There are some who bemoan the introduction of big data and sports science into the game of baseball. This group contends that the flood of recent efforts to quantify baseball could diminish the inherent joy of the sport's unpredictability.
The Giants, however, show that science can be fun by turning the collection of player data into a competition. Daniel Brown of the San Jose Mercury News detailed the programs the team has implemented to track injuries, plan the clubhouse menu and assess just how hydrated the players are every day.
Most exciting is what they have done to incentivize proper hydration. The Giants have minted a golden urinal trophy to reward good results.
"To be eligible to win the coveted Hydration Domination contest," Brown writes, "players must post their best scores before batting practice. The best hydrated player after each series wins an award shaped like a golden urinal. Think of it as the M-V-Pee trophy."
The results of the Hydration Domination contest provide yet another storyline to follow in 2017.