Coppola: Howie Karpin – Baseball man

Commenting on someone else’s work is sometimes a touchy matter, in this case not so. I want to talk about my friend and colleague Howie Karpin, who’s column about the Pirates Andrew McCutchen, appeared in NY Sports Day Dec. 23rd. Howie wrote a well researched and thought out scouting report on McCutchen.

This is what big league GM’s want to hear from their best major league scouts and something that teams spend lots of time and money to get done.

Teams will send two or three major league scouts, with years of experience, to follow a player for weeks. Then they will go to their analytic staff of about five or six young mathematicians, to get an even better picture of said player. All of that information is then deciphered by the GM and his staff of advisors helping them to make a decision as to whether or not this player can help their team.

Howie laid it all out on a silver platter for any GM to see. He explained the analytical parts, in a smooth coherent way, making it easy to understand. Then he talked in detail about McCuhen’s 2016 season and his make up as a player. He should be working as a top advisor for a GM.

Let me tell you this, if he was one of Sandy Alderson’s advisors up in those secret suites at the winter meetings, McCutchen would be a NY Met and Steven Matz, Brandon Nimmo and Jay Bruce would be looking for apartments in Pittsburgh.

If you want to know what a real big league scouting report looks like, read Howie Karpin’s column on Andrew McCutchen. As the #1 official scorer at Yankee and Mets games and a long time NY sports writer, he knows baseball like a math professor at MIT knows, “The Isosceles Triangle Theorem”.

Insight like this, only comes from years of watching players and having a passion for the game then applying all that baseball knowledge and baseball instinct to your thoughts. Baseball instinct comes from playing the game and Howie has been playing ball his whole life with that experience he has on and off the field, carrying over into his writing.

He has a gift. The ability to see things in a player, that others don’t. To be able to get past all of the numbers and formulas, that we are told make a player good or bad. To be able to have that gut feeling, that tells you this guy can play. That is a baseball man.

Howie Karpin is a “True Baseball Man”.

Editor’s Note:  William Coppola just completed his 40th year in the game of baseball. He has been a coach, instructor and advanced scout for numerous teams in Major League Baseball 

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