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CHAPTER 8

Make Fact-Based Decisions

There are in fact two things, science and opinion; the former begets knowledge, the latter ignorance.

—HIPPOCRATES, ANCIENT GREEK FOUNDER OF THE SCIENCE OF MEDICINE

The 2002 Oakland Athletics baseball team had a hard problem that you may be familiar with. They were losing game after game, their best players were about to leave as free agents, and their budget was too tight to sign on new big-ticket players to carry the team. If the Athletics were going to be good, they needed talent on a budget.

Traditionally, baseball scouts would assess the value of talent based primarily on intuition and experience. They ...

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