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Monday, July 14, 2014

Who’s going to SABR??

Mike Emeigh Posted: July 14, 2014 at 08:29 AM | 112 comment(s)
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   1. Mike Emeigh Posted: July 14, 2014 at 08:52 AM (#4749881)
Made my plane reservations this morning. Arriving noon Wednesday, leaving at 9 AM Sunday.

-- MWE
   2. Foghorn Leghorn Posted: July 14, 2014 at 09:02 AM (#4749885)
I will be there. I haven't booked my flight, but I have a Board meeting at 8 AM on Wednesday, so I will be arriving Tuesday night. I also have a Board meeting until at least noon on Sunday.
   3. McCoy Posted: July 14, 2014 at 09:43 AM (#4749900)
I know I keep saying it practically every year but I'll probably go to next year's convention in Chicago. You guys should get a softball game going.
   4. Steve Treder Posted: July 14, 2014 at 12:21 PM (#4750034)
I'll be there. Can't keep me away from Houston in August!
   5. Fred Garvin is dead to Mug Posted: July 15, 2014 at 11:37 AM (#4750613)
In -- arriving Wednesday afternoon.
   6. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: July 17, 2014 at 04:24 PM (#4753068)
I'll be there. I arrive around noon-one Wednesday. Dave Johnson will be on the same flight with me. Mike (or anyone else) if you want to take a cab over from the airport lets coordinate. With three of us it will be cheaper and more convenient than any other form of transportation I imagine. Are you solo this year?

Fred, do I know you by a different name? Haven't kept up with the handle changes ... Will be good to meet you if not.
   7. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: July 17, 2014 at 04:26 PM (#4753071)
deleted
   8. Dag Nabbit is part of the zombie horde Posted: July 17, 2014 at 05:20 PM (#4753136)
I'll be there - a little. I have finals Wed/Thur, so I fly in .. Thursday night. I should get there around midnight. Then I fly out Sunday morning. So I'll be around for 2 days.
   9. Sean Forman Posted: July 18, 2014 at 04:07 PM (#4753824)
Will get there on Tuesday afternoon. Leaving Sunday late morning.

Oh and I won't be simultaneously participating in a wedding, so I will be around a whole lot more.
   10. TRBMB Posted: July 20, 2014 at 12:43 PM (#4754680)
Although continuing to contend with a difficult last year health wise, I hope to arrive in Houston late Monday and stay until Sunday morning, after which I plan to journey to New Orleans for a few days. Always enjoy the Convention, this one has been in jeopardy due to a recent health issue that is hopefully contained.
   11. Mike Emeigh Posted: July 20, 2014 at 09:58 PM (#4754902)
Joe, I am flying solo this year - and will definitely be *off* from work, as opposed to the last convention that I *attended*, where I really didn't attend much of anything (and which indirectly led to everything that has happened in my life over the last year.)

I am coming in on Southwest (Grand Rapids via St. Louis), which means that I am coming to Hobby and not GBIA.

-- MWE
   12. Mike Webber Posted: July 21, 2014 at 10:03 AM (#4755034)
I'm touring TCU Monday, and Rice Tuesday morning with daughter. I'm putting her on a plane home Tuesday afternoon, so I'll be around after that.
Hey Emeigh, I can take these college visits off my taxes right?
   13. GGC don't think it can get longer than a novella Posted: July 21, 2014 at 12:50 PM (#4755212)
Once I get my life back in order, I'd like to get back into SABR. I let my membership lapse in 2010 or 2011. My finances went to hell and they still haven't recovered. Right now, I am between jobs, but hopefully that changes soon.

But if I do get back into SABR, my focus will be on early baseball and not sabermetrics. We're talking pre-1850.
   14. Mark Armour Posted: July 21, 2014 at 01:38 PM (#4755249)
I will be there. I am heading to Memphis on Saturday (in five days), then taking a little auto tour to Houston via Little Rock and various points in between. Hope to be in Houston by Wednesday evening. I have done this with two others for the past decade, which means we arrive at the SABR convention already worn out. YOLO, I suppose.
   15. Mark Armour Posted: July 21, 2014 at 01:40 PM (#4755250)
Oh, and I hope Dial is more helpful this year if I am cornered in the bar by an "undesirable".
   16. Steve Treder Posted: July 21, 2014 at 01:58 PM (#4755260)
Oh, and I hope Dial is more helpful this year if I am cornered in the bar by an "undesirable".

