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Former Maccabi Games pitcher celebrates LA’s World Series win — as team analyst

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NEW JERSEY (Jewish Standard) — Sammy Elias isn’t a cork-popping kind of guy under normal conditions, so when the Los Angeles Dodgers won the World Series in October he allowed himself a brief, subdued celebration with his father and his Dodger front-office colleagues before turning his thoughts to next year’s team.

Not that locker-room champagne spraying would have been allowed in the COVID-shortened season that just had ended, but in Elias’s rarefied world of metrics, statistics, and tendencies, other style points come first. The World Series drought that finally ended for Los Angeles thrust Elias into select company as a baseball operations analyst for the newly crowned champions. And it’s a limelight that he’s shared with only a handful of similar analysts on other teams who have come into prominence in recent years as the national pastime undergoes a strategic revolution.

Now managers and coaches rely as much on reports from guys like Elias as they do on their hunches to determine the course of a ballgame.

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After pitching in the 2008 Maccabi games and at Northern Valley Old Tappan High School and Wesleyan University, Elias went undrafted by big league teams. But his on-field pedigree meshed beautifully with his degree in economics and his penchant for statistics and analytics. The avocation merged into the vocation during a journey that has taken him from growing up in the small northern New Jersey township of Norwood to living the dream in downtown Los Angeles, close to his workplace at Dodger Stadium. At 27, after slightly less than two years on the job, Elias has become an integral part of the organization sitting atop the baseball world.

It’s been an asymmetrical but highly satisfying trajectory.

“After the way the playoffs ended for us the last five years with such talented teams, it was a relief to finally get a championship,” Elias said emphatically. “I am elated. It especially feels good to do it for Dave Roberts,” the Dodger’s manager, “and Clayton Kershaw,” its leading pitcher, “who have unfairly taken the blame for our recent post-season outcomes. The Game 4 loss this year was definitely tough and very frustrating, so winning it all makes that collapse hurt less.” Sammy Elias pitches for his college team at Wesleyan. (Courtesy of Elias/ via the Jewish Standard)

Elias was referring, of course, to Game 4, when the Tampa........

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