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Tuesday, April 1, 2014

USA Ultimate Hires ‘Moneyball’ Statistician Bill James to Run Advanced Metrics Bureau

Oh, wait, that last one is real.
Tuesday afternoon, USA Ultimate announced that it has hired legendary baseball statistician Bill James—of Moneyball fame—to spearhead the new Advanced Metrics Bureau, aimed at taking the ultimate fan experience to the next level. 

“Ultimate has made huge strides forward in terms of media exposure and fan viewership over the last few years,” said USA Ultimate CEO Tom Crawford at the press conference.  “But we’ve been lagging behind in terms of pretentiously complex statistics.

“Now, USAU is thrilled to announce that Bill James, father of baseball’s ‘sabermetrics’ movement, has joined the team, and will be providing us with extensive new statistical models for the game we all love.”

James, whose approach uses advanced numbers to find hidden value in players, spoke to reporters about his decision to quit his lucrative career in baseball statistics and join up with ultimate. 

“Well, frankly, baseball sucks,” confessed James. “Nothing happens.  I’ve made an empire out of inventing a thousand ways to count precisely just how much *nothing* will happen in any given baseball game. I just took a look at one more Opening Day…I had to get out.” 

But James is nonetheless happy about the potential for advanced stats in ultimate.  Said James,

“Well yeah, of course I’m excited.  I mean, when you consider how boring baseball is, it’s kind of a miracle.  We just got people hooked on the stats and the fools flocked to the games by the millions.  Just imagine what we can do with a game that’s actually mostly sports!” 

The new statistics, which James and USAU plan to start tracking this summer with the 2014 Club Season, aim to find all sorts of hidden value that ultimate players have never known their teammates had.  

Some reporters raised concerns about USA Ultimate’s limited resources, and how all these new statistics could possibly be in place in time for the club season. But USAU officials seemed confident in reassuring the crowd.

“Don’t worry; it’ll be fine,” said Crawford.  “We’re just going to make a new tab in Score Reporter.”  

Buckle up. Moneyflatball is coming.  

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