Do tell what this story is about. (I wasn't there last year because my son had the audacity to get married that weekend.)
   17. Nineto Lezcano needs to get his shit together (CW) Posted: July 21, 2014 at 02:07 PM (#4755264)
Oh, and I hope Dial is more helpful this year if I am cornered in the bar by an "undesirable".


I'm confused, I thought Dial WAS the undesirable cornering people at bars at SABR.
   18. Mark Armour Posted: July 21, 2014 at 02:35 PM (#4755290)
Do tell what this story is about. (I wasn't there last year because my son had the audacity to get married that weekend.)


I am standing around this joint minding my own business, as one does, when a SABR person I shall not name unless you ask nice starts talking to me about this and that and other things and how much of a genius he is and his stack of notes from his professors attesting to same and how in the name of God do they trade Jose Iglesias for Jake Peavy and it gets louder and more animated and arms are flapping and shoulders are getting smacked and have I told you about Mensa and my not-quite-finished PhD in neuroscience and louder and louder and Brandon Arroyo for Wily Mo Pena and louder and all the clutch hitting studies are wrong or perhaps right and louder and I notice the very honorable Dial across the bar subtly no really giving the situation the once over and then doing it again and and I'd lay eight-to-five that he is figuring a way to help me out and it gets even louder and then he is smiling and smiling more and looking like the Mets just won the World Series or at least put together a rally and finally I spill a drink or lie about nature calling or like that and get my weary carcass out of there. After a brief trip to inquire about a matter with the barkeep, I walks over to the very honorable Dial. I ask him, straight up, "Dude, where is my tow line?" Says he, "I am not messing with that."
   19. GGC don't think it can get longer than a novella Posted: July 21, 2014 at 03:18 PM (#4755325)
Mark. you pretty much identified him with that description.
   20. Mike Webber Posted: July 21, 2014 at 03:39 PM (#4755331)
I ask him, straight up, "Dude, where is my tow line?" Says he, "I am not messing with that."


A friend in need...
well, he needs a better friend than Dial.
   21. Traderdave Posted: July 21, 2014 at 04:11 PM (#4755346)
19

Not to me, he didn't


   22. morineko Posted: July 21, 2014 at 04:23 PM (#4755350)
18) It looks like you may have ended up at a science fiction convention by accident. I run into at least one of those guys (or gals) at every convention I go to.
Actually if I figured out the clues right, that guy did attend some of the sf conventions I've been to.
   23. Steve Treder Posted: July 21, 2014 at 04:36 PM (#4755352)
Not to me, he didn't

Mark, does this constitute asking nice?
   24. Ray (RDP) Posted: July 21, 2014 at 04:45 PM (#4755354)
So Mark, pretty please, with sugar on top. Tell us the ####### person's name.

</off Pulp Fiction>

   25. Ray (RDP) Posted: July 21, 2014 at 04:55 PM (#4755357)
Or we can do this per A Few Good Men a la Cruise and Nicholson:

----

"I'll just need the person's name, Colonel Armour."

"What's that?"

"The person's name. You have it. I'll just need it for the file."

"For the file."

"Yeah."

"Of course you can have the person's name. For the file. I'm here to help anyway I can."

"Thank you."

"You believe that, don't you, Ray? That I'm here to help anyway I can?"

"Of course."

"The corporal (Kevin) will run you by Ordinance on your way out to the airstrip. You can have all the names you want."

"Thank you, Mark."

"But you have to ask me nicely."

"I beg your pardon?"

"You have to ask me nicely. You see, Ray, I can deal with the bullets and the bombs from BBTF. I don't want money and I don't want medals. What I do want is for you to stand there in that blanketty white uniform and with your Harvard mouth and extend me some ####### courtesy. You gotta ask me nicely."

[a beat, as Ray swallows his disbelief]

"Colonel Armour... if it's not too much trouble... I'd like the person's name. Sir."

[Col. Armour, politely, cigar in his mouth]

"No problem."
   26. Fred Garvin is dead to Mug Posted: July 21, 2014 at 04:58 PM (#4755359)
... I notice the very honorable Dial across the bar subtly no really giving the situation the once over ...

Hilaripus.
   27. GGC don't think it can get longer than a novella Posted: July 21, 2014 at 04:59 PM (#4755361)
18) It looks like you may have ended up at a science fiction convention by accident. I run into at least one of those guys (or gals) at every convention I go to.
Actually if I figured out the clues right, that guy did attend some of the sf conventions I've been to.


