Baseball team hire eccentric genius

http://www.boston.com/sports/baseball/redsox/articles/2005/06/23/his_numbers_are_in_the_ballpark/?page=1
Eric Van wakes his computer with a nudge of the mouse, and moments later the oversize screen is bright with numbers, an elaborate spreadsheet that is impossible to decipher. Moving the cursor across the columns, Van cracks a smile.
A 51-year-old Harvard graduate with an IQ of 143, Van was hired quietly by the team in February after owner John Henry read his posts on Sons of Sam Horn, a website popular among passionate Red Sux fans. Van is a statistical savant who's been using numbers to evaluate player performance for more than 30 years, well before ''sabermetrician" -- the term used these days to describe his type -- was in vogue.
 
374
0
I've seen some of his postings and even participated in debates with him in other message boards. He seems reasonably smart, but appears to lack formal training in statistics, so none of the numbers he cites are any more sophisticated than conditional sample means. He has a lot of these numbers at his fingertips, and that seems to impress the average layperson. He also has a tendency to bend the numbers to suit his biases.
 

BobG

Science Advisor
Homework Helper
110
80
Statistics almost never answer questions - they just help you ask the right questions.

Bill James is the only baseball stats guy I've been impressed with. It isn't compiling the stats that's impressive - it's being able to relate them to the game. Bill James knows enough about baseball (the game on and off the field, not the box score), and baseball history, that he can usually put the statistics he compiles into perspective.

In fact, statistics usually only play a minor supporting role in his best articles.
 

Related Threads for: Baseball team hire eccentric genius

  • Posted
Replies
4
Views
830
  • Posted
Replies
8
Views
2K
  • Posted
2
Replies
25
Views
2K
  • Posted
Replies
21
Views
3K
Replies
1
Views
297
  • Posted
Replies
4
Views
2K
  • Posted
2
Replies
45
Views
5K
  • Posted
Replies
20
Views
13K

Physics Forums Values

We Value Quality
• Topics based on mainstream science
• Proper English grammar and spelling
We Value Civility
• Positive and compassionate attitudes
• Patience while debating
We Value Productivity
• Disciplined to remain on-topic
• Recognition of own weaknesses
• Solo and co-op problem solving

Hot Threads

Top