1) Discuss the roles and relative importance of subjective and objective analysis in evaluating players, both at the amateur and professional levels.

                  2) What are “makeup” and “team chemistry” and what role do they play in baseball decision-making?

                  3) What’s the difference between a player’s ability and his performance?

                  Amateur Draft:

                  1) What factors do you think should be considered when making a selection in the amateur draft and why?

                  2) Discuss the implications that you see potentially arising out of signing bonuses being “slotted” in the new CBA.


                  1) Discuss the physical attributes and tools that you look for when scouting a starting pitcher. How important is each in projecting what his future role will be in the Major Leagues?

                • Oh, so you mean that messageboard community isn’t a monolith and there are a few actually intelligent people on there? Shocking. Still deserved/deserves ripping entirely. Also: while it certainly looks impressive, I’m not necessarily whole hog endorsing everything on that site. It’s communicated very well (which might be the most impressive thing, given how hard it can be to do with that stuff), and the work looks very solid, but I can’t say that the conclusions necessarily hold up after a quick reading of it. Great food for thought, at the very least, but probably best to leave the crowing at the door, eh? And what do you even mean by offshoot, really?

              • Thanks. You seem like a swell guy/gal.

  2. Speaking of the Dickey article…here’s part II:

  3. Ooooh boy, is this finally my ticket out of Winnipeg?

  4. I forget what fangraphs guy wrote the article, I think Dave Cameron though, in the hardball times, about how shitty the pay and how poorly the low level folk in the front office are treated. Apparently its really bad with the hours and pay (especially the interns who get no pay and false hope of making it big)

    I haven’t bought the book yet, so haven’t read it. But apparently it is a great article that is suppose to stir up the baseball world (at least it was said in a fangraphs chat)

  5. Stoets,

    I think in the real world, once you post “Externally” you have probably gone through the “Internal” process already.

    Let me know if you need help with your resume …

    • As an HR Specialist, not always the case…optics my friend, optics. Every company is looking to expand their talent brand.

    • You can’t possibly think I’m remotely qualified, can you? Certainly not. Which works out well, because I would never want one of these jobs anyway, personally.

  6. When you click through to “apply” for those jobs, you get this:
    “This job cannot be viewed at this time. It has either been deleted or is no longer available for application. For more job opportunities, please click here.”

  7. “and also in making me (and several other folks sitting around here in theScore’s blog jail) feel mighty old. Mighty fucking old indeed.”

    I fucking knew it.
    You’re slowly turning into me.
    Now get off my lawn punk.

  8. I’d give the Carruthers kid the job, personally. Anyone know if he is/has applied? Would be interested to see if he gets a job.
    He seems to fit the bill of what they are looking for.

    • His article on the “Dickey Effect” was really good too, something that a team like the Jays could use. I’d suggest people go read it if you haven’t already. According to the analysis, Dickey can add up to something like 1.4 war just for being a knuckleballer (because of the positive effect on the next day’s pitchers)!

    • Razor, you called it! It’s happened already. I know from a source that via twitter, the Blue Jays have already reached out to Chris. Yesterday in fact, and they have been discussing possibilities via email. Chris will certainly apply, who wouldn’t given the circumstances. However there are logistic issues, etc…..

    • According to Chris himself, he’s been contacted through Tom Tango, so he’s looking into that.

  9. grit+leadership+chemistry-Yunel Escobar=Wins

    This shit’s easy. Where’s my parking spot?

  10. Toss yer hat in there, Stoets. Fiddle around with some torrented software, say “braying fucking morons” in the interview, and I’d say you’re a shoe-in.

  11. I can tell you from personal experience that the whole process is a waste of time if you are a Canadian. If you are lucky enough to advance through every stage of the process and land the job – good for you – but it doesn’t matter how well you do at the end of the day because they won’t hire you on full time past that. The reality in the sports world, and in baseball in particular, is that full time gigs are extremely hard to come by because they are rarely ever available. No one is going to create a job for you in the baseball ops dpt if you were an amazing intern lol. Its a pipe dream. Plus, none of the american teams can hire you because of the work visa issues for such a job.

    Unless one of the full time guys leaves his position for whatever reason (promotion, different team, fired, etc.) then you won’t be working there past next season. If you wanna do it to say you did it – cool, do it. But don’t expect much.

    As for the hours and the pay, yes they suck – no one likes working 15 hour days and getting paid pretty much nothing for it – but you do get to go to a big league stadium for work, which is pretty cool. But that said, you will have no social life to speak of lol.

    Plus, most of the low level guys you will be working with in their front office have the personalities of plastic chair’s – which is to say, none at all. You could probably have a more engaging convo with a 2 year old then one of those guys.

    Not worth it in my opinion, but good luck to those that try.

    • How do you know this?

    • So I’m guessing you were one of these interns?

