From Byte and Switch -
While the Boston Red Sox were sweeping the St. Louis Cardinals in the 2004 World Series, Red Sox director of IT Steve Conley hardly felt like an 86-year curse was lifting.
Despite the Series sweep that broke the club’s championship drought, the computer system running the club’s video archiving program kept going on the fritz. “The system crashed four times in four games,” Conley says. “We were crossing our fingers that it would come up. That drove us to go to a new system.”
The Red Sox consider video archives a crucial part of their success. Management identifies it as a major reason for Dave Roberts’ stolen base in the ninth inning of a victory over the New York Yankees when Boston trailed the playoff series three games to none. The triumph started Boston on an eight-game winning streak that carried through the World Series.
“In the sixth inning of that game, Dave Roberts pulled up every at-bat he could find of [Yankees reliever] Mariano Rivera pitching with a runner on first base,” Conley says. “He played that on a loop. He was trying to gain an edge. Then he went in as a pinch runner in the ninth inning, stole second base and scored, and we turned things around. Having that video was another tool in the shed.”
Luck is the residue of design, indeed.