“Hard work and talent is what brings you success,” Mlodinow said he told the group. “They are two big components of success, but also luck is a big component of success. Players have the talent but are subject to the random fluctuations that happen. You look at a player who’s on a hot streak and think that he’s seeing the ball better or concentrating better, but a large component of that is randomness.”
Mlodinow writes about how those theories apply to baseball and other sports in his book, entitled, “The Drunkard’s Walk,” which was published in 2008.
“When we look at extraordinary accomplishments in sports — or elsewhere — we should keep in mind that extraordinary events can happen without extraordinary causes,” he wrote. “Random events often look like non-random events, and in interpreting human affairs we must take care not to confuse the two.”
Leonard Mlodinow’s The Drunkard’s Walk is one of the more fascinating and enlightening books you’ll ever read. It’s downright awesome that he addressed the Major League GMs on Friday, even if a more thorough grasp of randomness league-wide could reduce some clubs’ competitive advantages.