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by Jason Snell & Dan Moren

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Linked by Jason Snell

Grand Unified Theory of Baseball

While many computer geeks dislike sports, there are bunch of us sitting in the intersecting portion of the Venn diagram between sports geeks and computer geeks.

One of those people is Ken Arneson, a computer geek who also founded a baseball blog site way back when. The other day he wrote this staggeringly smart piece of work trying to understand what data-driven analysis of baseball seems to be missing:

If I were to build a technology for analyzing baseball, this is where I would begin, right at the core of the game, the engine that drives the sport: what pitch the batter is expecting from the pitcher, and what happens when the pitch he gets conforms or deviates from that expectation.

If you’re curious how SQL databases, Pablo Sandoval, the Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis, pitch selection, and Automata theory intersect, you’re probably the kind of person who should read Ken’s essay.