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Sports Analytics and Data Science: Winning the Game with Methods and Models by Thomas W. Miller

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12. Competing on Analytics

“. . . in either game, life or football, the margin for error is so small. I mean, one-half a step too late or too early, and you don’t quite make it. One-half second too slow, too fast, and you don’t quite catch it. The inches we need are everywhere around us. They’re in every break of the game, every minute, every second. On this team we fight for that inch.”

—AL PACINO AS COACH TONY D’AMATO IN Any Given Sunday (1999)

An alert runner on second base sees a pitch in the dirt and breaks for third. The ball hits the catcher’s chest protector and bounces a couple feet in front of the catcher. Surprised by the runner’s aggressiveness, the catcher rushes his throw to third, a throw that bounces off the third baseman’s glove ...

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