An information storage system from EMC Corp. is scoring big points with the Boston Red Sox.
The team is using the Clariion system from the Mass.-based information management and storage company, to store several years of footage, and gain an edge in the highly competitive world of pro-baseball.
At the EMC press tour stop at Fenway Park on April 24, Red Sox senior vice-president of sales and marketing Sam Kennedy, said the ownership group committed to preserve and protect the historic park.
“We were fortunate that when they made that commitment, one of the first companies that called us was EMC Corp.…and they shared their values and visions for what it (Fenway) should be,” said Kennedy.
He said EMC helped them preserve Fenway by entering into a marketing partnership with them.
“You may say, ‘What is a baseball team doing with EMC?’, but we have an ownership group, and a baseball and business operation that’s very committed to gaining a competitive advantage in the marketplace.”
Theo Epstein, Red Sox general manager said – via an EMC promotional video shown on the press tour – that information is key to maintaining that all-important competitive edge.
He said they’re in competition with 29 other organizations, essentially to make better decisions, and this revolves around having access to and use of information in the decision making process.
“So when I’m sitting at my desk and need to make a decision about a player, I need at my fingertips scouting reports, stats, medical information, and contract information,” said Epstein.
He added that you just have to be right 51 per cent of the time in baseball. “You can use that information to get the smallest advantage, and in the end you’ll have a real competitive edge.”
Steve Conley, the director of IT for the Red Sox said they have two Clariion systems, the Clariion CX700 that’s used for services including online editing of video for broadcast and news media, statistical archives, and a digital video system for home games, while the Clariion CX500 is their system used for all games on the road, and stores video of almost every at bat of every game that’s relative to the Red Sox.
This video is usually viewed before a series to determine how they’re going to pitch to someone, how often they bunt, and where they set their fielders position-wise, according to Boston Red Sox field manager Terry Francona.
“There’s a lot of technology that’s at our fingertips that if we don’t use, we’re missing the boat, so shame on us.”
He added they often see player Manny Ramirez sitting in front of the computer every day.
“There’s many times he’ll go up to a plate and hit the first pitch…he studies it (the video) very hard, and there’s a lot of times where Manny will break the game wide open because he’s a very prepared hitter.”
The software has also helped designated hitter David Ortiz improve his batting average, said Epstein.
“He has the best progression of performance from his first to third at bat against the same pitcher…he’s the best hitter in the league, third time around with the same pitcher in the same game, because of his ability to study and make adjustments,” he said.
“Ortiz has really developed from promising raw talent into one of the best hitters in baseball and that’s through hard work on his part, and the resources available.”
Conley said that success in the team depends on mining and using data and video, and that EMC storage helps to deliver that information quickly, efficiently and securely.
In addition to improving player’s performances, an additional benefit is that it saves time, said Epstein.
“That’s key because those minutes and hours used up making phone calls, going back and getting files, waiting for an express package, that’s time that could be used on the next decision, on gaining the next competitive advantage.”