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Bill James and Rob Neyer save ‘The Office’




Those of you who watch NBC’s The Office know that the company which the show revolves around, Dunder Mifflin, was recently saved from bankruptcy with a buy-out from a larger company “Sabre.” If you watched last Thursday’s episode you found that that company isn’t pronounnced “SAAB-RAY,” as the characters of The Office had been saying it, but in fact “SABE-ER.”

As a baseball fan this immediately strikes a cord in my mind, making me think of SABR, the Society for American Baseball Research. SABR of course is the driving force in researching and analyzing baseball in new lights that previous generations may have overlooked. The most notable ‘sabrematricians’ are Bill James and Rob Neyer who are constantly pushing the envelope with new statistical ideas and baseball principles.

Sabre, the company, is also an edgy corporation that in the latest episode comes into Scranton to try and change the way things are done, to make the company more efficient. Hilarity ensues.

This may seem like a silly coincidence, however I’m betting it’s less of one than you might think. Some of you may remember, Fire Joe Morgan, an amazing baseball blog that ended last year. The blog relentlessly and hilariously defended Moneyball and Sabermetrics from bullying, and ignorant “old-school” baseball writers who would attack these new principles. Ken Tremendous (Michael Schur), was one of the wring leaders of the band of writers for Fire Joe Morgan, and was also an accomplished T.V. writer, and at a time the head writer for The Office. You know him better as Mose, Dwights creepy brother cousin.

Recently Schur has been writing for NBC’s new show Parks and Recreation (a great show if you get the chance) but it’s not ridiculous to believe that he still has some sway with the writers over at The Office. So is it a coincidence? I’ll let you decide, but either way it’s probably a good thing that the public will now associate the name SABR with Christian Slater…and not dudes in their parents basement.

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