Analytics and the Rules of Survival

August 18, 2018

Billy Beane didn’t exactly invent analytics,
but he did open the gate and let them in.

 

SABR friend Bob Dorrill sent me an interesting group mail article yesterday. It was entitled: “More Strikeouts Than Hits? Welcome to Baseball’s Latest Crisis.”

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/08/16/sports/baseball-mlb-strikeouts.html?hp&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&clickSource=story-heading&module=mini-moth®ion=top-stories-below&WT.nav=top-stories-below

This apparent analytics-inspired crisis is that baseball may soon be reaching the point in which we shall see more strikeouts than hits in the game over the course of a season.

To that fearsome day, I say, “so what?”. Baseball has been moving in this direction, no matter how swiftly it now seems we go, since the 1920s and the introduction of power baseball as the tonic the game needed to help fans recover from the tedium of the dead ball game and the blow to the game’s integrity that generated from the Black Sox Scandal.

Of the few suggestions made in this brief small company of e-mail respondents, the one I liked best was the same one I offered ~ let it be. This well-known baseball figure said it best too. In words to the same effect as mine, but more particularly stated, he said let it be for five years then check again to see how the ratio was working. People adapt their hitting to changes that are hurting them. The smart ones will adapt to shifting defenses by learning how to “hitting where they ain’t” within all the broad surface of today’s park on the inside portion of the HR fence. ~ Then he adds, in so many words, if they haven’t adjusted in five years, re-examine the ball. A deader ball that will not clear fences easily will encourage a decline in power swinging and an increase is placement batting.

Whatever will be, will be. My point today is not this specific issue. The issue of SO/Hit ratios just shows how quickly analytics has found a link to all we do in baseball. The really important systems issue today is that we all ~ fans too ~ need to get up to speed on how Analytics got into the driver’s seat in some capacity with every big league team, or so it seems, by the year 2018. Am not sure how strong it is everywhere ~ or how long it’s been true ~ but it seems to be plain as day ~ that they are ~ everywhere.

A Little Systems Theory. I spent a few baseball unfriendly weekends in graduate school studying social systems theory because it was important to my interests in how mental health services in this country got so screwed up in the first place. In irony, it turns out that they got screwed up by the not so little dynamic that kicks in with the creation of every new government or non-profit organization.

They run straight into Social Systems Law #1 in the creation of every new government or non-profit organization. It’s the same systems law that was sociologically in place when the government created Social Security, Medicaire, Obamacare, HUD, U.S. Postal Service or what have you ~ and it works exactly like this, even if is never stated ~ and it works its way to the same end ~ whether the new action was created majorly by Democratic or Republican support:

Social Systems Law #1 (Gov’t/Non-Profit): Once a government or non-profit program or service entity is created, its original purpose is immediately replaced in priority by the new unit’s need for survival. The governing boards and administrative bodies will continue to espouse the creation goals of the new program, and may actually do some immeasurable good, but they will manage to find a niche in the bureaucracy of things that shields them from qualitative review or efficacious criticism. 

Social Systems Law #1 (For Profit Entities): Like all for-profit ventures, these entities hit the ground running with survival directly tied to the financial success of their entity in the marketplace. Irony knows no boundaries. The first publicly successful deployment of Analytics at Oakland was not terribly far from Silicon Valley ~ nor from Sutter’s Mill near Sacramento and, of course, the gold rush on analytic experts quietly was on after Billy Beane and Money Ball captured our public imagination.

But let’s keep in mind that analytic experts may sometimes ~ to often ~ or always be driven by their own career survival/advancement needs to give us one of those “the sky is falling” reports for their own purposes ~ even if it’s simply to see how baseball people are going to react to the “crisis” news that we may be soon seeing more strikeouts than hits at major league games.

After that heartbreaking 4-3 10th inning loss to Oakland in the Friday night opener, I’d just like to see the Astros get a few more homers with men on base. Get more men on base by hitting the ball to the opposite field that defenses are leaving open. Of course, if you want to help the analytics prove that we are in crisis, keep swinging from the heels at pitches that will get you.

