SABR

SABR Analytics Conference speakers

SABR Analytics Conference
March 12-14, 2015
Hyatt Regency Phoenix
Phoenix, Arizona

Here is a list of speakers, panelists and moderators for the fourth annual SABR Analytics Conference, March 12-14, 2015, in Phoenix, Arizona. Stay tuned as more featured speakers will be announced soon!

Conference registration is available now at the SABR Store. Click here to register. The conference is open to all baseball fans.


Tony La Russa
Chief Baseball Officer
Arizona Diamondbacks
 

Larry Baer
President/CEO
San Francisco Giants
 

Jeff Bridich
Sr. VP/GM
Colorado Rockies
 

Curt Schilling
Analyst
ESPN
 

Brian Kenny
Host
MLB Network
 

Dave Stewart
Sr. VP/GM
Arizona Diamondbacks
 

Jon Sciambi
Announcer
ESPN
 

Jim Callis
Senior Writer
MLB.com/Pipeline
 

John Kruk
Analyst
ESPN
 

Karl Ravech
Host
ESPN
 

Eduardo Perez
Analyst
ESPN
 

John Thorn
Official Historian
MLB
 

Please note: All speakers subject to change. The full schedule will be announced in early 2015.

Here are bios for the featured speakers:

  • Larry Baer, President and CEO, San Francisco Giants: Larry's tenure with the Giants began in 1992, when he was named Executive Vice President, and he is responsible for the overall day-to-day operations of the Giants, both on the business and baseball sides. Under his direction, the Giants have won World Series championships in 2010 and 2012, and opened Pacific Bell Park (now AT&T Park) to widespread acclaim in 2000. He was the driving force behind every phase of the ballpark project, including the original design by HOK Sports; the successful voter campaign in March 1996; the private financing package that featured the highly successful Charter Seat program; the unprecedented drive to secure a record 28,000 full-season ticket holders, and the final construction of the facility — a San Francisco landmark. Larry has also been a key strategist and negotiator in all of the club's major transactions beginning with the Barry Bonds signing in November 1992 through the awarding of the 2007 All-Star Game. He was named team president in 2008 and CEO in 2012.
  • T.J. Barra, Manager of Baseball Research and Development, New York Mets: T.J. was promoted to his current role with the Mets in December 2014. He has been with the Mets front office since 2007 and previously served as Manager of Baseball Analytics and Manager of Minor League Operations. From 2005 to 2007, he worked with the Washington Nationals, where he was the Coordinator of Scouting/Baseball Analysis. He earned a bachelor's degree in psychology from Wake Forest University.
  • Steve Berthiaume, Broadcaster, Arizona Diamondbacks: Steve is entering his third season as the Diamondbacks' television play-by-play voice on FOX Sports Arizona alongside analyst Bob Brenly. He previously spent 12 years at ESPN as a “SportsCenter” anchor from 1999-2005 and 2007-12 as studio host for the award-winning “Baseball Tonight” while also working as a play-by-play announcer for ESPN's league-wide MLB package as well as the College World Series Super Regional. In 2006, he worked for the New York Mets as a studio host for the SNY network. He also spent three years as a sports anchor at CNN in Atlanta and worked as a sports anchor and reporter for network television affiliates in Connecticut, Florida, Rhode Island, South Carolina, and Virginia.
  • Joe Block, Broadcaster, Milwaukee Brewers: Joe is entering his second season with the Brewers' radio broadcast team. With more than 10 years of broadcasting experience, he has called the action for more than 900 professional baseball games, including the Jacksonville Suns (2003-06), Great Falls White Sox (2007) and Billings Mustangs (2010), among others. He also handled play-by-play for select games during the Expos' final two seasons in Montreal (2003-04). Recently, Block served as postgame show host on radio for the Los Angeles Dodgers on KABC-AM (2011) and was radio studio host for the NBA's New Orleans Hornets (2007-11). He has also handled play-by-play for major college basketball and football for various regional networks over the past 10 years.