He's either into science fiction or fantasy, IIRC. Probably both. There was an article last year that mentioned him in ESPN the Magazine that included a photo of him holding some sword.
   28. Mark Armour Posted: July 21, 2014 at 05:09 PM (#4755366)
I was going to wait for Dial to chime in here, but GGC got close enough. Here is the ESPN story, which really does not do justice our "conversation."

He might be here for all I know. The only handles around here that I have been able to decipher are Steve, Mike, and the other Mike.
   29. Steve Treder Posted: July 21, 2014 at 05:12 PM (#4755371)
The only handles around here that I have been able to decipher are Steve and Mike.

That's just what we want you to think.
   30. Mark Armour Posted: July 21, 2014 at 05:15 PM (#4755372)
Oh, crap.
   31. McCoy Posted: July 21, 2014 at 05:35 PM (#4755377)
I find talking baseball to actual live people to be rather exhausting.
   32. Steve Treder Posted: July 21, 2014 at 06:29 PM (#4755397)
I find talking baseball to actual live people to be rather exhausting.

Dial found it so exhausting he couldn't even lift a pinky to rescue Armour from a near-death experience.
   33. RJ in TO Posted: July 21, 2014 at 06:32 PM (#4755401)
Hell, I've never even been to SABR, and I knew who Mark was talking about.
   34. Ray (RDP) Posted: July 21, 2014 at 08:00 PM (#4755434)
There was an article last year that mentioned him in ESPN the Magazine that included a photo of him holding some sword.


Holding "some sword." Lol.

I think he used to post in the Red Sox newsgroup. Had the hots for Liv Tyler, as I recall.
   35. Neal Traven Posted: July 22, 2014 at 12:27 AM (#4755552)
He's either into science fiction or fantasy, IIRC. Probably both. There was an article last year that mentioned him in ESPN the Magazine that included a photo of him holding some sword.

Yeah, I'm almost certain it's sci-fi. As I recall, he (says he) organizes some sort of Con that attracts thousands. No doubt because he's the organizer.

Mark, the problem with rescuing the poor unfortunate soul who's assaulted in that manner is that one risks becoming the next poor unfortunate soul who's assaulted in that manner. There aren't very many prospective martyrs out there.

Back to Emeigh's original query -- Houston will be my 25th consecutive SABR Convention. Arriving @ IAH on Tuesday afternoon, departing Sunday afternoon.
   36. MHS Posted: July 22, 2014 at 07:51 AM (#4755578)
That story was awesome, I think we have all been cornered like that.

No SABR for me this year. Having a baby instead. I hope he has high standards.
   37. Nineto Lezcano needs to get his shit together (CW) Posted: July 22, 2014 at 01:35 PM (#4755744)
I will be absent this year.
   38. Mike Emeigh Posted: July 22, 2014 at 08:29 PM (#4755994)
Mike Webber, you can't deduct college visits on your taxes; they aren't considered higher education expenses because the kid is not yet enrolled. You will be able to claim credits or deductions for certain expenses that you pay out of pocket once your daughter is actually in college - check out IRS Publication 970 for more info. (Side note: The IRS is really good about making information publicly available on its Web site; there's a publication for just about anything you'd want to know. If they were as good at saving internal emails...nah, I shouldn't go there.)

Dial's still gallivanting around Europe, I think. He's getting back just in time to turn around and head for Houston. He's on the Board now, in case some of you hadn't heard.

MHS, there's always some excuse why you can't be there :) Although to be fair I had one that was just as lame a year ago - something about needing a job or something like that...

-- MWE
   39. Mike Webber Posted: July 22, 2014 at 10:07 PM (#4756039)
No Larry Mahnken this year, so someone else will have to smash up their car on the way to the ballpark
   40. Steve Treder Posted: July 22, 2014 at 10:19 PM (#4756046)
someone else will have to smash up their car on the way to the ballpark

We need volunteers. Come on, people!
   41. Howie Menckel Posted: July 22, 2014 at 10:33 PM (#4756055)
"I'll probably go to next year's convention in Chicago."

oh, that would be the perfect place for my debut.

have always lived 700+ miles from Chicago, yet have logged 75+ visits and 9+ months of my life there, including one trip where I met my future wife in one of the least likely bars in Chicago (where no one working there disrobes as a matter of practice)....

   42. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: July 23, 2014 at 12:20 AM (#4756101)
Congrats MHS!

I had a baby August 2011 (well, my wife did). This did not prevent me from making it to SABR 41, which was 7 weeks earlier on the other side of the country all the way in SoCal. So you don't get much slack there from me :-)

Howie, would be great to see you out there next year.

