April 02, 2023

Baseball fan Matt Cutrona has one spring day circled on his calendar every year – Opening Day for the New York Mets.

This year, he focused on New York’s March 30 game against the Miami Marlins and Catholic University’s Research Day on April 18. Cutrona, a sophomore, is combining his love of baseball and scholarly pursuits for a Research Day presentation called “Sabermetrics: The Cultural Identity & Language of Major League Baseball.”

Sabermetrics is analysis of baseball statistics that measure in-game activity and was popularized in the book and film “Moneyball.”

“The opportunity is exciting as I can share my passions with the larger community to get more people to know and talk about baseball,” Cutrona said. “It builds community in a space like CUA, where people come from across the country and the world.”

Cutrona did not participate in Research Day last year but admired the scope of the projects and the insight they provided. Cutrona knows some fans feel excluded by the sport’s increasing use of sabermetrics, which can be considered complicated, in addition to time-honored pitching and hitting statistics. He wants to break down those barriers.

“I remember many times in 2018 when I questioned why a manager took a pitcher out,” Cutrona said. “A couple of years later, in studying sabermetrics, I understood why it was done. This allows for more transparency and communication between fans as it levels the playing field.”

Cutrona is no stranger to research. He aided in a high school research project studying male breast cancer.

“I understood the limitless potential research has in our lives and how expansive it is,” he said. “In everything we do, we are seeking to know more.”

Cutrona has furthered that desire at the University as an Honors pre-law and politics major with a double minor in philosophy and sports management. He is also a student minister and president of the mock trial team.

With the dawn of a new baseball season, Cutrona hopes to get victories on the field and in the classroom.

“I had been looking forward to Opening Day since the last out of the World Series, but engaging with the CUA community about my passions and getting more people passionate about America's pastime makes it equally fulfilling,” he said. “I am hoping for a more significant win with more people talking about sabermetrics.”