If either the Bregman or Maldonado solo homers had come with one man on, the Astros would have won it 4-3 in nine ~ even with that disappointing, but possibly correct overturn of the out call on the A’s runner at the plate in the 9th.

Yeah, I know. If’s and buts and candy and nuts!

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Bill McCurdy

Principal Writer, Editor, Publisher

The Pecan Park Eagle

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Stuff That Dreams Are Made Of

August 17, 2018

“The Stuff That Dreams Are Made Of”

 

Astros Lineup Tonight @ Oakland

Friday, August 17, 2018

1st Game of a 3-Game Series *

# Position Players Pos Year B L/R BA HR/RBI
1 George Springer CF 2018 R .250 19/58
2 Carlos Correa SS 2018 R .258 13/53
3 Babe Ruth RF 1927 L .356 60/165
4 Rogers Hornsby 2B 1924 R .424 25/94
5 Ted Williams LF 1941 L .406 37/120
6 Johnny Bench C 1970 R .293 45/148
7 Evan Gattis DH 2018 R .240 23/70
8 Yuli Gurriel 1B 2018 R .284 7/58
9 Alex Bregman 3B 2018 R .278 22/74
             
  Pitchers S/R Year P L/R ERA W/L/Other
  Sandy Koufax S 1966 L 1.73 27/9/317 K
  Mariano Rivera R 2004 R 1.94 4/2/53 Sv

 

* With a little help from the baseball gods and the Commissioner of Baseball!

Just a dream, but wouldn’t it be great if the Astros could plug in these players (or other past players with similar lofty abilities) into filling the holes made by our current DL list? Even if these “free or fee spirits” came to the Astros under the condition that they would have to leave the team whenever our injured guys came back, it is an understatement that each of these super-subs could help the club a lot in the interim.

With Springer returning tonight to play center, I used the Marisnick DL case to draft Ted Williams for left field. Marwin Gonzalez is too important as our super utility guy to cast him as the uninjured left fielder.

Just a dream, but remember ~ like “The Maltese Falcon” ~ baseball also is “the stuff that dreams are made of!”

 

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Bill McCurdy

Principal Writer, Editor, Publisher

The Pecan Park Eagle

Houston MLB Managers

August 16, 2018

Harry Craft
Houston’s First MLB Manager
1962

HOUSTON MLB MANAGERS

Name Years Managed Record
A.J. Hinch 2014-2017 341-307
Bo Porter 2012-2014 107-188
Tony DeFrancesco 2012 16-25
Brad Mills 2010-2012 171-274
Dave Clark 2009 4-9
Cecil Cooper 2007-2009 171-170
Phil Garner 2004-2007 277-252-1
Jimy Williams 2002-2004 215-197
Larry Dierker 1997-2001 448-362
Terry Collins 1994-1996 224-197
Art Howe 1989-1993 392-418
Hal Lanier 1986-1988 254-232
Bob Lillis 1982-1985 276-261
Bill Virdon 1975-1982 544-522
Preston Gomez 1974-1975 128-161
Leo Durocher 1972-1973 98-85
Salty Parker 1972 1-0
Harry Walker 1968-72 355-353
Grady Hatton 1966-68 164-221
Luman Harris 1964-65 70-105
Harry Craft 1962-64 191-280

 

Top 10 Houston MLB Managers in Wins

Through All Astros Games of Aug. 15, 2018 *

# Manager Won Lost W % W Behind
1 Bill Virdon 544 522 .510 Leader
2 Larry Dierker 448 362 .553 96
3 A.J. Hinch * 415 354 .540 129
4 Art Howe 392 418 .484 152
5 Harry Walker 355 353 .501 189
6 Phil Garner 277 252 .524 267
7 Bob Lillis 276 261 .514 268
8 Hal Lanier 254 232 .523 290
9 Terry Collins 224 197 .532 320
10 Jimy Williams 215 197 .522 329

* As the only active manager with a dynamic record in 2018, A.J. Hinch’s record also includes the 74 wins and 47 losses he’s added through 8/15/18 to his career Houston mark beyond the 341 wins and 307 losses he has registered in our first table of this managerial data through the complete regular season win mark that all managers had achieved through 2017.

