Is statistical wizard Eric Van (shown with Sam Horn, above, right) the biggest Mission Of Burma fan ever to have been employed by the Boston Red Sox? Other than Jack Clark, that is.

The answer is quite probably yes. In fact, Van might be the biggest Mission Of Burma fan to have ever been employed, period.

As someone who is somewhat acquainted with Mr. Van, the only thing I can imagine that would be more entertaining than reading Mark Shanahan’s profile in today’s Boston Globe, would be to witness said article being read aloud to Larry Bowa while the former Phillies skipper was tied to a chair. Close up footage of Bowa’s face when the following passage is read would be priceless,

. For years, Van has been tallying arcane baseball statistics, and posting his conclusions online. Had the Red Sox paid attention to just a few of his findings, he says, the team may not have gone 86 years between World Series wins.

OK, that’s enough sadism for one evening. Congrats to Eric on the mystery gig, and to Red Sox ownership for hiring him.