What would happen if two statistics-minded outsiders were allowed to run a professional baseball team?

It’s the ultimate in fantasy baseball: You get to pick the roster, set the lineup, and decide on strategies -- with real players, in a real ballpark, in a real playoff race.

That’s what baseball analysts Ben Lindbergh and Sam Miller got to do when an independent minor-league team in California, the Sonoma Stompers, offered them the chance to run its baseball operations according to the most advanced statistics.

Lindbergh and Miller applied their number-crunching insights to all aspects of assembling and running a team, following one cardinal rule for judging each innovation they tried: It Has To Work.

Ben Lindbergh is a staff writer for “FiveThirtyEight” and, with Sam Miller, the cohost of “Effectively Wild,” the daily “Baseball Prospectus” podcast. He is a former staff writer for “Grantland” and a former editor in chief of “Baseball Prospectus.”

It was standing-room-only in the Bergino Baseball Clubhouse for our discussion with Ben Lindbergh and "The Only Rule Is It Has To Work."  Have a seat and listen in...

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