There is joy in Mudville.

Finally, after sitting through 67, 75, 86 and all the other near misses, the Red Sox have won...in four straight.

Now, can they repeat?!? Can data mining be applied...how about predictive modeling in determining hitters for certain situations, or pitchers to face certain batters, but to include various pieces of data, such as weather, temperature, or tracking players behaviors in certain stressful times.

Yes, even baseball has taken its turn at bat in the field of statistics and modeling. Today, they use sabermaticians to calculate the value of a player as measured in wins. Part of that calculation for hitters relies on a calculation of effectiveness in basestealing. Using data from 1962 to 1977, it can be calculated that with a runner on first and no outs, the expected number of runs in an inning is 0.783. That number increases to just over one (1.068) if the runner can steal and end up on second with no outs. With bases loaded and no outs, the expected runs would be 2.254, with one out, 1.546 and with two outs, 0.798.

It should be noted that the Red Sox hired a Sabermatician at the start of the 2003 season, but really, they only needed a LEADER. Thank you Curt Shilling!