Archive for August, 2010
Zombies are in these days. There are zombies in Jane Austen novels, in movie after movie, and even in romance novels now. Zombies are hip. That’s what I think every time I look back and see the Red Sox are still clinging on without completely fading this season.
This is remarkable given the sheer number of players they’ve had on the DL or lost for the season. With a 73-55 record, they’d be in FIRST PLACE in either of the other two American League divisions as of today! (And be only half a game back in two of the NL’s divisions, as well.) This is not exactly the usual showing of a gritty team barely holding it together.
Maybe it’s that Terry Francona finally picked up the Bigelow Green Tea sponsorship that Joe Torre started in New York. (more…)
Announcement of the winners of this year’s award winners!
Neal Traven, head of the judges, announces that unfortunately neither the poster winner nor the research presentation winner could be present. But he gives a recap of the winners and their topics. (And the poster, which was very beautifully done, was displayed in the back.)
The Research Process: Seymour Medal Winners Panel
Dorothy Seymour Mills, David Block, Tom Swift
Magnolia Chapter member Ken Fenster moderates a discussion with Dorothy Seymour Mills, David Block and Tom Swift about the ups and downs of the research process, from the formulation of original ideas all the way through to publication. The panelists will use examples from their own works to illustrate the difficulties researchers must face, and the strategies that were useful in meeting those challenges.
- Nghh. Got in at 1am last night thanks to rain delay & extra innings and just could not get up for the Black Sox panel this morning. #sabr40 #
- Supposedly some nifty new revelations about the Black Sox and Joe Jackson were revealed today, but I needed sleep. Fill me in #sabr40 #
- Why does the Wall Street Journal use the term "mass paperback" instead of "mass market paperback"? Did I miss a memo somewhere? #
- Cooling my heels outside the banquet waiting for the speakers to start. No seats. I'll have to sit on the floor in the back to blog. #sabr40 #
- Recap of Braves GM John Schuerholz's speech at #sabr40 posted at Why I Like Baseball: http://ow.ly/2mrtN #
- Notes from the New Technologies panel at #sabr40 (pitchf/x, Trackman doppler radar, etc) http://ow.ly/2mspD #
- CC Sabathia left some balls over the plate in the 1st 2 innings, then shut down the Sox after that. Mo did the rest. #sabr40 #
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New Technologies in Baseball Panel
Measuring ball flight using Sportvision’s PITCHf/x, HITf/x, and FIELDf/x
Trackman’s Doppler Radar Technology
Official description: Alan Nathan moderates a discussion of the latest developments in Sportsvisionâ€™s PITCHf/x, HITf/x and FIELDf/x, and TrackManâ€™s radar technology used to measure ball flight.
Here we are at the SABR Awards Banquet. The eating is mostly over with, and now president Andy McCue is reading off the results of various awards that were given earlier this year, including some to high school students for historical society prizes and the like, and working up to the Seymour Medal. We’ve just been reminded that next year’s convention will be in Southern California, and that miraculously, we got a weekend when both the Dodgers and the Angels will be at home, and that a lower room rate than this year has been secured. What they didn’t do was announce what the actual date was, or I’d put it here.
Yesterday before dashing for the bus to the ballpark, I actually managed to see a little more than half of Robert Fitts’s presentation on Babe Ruth and Eiji Sawamura, the 17 year old pitcher who struck the Babe out and became a national hero. The young pitcher had forfeited his future in academia by taking the pitching gig, as “professional athletes” were not allowed to continue in school at the time, but the lure of facing Ruth was too enticing and he signed with the team Yomiuri was putting together.
This was during the same MLB all-star tour of Japan on which Moe Berg did some of his infamous spying. The MLB team played 10 games on the tour and won them all, but the game Fitts described, which the young Sawamura pitched, was a near thing. Sawamura held the big leaguers in check, ending up losing 1-0 on a solo homer by Lou Gehrig.
I ducked out of the room just as Fitts was reading an ironic quote from some optimistic observer of the baseball tour of Japan, claiming that these nations would never be wracked by war again. (World War II was just around the corner.)
