M's notebook: A slice of seamhead heaven coming to Seattle
Seamheads — fans of baseball who get very deep into the game, history and statistics — will be pleased to know that the Society...
Seattle Times staff reporter
CLEVELAND — Seamheads — fans of baseball who get very deep into the game, history and statistics — will be pleased to know that the Society for American Baseball Research (SABR) will hold its 2006 convention in Seattle.
John Zajc, the executive director of SABR, confirmed the news yesterday but says the dates have not been finalized.
"Right now we're looking at late June at the Renaissance Hotel downtown," he said. "We always hold the meetings with the big-league team at home and we'll have firm dates for Seattle as soon as the Mariners can tell us they're confident that American League schedule won't have any more significant changes. That usually is in September."
Zajc, whose SABR headquarters are in a building just outside Jacobs Field here, said the annual event is the "ultimate seamhead experience."
"This year, our convention is in Toronto and we'll have 32 research presentations," he said.
While the program for Seattle is yet to be established, there are usually talks from various SABR members who are experts on teams, eras, players, positions, etc. Zajc says the society's renowned research committee finds errors in records almost every month, including SABR's own, and especially involving the 1800s or early 1900s when record keeping was not as meticulous.
"Just last week we had a member change our records on homers from Mike Grady, who played in the 1890s and the early 20th century," Zajc said. "He looked through old box scores using the ProQuest Historical Newspapers program and could not find the homer for Grady in 1906 we had credited him with. We had an error and we changed it."
About 150 of SABR's almost 7,000 members are from Washington state, and the convention is also open to non-members.
Anyone with interest in attending can check out details at SABR's Web site, www.sabr.org., and click on the convention link.
Getting through rough stretch
Jose Lopez was recovered enough from his bruised right knee yesterday to have started, but manager Mike Hargrove followed the old adage of when a player is ready give him one more day to be sure.
"We can use Jose if we have to," he said. "But we'll use Willie Bloomquist back at second for today."
That put Mike Morse back at short, the day after his unforced bad-throw error started a two-run rally on which Cleveland turned Saturday's game into a win.
"Maybe having a mistake like that change a game will bring home the lesson with a lot more force than me talking with him," Hargrove said. "When you play kids you know there will be rough spots. They are usually worth the trip, but it doesn't make the mistakes any less painful."
Sizemore shows hustle
Part of Morse's error on Saturday seemed to be that he did not hurry to make the play on the fifth-inning grounder while Grady Sizemore, who hit the grounder to short, was hustling down the line.
"I saw Grady all last year at Buffalo and here in the big leagues," said Hargrove, who was a special assistant to Indians GM Mark Shapiro last season. "I never saw him not run hard on anything he hit. Some of us run hard and don't get anywhere, but when Grady Sizemore digs it out he can fly."
Sizemore showed that in both halves of the first inning yesterday when he ran down Randy Winn's bid for extra bases in the right-center gap, then plugged a double into the same space in the bottom of the inning and came home to score a run.
"He's actually a lot [like] Morse, although I'm sure he doesn't ask as many questions as Mike," Hargrove said. "Both are real good kids."
The similarity took an ironic spin in the fourth inning when Sizemore made a crucial mistake, as Morse had done on Sizemore's grounder the day before.
With two outs and Winn on third, Adrian Beltre screamed a liner right at the Everett native. With no margin for error, Sizemore closed too much, jumped desperately and had the ball in his glove only to lose it behind him for a run-scoring error.