Today is SABR Day, a chance to celebrate the beginning of a new baseball season. While the thermometer may not agree, baseball season is just a few weeks away, and baseball fans of all types are ready for SABR’s array of baseball events around the globe.
And while the analytics connotation of the term “Sabermetrics” has in some ways come to define the organization, President Vince Gennaro wants fans to know that SABR is as diverse as baseball fandom itself.
“I don’t know that there is a consensus with SABR members about, for example, Hall of Fame voting or which players are most valuable,” he told Gotham Baseball recently. “People think about the quantitative guys, the ‘Sabermetric’ guys, but I’d say that 60% or more of our members have little affinity for the analytical side of the game. Many are historians, and you can’t divorce the history from statistics.”
At the same time, Gennaro sees how the increase of data has been utilized by teams, a major point in the upcoming SABR Analytics Conference, March 12-14 in Phoenix.
“When making 100 million dollar investment decisions, or in the Marlins’ case, 300 million dollar decisions, you can’t deprive yourself of any information. The stakes are so high, and the proliferation of data is so great, even from what existed five years ago.”
As for the Analytics conference, Gennaro notes a few highlights.
“I’m looking forward to a very interesting General Managers panel, Larry Baer as one of the keynote speakers, 25 or more team sending analytics personnel, and our student program in which 20 schools are sending four to six students, with 10-15 executives judging. The students get a tremendous experience and the teams get a talent pool for future hires.”