  • Jeff Bridich, Senior VP/General Manager, Colorado Rockies: Jeff is entering his first season as GM of the Rockies, succeeding Dan O'Dowd as the third GM in franchise history. He has spent 10 years in a leadership role within the Rockies' baseball operations department, most recently as Senior Director of Player Development since 2011. He joined the Rockies' front office in 2004 as Manager of Minor League Operations and operated as the Senior Director of Baseball Operations from 2006-11. Topps honored his department as the the Organization of the Year in 2013. Jeff came to Colorado after working in the Office of the Commissioner for Major League Baseball from 2001-04. He worked closely with each Major League team in Minor League contracts and transactions. He is a graduate of Harvard University.
  • Jim Callis, Senior Writer, MLB.com: Jim Callis is a senior writer for MLBPipeline.com, a division of MLB.com that specializes in prospects and the draft. Prior to joining MLBPipeline.com in September 2013, he worked 23 years in two stints at Baseball America. He served as the magazine's managing editor from 1993-97 before moving to suburban Chicago with his family and spending three years as a senior editor at STATS, Inc. Upon returning to Baseball America in May 2000 as executive editor, his main focuses were evaluating prospects (including editing BA's annual Prospect Handbook) and covering the amateur draft (including broadcast work with ESPN and MLB Network.) He began covering baseball in 1987 while at the University of Georgia.
  • Dick Cramer, SABR: Dick is an early pioneer in baseball statistical analysis. With Pete Palmer, he co-founded SABR's groundbreaking Statistical Analysis Committee in the 1970s and STATS, LLC, in 1981, working closely with future General Managers Doug Melvin and Dan Evans. He has written many articles in the Baseball Research Journal and actively contributes to Retrosheet. He received his A.B. degree from Harvard University in Chemistry and Physics in 1963 and his Ph.D. in Physical Organic Chemistry from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1967. He currently serves as Senior Vice President, Science, and Chief Scientific Officer for Tripos, a Certara Company.
  • John Dewan, Owner, Baseball Info Solutions: John is the owner of Baseball Info Solutions, which collects, analyzes and disseminates the most in-depth data in the industry with more than a dozen Major League Baseball teams as clients. He is also the co-publisher of ACTA Sports, a division of ACTA Publications, which publishes books on statistical baseball analysis, including the annual Bill James Handbook and other sports titles. John’s three-volume set of The Fielding Bible books break new ground in an area that has been the least analyzed in baseball: defense. His Plus/Minus System and Defensive Runs Saved are a direct application of actuarial and sabermetric techniques. Before founding BIS, John was President and CEO of STATS, Inc., following a highly successful career as an insurance actuary.
  • Vince Gennaro, President, SABR: Vince is the President of SABR's Board of Directors and author of Diamond Dollars: The Economics of Winning in Baseball. He is a consultant to MLB teams, appears regularly on MLB Network, and director of Columbia University's sports management graduate program. He is also the architect of the Diamond Dollars Case Competition series, which brings together students and MLB team and league executives and serves as unique learning experience, as well as a networking opportunity for aspiring sports executives.
  • Sam Grossman, Director of Baseball Research and Analysis, Cincinnati Reds: Sam is entering his ninth season with the Reds front office. Since 2013, he has served as the Director of Baseball Research and Analysis, where he performs a variety of duties including statistical analysis, overseeing the compilation of advance scouting information, development of the Reds internal baseball operations systems, creating and maintaining the baseball operations budgets, and assisting with minor league  scouting. He has also been involved in the design and construction of the Reds player development complex in Arizona and the renovation of their Dominican academy. Before joining the Reds, he worked for the Milwaukee Brewers' Video Advance Scouting department and the Boston Red Sox's Florida Operations. A 2001 graduate of Northwestern University with a bachelor's degree in Mathematics, he spent several years as an actuarial analyst prior to working in baseball. 
