The last month has provided sports fans with plenty of distractions from the grand old game, like the World Cup and the slobbering courtship of LeBron James. But you can always return to baseball--while you were away it continued day after day, slicing 3 hours of time into statistical segments and building a bigger and bigger mountain of data.
The All-Star game happens tonight, and with the midsummer classic upon us, there's no better time to note what science has learned about the game. Advanced statistical analysis has changed how the game is played and managed, with its ability to show that a particular batter hits just .179 in night games in the central time zone when it's bobblehead night at the stadium. But scientific studies have gone deeper than pitcher-batter match-ups and discovered some curiosities about the game--and instances where the conventional wisdom the Baseball People have uttered for a century just isn't so.