One of the examples of Jewish sports fans who have, as it were, “turned pro” that I cited in my article today is the leadership of the Tampa Bay Rays. As documented in Jonah Keri’s excellent new book, The Extra 2%, owner Stuart Sternberg—who named his son Sandy, after Koufax—and personnel guys Matt Silverman and Andrew Friedman have used expertise gleaned from careers in tech entrepreneurship and finance to develop innovative, successful strategies for their small-market, small-payroll franchise. (Keri told me that James Click, another top guy in the Rays’ front office, likes to joke that he needs to change his surname to “Clickstein.”)
Which of course makes it all the more appropriate that this is the team that employs Sam Fuld, who is not only stats-savvy but stats-happy. Over the past week, he jumped into the Major League lead for stolen bases (10) while maintaining his high batting average (.346). Oh, and, um, hey, looks All-Star voting has started … .
Related: The Joy of Stats
Earlier: The Legend of Sam Fuld Grows
Marc Tracy is a staff writer at The New Republic, and was previously a staff writer at Tablet. He tweets @marcatracy.