by David Hughes
We didn’t have a hot stove around which to gather and discuss the latest signings, to rehash the 2014 playoffs, to voice our hopes for the 2015 versions of the Nationals and the Orioles, or to complain about the nasty cold in the Great Outdoors. So the second floor ballroom at the Holiday Inn in Rosslyn served as a substitute. More than 150 chapter members and guests gathered there on Saturday, January 31, 2015, for the 44th Annual Meeting of the Bob Davids Chapter, SABR’s first chapter.
Mark Pattison called the session to order at about 9:30 a.m. The first matter on the docket was the business portion of the meeting (the elections of three officers). Nominations had closed prior to the meeting. Running unopposed were David Raglin (Vice-President—2-year term) and Barry Sparks (At-Large Board Member—2-Year Term), and the membership elected them on a voice vote.
The election for Treasurer (also a 2-year term) was contested. The two candidates, challenger Gary Levy and incumbent David Paulson, each gave short presentations in support of their candidacy, followed by a secret ballot conducted using paper ballots. Dave Paulson was reelected as The Treasurer.
On the program, Dave Smith batted leadoff with a presentation that dealt with answers to questions and issues that he and his colleagues at Retrosheet (http://www.retrosheet.org/) had developed themselves or fielded from media during the 2014 season. Here are a few of the tidbits. For instance, you know that Tony La Russa guided his teams to three World Series titles, six league championships and twelve division titles in 33 seasons (2,728-2,365, .536). But did you know that La Russa’s managerial record by month was incredibly consistent, with winning percentages of .520 or better in each of the months of March through October? We learned that only four pitchers (Derek Lowe, A.J. Burnett, Dan Haren, and Barry Zito) have wins against all 30 current teams. Dave also discussed the phenomenon of the series held from May 2-4, 2014, in which all of the starters for the Tigers collected a hit in each game of the three-game series against the Royals in Kansas City. Not only was that unusual on its face; checking back to 1950, there had been no other cases of this happening. Finally, we’ve all heard that games are often decided if a team is leading after seven innings, but were you aware of how often that has proved to be the case? Dave disclosed that in 2014, it was true 92% of the time. It was no surprise that the Royals led the way with a record of 72-1 (98.6%). But even the relatively hapless Astros “worst” record was 57-11 (83.8%). The A’s were the best when trailing after seven innings (13-55, 19.1%), while the Dodgers were the worst (1-53, 1.8%). (more…)