After reading "The Numbers Game,'' an enchanting and original history of
baseball statistics, the Florida Marlins' victory in the World Series looks
more improbable in retrospect.
The Marlins triumphed despite a lousy on-base percentage (a fave of stat
freaks), winning instead behind the stolen base (a statistically dubious
risk), clutch hitting (an apparent myth) and an old-school manager who
ignored overwhelming empirical evidence about pitching his ace on
three-day's rest and went with ...