It’s Educational!

Wednesday’s Education section of the Boston Globe featured an article on the Tufts University course, “The Analysis of Baseball: Statistics and Sabermetrics,” to which I paid a visit last spring after learning that my DIPS page had wound up on the course syllabus. In the article, by Peter Schworm, yours truly gets in a good quote and a plug for Mind Game:

The class has excited baseball analysts, who view it as a potential tipping point for the increasingly influential field. Sabermetrics — the name derives from the Society for American Baseball Research, or SABR — is derided in some circles as the presumptuous work of computer geeks who never played the game. But its tenets, embraced by successful teams such as the Oakland Athletics and Red Sox, is changing the way the game is watched and played.

“It’s another sign of sabermetrics’s growing acceptance,” said Jay Jaffe, one of the contributing authors of “Mind Game: How the Boston Red Sox Got Smart, Won a World Series, and Created a New Blueprint for Winning,” and a guest lecturer at the Tufts class last spring. “We’re going to wind up with a generation of fans that isn’t as beholden to the sacred cows as before.”

Schworm interviewed me six weeks ago, and I’d pretty much written off any chance of the article seeing daylight, so it was a nice surprise to get a heads up on this. Since that interview, however, the regimes of two sabermetrically-inclined teams, the Red Sox and the Dodgers, have been toppled. So much for timing.

A quick visit to the Tufts course’s home page reveals that this semester’s guest lecturers were Bill James and Alan Schwarz. A bit of a step up from last spring’s doubleheader pairing me with Red Sox baseball operations assistant Zack Scott, no? Hey, at least the company’s good.

p.s. I’ve started poking at the 2005 DIPS numbers with a sharp stick, but let’s just say that the Hanukkah Fairy is making no promises as to the timing of their arrival.

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