Blogs: Dugout Dispatch

Adrian “Don’t Touch My Head” Beltre Plays Duck-Duck-Goose

adrian beltre texas rangers

Texas Rangers third baseman Adrian Beltre is all about celebrating with teammates after a big play. Give him a high-five. Fist-bump away. But DO NOT touch his head. Ever. He hates it so much, that his fellow Rangers — and even players on other teams — try to pat his dome just to be funny. But he doesn’t like it. At all.

Which makes the idea of Beltre playing duck-duck-goose with a bunch of elementary school kids so much fun. The Rangers released a video today promoting the team that hints at the hijinks. It needs to be a much, much longer clip:
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Recapping Day 3 at the 2015 SABR Analytics Conference

sabr analytics conference day 3

One of the high points for me as a SABR Analytics Correspondent this year was attending the conference with my friend, Max Melamed. He’s the person I went to my first baseball game with (Yankees Old Timers Day 2009), and he founded the Sabermetrics Club at our school. It’s the first-ever high school SABR Club, and last season we worked together on the Sabermetrics Fantasy League. Here is our recap of the Analytics Conference.
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Recapping Day 2 at the 2015 SABR Analytics Conference

sabr analytics conference day 2 tony la russa

Before we get to the second day of the SABR Analytics Conference, there was a cool panel to end day one. It focused on analytics in the broadcaster’s booth. One interesting point that was emphasized was that broadcasters actually don't try to discuss sabermetrics during broadcasts. Why? Because the stats are complex and they might confuse the viewer. After the panel, I caught up with the moderator, Joe Block, the radio voice of the Milwaukee Brewers, to find out more:
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Recapping Day 1 at the 2015 SABR Analytics Conference

sabr analytics conference day 1 curt schilling

The 2015 SABR Analytics Conference started off with a bang. If you have kept track of baseball this winter, one question you have probably heard asked many times is: Will Philadelphia Phillies ace pitcher Cole Hamels get traded? SABR President Vince Gennaro decided to take this question a step further by posing it at this years' Diamond Dollar$ Case Competition.

Undergraduate and graduate teams from colleges such as NYU, Tufts University, Pepperdine University, Stanford University, Syracuse University, and Arizona State University were among 21 groups that competed in this year's competition. They were asked to come up with two ideal trade scenarios involving Hamels. The deals chosen had to benefit both teams.
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Annual SABR Analytics Conference Begins Thursday

sabr analytics conference previewFor the third straight year, I'm heading to Phoenix, Arizona, to cover the annual SABR Analytics Conference. The three-day event begins Thursday and is packed with all sorts of cool panels, player appearances, and presentations.

As someone who loves baseball, statistics, and the history of the game, I really look forward it. There's always something new in the world of sabermetrics, like the SABR Defensive Index (SDI), which was developed in 2013 to help determine the Rawlings Platinum Glove winners. And getting together with other die-hard fans to talk about it all is really fun. 

Even if you're just a causal fan, chances are you've heard of advanced sabermetics like  (wins above replacement) and BABIP (batting average on balls in play). But you might not know about SABR, the organization behind the stats.
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Talking Legends and Scorekeeping at SABR Day in New York

max mannis sabr day 2015

On a nasty, icy say in New York City, when the talk of the town seemed to be the Patriots and their deflated footballs, many New Yorkers gathered to discuss our national pastime at the New York Public Library.

Saturday was the sixth-annual SABR Day, which takes place at chapters across the country, including in New York. The conference opened with some sadness. Chicago Cubs legend Ernie Banks passed away the night before. But there was excitement, too, as folks SABR’s Casey Stengel Chapter began to settle in to hear a great lineup of speakers. The three panels on the agenda included one about baseball legend Frank Robinson, another about what it's like to be an MLB scorekeeper, and a presentation about new information about Babe Ruth. 
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Cy Young Winner Max Scherzer Joins Nationals

max scherzer washington nationals

Spring Training is just a few weeks away — and the Washington Nationals look like their in it to win it in 2015.

At a press conference today, the Nats introduced Max Scherzer as the newest member of their rotation. The 30-year-old right hander spent the last five seasons with the Detroit Tigers, but after going 21-3 over 32 games in 2013 and winning the Cy Young famously refused to sign a contract extension. He dipped a bit in 2014, posted an 18-5 record in 33 games, but the drop off didn’t scare the Nationals. Washington signed Scherzer to a seven-year, $210 million contract, which was finalized this afternoon.

“I want to win, and that’s why I’m here,” Scherzer said. “I think this team is capable of winning, and winning a lot.”
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