Michael Fishman knows baseball. A native of Fairfield, Fishman joined the New York Yankees in 2005 as the team’s first—and then only—analyst. Today, Fishman is a Yankee assistant general manager, overseeing one of the largest analytics staffs in all of major league baseball. Fishman, a Hopkins and Yale graduate who grew up in the Stratfield neighborhood of town, returns to Fairfield to visit his parents with his family as often as his busy schedule allows.
What was it like growing up in Fairfield?
Growing up in Fairfield meant enjoying the comfort of a small community while being close enough to New York City to attend professional sports events. I enjoyed playing ball in my backyard and had the opportunity to compete for several years on the Bridgeport Gators swim team.
Have you always been a Yankees fan?
I remember going to baseball card shows in the American Legion Hall on Stratfield Road. Back then, I was actually a Mets fan and often went to Shea Stadium to watch games. Things changed quickly when I was hired by the Yankees!
What do you do when you return to Fairfield?
My daughter and son enjoy the places that I went to as a child—the Lincoln Park playground and Penfield and Jennings beaches especially.
How do the Yankees use analytics and make an impact “off the field”?
Analytics now plays a role in nearly every decision we face in the baseball operations department. We have transitioned from a department of one to now having analysts specializing in specific areas, whether it be the amateur draft, player development, or performance science. The quantitative analysis group is continuously performing research and developing statistical models to help better predict future player performance.
What’s it really like to work for the Yankees?
The Yankee organization is rooted in hard work, dedication, and passion for baseball. I’m surrounded on a daily basis with people who love their jobs and the team. It’s an honor to know I’m helping make baseball history and helping the team win. With such dedication come long hours and time away from my family. It’s definitely not easy, but it’s exciting.
Can you share advice for kids who dream of working for the Yankees or another major sports organization?
Breaking into the sports industry isn’t easy, but effort, patience, and some luck helped me get there. To break in, I demonstrated how my statistical skills applied to baseball and could help a team. My advice would be to understand your strengths and how those skills would apply to various sports jobs. Then work hard to put yourself in a position for those jobs and be patient.
Which Yankees are you excited about for the 2019 season?
In recent years, we’ve enjoyed great success from rookies like Gleyber Torres, Miguel Andujar, Gary Sanchez, Aaron Judge, and Luis Severino. I’m excited about improvements to our starting rotation with the addition of James Paxton from the Mariners and a full year of J.A. Happ on the team.