It’s been 95 years since the Red Sox won a World Series at Fenway Park. It dates all the way back to when a pitcher named Babe Ruth called the venerable ball yard home.
And what a fitting win in light of what happened this summer at the Boston Marathon.
The hashtag #BostonStrong came out of that terrible tragedy and describes the sentiment of Wednesday’s big win against the St. Louis Cardinals at Fenway Park. Since Wednesday, this hashtag has been used more than 202K times.
“There are no perfect endings after life and limb are lost, but this was the best thing this great American city could hope for Wednesday night,” according to MLB.com. “The Red Sox won the 109th World Series, beating the Cardinals in six games, and took the next step in a healing process that followed the Patriots’ Day bombings at the Boston Marathon.”
A few stats on the home team win from a great article by Jill Martin at CNN.com.
- The Red Sox join an elite crowd – one of four teams in MLB history to win a World Championship eight or more times. The others – the team’s 2013 challengers – the St. Louis Cardinals as well as the New York Yankees and the Oakland Athletics.
- The 2013 team was known as the “Beards.” It all started when Mike Napoli, Dustin Pedroia and Jonny Gomes started growing beards at spring training. It became a “thing” to wear a beard (real or fake) to the game.
- The Red Sox finished last in their division last year. It’s only the second time in history that a team went from worst one year to first the next year, coming back and winning the whole thing. The Minnesota Twins first did it in 1991.
David Ortiz was statistically on fire.
With a batting average of .688, the 2013 World Series MVP had the second best at-bat record of all time (behind Barry Bonds) for the World Series. He got on base more than 75% of the time or a whopping 19 times during the series, according to the BleacherReport.
Boston made some great moves businesswise at the end of last season, according to the author of the article, Tyler Conway. He notes that the team’s “heroes” came from a staff change that freed up $250 million in signing money last August.
Sabermetrics definitely played its role.
Sabermetrics also known as “moneyball” was a factor in the Red Sox win. In fact, the team has been practicing it since before the book “Moneyball” was released, notes Allen St. John at Forbes.
But Jonny Gomes, who sported a 1.2 WAR (wins above replacement) during this 2013 season made a great point about stats – it’s part of it, not all of it.
“There’s a lot of sabermetrics, there’s a lot of numbers and stuff. The whole WAR stat,” he tells Fox Sports. “But when you go to playoffs, you want me to go to war with.”
Gomes makes a great point about analytics – it’s not just the numbers; it’s the people. People drive the questions, the sport and the analytics.
Boston wins at the business side of the game.
Tim Zue helps the Boston Red Sox win with analytics on a business level.
He’s the chief data geek in charge of “supporting all of the Red Sox businesses across every revenue stream, whether it’s ticketing, sponsorships, TV revenues or the concessionaires that sell hot dogs and beer at Fenway Park.”
He says the team uses data to run a “smart business.” A few cool ways the Sox win:
- Philosophy on data: “What did the data say?”
- All about comparisons and sharing. Zue says the Red Sox have called other teams to check parking prices and shared the data back with them. While there’s competition for the pennant, it’s all about “collaboration amongst teams,” Zue says.
- Context is king. While the Red Sox have tons of transactional and comparative data, Zue says that it’s all in the context for the team. He says that in order to put value in the data, you have to “compare it and put context around it.”
And that folks is how the Boston Red Sox won the World Series (at least from a data standpoint). Congrats to the home team.
Spotfire Blogging Team