  • Brian Kenny, Host, MLB Network: Brian is the host of MLB Network's critically acclaimed “Clubhouse Confidential,” where he incorporates sabermetrics into the day's baseball news. A 25-year national TV and radio veteran, Brian joined MLB Network from ESPN, where he was a “SportsCenter” anchor, host of the Brian Kenny Show on ESPN Radio and an Emmy Award-winning anchor for “Baseball Tonight.”
  • Len Kasper, Broadcaster, Chicago Cubs: Len is entering his eighth season with the Cubs after doing Florida Marlins play-by-play for three years for Fox Sports Net. Prior to joining the Marlins, Len did play-by-play for select Milwaukee Brewers games from 1999-2001. Kasper's broadcast career also included a stint as the morning sports anchor at WTMJ in Milwaukee. He hosted pregame and halftime shows for the Green Bay Packers radio network and co-hosted a hot stove league show on the Brewers radio network. He spent nearly eight years working for WTMJ. Kasper graduated summa cum laude from Marquette University in 1993 with a degree in public relations.
  • John Kruk, Analyst, ESPN: John was a three-time All-Star outfielder/first baseman who now serves as an analyst on ESPN’s “Sunday Night Baseball” and “Baseball Tonight.” He joined ESPN in 2004, making his debut during a Spring Training telecast between the New York Yankees and the Philadelphia Phillies. In March 2006, he also provided game analysis for several World Baseball Classic and Spring Training telecasts on ESPN. John retired in 1995 following a 10-year Major League career with the Philadelphia Phillies, San Diego Padres, and Chicago White Sox, in which he posted a .300 batting average with 100 home runs and 592 RBIs.
  • Tony La Russa, Chief Baseball Officer, Arizona Diamondbacks: Tony joined the Diamondbacks front office in 2014 following a Hall of Fame managerial career in which his teams won three World Series and six pennants. He finished his 33-year career with 2,728 victories — the third-highest total in baseball history — and he was honored four times as Manager of the Year. He led the Oakland A's to the 1989 World Series title and the St. Louis Cardinals to championships in 2006 and 2011. He was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2014.
  • Jonathan Mayo, Senior Writer, MLB.com: Jonathan is a senior writer for MLB.com. He joined Major League Baseball’s official website in April 1999 and has covered every facet of the game. He’s been to three World Series and seven All-Star Games, as well as Opening Series in Japan and Puerto Rico. In his time with MLB.com, he’s also covered the Caribbean World Series in Mazatlan, Mexico and the College World Series in Omaha, Nebraska. For several years, he hosted a variety of shows on MLB Radio, MLB.com’s internet radio network, including Around the Minors, a daily show devoted to baseball prospects. Mayo has also done extensive video work ranging from studio analysis and in-game color commentary to sideline reporting at various special events.
  • Rob Neyer, Senior Baseball Editor, FoxSports.com: Rob joined FoxSports.com in 2014 as its Senior Baseball Editor after serving as National Baseball Editor at SB Nation for the past three years. Prior to that, he spent 15 years covering Major League Baseball as a columnist at ESPN.com. Rob began his career as a research assistant for groundbreaking baseball author Bill James, and later worked for STATS, Inc. He has also written or co-written six baseball books, including The Neyer/James Guide to Pitchers (with Bill James), winner of the Sporting News/SABR Baseball Research Award.
  • Buster Olney, Senior Writer, ESPN.com: Buster is a senior writer at ESPN The Magazine, reporter for ESPN’s exclusive Sunday Night Baseball telecast and an analyst for Baseball Tonight. He joined ESPN in June 2003 to cover baseball for all ESPN entities, including ESPN Radio, ESPNEWS, and SportsCenter. He writes a daily column for ESPN.com and and also hosts a popular Baseball Tonight podcast. Buster began covering baseball in 1989 for the Nashville Banner and later for the San Diego Union-Tribune, Baltimore Sun and New York Times. He is also the author of The Last Night of the Yankee Dynasty: The Game, the Team, and the Cost of Greatness.