Can't wait hear the stories Mike ... Glad you and Sean will both be less distracted this time.

As an added bonus I get to go straight from Houston to Las Vegas now! 6 day InfoSec conference / training ... Going to be a fun 10-11 days ...
   43. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: July 23, 2014 at 12:23 AM (#4756102)
Are there any leaders in the clubhouse for the 2016 convention?
   44. Mark Armour Posted: July 23, 2014 at 12:56 AM (#4756109)
I have heard nothing, but for some reason I have a feeling about the Bay Area. They try to get West every handful of years, and the last time was Long Beach in 2011. They should announce something next week.
   45. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: July 23, 2014 at 01:12 AM (#4756115)
I've never been to SF, would love that, assuming hotels aren't crazily priced and we can still be in SF and not out by an airport or in San Jose etc.
   46. odds are meatwad is drunk Posted: July 23, 2014 at 03:02 AM (#4756134)
I will kot atttend this ome but I peomise to make it to chicago amd inflict meatwad upon you.
   47. Mark Armour Posted: July 23, 2014 at 11:17 AM (#4756217)
Another possibility, which I had not thought of but should have, is Phoenix. SABR's HQ is there and we have not been since 1999. In the past few years SABR has become quite well known with baseball officials in the area.
   48. Steve Treder Posted: July 23, 2014 at 11:59 AM (#4756244)
Another possibility, which I had not thought of but should have, is Phoenix.

Phoenix in the summertime is hotter than hell. Literally, not figuratively.
   49. Steve Treder Posted: July 23, 2014 at 12:01 PM (#4756245)
I've never been to SF, would love that, assuming hotels aren't crazily priced and we can still be in SF and not out by an airport or in San Jose etc.

Hotels are crazily priced. Duh. The two previous times it's been in the Bay Area, it was in Oakland (1985) and at a hotel adjacent to the SF Airport (1990-something).
   50. TRBMB Posted: July 23, 2014 at 12:09 PM (#4756253)
I took a look yesterday at where SABR Convention has never been MLB city specific, at least from a metro perspective, and only Detroit and Tampa remain undone. Given Comerica remains one of my few unvisited parks, I could favor it for 2016.
   51. Mark Armour Posted: July 23, 2014 at 12:14 PM (#4756258)
On occasion, SABR holds what I like to call a "hotel convention". That is when you arrive at the hotel, and do not leave until the convention is over (with the exception of the ballgame). This is what Phoenix would be like. Frankly, I am expecting the same thing in Houston.

There are also conventions like Boston and DC where there is so much to do you feel kind of bummed when you have attend some silly presentation instead of hanging in the city.
   52. Mark Armour Posted: July 23, 2014 at 12:16 PM (#4756263)
Detroit was a candidate a few years ago -- I believe their local chapter is active and is (or at least *was*) interested. I am not sure if they dropped off the list.
   53. Steve Treder Posted: July 23, 2014 at 12:29 PM (#4756271)
Frankly, I am expecting the same thing in Houston.

I am deeply hoping for it.
   54. Mark Armour Posted: July 23, 2014 at 12:31 PM (#4756272)
I am deeply hoping for it.

Indeed.
   55. Mike Webber Posted: July 23, 2014 at 04:18 PM (#4756439)
Frankly, I am expecting the same thing in Houston.

I am deeply hoping for it.

I was looking at restaurants near the hotel and there are a couple, one Thai and one BBQ about a mile away.
A mile is starting to seem pretty damn far.

Right now the weather is saying highs in the low 90's, with lows in the mid-70's. If that is all the hotter it is, I guess that isn't too bad.
   56. Steve Treder Posted: July 23, 2014 at 04:26 PM (#4756451)
If that is all the hotter it is, I guess that isn't too bad.