Win Records here do not include post-season games.

Bill Virdon, whose field leadership took the Astros to their first serious “ball hangs at the lip of the cup on the 18th hole” fashion” runs at the World Series in the late 1970s and 1980, is still the all time wins leader with 544 regular season victories.

Larry Dierker’s .553 winning percentage tops all Astros managers with serious time at the helm.

The addition of these 2018 still-in-progress season wins-to-date allows A.J. Hinch to move from 5th to 3rd place on the all-time (let’s call it what it is) Astros regular season wins list.

On the morning of August 16, 2018, an off-date, the Astros have played 121 regular season games and they have 41 games left to play. It is possible, but not probable, that Hinch will catch Dierker for 2nd place this year. The Astros would have to go 34 and 7 in their final 41 games to make this happen, but that doesn’t matter, anyway. Either way, they are both part of the brainy baseball-wise mosaic that has taken the Houston Astros to the top of the baseball world in ways too numerous to list here.

I’m also a big fan of Bill Virdon, Art Howe, Phil Garner and the Roman Candled temperament of Hal Lanier for the goose he gave our aspirational sails back in 1986.

Anyway, the information here is for your own reveries on all we’ve had to go through to get where we are today. In reality, managerial success is an art form that isn’t dependent so much upon which manager had the most wins, but what they each in their own ways brought to the canvas of baseball as THE great American game.

Enjoy the day off from Astros baseball, everybody. And let’s hope the Astros pack those clubs they found useful in the Wednesday night, 12-1, execution of the Rockies at MMP. There are some hungry division title seals awaiting us in both Oakland and Seattle this trip, and we will need all the clubs our guys can bring to bear against the opposition.

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Babe Ruth Died 70 Years Ago Today:

August 16, 1948. 

Babe Ruth Hour Glass 2

Thank You for the Important Reminder, Tom Hunter ~ Time Flies Far Too Quickly ~ Even for Heroes like The Babe. I was 10 at the time and I had to run to my room to cry in private when I heard the news on the radio. I wasn’t yet old enough to know that it was sometimes OK to cry in front of your friends when somebody very special passed away. Tons of us fans still love and miss you, Babe! ~ Hope you are at peace, wherever you may be. ~ If I hadn’t given up my anthropomorphic view of Heaven many years ago, I could probably still see you hitting monster shot homers up in the clouds. ~ But that’s OK. ~ I can still hear the sound of your bat making contact with the ball in my mind. ~ It is a sound that I never got to hear in person on earth. ~  It is so cool!

 

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Bill McCurdy

Principal Writer, Editor, Publisher

The Pecan Park Eagle

Too Good To Pass Up

August 15, 2018

 

Thank You, Michael McCroskey for bringing us all together in a great big smile! We Astros fans need all the upside-down frowns we may find within the center of our minds.

 

 

Thanks for being the good man of good cheer that you are, Mr. McCroskey!

Your input tonight is most appreciated, as per always.

Sincerely,

The Pecan Park Eagle

PS: My hands-down favorite among these was the chicken and egg order from Amazon, followed closely by the creative trash wrap and the monkey alarm clock. I’m tempted to try that  trash wrap plan out this coming Thursday. Have no plans to ever wake a sleeping lion, if I can help it, but, …. do you think the monkey’s approach to the lion here might work on the Astros ~ or would it simply get our butts kicked? 🙂

 

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Bill McCurdy

Principal Writer, Editor, Publisher

The Pecan Park Eagle

The Smells-A-Little-Fishy Lineup

August 14, 2018

 

Couldn’t find a Perch or a Minnow in the entire MLB player batch ~ and we also passed on nicknames like “Catfish” and “The Human Crab” to come up with a slightly less potent (on paper) ~ Smells-A-Little-Fishy Lineup!

