You can't live with them, you can't understand them, but you also can't live without them if you're a baseball fan.
Popularized in large part by Billy Beane and the A's in Moneyball — first as a book, then as a movie — the statistical analysis of baseball stats has steadily gone more and more mainstream over the years.
Now, it's reached a point where things like "UZR" and "WAR" are met with nods of approval rather than blank stares of bewilderment when brought up in everyday conversation.
Bill James, who currently works for the Red Sox, was an early pioneer of the sabermetric movement, but the Red Sox and A's are far from the only teams in the majors that crunch numbers to better gauge how to construct a roster.
However, the debate continues to rage on of how exactly important and trustworthy the study of stats turns out to be when building a team. While the new school crowd may argue that baseball is unique in its ability to use numbers to predict performance, old-timers will likely scoff at the notion that a computer knows how to scout players or evaluate talent correctly.
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