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Mathematical Digest


Short Summaries of Articles about Mathematics
in the Popular Press

"Stats Geek at Bat," by Jonah Freedman. Popular Science, May 2003.

Just in time for the baseball season, the author wonders whether sabermetrics---"the ultimate mathematical and statistical analysis of baseball player performance"---will really help manage the strategies major league teams. Bill James, who developed sabermetrics in the 1970s, is the Red Sox's new advisor: His job is to analyze the hundreds of formulas that combine individual statistics (batting averages, RBIs, etc.) and less prominent stats (like hits, walks, outs) and then advise the team's management on whom to trade, sign, or cut. Only time will tell if management's strategy is effective this season: the Boston Red Sox, Oakland Athletics, and Toronto Blue Jays use sabermetricians.

--- Annette Emerson