Zack Britton rips Yankees again, claims disconnection forcing team to struggle

Michael Bennington
Wednesday February 7, 2024

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Former Yankees reliever Zack Britton, recently retired, reignited the debate surrounding the team’s analytics-driven approach. His comments echo concerns previously raised by star slugger Aaron Judge, highlighting a potential disconnect between data and player experience.

Zack Britton, speaking on “Foul Territory,” reiterated his stance on the Yankees’ reliance on analytics. While acknowledging the value of information, he stressed the importance of clear communication. He cited instances where “different factions pulling in different directions” led to confusion and disconnects. “The front office, analytics department, players, and coaches all need to be on the same page,” he emphasized.

Zack Britton cites Judge to unload on Yankees

Former Yankees pitcher Zack Britton

“I just know as a player there, a lot of times in the clubhouse I felt like there was this disconnect between some of the things that we were presented with and what we were seeing on the field as players, he said.”

“And sometimes that creates, you know, that rift which is not what you want. From a clubhouse culture standpoint, you want everything to mesh well together, whether it be the communication from the front office, to the play on the field, and I felt that sometimes the two just weren’t connecting well.”

“What the players were saying, we were like, ‘Hey, we should be doing this, and this has been working well.’ Then sometimes the way that that was implemented through the data didn’t line up, and I don’t think I’m the only player that feels that way.”

He referenced Judge’s past remarks about being bombarded with “analytics-related noise.” Zack Britton clarified, “The issue isn’t the analytics themselves. It’s about effectively filtering information and avoiding manipulation.” He concluded, “The game still struggles with this.”

Judge, after the 2023 season, questioned the chosen metrics, suggesting they might “miss key aspects.” He emphasized factors like “the grind of the season” and “intangibles” that numbers can’t capture.

Zack Britton leaves Orioles game after left arm fatigue.

Zack Britton echoed these sentiments, mentioning a “disconnect” between data and his on-field experience while playing for the Yankees. He warned about potential clubhouse rifts due to such discrepancies and stressed the need for seamless integration between analytics and “what works on the field.”

Furthermore, Zack Britton stated that players often offered strategies based on their experience, but these weren’t always implemented in line with their suggestions. He believes other players share his concern.

It’s important to note that Zack Britton’s last season with the Yankees (2022) was spent recovering from Tommy John surgery, limiting his on-field experience. However, his comments, aligned with Judge’s, raise crucial questions about bridging the gap between data and player perspectives for optimal performance.

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