Last weekend in Phoenix, the Society for American Baseball Research hosted the second annual SABR Analytics Conference. I helped out a little (here and here), but the real star power was provided by guys like Brian Kenny and Joe Posnanski and a bunch of general managers and a couple of smarty-pants players. Oh, and keynote speaker Bill James. I got up early Saturday morning for Bill's keynote speech. Here's one tiny snippet:
"In my way of thinking, sabermetrics, if you think of baseball research, visualize it as a planet, there is a core, a hard core of statistics, a hard core of numbers that are like bricks that sit at the very core. And there is a fringe of questions, a surface of questions. And between that hard core of facts and that surface of questions, there are vast oceans of molten ignorance. Our job, what sabermetrics is, is finding a way to tie those questions to that core, finding a way to connect a power cord ... between one of those questions and that pile of data that is at the core of that research planet. That's my image of what we do. I would say that outside of this room 99.9 percent of the world has no understanding of what we do."
It was a really interesting talk, and I wish you could listen to the whole th--Hold on, someone's talking in my ear ... Okay, it seems you can listen to the whole thing, right here (mp3).
I took a lot of notes during my two days at the conference, will pass along more as I can.