The highlight of SABR 36? For us, it was most certainly the reading of this book (described by the Seattle Post-Intelligencer as “delightful”), even if it was not the keynote to the festivities, as previously suggested on this site. Certainly it was an enjoyable few days. A few things we learned:
-Pee during the 2nd inning, it’s the frame in which your team is least likely to score. (But show up on time, they do best in the first.)
-According to a highly dubious presentation by BP’s Jim Callis, A-Rod is “overpaid.” This a calculation based on his WARP and the publicly disclosed financial statement of the 1997 Cleveland Indians. No concession is made to increase in overall franchise value, nor is there any reasonable adjustment to the scale of the YES network.
-The pitcher’s mound is an evolutionary product of groundskeepers building up the pitching area with straw and other agents to onsure a stable surface. Dimensions not standardized until 1950.
-Mike Marshal is probably the only Cy Young winner who is shorter than we are. And he has a more advanced degree. (A PhD from Michigan State). Ouch.
-When Pete Rose, author of “My Prison Without Bars,” first encountered Jim Bouton after the publication of “Ball Four,” his first words, projected from the top step of a dugout, were, “Fuck you, Shakespeare.”
On the Mariners and Safeco
-Ichiro! A joy to watch. In the game we attended, he singled, stole a base, doubled, hit the game winning homer, walked, and made a pair of sweet plays in the outfield. All with that deadball-era swing.
-Did I say sweet plays in the outfield? Raul Ibanez made the greatest catch we’ve ever had the pleasure of seeing in person, and right in front of our seats. Ibanez is not known for his glove, which only accentuates just how fantastic the baseline for talent is in MLB. Wow.
-Safeco. It’s nice, but it lacks a certain intensity. The concession areas are so undifferentiated from the seats that the game is practically a distraction.
-The roof is one heck of a piece of engineering, but it seems like A LOT of structure for its purpose.
-There are ushers who ask you not to take your seat during an at bat. That’s a bit too prissy for us. Baseball is not tennis. Grow a pair, Seattle.
A few pictures from the festivities can be found here. Scroll down for the shots of Safeco.