Yes, but Mike, it's Houston. It isn't the heat ... (wait for it) ... it's the humidity.
   57. McCoy Posted: July 23, 2014 at 05:29 PM (#4756488)
Im all for Baltimore in 2016. Hotel is right next to Camden yards and mass transportation to the airport and DC. Plus I'll give you deals on drinks.
   58. TRBMB Posted: July 23, 2014 at 05:31 PM (#4756493)
I visited both Houston and Phoenix 4 years ago largely just to visit the ballparks and chalk them up. Outside of that, I found neither city to be 'walkable', i.e., a city one could journey from the hotel and then walk around 'downtown' close by and experience the town. In effect, there really wasn't much of a 'downtown' in either city. Both were spread out and walking it wasn't much of an option (besides the heat). I'm sure there will be some decent 'sites' near the Convention hotel, but any good town experience requires some traveling around (distance). If the Astrodome is still standing, getting there is a journey. (as I recall)
   59. TRBMB Posted: July 23, 2014 at 05:46 PM (#4756504)
And George Springer won't be joining any lengthy walks. Bummer.
   60. Steve Treder Posted: July 23, 2014 at 05:47 PM (#4756506)
I found neither city to be 'walkable', i.e., a city one could journey from the hotel and then walk around 'downtown' close by and experience the town. In effect, there really wasn't much of a 'downtown' in either city. Both were spread out and walking it wasn't much of an option (besides the heat).

This is an extremely polite way of saying that both Houston and Phoenix are sprawling monstrosities in which the only way to get anyplace is by car. Not that there's much to go see in either city.

The Astrodome (indeed if it is still standing) is way out in the middle of nowhere.
   61. TRBMB Posted: July 23, 2014 at 06:11 PM (#4756530)
Steve, you took the words right out of my mouth. So, we go to a Convention largely to experience the Convention. There's a concept with some value.

And the Astrodome is indeed nowhere, right next to the football stadium in the middle of it.
   62. Mark Armour Posted: July 23, 2014 at 06:11 PM (#4756531)
Right now the weather is saying highs in the low 90's, with lows in the mid-70's.

Assume that the mid-70s is at 5 am, it is in the 90s from 11 am to 7 pm, and it is still in the 80s at midnight. If you walk a mile, you will need a shower when you return. No really, I will insist that you have shower.

This is an extremely polite way of saying that both Houston and Phoenix are sprawling monstrosities in which the only way to get anyplace is by car. Not that there's much to go see in either city.

This is harshly put, and exceedingly accurate.



   63. Dag Nabbit is part of the zombie horde Posted: July 23, 2014 at 06:17 PM (#4756535)
Looking it up, the hotel is a one-hour drive from the Houston Space Center. Bummer.

If anyone wants to predict upcoming sites, I tried that game a few years ago. I was way off on Chicago, but it does give a sense of what cities are upcoming. With all this talk of West Coast cities, no one mentioned San Diego. It has one of the longest droughts without hosting the convention of any city.

McCoy - SABR is unlikely to be in Baltimore any time soon. The '09 convention was in DC -- and the Nationals were out of town, so we bused to Camden Yards to see a game there. I doubt they'll take SABR back to Camden Yards twice inside a decade.
   64. Steve Treder Posted: July 23, 2014 at 06:24 PM (#4756545)
So, we go to a Convention largely to experience the Convention. There's a concept with some value.

It just might work!
   65. Steve Treder Posted: July 23, 2014 at 06:26 PM (#4756546)
With all this talk of West Coast cities, no one mentioned San Diego.

San Diego is completely awesome, with a fabulous restaurant/bar district surrounding the ballpark. And unbeatable weather.
   66. McCoy Posted: July 23, 2014 at 06:26 PM (#4756547)
Well, you can bus them to DC for a Nat's game.
   67. TRBMB Posted: July 23, 2014 at 06:31 PM (#4756553)
San Diego would be cool. I was last there a few years back, and had tickets to a game at Qualcomm (Petco had just started being dug.) Never made it to the game that didn't happen. September 11 2001.
   68. AndrewJ Posted: July 23, 2014 at 07:17 PM (#4756572)
Can't make it this year, but I'll be in Cooperstown this weekend for the HOF inductions and the meeting of the local SABR chapter. See you at the Tunnicliff.
   69. flournoy Posted: July 23, 2014 at 08:11 PM (#4756607)
I'm in Houston all week this week, spending 12 hours a day outside in the sun. It's hot here.
   70. Mike Emeigh Posted: July 23, 2014 at 08:15 PM (#4756609)
Baltimore isn't going to happen any time soon, precisely because the convention was in DC in '09.

I have to think Phoenix will be a favorite for 2016. SABR likes to hold a convention in the office city every so often so that the staff doesn't have to travel, we haven't been there since 1999, haven't been out west in 5 years. With Chicago up for 2015, it almost has to go out west in 2016; there's no way that we'll do Detroit right after Chicago, especially so soon after Minneapolis.

-- MWE

EDIT: I don't see Tampa as a likely choice any time soon, although I suppose it could happen. SABR's last experience in Florida was pretty bad.
   71. Howie Menckel Posted: July 23, 2014 at 08:21 PM (#4756612)

Knicks played Rockets in 1994 NBA Finals, mid/late June.

