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Lookout Landing Podcast 58: Kyle Boddy from Driveline Baseball

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The founder of one of the industry’s leaning training programs dispenses some wisdom and reveals why being a professional gambler is good training to work in a baseball FO

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Driveline Baseball’s founder Kyle Boddy has been described, kindly, as an industry disruptor, a visionary, an innovator; and less kindly, as abrasive, off-putting, egocentric and dickish. Appropriately, this week’s podcast jumps right into conversation with Boddy describing his setup at Driveline—no music or soft lead-in. Over the course of the conversation, and building off Levi Weaver’s excellent series of articles on Boddy in the Athletic, Boddy reveals himself as a polymath who’s been, in turns, a mathematician, philosopher, economist, classically trained pianist, scientist, entrepreneur, professional poker player, Magic the Gathering enthusiast, Little League coach, and Warped Tour bassist. He also presents himself as a more mellowed-out version of his earlier, swaggering online presence, an objective scientist who lets data win out over ego. More than anything, Boddy is a visionary who uses data in all its forms to create a holistic model for building a better baseball player: biomechanical data to hack the kinetic chain for Driveline clients, feedback data to track injuries and make adjustments for clients, and trend data to forecast where baseball is headed next.

The conversation flows quickly and recursively, at times doubling back on itself to reinforce ideas or clarify concepts, and therefore we won’t be providing a full minute by minute listing of topics, because there are often multiple topics covered over a span of just a few minutes. Some of the things touched upon: finding the next Scott Hatteberg; staying out of Jackson, Tennessee; why scouts don’t know what to do with Driveline; Blackberry vs. iPhones and doubling down on bad ideas; Driveline’s staff of “miscreants”; why the most important question for successful people to ask is “what next?”; John Carmack; why teams should operate more like professional poker players; the concept of “best idea wins” and why that’s hard for people, especially baseball-types; that just hiring personnel who speak Spanish but don’t understand Latin culture isn’t enough; Mike Trout’s boring effectiveness; and what one thing he wishes all Driveline trainees would walk in the door understanding, and why most of them never will. Listen to all of it. We promise you’ll learn something.

Note: If you’re searching for the podcast to subscribe (and we would love it if you did) please be aware that it is listed as simply “Lookout Landing” and not “Lookout Landing 2.0” which is understandably confusing. We’re sorry.

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