The Hardball Times flagged this fascinating story by Alan Schwarz in Tuesday's New York Times, a description of the work of Swarthmore College mathematician and avid Yankees fan Steve Wang.

Employing an analytical method called Chernoff faces, in which data are represented by varying heights, widths, and angles in images of human faces, Wang reflects the strategic tendencies of all 30 Major League managers from the 2007 season.

If I understand the explanation of Wang's analysis, the Piniella Chernoff face suggests Lou's relatively frequent use of pinch runners (the upward swoosh of the hair), the disinclination to use the sacrifice bunt (the slit nose and downward-turned mouth), and his tendency to switch starting lineups (the oval face).

Speaking of the lineup-switching, Old Oval Face announced after today's 8-2 loss to the Brewers that he will be re-installing Alfonso Soriano in the leadoff spot. Soriano has contributed to the Cubs 0-2 start by going hitless in nine at-bats, including three strikeouts, out of the second spot. Ryan Theriot, with whom Soriano will be swapping batting order positions, went 2-for-4 Wednesday after an 0-for-5 in Monday's opener.


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