The buses taking media from their hotel to the arena for practices in Houston practically drove inside the lobby; I took it as the locals hoping the national folks wouldn't notice the, uh, humidity.

Didn't stop NY Post from a backpage "HELLHOLE!" cover on the second day we were there.

Phoenix is fine; dry heat is a real thing. would rather do 122 in Palm Springs (and I have) than 90 in Houston or Orlando with that humidity....
   72. Steve Treder Posted: July 23, 2014 at 08:31 PM (#4756619)
Phoenix is fine; dry heat is a real thing. would rather do 122 in Palm Springs (and I have) than 90 in Houston or Orlando with that humidity....

Agreed 1000% that dry heat, even way too much of it, is enormously better than humidity. It isn't a close call.
   73. McCoy Posted: July 23, 2014 at 08:37 PM (#4756625)
Been to Vegas when it hit 100 degrees. Sucks just as bad as a hot humid day in Chicago or in Baltimore. Might very well be worse since you can feel yourself cooking.
   74. McCoy Posted: July 23, 2014 at 08:40 PM (#4756627)
Baltimore isn't going to happen any time soon, precisely because the convention was in DC in '09.

But if you come you can share the area with Bronycon!
   75. Mike Webber Posted: July 23, 2014 at 10:29 PM (#4756674)
I have to think Phoenix will be a favorite for 2016. SABR likes to hold a convention in the office city every so often so that the staff doesn't have to travel,


With the analytics meeting in Phoenix every spring I think that is kind of silly to have the convention there in the summer.

Are we sure Houston doesn't count as a "Western" convention? - I know MHS thinks it is.

Detroit and Tampa have never hosted, and if Baltimore gets to count DC, that makes NYC the major league city that has gone longest without hosting. Followed by Baltimore, San Diego, Dallas, Pittsburg, and Kansas City.
   76. Steve Treder Posted: July 23, 2014 at 10:56 PM (#4756689)
Been to Vegas when it hit 100 degrees. Sucks just as bad as a hot humid day in Chicago or in Baltimore.

Wrong. If you've "been to Vegas when it hits 100 degrees," that means you have precious little experience in Las Vegas, or the desert in general.

Basically, you don't know what you're talking about.
   77. McCoy Posted: July 23, 2014 at 11:06 PM (#4756694)
Wrong. If you've "been to Vegas when it hits 100 degrees," that means you have precious little experience in Las Vegas, or the desert in general.

Basically, you don't know what you're talking about.


Jesus, I think that is the first time I've ever seen anyone get angrier over a conversation about the weather.

I'm wrong to think that hot desert temps suck? You think they are comfortable?
   78. McCoy Posted: July 23, 2014 at 11:07 PM (#4756695)
Are we sure Houston doesn't count as a "Western" convention? - I know MHS thinks it is.


LA just had one too.
   79. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: July 23, 2014 at 11:10 PM (#4756696)
Steve, you took the words right out of my mouth. So, we go to a Convention largely to experience the Convention. There's a concept with some value.


This.

I rarely want to leave the hotel, other than to go to a bar or restaurant.

I'm there to hang out with everyone, and the less time wasted walking and driving the better :-) I could plant my butt in the hotel bar if it's a good one for 4 days and be content. Cleveland had a great hotel bar, I liked that it was the central place of activity most of the time, Wiffle ball in that square across the street, drinks in hand was pretty great too. Even if I did pop a hammy and gave Gleeman the only PR appearance of his life
   80. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: July 23, 2014 at 11:15 PM (#4756699)
Are we sure Houston doesn't count as a "Western" convention? - I know MHS thinks it is.


Very true. He complained about these western conventions when they were in St. Louis and Cleveland. That is a partial example of his awesomeness actually.
   81. Steve Treder Posted: July 23, 2014 at 11:38 PM (#4756711)
I'm wrong to think that hot desert temps suck? You think they are comfortable?

You're wrong because you don't know enough about desert temps and their relative comfort to know what you're talking about.
   82. kthejoker Posted: July 23, 2014 at 11:44 PM (#4756715)
Houston has an actual walkable Downtown (and Midtown) with some great restaurants, museums, and nightlife, with MMP at one kind of detached corner.

Unfortunately, the Hotel Sonesta ain't exactly close to it, but I think you can catch a bus from the corner of Post Oak and Westheimer straight into downtown, if not there's a crosstown bus (the 52?) that picks up in front of the Galleria and heads downtown.