- One of the best pro panels ever. Bobby Cox, Phil Niekro, Marke Lemke, Ron Gant, spoke at #sabr40 Recap: http://ow.ly/2m1DJ #
- Did Mantle's famous homer travel 565 feet? Alan Nathan says it *might* have: http://ow.ly/2m39C #
- More analysis: are outs on the bases worse than others? Is hitting with RISP random or a skill? Today at #sabr40 recap: http://ow.ly/2m6qA #
- And now I REALLY need a nap. Going to go take one. #sabr40 #
- Vince Gennaro rocks the house. #sabr40 (will post notes on his talk in a bit) Economics was never so much fun. #
- @Baseballisms So glad you made it! #
- This afternoon's research presentations recapped from #sabr40 at http://www.whyilikebaseball.com/ #
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Okay, gearing up for the last five research presentations of the day. I might have to miss the last one in order to get the bus to the ballpark in time. I probably should have not paid for the bus and just taken MARTA instead, but when I was buying my tickets months ago it had seemed like a good idea. I actually went and took a nap instead of eating lunch, because my eyes were trying to shut during the last two presentations before it.
This afternoon it is really difficult to choose which presentation to see, but I decided to start with Vince Gennaro because every year he comes up with something very sharp and insightful. It means missing Gary Gillette’s presentation on disappearing Negro League ballparks, but I figure I can get Gary to give me the gist of it later if I see him in the bar or at the game.
Vince Gennaro â€“ Measuring the asset value of players: A framework for evaluating trades
Geri Strecker â€“ Whose dream was it?: Revisiting the formation of the Negro National League in 1920
Ross Davies â€“ Chinese-U.S. baseball diplomacy before the Great War
Will Dahlberg â€“ A tool for diplomacy: Baseball in occupied Japan 1945-1952
Robert Fitts â€“ Babe Ruth, Eiji Sawamura and war
Do Batters Make Slumps Worse by Trying to Escape Them?
Jeff Switchenko, with several co-authors
Hitting with RISP: Real differences between players
by Eric Van
Are Outs Made on the Bases More Harmful than Other Types of Outs?
David W. Smith
Revising Mantle’s Griffith Stadium Home Run
A Case Study in Forensic Physics
An intriguing look at one of the most iconic moments in the career of one of baseball’s most iconic figures. Lots has been written about the famous homer, as written about in the book CLOUT by Dan Valenti. The characters: Yankee publicist Red Patterson, Mickey Mantle, and Donald Dunaway. The places: Griffith Stadium and 434 Oakdale Place. But the claim that the homer carried 565 feet has been “debunked” before.
SABR Liveblogging Day 2
I’m late to the Braves Player Panel. I would have been on time, but something I had at the breakfast buffet didn’t agree with me. I’m there now, though…
Phil Niekro, Mark Lemke, Bobby Cox, Ron Gant, and moderated by Pete Van Wieren
- Follow the action from SABR 40 via hashtag #sabr40 and detailed writeups every few hours at my blog http://whyilikebaseball.com #
- Argh. It would appear Why I Like Baseball is down at the moment. If only it were because so many millions of you are accessing it…? #
- Days of rest make a negligible effect on pitching performance! But cumulative pitch count over previous 5 & 10 games has effect. #sabr40 #
- Alas it appears the cable modem at my office is horked and won't be unhorked until 10pm tonight. Why I Like Baseball off until then. #sabr40 #
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In this post:
Resting the Pitcher: How Useful are Pitch Counts and Days of Rest?
Sean Forman and JC Bradbury
Where have You Gone, Tony Lazzeri?
Pitchers As Fielders: A Quantitative Analysis or… Why Kirk Rueter is the best-fielding pitchers of all time
21 Facts You Didn’t Know About 1921
Steve Steinberg and Lyle Spatz
Liveblogging SABR 40!
Just wrapped up two more research presentations:
Sanctioned Post-Season Series by Marty Pankin and Mike Canton
Using Marcel the Monkey to Help Understand Different Eras in Baseball by Andy Andres
These are kind of raw reports, and I apologize for any typos. I’m typing as fast as I can most of the time. For those of you who have never been to one of these things, each research presentation is 20 minutes long, with 5 minutes for questions, and then bam, the schedule turns over to the next one.
I’ve had no sleep so I could be on a crack of dawn flight to Atlanta, but here I am! Liveblogging what I can from the 40th annual convention of the Society for American Baseball Research. There’s wireless in the conference area! So I’ll try to post more than once a day.
A Heisman Trophy in College Baseball? (Karl Green)
Scranton Times Coverage of 1906 New York State League Championship Led by Moonlight Graham (Jim Frutchey)
Southern Baseball and Southern Gimmicks (Norman Graubart)
- Writers on the Yankees wanted: http://www.whyilikebaseball.com/2010/08/yankees-writers-wanted/ #
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