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Friday, July 16, 2004

SABR Day 2

I was at the SABR convention in Cincinnati again today. I thought I'd note some interesting tidbits.

First, I saw a panel of several experts talking about the 1919 World Series. The moderator was Alan Schwarz, who writes for Baseball America, ESPN Magazine and the New York Times. I didn't learn that much (I've read a couple of books and watched a good movie on the Black Sox scandal), but it was interesting.

In the afternoon, I attended two presentations sponsored by the Statistical Analysis Committee. One was on the relative value of on base average versus slugging and the other was about the kinds of games really good teams win. Retrosheet President David Smith gave this outstanding talk.

I also peeked in on a panel of former Reds players. It was weird seeing Joe Nuxhall since I hear his voice so frequently on the Reds radio games. Lee May was pretty funny, and I especially liked his stories because he played for the KC Royals at the end of his career -- and later served as their hitting coach.

May told some funny anecdotes about Earl Weaver and Sparky Anderson. His best laugh lines, however, were about Leo Durocher, who apparently slept a great deal when he was the Houston manager. Inspired, I bought a used paperback copy of Nice Guys Finish Last.

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