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Henry whiffed on hiring Billy Beane but landed like-minded sabermetricians Bill James and Tom Tippett and made wunderkind Theo Epstein GM.
But don't overlook a stable front office -- GM Brian Cashman since 1998, manager Joe Girardi since 2008 and director of quantitative analysis Michael Fishman since 2005 -- and a reliance on metrics."We're going to turn this around." While not as drastic as the Sixers' scorched-earth model, Houston has made metrics the foundation of its revival.Before 2012, owner Jim Crane hired GM Jeff Luhnow and director of decision sciences Sig Mejdal, formerly of NASA, and the duo now lead a nine-man sabermetrics staff that includes a medical risk manager and a mathematical modeler. Their unwavering devotion to gaining an edge with defensive shifts has commish Rob Manfred considering a leaguewide ban.And it's all thanks to a staff of eight R&D specialists who find numerical advantages not only in every defensive shift but in every roster move -- just four Rays have made million or more in a single season since 2008.After 84 years without a Series win, the Sox were salvaged in '02 by John Henry, an owner whose fortune grew from data-driven investments.