    • Yeah, you are probably right, but working in a FO would be pretty cool to put on a resume. If someone is hired, they really need to network as best they can and make as many connections as possible for the future. Also, I wonder how privy those interns are to trade talk, free agency etc. My guess is not much.

      • Can’t speak to baseball. But I make my interns sign a confidentiality agreement. I bet the Jays do as well. So you might find good stuff out but you wouldn’t be able to talk about it.

        • You hiring?

          I want a key to the executive washroom and a Keurig Coffee maker at my desk.
          I also get last pick at the Chinese gift exchange.
          100K base salary with personal hygiene, attendance and moral improvement bonuses.

    • Sounds like what Dave Camerons article in THT pretty much says.

    • Alex Anthopolous???

    • There are four major professional sports teams in Toronto, with at least two that heavily embrace sports analytics, on top of that it’s an internship in a large, data-driven corporation. I think this replaces the above comment about “smart jocks” as the most ridiculous I’ve ever read.

  12. Does a person who played / plays the game and has the necessary computer smarts to know what they are talking about actually exist?

  13. R isn’t really a database it is a statistics software package. And there are good legally free versions:

  14. Perhaps only quasi-related but anyway, here goes:

    I’ve recently completed an internship with a mid-sized organization (not in the sports world) who are quite heavily invested in analytics. One recurring theme that was discussed at the senior management level was the significant skills gap for people with quantitative skills. Now, I’m not talking mathematicians, different kinds of mathematicians, and statisticians, but people with very basic data manipulation skills and understanding of statistical fundamentals (i.e. significance testing, confidence intervals, effect sizes, etc). Pairing that with programming and/or software knowledge is icing on the cake. Rightly or wrongly, traditional organizations are increasingly investing in big data analytics, so these skills will continue to be in demand. Similarly, I think that MLB clubs have realized or are realizing that they don’t need to necessarily find the next Voros McCracken, Paul DePodesta, or Bill James. It makes business sense for them better leverage the huge amount of data available to them and they don’t necessarily need to reinvent the wheel.

    All of that to say, basically, that if you have these skills in combination with the requisite educational credentials, there are likely plenty of organizations in Canada where you can hide out and collect a decent paycheque while waiting for your dream MLB job to come up.

  15. Ahhhhh Fawwwk. Kottaras to the cubs…
    There goes my little pipe dream.

  16. Damn. I liked the idea of him.

  17. This story is getting some legs. Samarjkdija (I give up) to the Jays for Sanchez, etc?

  18. I have a master’s degree in computer science, seven years of industry experience, and a deep desire to help turn the Blue Jays into perennial contenders. My ticket out of Winnipeg?

  19. Cruz wants 4 yrs, 75 mil. Not a fucking chance. He should get Peralta money at best. And corner OF’ers aren’t as in demand as up the middle IF’ers were so his leverage is lessened.

  20. So many rumors.
    Kinda hard to tell where the fly shit in the buckwheat.

  21. Uh.. R means runs, right?

  22. They’ve posted similar internships every summer for the past few years under different job descriptions, so nothing really new on that end. The full time analyitics positions though, that’s kind of interesting.

  23. At least they don’t want people to know Microsoft Access. Wish someone would burn it and piss on the ashes.

    Python is an okay language – basically glorified Bash scripting. Oracle all the way baby!

    What the hell is R? Maybe I’m not looking at the right thing, but it looks like an OOP-structured query language. If someone could point me in the right direction, I’m actually curious about this language (and not about the job posting).

  24. Nobody thought that it would take both Syndergaard and D’Arnaud for I.M. Shitty, but it did.

    Just wait until the package for Shark ends up being Stroman, Sanchez and DJ Davis. Maybe we’ll get at *LEAST* -0.5WAR out of Shark before selling off all assets and descending into a 3 year rebuild.

    You heard it here first.

    • I know you are being slightly exaggerated here, but please don’t make me worried. I have not been fond of what they had to give up for both Happ and Dickey (maybe even the Marlins deal) (and especially considering the results), so now I am quite skittish.

      • Don’t touch the negative suckholes.

      • Also: you really care about what they gave up for Happ?

        • No, I don’t care too much about what they gave up for Happ really. But it seemed such a massive package to me (considering how much people seem to value prospects) that they could have gotten someone better. Rethinking this though, I am pretty certain Anthopoulos would have called the other GMs and said “This is what we are giving for Happ, will you give us someone better?” so my instincts seem incorrect.

  25. I briefly considered this. and i do understand the conversation above.
    But then I realized I’m too old. Too expensive. and too much of a “fan”

  26. This Mike Fast character doesn’t know what he’s talking about. Histograms and scatterplots? They’re looking for an analyst, not a baseball blogger.

    If you don’t know how to work with more advanced statistics, you have no business applying for an analyst job. They’re not looking for armchair GMs.

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