  • Pete Palmer, SABR: A mathematician and analyst; an encyclopedist and author; a historical sleuth and statistical innovator; a researchers’ invaluable guide and friendly collaborator — Pete has been at the forefront of the new approaches to how we think about the game. He has devised new stats (On Base Plus Slugging, Linear Weights, and more) and retraced the steps of statisticians of yore to correct their tabulations. His contributions to the game have been as particular as correcting Ty Cobb’s hit total and as grand as restating and evaluating all the game’s historical records through the prism of modern statistical measures. He was the first to recognize the mathematical relationship between runs and wins, and the one most responsible for the introduction of On Base Percentage into common parlance. The Hidden Game of Baseball, co-authored with John Thorn and published in 1984, remains a touchstone for sabermetric thought. Palmer’s encyclopedic work commenced in the 1970s when he edited the venerable Turkin-Thompson Official Encyclopedia of Baseball, originally issued in 1951. From 1989 through 2001 he and Thorn published seven editions of the groundbreaking encyclopedia Total Baseball. Beginning in 2004 he and Gary Gillette combined to issue The Baseball Encyclopedia, endorsed in subsequent years by ESPN.
  • Eduardo Perez, Analyst, ESPN: Eduardo is an analyst for ESPN's “Baseball Tonight.” He was the Houston Astros' bench coach in 2013 after two seasons as the Miami Marlins' hitting coach. He has served as manager of the Colombian national team and as manager and general manager of the Puerto Rican national team. In 2008, he earned Manager of the Year honors in the Puerto Rican Winter League and in 2009 he led the Ponce Lions to the Caribbean Series. From 1993-2006, Eduardo played parts of 13 seasons in the Major Leagues, primarily as a first baseman, for the Angels, Cardinals, Reds, Devil Rays, Indians and Mariners. He joined ESPN as an analyst for the 2006 postseason and worked full-time for the network for the next four seasons.
  • Laurel Prieb, Vice President of Western Operations, Major League Baseball: Laurel was named Vice President for Western Operations and Special Projects for Major League Baseball in 2005. He serves MLB teams in the Mountain and Pacific time zones and is a point of contact for the Arizona Fall League, the Cactus League, and MLB’s business activities in the Pacific Rim. Previously, Prieb served as Vice President of Corporate Affairs for the Milwaukee Brewers and was the Traveling Secretary with the Minnesota Twins.
  • Karl Ravech, Host, ESPN: Karl joined ESPN in May 1993 and serves as primary host of the Emmy Award-winning “Baseball Tonight” (since 1995) and as a “SportsCenter” anchor (since 1993). He has hosted ESPN’s coverage of the Major League Baseball playoffs and World Series since 1995. Karl also provides commentary for ESPN and ABC coverage of the Little League World Series in Williamsport, Pennsylvania, each summer and for ESPN’s coverage for the College World Series in Omaha, Nebraska, every spring. Additionally, he has hosted “College Hoops 2Night,” ESPN2’s weekly news and highlights show, and anchored ESPN’s college basketball studio wraps operation.
  • Ken Rosenthal, MLB Network/FoxSports.com: Ken is a Baseball Insider for MLB Network and regularly appears on MLB Tonight and Hot Stove. A sportswriter for more than 20 years, he also is FoxSports.com's senior baseball writer and a weekly contributor to the Fox Saturday Baseball Game of the Week. On-air since 2005, he serves as the field reporter during Fox Sports' featured baseball matchup.
  • Zack Rosenthal, Assistant General Manager/Baseball Operations, Colorado Rockies: Zack is entering his first season in his current role with the Rockies, where he assists the General Manager with contract issues, player transactions, payroll management, salary arbitration, statistical analysis, and rules administration. Zack joined the Rockies in 2006 and was named Director of Baseball Operations/Assistant General Counsel in 2011. He holds a bachelor's degree in mass communication from the University of California at Berkeley and his Master's degree and J.D. from Boston University.
  • Jesse Sanchez, National Reporter, MLB.com: Jesse has worked in sports journalism since 1997 and has covered baseball as a beat writer and national reporter at MLB.com since 2001. He's covered baseball in Latin America and the Caribbean, along with its players, prospects and issues for more than a decade.
