In an issue of Nautilus devoted to interpretation of the unlikely, Ken Berger interviews Paul DePodesta, the Harvard economics major whose novel way of interpreting player statistics put baseball's Oakland A's on track for a historic 2002 season—and upended the conventional wisdom of the game.
DePodesta confirms that folks in his field "use probability theory every day" and even gives Berger an example of how statistics has them rethinking metrics of player value:
Well, for instance, one of the things we looked at is trying to look at the value of every situation in the game. So what is it worth to have a man on first and nobody out, versus a man on first and one out? Or even more interesting, how about a man on first with nobody out, versus a man on second with one out? So we study those types of things intensely and try to get an understanding of how value is created in a game, and how it was taken away.
Read the interview.