If you've got the dough, Morton's and Del Frisco are both great steakhouses near there, and Arcodoro is a kind of upscale Italian.

And if you can figure out the bus routes, there are a ton of great restaurants all within about 5-10 minutes of the Sonesta.

   83. Neal Traven Posted: July 24, 2014 at 12:15 AM (#4756720)
If I ever move again, you can bet that that city will host a SABR convention soon thereafter. I've been on three different local convention committees (Pittsburgh 1995, Boston 2002, Seattle 2006). So where would you guys suggest I move?

If I were a betting man (what's the line on SABR46 locations in the Vegas sports book?), I wouldn't bet on Phoenix. I think Marc and Vince want it to stay as Analytics and Analytics only.

It won't be Detroit (too close to Chicago), and is unlikely to be Tampa (too many of us still recall how bad West Palm was), so it will have to be a city we've been to in the distant (but not too distant) past. A good bet would be that the town has built a new ballpark since our last time there. And I don't think it can be a place we've visited in the 21st century. Those conditions really narrow the choices to:

New York (1991)
San Diego (1993)
Pittsburgh (1995)
San Francisco (1998)

New York is always a problem for SABR, though perhaps the new relationship with MLB might change that. I think it's still a longer shot than San Diego and possibly San Francisco. If it's one of those two in 2016, then we'll hit either Pittsburgh or Detroit in 2017.
   84. Neal Traven Posted: July 24, 2014 at 12:17 AM (#4756721)

And if you can figure out the bus routes, there are a ton of great restaurants all within about 5-10 minutes of the Sonesta.

According to the Sonesta's website, they run a complimentary shuttle to locations within 3 miles of the hotel.
   85. Mark Armour Posted: July 24, 2014 at 12:31 AM (#4756724)
For those of you who are convention veterans, I will point out that Seattle 2006 was basically 73 degrees and cloudless for four days. Not only that, but the baseball game took 1:50 to play, and we walked back to the hotel (it was late June) in broad daylight after a night game.

The other great conventions (taking into account only hotel location and weather): Denver 2003, Toronto 2004.

Most SABR conventions have been VERY hot -- it is summer, after all.

Since Neal laid out his cards, I will guess:

Phoenix (2016), Pittsburgh (2017), Oakland/SF (2018)

Lay your bets!


   86. McCoy Posted: July 24, 2014 at 05:36 AM (#4756752)
I'm wrong because I should have felt comfortable?
   87. Mike Webber Posted: July 24, 2014 at 09:48 PM (#4757290)
Technically it is Kansas City's turn in about 5 years, but Kansas City despite it's center of the country locale is poor for a convention. The airport is 20 miles from downtown and there is no public transportation between the two. It's 11 miles from downtown to the baseball stadium, and while there are buses that go between the two, there is no light rail/subway type of option. It's only a mile or two from downtown to the Negro League Museum, but it's not exactly the kind of neighborhood you'd encourage people to walk through, though maybe in a large group it would be okay. Downtown has improved a lot since the last time SABR was there, many more dining options, but still it's not that great.

I'm just getting my excuses out there now why Kansas City isn't ready for it's turn in half a decade.
   88. McCoy Posted: July 24, 2014 at 10:05 PM (#4757299)
Baltimore has the light rail that goes from the airport to right next door to the hotel! Plus it has something like 4 free bus lines nearby that will take you all over the city. No transportation to the game is required and the team is right next door for speaking engagements.
   89. Mike Webber Posted: July 24, 2014 at 10:07 PM (#4757301)
I think we just have one primate doing a presentation this time around..

Friday August 1

9:15-9:4 0 a.m. (Legends IV/VII, 1st floor)
RP15: The Case for Al Campanis
Mark Armour

And is always the way, there are two presentations that afternoon I'd really like to see,
3:45-4:10 p.m. (Legends IV/VII, 1st floor)
RP19: The Kansas City Royals Baseball Academy
Daniel R. Levitt

3:45-4:10 p.m. (Legends I/II, 1st floor)
RP20: William Hulbert and the Birth of the Business of Professional Baseball
Michael Haupert

And no convention that I remember has ever had so many panels that seem star studded, I wanted to note this one because of Eddie Robinson.. Robinson was still scouting for the Red Sox in the fall of 2002 when the Henry group took over. He made his major league debut 60 years prior as 21 year-old in 1942. They had a bunch of guys on the scouting payroll that just seemed Jurassic, Robinson was born in 1920 and I don't think he was the oldest guy they had.

