Ryerson MBA Finishes Second in SABR “Diamond Dollars” Case Competition

Ryerson MBA continued its streak of podium performances at the Society for American Baseball Research (SABR) “Diamond Dollars” Case Competition. For the second year in a row, the team finished second among programs in the Graduate Division. The competition was part of the SABR Analytics Conference, which took place from March 10 to 12, 2016, in Phoenix, Arizona, and brought together students and sports executives in a forum that allowed students to apply their skills to solve real sports business problems.

SABR MBA Team 2016Competitors were encouraged to use their understanding of statistical analysis to develop a group of bullpen pitchers for a Major League Baseball (MLB) team. The Ryerson MBA team (Alex D’Alfonso, Aaron Caputo, Matthew Cohen, Ryan Minicola, and Zintis Vandelis-Muir) differentiated themselves by inventing two unique metrics that had never been seen before, and used those metrics to value both the individual players as well as the bullpen as a whole.

Team member Alexander D’Alfonso says the conference “was a wonderful learning experience, with representatives from over a dozen MLB teams in attendance along with hundreds more from various media outlets. We received numerous positive reviews from various conference goers, as well as positive feedback from Vince Gennaro [President of SABR], specifically for the unique and labour-intensive nature of one of the team’s key differentiating metrics. The entire conference was a wonderful and educating experience, topped off with a fantastic finish against some elite U.S. competition.”

The winning team for the Graduate Division was Carnegie Mellon University, with Columbia University finishing in third place.

The judges for this year’s competition included many of the MLB’s leading executives from various teams: Samuel Mondry-Cohen, Washington Nationals; Mike Debartolo, Washington Nationals; Scott Freedman, Philadelphia Phillies; Sarah Gelles, Baltimore Orioles; Ed Lewis, Arizona Diamondbacks; Matt Obernauer, Colorado Rockies; Dane Sorensen, St. Louis Cardinals; and Victor Wang, Cleveland Indians.

Vince Gennaro, Director of the Master of Science in Sports Management program at Columbia University, is the president of SABR and served as the conference moderator. He is also the author of Diamond Dollars: The Economics of Winning in Baseball and a consultant to MLB teams.

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