It is lamentable that the big leagues, so far, have missed out fielding at least one single  ballplayer whose surname is “Snapper.” If there ever is a Snapper, especially if his DNA runs back to those port city Vikings that long ago came, conquered, and stayed in Ireland in places by the sea ~ is there any doubt as to what his nickname most likely would be?

Today we’ll just have to find consolation in this negatively aromatic lineup of the mind. Perhaps the rest of you can submit nominations for other roster additions that could make it smell better or even worse.

Here it is in its original lineup form:

The Smells-A-Little-Fishy Lineup

# Batting Order Year Pos BA HR RBI
1 Ralph Garr 1974 LF .353 11 54
2 Kevin Bass 1986 RF .311 20 79
3 Mike Trout 2016 CF .315 29 100
4 Tim Salmon 1995 1B .330 34 105
5 Mickey Rivers 1977 DH .326 12 69
6 Geronimo Gil 2002 3B .232 12 45
7 Eddie Lake 1945 SS .279 11 51
8 Bert Whaling 1913 C .242 0 25
9 Sam Fishburn 1919 2B .333 0 2
Pitchers Year Pos Won Lost ERA
P Dizzy Trout (R) 1944 P 27 14 2.12
P Eddie Fisher (R) 1965 P 15 7 2.40

Tim Salmon at 1st and Geronimo Gil at 3rd are playing out of position for the sake of filling out the defensive needs of the club, but large outfielders have been known to make the move to 1st OK in many other instances ~ and where else do you put a slightly slower catcher when you want him in the lineup ~ and 1st is already filled? – Third Base! ~ Of course! ~ That’s right.

You know what else is fishy? ~ It’s watching the Astros go through this period in which they look like they belong at the bottom of the American League ocean. ~ Maybe tonight they will break out of it. After all, they are only playing the Rockies ~ and all the Rockies are doing these sweat-heavy days of mid-August Houston heat is running tied with the Dodgers, one game back of Arizona in the NL West. ~ How fired up are they going to be on the heels of knowing that the Mariners just pulled the Astros back into a tighter division race than anyone saw coming prior to the pile up of all our local team player injuries?

Baseball moves in mysterious ways. ~ Have a bite on this little Smells-A-Little-Fishy Lineup. ~ It’s all we’re serving up for a late baseball afternoon “afunch” today at The Pecan Park Eagle Bar & Grill.

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Bill McCurdy

Principal Writer, Editor, Publisher

The Pecan Park Eagle

 

Astros To Do List: August 13, 2018

August 13, 2018

An All Time Note of The Day
By Bill Veeck

Since we already are chest-deep into the “Baseball” season part of 2018, and just stepping out of an unforeseen underwater sinkhole that we have endured for four straight days, and as a gift to our beloved team, here’s our Houston Astros List of Things To Do This Monday, August 13, 2018:

(1) Put on your short memory caps.

(2) Enjoy a relaxing off-day ~ alone, with family, or friends.

(3) Watch out for soap in the shower and banana peels on the sidewalk.

(4) If a certain body move hurts from normal motion, you either don’t make that move again ~ or else ~ you go get it checked out. You owe it to yourself and the team not to let a small thing grow into a big thing that also carries you to the DL.

(5) Speaking of the DL, pray that Jose Altuve will be back in the lineup soon.

(6) Read a book ~ especially if you can find one about Ted Williams, Ty Cobb, or Rogers Hornsby on why scored runs are important to winning baseball, why winning baseball usually comes to those clubs that get the most hits, and why the most hits usually come to the club whose hitters never get too far away from the bottom line axiom that separates the hitters from the dreamers among batters:

“See the Ball ~ Hit the Ball.”

