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SABR 36 in Seattle report: June 29
2006-06-29 21:53
by Bob Timmermann

The festivities for the 36th annual SABR convention (or conference if you want to be snooty) got underway Thursday in Seattle.

I arrived after midnight and didn't get to bed until after 1:30, so I didn't go all out on the research presentations, but I did poke my head into a few of them.

Steve Treder of The Hardball Times got things started for me with a discussion of the career of Paul Richards, The Wizard of Waxahachie.

Steve Treder talks about the career of Paul Richards

Chris Jaffe, who writes for Baseball Think Factory followed with a presentation on whether or not managers can improve their teams over time and which ones get the most and least out of their players. Chris's work is available at the link above. The end result: Joe McCarthy was really, really, really, really, really, really good.

Chris Jaffe wonders if managers improve their teams with time

Later in the day, the Toaster's very own Mike Carminati examined the history of relief pitcher usage and which relief pitchers might be worthy of Hall of Fame induction. Mike has told me not to hold my breath about Gary Lavelle making it, although he was pretty good.

Mike Carminati wonders why all these people are staring at him

This slide was funny. Trust me

Finally, Phil Birnbaum spoke on whether there is a definite effect where players try harder in the seasons before free agency in order to impress other teams. Phil's very well-researched presentation (it's not on his website yet) indicated that the answer was: most likely not.

Phil Birnbaum wonders why Steve Treder used his Powerpoint template

Tomorrow is the convention banquet with highly anticipated guest speaker Jim Bouton. Bouton, along with Mike Marshall and Steve Hovley will also be part of a panel discussion on the Seattle Pilots (which I'll likely miss much of.) There will be a game Friday night at Safeco Field between the resurgent Mariners and the only team in the NL that seems to be unafraid of the AL: Colorado. I hope I get the chance to root for a four-way tie in the NL West!

2006-06-30 11:52:58
1.   DXMachina
Sounds like a good time. I'd have loved to sit in on the Pilots panel.

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