Sunday, February 24, 2008

It's time for baseball!

One of the great things The great thing about living in Houston is that there are nice days in February--nice enough to go see a baseball game in shorts. And so I ended up at Cougar Field at the University of Houston today, just in time to catch a painfully slow game between the Cougars and Pacific. I was almost asleep as the game dragged on for four hours, but was brought back to life by a great last two innings, as the Cougars, who trailed all game, rallied to win in the bottom of the ninth.

I met someone there who was a contributor to Project Scoresheet, the sabermetric project from the early '80s that later evolved into STATS Inc. The project got its impetus from the refusal of baseball's official statistician (Elias) to share specific data. He told me about a conversation he'd had with one of the Astros' announcers at the time. "I was telling him about these numbers," the man said, "and he said to me, 'That's great, but nothing will ever replace the crack of the bat and the smell of the grass.' " And so it is.

Time for baseball once more!

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