(7) Have a nice day! 🙂

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Bill McCurdy

Principal Writer, Editor, Publisher

The Pecan Park Eagle

 

Hinch’s Balk Play Review Call is Good Thing

August 12, 2018

An enemy baserunner can be clearly balked from advancement if the pitcher catches him leaning too far off the base in between pitches to the plate. On the other hand, a pitcher may be called for a balk, and the runner then called safe, if the pitcher first fails to get the footwork down properly before he makes the play.

 

On August 10, 2018, Astros baseball and pitching icon Larry Dierker left the following comment at our previous column about the balk call on Astros pitcher Justin Verlander in the first game of the current series with the Mariners:

“I thought it was the correct call. He touched his left foot down in front of the rubber. If he had stepped directly toward second base, it would have been a good move.” ~ Larry Dierker.

Attached is a link to the best replay I could find of the “balk call play” that will overrule the sure pick-off play at second base that first causes everyone leaving the field thinking that the top of the 2nd has ended with no further runs on the scoreboard posted for Seattle, who already lead 3-0 from the batch they had bagged in the 1st inning. As a big result of the balk call, the inning at bat for the M’s continues; they score three more runs; and those three runs hang forever as the margin of victory for the visitors over Houston by an 8-6 final score.

The Verlander Balk Call Play Link

Link Note: The pick off play is seen at the very start. If you wish to watch it a few times in a row, convert the site to “full screen” and you then will be able to use the sliding red bar at the bottom of the link page to go back as often as you choose.

When I watch the left foot step of Verlander on the balk call, I can see what Dierker is describing. ~ What I can’t see is ~ what else was he going to do with his left foot? As a right-hander at the rubber, the left foot is already pointing in some varied general way toward home plate/third base prior to the pitch. Once the pitcher than takes his right foot off the rubber quickly to make a throw to second base legal, how does he then get that left foot now also pointing to that same second base before it touches the ground again behind the rubber? Or does it have to land behind the rubber on the first left foot step?

It feels unnatural? ~ What’s the right-handed pitcher supposed to do in the pick-off attempt at 2nd ~ pivot on his right foot and then land behind the rubber on his left foot heel, with the left foot pointed toward 2nd?

Maybe, I’m still not getting what’s required in this particular execution of the pick-off try at 2nd base. Does that first step landing by the left foot not-so-simply have to be “pointing” to 2nd base? ~ Or does that first step landing have to be behind the rubber on the 2nd base side? ~ And that one is the one that feels unnatural to me.

I never had this problem as a kid’s league pitcher, but my chances of picking anyone off 2nd anyway were few and far between. Most of the batters who got extra base hits off me rarely stopped running at 2nd base. They were too close to home to stop moving that early.

Hinch’s Appeal to MLB for a review of the play is a good idea. It won’t change the outcome of a game now lost, but it should call attention to at least this kind of balk play as too vulnerable to umpire perception to be fairly called on most to every play. – Verlander says he was called in this instance for a balk for something he’s been doing exactly the same way without a previous problem in 14 years as a big league pitcher. Hinch says that he would not be surprised to see a 50-50 judgment split on balk/no balk review survey, if the play could be now re-assessed by all MLB vital parties and umpires.

So What? ~ Either call by Verlander or Hinch justifies a reexamination of how measurable and practical this rule rests as it is. It’s just another of those nuts ~ among the nuts and bolts of baseball rules ~ that can always be fine-tuned and improved. And that’s never a waste of time.

 

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Bill McCurdy

Principal Writer, Editor, Publisher

The Pecan Park Eagle

 

 

 

 

The Balk Rule Strikes Again

August 10, 2018

Umpire Nick Lentz and Astros pitcher Justin Verlander had a brief  philosophical discussion about the balk rule last night at MMP.

 

“It led to three more runs,” Justin Verlander said. “And we lost by two.”

