Sabermetrics

You should go to the Sabermetrics, Scouting, and the Science of Baseball seminar

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Don’t even play: you’re not doing anything the weekend of August 16-17th and odds favor you either being in Boston, Massachusetts or being close to an airport that can put you there. And, if you’re reading this you (a) certainly love baseball; and (b) probably love sabermetrics and scouting porn.

As such, you should go to the Sabermetrics, Scouting and the Science of Baseball seminar that weekend. The proceeds of which benefit The Jimmy Fund. The playbill:

We have an incredible line-up of speakers for this year’s event, including World Series Champion Boston Red Sox General Manager Ben Cherington, Houston Astros General Manager Jeff Luhnow, Senior Baseball Analyst Tom Tippett (Red Sox), baseball physicist Alan Nathan, and SABR President Vince Gennaro. We will also feature top authors and sabermetricians from your favorite websites, such as Ben Baumer, Mitchel Lichtman (MGL), Baseball Prospectus (Analysts Dan Brooks and Harry Pavlidis) and Fangraphs (Editor/Author Dave Cameron and Analyst Matt Swartz). There will be a scouting panel, and talks on sports medicine, defensive evaluation, the role of statistics in the media… and more!

This is not just outsider baseball geekery. As evidenced by the speakers — and by the support it’s given by the Red Sox, Astros, Orioles, Royals, Mets, and Nationals — it’s a great look at what’s actually happening in front offices now.

If you’re inclined, go sign up for it. And go here for more information.

A-Rod to host a reality show featuring broke ex-athletes

NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 12: Alex Rodriguez #13 of the New York Yankees answers question in a press conference after the game against the Tampa Bay Rays at Yankee Stadium on August 12, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Drew Hallowell/Getty Images)
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Alex Rodriguez’s transition into retirement has featured a serious move into the business world. He has gone back to school, worked seriously on investments and has started his own corporation. Yes, he’s set for life after making more money than any baseball player in history, but even if his bank account wasn’t fat, you get the sense that he’d be OK given what we’ve seen of his work ethic and savvy in recent years.

He’s going to be getting another paycheck soon, though. For hosting a reality show featuring athletes who are not in as good a financial shape as A-Rod is:

Interesting. Hopefully, like so many other reality shows featuring the formerly rich and famous, this one is not exploitative. Not gonna hold my breath because that’s what that genre is all about, unfortunately, but here’s hoping A-Rod can help some folks with this.

Great Moments in Not Understanding The Rules

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Bill Livingston of the Cleveland Plain Dealer is a Hall of Fame voter. In the past he has voted for players who used PEDs, but he’s never been totally happy with it, seeing the whole PED mess as a dilemma for voters.

On the one hand he doesn’t like voting for users and doesn’t like harming those who were clean by shifting votes away from them, but on the other hand, he doesn’t want to pretend history didn’t happen and that baseball hasn’t been filled with cheaters forever. What to do?

This year he decided to abstain altogether. A fair and noble act if one is as conflicted as Livingston happens to be. Except . . . he didn’t actually abstain:

Major league baseball will confer bronzed immortality on a few players Wednesday when the results of the national baseball writers’ balloting for the Hall of Fame will be announced.

I had a 2017 ballot. I returned it signed, but blank, with an explanatory note.

A blank ballot, signed and submitted, is not an abstention. It’s counted as a vote for no one. Each “no” vote increases the denominator in the calculation of whether or not a candidate has received 75% of the vote and has gained induction. An abstention, however, would not. So, in effect, Livingston has voted against all of the players on the ballot, both PED-tainted and clean, even though it appears that that was not his intention.

This is the second time in three years a Cleveland writer has had . . . issues with his Hall of Fame ballot. In the 2014-15 voting period, Paul Hoynes simply lost his ballot. Now Livingston misunderstood how to abstain.

I worry quite often that Ohio is gonna mess up a major election. I guess I’m just worrying about the wrong election.