SABR 41--Long Beach, California
by Scott Barzilla
As you saw in my
last entry, I attended the SABR conference in
Long Beach, CA in early July. I presented my
poster on the Hall of Fame Index. As it turned
out, my poster finished in second to a college
group that printed a poster on Hitterfx. That
is a relatively new study that looks to revolutionize
the way we look at the game. They had databases,
an unlimited Kinkos budget, and a whole
team working on it. I had myself, about 100
dollars to spend at Kinkos, and my Dell mini.
That being said, the SABR convention
is a must for any SABR member or baseball fan.
When talking to non-baseball fans I could best
compare it to a Star Trek convention for baseball
fans. Of course, I say that with all the fondness
and love I can. There were over 1000 people
registered for the conference and many of them
wore their vintage jerseys and hats throughout
the conference. No one spoke Klingon or threw
on their Spock ears, but baseball fans have
their own peculiar language and it was spoken
in spades throughout the week.
Scott Boras kicked off the conference
with a speech that lasted well over an hour.
No one fell asleep and most were on the edge
of their seats. Boras is a very engaging speaker.
He showed everyone why he is the number one
sports agent in the business. While, he gave
you reasons to hold your beliefs that he is
bad for your team, he showed that he cares more
for his clients than we might have believed.
He told stories of his own playing days, early
on in the agent business, and throughout with
many strategies he used to get his clients more
money. You may not have come out liking him
more, but you came out respecting him and his
passion for the game.
Individual speakers educated us
on numerous topics like a look at the history
of sports medicine, a breakdown of the Joe Morgan
trade (as if we needed to be reminded), and
a look at no decisions by Austin chapter president
Gilbert Martinez. This was interspersed with
a forum of bloggers at the Fangraphs event and
two ML baseball games at Dodger Stadium and
Edison Field. Along the way, I got to network
with people in my line of study and meet people
that were just names before. In particular,
meeting Rob Neyer was a thrill and a half.
The Larry Dierker Chapter is in
line to host the convention within the next
couple of years. Hosting that many baseball
lovers is a huge undertaking, but it is well
worth it. Imagine the best meetings youve
ever attended and project that out a whole week.
Meanwhile, you have the vendors room to buy
all the baseball books you can get your hands
on. Overall, it is one of the most rewarding
things Ive ever done.
For more about SABR 41 and
42 visit: http://sabr.org/convention
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