Verlander’s reference to the importance of home plate umpire Nick Lentz’s call on him in the top of the 2nd inning pretty well sums up the eventual impact of that one play in the game last night between the Astros and the visiting Mariners, who ended up winning, 8-6.

At first, it appeared that Verlander had successfully executed an inning-ending pickoff of Mitch Haniger. Had the play stood up as the out call it harvested, the Astros would have headed to bat, down 3-0, but that escape was quickly erased by Lentz’s balk call, and the Mariners managed to push over 3 more runs as their extra chance dividend.

Then Verlander, who was way off his game anyway, got tossed after he continued to argue the balk call from the dugout going into the bottom of the 2nd.

I’ve spent my life, as little more than a kid player and lifetime fan, trying to understand the balk call ~ and now I’m hearing from one of the greatest players in the game that he doesn’t get it either!

Ouch! ~ What can be done to either clarify the rule so that it’s not so fuzzy and game-altering for very unclear reasons. As it now stands, it’s probably the most potentially powerful abusive rule in the game, beyond the call of ball or strike on each pitch ~ and those too are still based on each umpire’s personal perception of where the strike zone is located.

Too bad we can’t find a group of 28 MLB umpires and all the other 28 MLB managers and let them each privately watch a recording of the Verlander pick-off play at 2nd base and then render their own decision about the play. Without mention of the balk call to a third group of people, who did not know of the actual call that overturned the third out pick-off play in the 2nd inning of the game, we have to wonder ~ how many, if any, would see the balk motion that many of us, including Justin Verlander, could not see at all on the pick-off play?

Personally, I love baseball’s variability of outfield sizes and configurations. I just don’t like rules that are entirely left open to abuse by the variability of human perception in matters of subjective discernment.

In other words, if you cannot universally score an action by some clearly measurable and/or observable review of what happened on the field, don’t attach a rule to it.

 

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Bill McCurdy

Principal Writer, Editor, Publisher

The Pecan Park Eagle

 

 

Que Sera, Astroturf

August 9, 2018

Que Sera, Astroturf

(Go to the tune of “Que Sera, Sera”, almost as sung by Doris Day. I relocated some of the musical note phrasings in both the melody and the italicized chorus voice version here. If I could sing it for you, you would immediately hear how each word fits each note used in exactly the right place. If we are ever in the same place, and this script is available, I will be happy to demonstrate. ~ And pardon me for trying too hard. ~ I just never got over the need to give everything I do my best effort. I’m convinced. If I could have thrown the ball 100 mph, I might have been one hell of a closer ~ and without once slugging my own jaw on days that things didn’t go well.)

 

When I was JUST an Astros Pup,

I played the outfield ~ out in the Dome!

On a field of sensation ~ first in the nation,

Heat had no place ~ to roam!

 

Que Sera, Young Pup,

We’ve got you all covered up!

Our roof is a ~ canopy,

For our full blast ~ real big ~ AC!

 

When I ran UP ~ to catch a ball,

I raised my BUG EYES ~ and WHAT did I see?

Nothing like baseballs ~ Round falling baseballs!

That’s when it dawned ~ on me!

 

I cannot SEE ~ the ball,

Just girders and glare ~ that’s all!

Now fearing a mighty fall

From a ball that finds me ~ so small!        

 

Then they got busy ~ fixing things up,

Painting the ROOF ~ did SURE save this pup!

We all could see again ~ catches not “E”s again,

Grinning wide ~ like a VIC-tory cup!

 

Que Sera, Green Grass,

Your time now is ~ sure to pass,

With no sun ~ the grass must go,

Que Sera, Green Grass!

 

Then they found ~ AS-tro-TURF,

In Mon-SAN-to’s ~ door-mat surf,

Blew-it=up ~ to a field-sized girth,

Que Sera, ~ Astroturf! *

And not too many copycat covered stadiums down the road from these early Que Seras, people started to miss real grass playing fields. So, they started building these newer coliseums of covered and air-conditioned comfort with movable roofs that opened and closed to sunlight at will. That way, people could have their real grass back. All they had to do was keep their roofs open long enough during the daylight hours to keep real grass alive and thriving on the field of action. And that’s pretty much the current wisdom on the subject in 2018, but the educational part of this lesson began in Houston, 53 years ago, with the grand opening of the mother of them all, the Astrodome.

