Well, it does have its nice points. Like the hotel that is hosting the SABR convention. It's in the building on the lower righthand side of the pic, connected to Terminal Tower.
So far it's been a nice little convention. This morning I saw a presentation about Oscar Charleston and Bullet Joe Rogan playing in a Filipino baseball league while stationed in Manila with the U.S. Army in 1914. The presenter was an English professor from Ball State University named Geri Strecker, who really knows her Negro Leagues. The only hitch was that she called home plate "fourth base" once, and I am still scratching my head over that one.
I just now got back from a broadcaster media panel. The panel consisted of Indians broadcasters Rick Manning and Tom Hamilton, and retired Plain Dealer reporter and columnist Russ Schneider. It started off pretty poorly, actually, as the first question -- how has the game changed since you first broke in as a journalist/player -- led to all three of those guys talking about how free agency is the devil's work, players aren't friendly to reporters anymore, etc. A lot of people who do what I do are accused of railing against strawmen when we rail against the traditional media, but those alleged stereotypes are still alive and well and visiting SABR in Cleveland, Ohio. To be fair, things improved as the questions improved, and all three of the panel members had their moments.
I haven't really circulated much. I had lunch with Mike McClary of the Daily Fungo, who made the trip all the way from Scottsdale, Arizona. I like Mike a lot. Partially because of his blog, but also because, like me, he kept suggesting Mystery Science Theater 3000-style zingers after every other comment by the broadcaster's panel. I've also met Rob Neyer, Aaron Gleeman, BTF's Repoz and Jim Furtado, Chris Dial, Mike Emeigh, Will Young and some other names statheads and baseball obsessives would recognize. Those guys are the exception and not the rule here, however, as most SABR attendees are, well, really really old men. Seriously, there's a group of people in their 20s and early 30s, and then it jumps up to the sixtysomethings and older. Well, Emeigh is in between, but there really is a pretty big gulf between the old schoolers and the statheads.
Fun so far. I may or may not report in again later. I may or may not go to the Indians-Giants game tonight. If anything interesting happpens, however, I will certainly let you know.