the Ego and the Oracle

A banner year for the Sox? It adds up.

We decided to test "The Ego and the Oracle" with a question near and dear to many of our hearts. I was instructed to ask the question and then pick a number between 1 and 12, corresponding to the songs on the latest Jim's Big Ego's disc, "They're Everywhere."

The question was "Will the Red Sox win the World Series this year?" ( Unknown to me, both Infantino and Jones are big Sox fans, and Jones has Manny Ramirez and Julio Lugo on his fantasy team.) I picked No. 4, thinking it was good luck since the Sox won in '04. Infantino played the upbeat tune "Math Prof Rock Star," the chorus of which goes: "Math Prof Rock Star! Woo hoo! Math Prof Rock Star! Oh yeah! Math Prof Rock Star! Who knew? He was voted most unlikely ever to become a Math Prof Rock Star."

Here is an excerpt from the "divination" discussion that ensued:

Infantino: When the song got picked I thought, "This is the wrong song, this is the song that breaks the Oracle." And I actually think this was a pretty good song now that I've played it. I think the song is telling us that it's all about the math.

Jones: Yes! That was when the Red Sox' destiny changed, when they brought in Theo Epstein, who's a student of saber metrics, and he had the guts to trade away Nomar, the sentimental favorite, to add the missing pieces that brought it all together. I thought [the song] was perfect. First of all, the whole feel of the song, that "woo hoo!," just sounded very much like winning, and the "he was voted most unlikely to . . ." [reminds me that] people haven't been picking the Red Sox to win it all this year, but they've done the math. [The Sox organization] said it's worth a hundred million dollars to get Daisuke Matsuzaka . They did the math and said yeah, [pitcher Jonathan] Papelbon is more valuable as a closer. They did the math and said I think Julio Lugo's going to have the kind of year that he's been promising to have for the last few years.

Rodman: Certainly Theo was the beginning of the math era, and he is a rock star! [Epstein plays guitar and regularly plays the "Hot Stove Cool Music" annual benefit concerts at the Paradise and Fenway.]

Infantino: We are saying that Theo is the math prof rock star. Signs are good, I would say.

by Sarah Rodman, Boston Globe

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