What We Are Reading Today: Scouting and Scoring by Christopher J. Phillips

Updated 13 March 2019
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What We Are Reading Today: Scouting and Scoring by Christopher J. Phillips

  • Scouting seems to rely on experience and intuition, scoring on performance metrics and statistics

Scouting and scoring are considered fundamentally different ways of ascertaining value in baseball. Scouting seems to rely on experience and intuition, scoring on performance metrics and statistics. 

In Scouting and Scoring, Christopher Phillips rejects these simplistic divisions, according to a review on Princeton University Press website. He shows how both scouts and scorers rely on numbers, bureaucracy, trust, and human labor in order to make sound judgments about the value of baseball players.

Tracing baseball’s story from the 19th century to today, Phillips explains that the sport was one of the earliest and most consequential fields for the introduction of numerical analysis. New technologies and methods of data collection were supposed to enable teams to quantify the drafting and managing of players — replacing scouting with scoring. But that is not how things turned out. 

Over the decades, scouting and scoring started looking increasingly similar. Scouts expressed their judgments in highly formulaic ways, using numerical grades and scientific instruments to evaluate players. 

Scorers drew on moral judgments, depended on human labor to maintain and correct data, and designed bureaucratic systems to make statistics appear reliable. 

A unique consideration of the role of quantitative measurement and human judgment, Scouting and Scoring provides an entirely fresh understanding of baseball by showing what the sport reveals about reliable knowledge in the modern world.


Makkah all set for its first flower festival

Sea of flowers at Muzdalifah district in Makkah. (AN Photo by Abdulmohsen Doman)
Updated 19 March 2019
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Makkah all set for its first flower festival

  • A symposium on environmental planning, and the design of green spaces such as parks, gardens and squares will also be held
  • The flower festival continues until March 23

MAKKAH: A carpet of flowers featuring 1 million blooms will be one of the main attractions as Makkah hosts its first flower festival.

The event, which begins on Tuesday at Muzdalifah, has been organized by the city’s municipality in cooperation with the Arab Urban Development Institute and King Saud University. It will be officially opened by Makkah Gov. Prince Khalid Al-Faisal.

Raed Samarqandi, the director of the municipality’s department of media and publications, said that the festival is unique and has serious objectives.

“It aims to improve the environment, fight pollution and show an image that suits the value of the city and its holy sites,” he explained. “The festival will coincide with the 20th symposium on afforestation, titled “Suitable afforestation for the environmental conditions of Makkah — the central region and holy sites,” on March 19 and 20.

The symposium will feature representatives of governmental sectors and scientific bodies and include discussion of papers addressing many the issues in the city, such as the state of afforestation in Makkah, the latest techniques in environmental planning, and the design of green spaces such as parks, gardens and squares.

Makkah Mayor Mohammed bin Abdullah Al-Quwaihes has invited speakers from the private sector, universities, research centers, and agricultural and afforestation companies to contribute and help raise awareness of these local issues.

The flower festival continues until March 23.