The convention starts on Thursday with some research presentations that I don't want to miss. Tim Wiles, from the Baseball Hall of Fame, will talk about a century of singing "Taking Me Out to the Ball Game." There are also going to be a couple of Cleveland-themed presentations, one on Tris Speaker and another on the Yankees-Indians rivalry of the 1940s and 1950s.
Friday is loaded with presentations ranging from Dr. Alan Nathan's examination of the Pitch/Fx system, a presentation by a 14-year old on the possible effects steroids would have had on Babe Ruth, and Yoichi Nagata's examination of the Tokyo Giants historic tour of North America in 1935. The day is capped off with a trip to Progressive Field for an all Ohio battle between the Indians and Reds. (Daryl Thompson vs. C.C. Sabathia is the scheduled pitching matchup.)
On Saturday, Phil Birnbaum will give his reexamination of the Hamermesh study on racial bias among umpires. Dave Smith of Retrosheet will continue to look at the importance of strike one. Dick Cramer and Pete Palmer will try to clear away some of the Bill James fog and attempt to see if baseball's legendary beast, the clutch hitter, actually exists.
In between all this, there is time for the best part of the convention, which is catching up with old friends and just talking baseball over beers (or in my case, iced tea or Diet Coke, the beers are metaphorical.) It's three days when you can walk around with a Nippon Ham Fighters jersey and not have people laugh at you.
Or at least not as many.
If you're in Cleveland this weekend, come by the Renaissance Hotel and say hi. You'll recognize me because it's a convention and they like us to wear nametags.