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Forest City bound!
2008-06-23 20:57
by Bob Timmermann

On Wednesday, I'll be boarding a Southwest jet for the long trek from Los Angeles to Cleveland for the 38th annual SABR Convention.

My journey out will involve a stop in St. Louis, but no change of planes, so fortunately I won't run into the same problems that Lyle Lanley faced when his plane had a stop in North Haverbrook. The flight back will take the ever popular Cleveland-Nashville-Los Angeles route.

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.

2008-06-23 23:13:20
1.   Greg Brock
It's three days when you can walk around with a Nippon Ham Fighters jersey and not have people laugh at you.

Think about how Ham Fighter Nation felt when they were denied admittance to the UN.

2008-06-23 23:28:17
2.   Greg Brock
If you could hop over to Pennsylvania and grab me two cases of Yuengling, I'd appreciate it.


2008-06-23 23:56:31
3.   Eric Enders
Ah, man. Yuengling is the stuff. I could get it in New York, so I be you can get it in Ohio too.
2008-06-23 23:56:41
4.   Eric Enders
2008-06-24 00:23:43
5.   Greg Brock
3 Yuengling is the stuff

It is!

I bet you can get it in Ohio, too

You can't! My mystical internet sources tell me it is not distributed in Ohio.

I think a beer exchange program is in order.

2008-06-24 00:44:09
6.   Eric Enders
If Prince Fielder were sold to the Ham Fighters, would he take a stand like Jackie Robinson and refuse to report?
2008-06-24 04:50:27
7.   Repoz
"Diet Coke" least I'll have someone to hang out with in Cleveland.

See ya there, Bob!

2008-06-24 05:14:40
8.   dianagramr
Enjoy yourself!

One of these years I'll make it out to a Convention.

2008-06-24 07:01:45
9.   mehmattski
5 Send me some Anderson Valley and I'll gladly get you some Yuengling...
2008-06-24 08:52:15
10.   Bob Timmermann
I often think I should just crash AA meetings since I don't drink and get me some free coffee.
2008-06-24 09:32:05
11.   bhsportsguy
10 One of my first emails to Bob was contained an offer that could be refused for two reasons, I offered to buy him a beer at a UCLA football game at the Rose Bowl.

He kindly refused since he does not drink and second and perhaps more to the point, they don't sell beer at the Rose Bowl for UCLA home games (though you can buy it when attending the Rose Bowl game).

2008-06-24 09:38:38
12.   Bob Timmermann
Which is not to say that there aren't plenty of people who arrive at UCLA football games completely hammered.

Just like last year's UCLA-Cal game when two completely wasted Cal fans sat behind me and taunted my friend and I.

And it was a 12:30 pm kickoff.

They left in the third quarter in very, very, very bad shape. I felt no sympathy.

2008-06-24 10:36:26
13.   Greg Brock
On Sunday, the guy next to BH and I almost wen't arse over tea kettle coming down the stairs.

Drinking lots of beer in 95 degree heat...Brilliant!

2008-06-24 12:54:42
14.   Josh Wilker
Can we expect some Griddle dispatches from the front lines?
2008-06-24 12:58:32
15.   Bob Timmermann
You should as long as the wifi in the lobby is free. Then you will get pictures. If not, then you will just get text only dispatches via BlackBerry.

It's $12.95 a day to use the internet in the rooms!

2008-06-24 14:18:44
16.   dianagramr

does that include the "adult" sites?

2008-06-24 14:22:14
17.   Bob Timmermann
Pete Palmer doesn't work blue.
2008-06-24 14:30:43
18.   Greg Brock
When is the PowerPoint presentation that compares this SABR convention to previous conventions?

Will it be available online?

2008-06-24 14:47:55
19.   Bob Timmermann
Davis Guggenheim will be directing that.
2008-06-24 15:44:34
20.   bhsportsguy
Bob will be presenting Rob Neyer a limited edition "Griddle" pie tin which will suspiciously look like a tin you get from a local pie making establishment.
2008-06-24 17:29:33
21.   JHWaugh
I would assume that since you are in the city of the Rock and Roll HOF there will be a presentation on big leaguers who also rocked. I believe Sandy Koufax played the electric shofar in a rock band in Los Angeles' Borsht section of the Sunset strip.
2008-06-25 21:21:45
22.   Spaceman Spiff
Bob, I imagine you've addressed this in the past, but why Nippon Ham?

Is it because the (inaccurate) name Ham Fighters is just so cool? Was it being the underdog tenant of the Tokyo Dome, to the Yomiuri Giants? Are you a fan of the island of Hokkaido? Inquiring minds want to know.

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