Robinson played for all 8 AL original franchises including playing with the A's in both Philly and KC - though he didn't play for the Browns but did play for the Orioles. (Though with this week's ruling about the Yankees maybe they aren't one of the Original Franchises?)

10:30-11:30 a.m. (Legends Ballroom IV/VII, 1st floor)
Panel: From Playing Field to Front Office
Expected speakers include: Dr. Bobby Brown, five-time World Series champion with the New York Yankees and former American League President; Eddie Robinson, a four-time All-Star first baseman, farm director of the Houston Colt .45s, and GM of the Texas Rangers; and Bob Watson, a two-time All-Star outfielder who scored the 1 millionth run in major league history and later served as GM of the Houston Astros. Moderator: C. Paul Rogers III, a professor of law and former dean of the Dedman School of Law at Southern Methodist University and president of the Ernie Banks-Bobby Bragan SABR chapter in Dallas-Fort Worth.
   90. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: July 24, 2014 at 11:28 PM (#4757348)
That 10:30 one sounds good, as a Yankee fan I love Bob Watson. Even though it is really early in the morning (for SABR), I will try to make that one ...
   91. Mark Armour Posted: July 25, 2014 at 11:37 AM (#4757560)
I agree with Mike that the most annoying conflict are the presentations by Dan Levitt and Mike Haupert. I have a prejudice in that Dan and I just finished a book in which his research on the Academy is part of one chapter. However, Haupert is one of the best researchers in SABR and knows more about the history of the business of the game than anyone. I really wish these two were not at the same time.
   92. Fred Garvin is dead to Mug Posted: July 25, 2014 at 12:37 PM (#4757606)
On occasion, SABR holds what I like to call a "hotel convention". That is when you arrive at the hotel, and do not leave until the convention is over (with the exception of the ballgame). This is what Phoenix would be like. Frankly, I am expecting the same thing in Houston.

Atlanta wasn't exactly brisk.

BTW --

(1) I would be thrilled with San Diego. San Francisco or Pittsburgh would also be terrific, but I've been to both (though I haven't been to Oakland).
(2) In case you didn't know -- Scruff -- I'm McCullough.
   93. The kids disappeared, now Der-K has too much candy Posted: July 25, 2014 at 02:09 PM (#4757659)
You know, it would be nice if someone recorded these presentations and made them publicly available (for a fee or not).
   94. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: July 25, 2014 at 02:16 PM (#4757664)
Hey Fred! When did the Chicago to Quad Cities thing happen?
   95. Fred Garvin is dead to Mug Posted: July 25, 2014 at 03:13 PM (#4757705)
It didn't -- it's the SNL character bio. I'm not really a male prostitute either.
   96. Mike Webber Posted: July 25, 2014 at 04:03 PM (#4757733)
Panels from SABR 2013

If you google the SABR convention history there are more links to videos from past conferences. I know the Begleys and others have taped presentations for years, I imagine you could find some of them.

And if you want a sneak preview of the best thing in this year's goodie bag, FX Flinn shows off the convention book for 2014. With a guest appearance by Ty Waterman.
   97. The kids disappeared, now Der-K has too much candy Posted: July 25, 2014 at 04:52 PM (#4757758)
Thanks, Mike - I'm bookmarking that link...
   98. Foghorn Leghorn Posted: July 27, 2014 at 07:00 AM (#4758311)
Why, Mark, I am shocked that you would suggest I would leave a man on the battlefield! SHOCKED.

A grenade is one thing to throw oneself upon....

My flights are booked - arrive late Tuesday. Board meeting all day on Wednesday. I have a laundry list of "How to make SABR better for YOU", and if anyone has any additional ideas, please email me (via BTF). Or meet me in the bar about 11 PM on Tuesday. I will be looking for you, Sean.
   99. Neal Traven Posted: July 27, 2014 at 02:54 PM (#4758474)
Foghorn @98:
Or meet me in the bar about 11 PM on Tuesday.

I just put that on my to-do list.

You buying?
   100. Scott Fischthal Posted: July 27, 2014 at 06:40 PM (#4758656)
I agree with Mike that the most annoying conflict are the presentations by Dan Levitt and Mike Haupert.


I apologize for that -- we had an unusual number of requests from the presenters to avoid or prefer specific times, so I probably focused too much on accommodating everybody's preferences. I still should have caught that one, though.

BTW, I'm coming in Wednesday; flight's due in around 3:00.
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