Judging by his résumé, Craig Breslow is the smartest man in baseball, if not the entire world. A lefty reliever for the Athletics, Mr. Breslow graduated from Yale with a degree in molecular biophysics and biochemistry before trying his hand at professional sports.
[Craig Breslow] Getty Images
The Count ranked every ballclub by its education. Players who earned college degrees got twice the points as players who just attended. Starting players were weighted more heavily, as were players who attended elite schools. Managers were also included in the formula.*
HIGHEST GRADES LOWEST GRADES
Oakland (32 pts.) Atlanta (4)
Tampa Bay (31) Texas (12)
Arizona (31) Cincinnati (13)
Boston (31) Florida (14)
Toronto (30) KC/LAA (tie, 15)
* - Includes each player who made at least one appearance through June 1
Where did those brains get him? He has yet to find a permanent home, playing for five different teams in four seasons. Yet with Mr. Breslow in their bullpen last year, the Twins led the AL Central until the final day of the season. So can smart players actually help propel a team toward success? Is it time for an educational audit?
By scouring 30 team media guides, The Count investigated how many ballplayers went to four-year U.S. colleges or universities, which of them graduated and whether there is, in fact, a correlation between education and victories. Starting players were weighted more heavily in our rankings, as were players who attended elite schools.
Shockingly, while many current major leaguers had college experience, we found only 26 (including managers), who have earned degrees. The brainiest team was the A's, with three graduates and seven key members of the lineup having university experience.
However, three "All-Brains" division leaders -- Oakland, Arizona and Washington -- are in last place in real life, while Texas and the Dodgers were last in their divisions in smarts but first in the standings. So much for baseball being a thinking man's game.
For what it's worth, though, there's hope for Mr. Breslow yet. He has a 1.86 ERA since joining those brainy A's.