  • Curt Schilling, Analyst, ESPN: Curt is considered one of the great postseason pitchers of all time, having won a World Series game with three different franchises. His 2004 Game 6 ALCS performance with a sutured tendon dressed in a bloody sock was the defining image in one of baseball's all-time playoff comebacks and an inspiration in overturning the Boston Red Sox's 86-year-old World Series drought. His on-field performance rose when it mattered most. During postseason play, he went 11-2 with a 2.23 ERA and garnered a World Series co-MVP in 2001 with the Arizona Diamondbacks and NLCS MVP in 1993 with the Philadelphia Phillies. For his career, he recorded 216 wins and 3,116 strikeouts while only walking 711. He joined ESPN as a baseball analyst in 2010, and appears on “Baseball Tonight” and other news and information programming.
  • Jon “Boog” Sciambi, Announcer, ESPN: Jon joined ESPN full time in 2010 as play-by-play voice for MLB on ESPN Radio, while continuing the same role for college basketball and MLB on ESPN, which he has done since 2005. Sciambi contributed to ESPN Radio’s World Series coverage as on-site studio host and provided post-game, on-field interviews for ESPN’s SportsCenter. Previously, Sciambi was the lead play-by-play announcer for the Atlanta Braves on Fox Sports South and SportSouth from 2007-09, and host for 790 The Ticket in South Florida, and as voice of the Florida Marlins on WQAM from 1997-2004.
  • Dave Stewart, Senior VP/General Manager, Arizona Diamondbacks: Dave was hired as the Diamondbacks' GM in September 2014 following a dozen years as a player agent and a 16-season major-league career as one of the top pitchers in baseball. He was a member of the Los Angeles Dodgers' 1981 World Series championship team and had stints with the Texas Rangers and Philadelphia Phillies before moving on to Oakland, where he won at least 20 games in four consecutive seasons, leading the A's to three American League pennants from 1988-90. He was the World Series MVP in 1989 and pitched a no-hitter on June 29, 1990. He was also a two-time ALCS MVP with the A's in 1990 and the Toronto Blue Jays in 1993, when he was part of a third World Series-winning team. He spent time as a major-league pitching coach and front-office executive before forming his sports agency in 2002.
  • John Thorn, Official Historian, Major League Baseball: John was named as MLB's Official Historian by Commissioner Bud Selig in March 2011, succeeding the late Jerome Holtzman. He is a longtime SABR member who was the recipient of the Society's highest honor, the Bob Davids Award, in 2006. He is the author and editor of numerous books. His works include Baseball in the Garden of Eden: The Secret History of the Early Game, published in 2011 by Simon & Schuster; Treasures of the Baseball Hall of Fame; the Total Baseball encyclopedia series; The Glory Days: New York Baseball 1947-1957; The Armchair Book of Baseball; and The Hidden Game of Baseball. He is the founding editor of McFarland's Base Ball: A Journal of the Early Game and creator of SABR's The National Pastime. He served as the senior creative consultant for Ken Burns' Baseball series and appears regularly as a television commentator on MLB Network, ESPN, PBS, and The History Channel. He is a renowned expert on the early origins of baseball; in 2004, he revealed the existence of a Pittsfield, Massachusetts, statute prohibiting the play of baseball in 1791. He has written essays and articles for many publications, including The Sporting News, the New York Times, the Boston Globe, American Heritage, and VOICES, the publication of the New York Folklore Society.
  • Eric Wedge, Analyst, ESPN: Eric joined ESPN's “Baseball Tonight” as an analyst in 2014. He has managed 10 seasons in Major League Baseball, most recently with the Seattle Mariners from 2011-13. In 2007, he won the Manager of the Year award with the Cleveland Indians, leading the Tribe to a 96-66 record and first place in the American League Central Division. As a player, he helped lead Wichita State University to the 1989 College World Series championship and was a third-round draft pick with the Boston Red Sox that year. He played parts of four seasons in MLB with the Red Sox and Colorado Rockies.

 

For more information on the 2015 SABR Analytics Conference, visit SABR.org/analytics.

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