 The People of Houston don’t have to change their apartments to change the world. Judge Hofheinz and all the folks at the Houston Astros did that for them, starting back in 1965 with the opening of the Astrodome, or even earlier, whenever it was that the Judge’s mind committed to tying Houston’s bid for major league baseball to the construction of a covered and air-conditioned stadium …. Que Sera, Astroturf!

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Author’s Note: Please don’t blame my artist brother, John McCurdy, for the cartoon I used in this column. I did it about three years ago, long before my brother ever appeared in print here. It just happened to fit the parody subject of today’s freshly born take on a very old Astrodome legendary historical story. ~ Thanks for your patience and support. ~ Bill McCurdy

 

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Bill McCurdy

Principal Writer, Editor, Publisher

The Pecan Park Eagle

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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A Snapshot of SABR Members in Houston

August 8, 2018
Microsoft Word - Document1

A red dot shows where each member of the Larry Dierker Chapter of SABR live in the Metro Houston Area. ~ Prepared by SABR Member Chris Chestnut. ~ Thanks, Chris!

“The Society for American Baseball Research had its beginnings in Cooperstown, New York. It was the brainchild of L. Robert Davids, who on August 10, 1971, gathered 15 other baseball researchers at the National Baseball Hall of Fame to form the organization.

“From this modest start, SABR membership has broadened steadily. A decade later, it had reached 1,500; today, it totals more than 6,000 worldwide. Who belongs to SABR? Many major and minor league baseball officials, broadcasters and writers, as well as numerous former players. Primarily, the membership consists of “just plain fans” — anyone interested in baseball can join. While the original purpose of SABR was to band together baseball historians, statisticians and researchers, it is not necessary to engage in research to become a member.

“Ernie Harwell, the late Detroit Tigers broadcaster, said: “SABR is the Phi Beta Kappa of baseball, providing scholarship which the sport has long needed. … An excellent way for all of us to add to our enjoyment of the greatest game.”

~ introductory excerpt from “The SABR Story”. You may enjoy reading the rest ~ and a whole lot more at https://sabr.org/about

Get this straight though. – You don’t have to be a genius researcher, a Ph.D in Baseball, or a former big league player to be a member of SABR. – Like the rest of us, you just have to be a deep fan of the game who might enjoy a steady diet of contact with others who also share many of your own baseball interests, but each in their own differing ways.

SABR covers all the bases – from math – to culture – to history – to literature – to philosophy – to drama and the kind of legend-building that develops from its own unfolding. And you also gain the opportunity to read plenty of published material that arrives in your mail from time-to-time at no extra cost – plus the monthly chance at each of our regular meetings to break bread with others and meet a few baseball people you may never have expected to meet.

What does SABR membership cost? “A 1-year membership costs $65, with discounted rates available for seniors, students under 30, and for 3-year memberships. Current members can also choose to renew for 5 years at a discounted rate if they choose to opt out of receiving printed publications.” (SABR site quote)

Local Contact: If you already were a local member, you would have been able to attend a SABR chapter meeting at Minute Maid Park this coming Saturday prior to the big game the Astros are playing against Seattle at 6 PM – and listening live at the meeting to a talk on the status of the team by GM Jeff Luhnow – and then enjoying the game with many other members.

For a more personal contact about our local chapter, feel free to contact our SABR chapter leader, Mr. Bob Dorrill at bdorrill@aol.com

Come join us in the baseball fun. Collectively, we are much more than just a bunch of red dots on a map of Houston.

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Bill McCurdy

Principal Writer, Editor, Publisher

The Pecan Park Eagle

 

 

 

 

 

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