SABR Analytics Conference speakers
SABR Analytics Conference
March 13-15, 2014
Hyatt Regency Phoenix
Here is a list of speakers, panelists and moderators for the third annual SABR Analytics Conference, March 13-15, 2014, 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.
Exec. VP/General Manager
Sr. VP/Asst. GM
Dr. Glenn Fleisig
Research Director, American
Sports Medicine Institute
Dr. Stan Conte
VP, Medical Services
Los Angeles Dodgers
VP, League Economics
and Strategy, MLB
Please note: All speakers and panelists are subject to change. Click here to view the full schedule.
Here are the featured panels scheduled for the 2014 SABR Analytics Conference:
One on One: Mark Attanasio: Join us to hear Milwaukee Brewers owner Mark Attanasio at the SABR Analytics Conference. Mark is entering his 10th season as the Chairman and Principal Owner of the Milwaukee Brewers. The Brewers have qualified for the postseason twice during his tenure, advancing to the National League Division Series in 2008 and the NL Championship Series in 2011. The Brewers won the NL Central Division championship in 2011, their first division crown since 1982. Mark has been an accomplished investment management executive for more than 25 years. He is a co-founder and managing partner of Crescent Capital Group, Inc., an employee-owned Los Angeles-based asset management firm. He is also an investor in the Milwaukee Admirals of the American Hockey League. He earned his A.B. from Brown University and his J.D. from the Columbia University School of Law. Moderator: Ken Rosenthal, MLB Network/FoxSports.com. 10:00 a.m., Friday, March 14.
Decision-Making in the Front Office: This panel will discuss how major league front offices are using analytics to develop a competitive edge and stay ahead of their competition. 8:30 a.m., Friday, March 14.
- Jack Zduriencik, Executive Vice President and General Manager, Seattle Mariners: Jack is entering his sixth season as Executive Vice President and General Manager of the Mariners. In his first year on the job, he re-organized the Mariners' Baseball Operations, Scouting and Player Development staffs, added talent to both the major league and minor league rosters and hired a new manager and coaching staff, all resulting in the Mariners vaulting from 61 wins in 2008 to 85 wins in 2009. Previously, Jack spent nine seasons with the Milwaukee Brewers, most recently serving as Vice President of Player Personnel. He was named Executive of the Year by Baseball America in 2007, the first non-GM to win the award. He also has worked in the front office for the New York Mets (1983-90, 1994-98), Pittsburgh Pirates (1991-93) and Los Angeles Dodgers (1999.)
- Bill Geivett, Senior Vice President/Assistant General Manager, Colorado Rockies: Bill is entering his 14th season with the Rockies organization. An active SABR member, he was named Senior VP of Major League Operations in August 2012, after previously serving two years as the Rockies' Senior VP of Scouting and Player Development. He oversees the day-to-day operations of the Major League club. Bill has spent 26 years in professional baseball. He broke into the Majors in 1991 as a scout and organizational instructor with the New York Yankees in 1991. He has also worked in the Montreal Expos, Tampa Bay Rays and Los Angeles Dodgers organizations.
- Bobby Evans, Vice President and Assistant General Manager, San Francisco Giants: Bobby is entering his 21st season in the Giants baseball operations department, and his second year as the Vice President and Assistant General Manager. Previously the team's director of player personnel, he assists Brian Sabean in heading contract negotiations, waiver and rule compliance, budgets at both the major and minor league levels and is involved in all areas of baseball operations. Bobby has had an integral role in helping the organization win World Series titles in 2010 and 2012. In 2012, he received the Bowie Kuhn Award, which is presented annually at the Baseball Winter Meetings (since 1984) to an individual, team or organization who demonstrates support of the chapel program in professional baseball. Previously, Evans served as an administrator in the Commissioner's Office in New York. During his three-year tenure there, he worked in baseball operations and minor league operations. Evans also interned with the Boston Red Sox in the player development and scouting departments during the summer of 1989.
- Moderator: 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.
Medical Analysis and Injury Prevention: This panel will discuss how Major League Baseball and its teams are working to better diagnose, track and prevent injuries in the future. 2:00 p.m., Thursday, March 13.
- Dr. Stan Conte, Vice President of Medical Services, Los Angeles Dodgers: Stan is the Vice President of Medical Services, where he manages the organization's Major and Minor League medical departments and also handles medical risk assessment and injury management. Regarded as one of the top experts in physical therapy and conditioning in professional sports, Stan joined the Dodgers in October 2006 following 15 seasons with the San Francisco Giants, including seven as head athletic trainer and physical therapist. Prior to his promotion in 2000, he served as the team’s assistant athletic trainer and coordinator of strength and rehabilitation for the previous eight years. He received his B.S. in physical therapy at California State University, Northridge in 1978, and his Doctorate of Physical Therapy at Boston University in 2010. He has served on several MLB committees including the co-chairman of the Analytic Committee and member of the Injury Surveillance System as well as on the expert panel of the MLB Research Committee.
- Dr. Glenn Fleisig, Research Director, American Sports Medicine Institute: Glenn is the Research Director for the American Sports Medicine Institute in Birmingham, Alabama. He earned engineering degrees from MIT, Washington University, and UAB. In 1987, Dr. James Andrews founded ASMI and hired Glenn to head up the institute’s research. During the past 25 years, Glenn has published more than 100 scientific articles, worked with thousands of athletes including from 20 Major League teams, appeared in countless television, print, and online stories, and presented his work all over the world. Glenn is also the chair of USA Baseball’s Medical and Safety Committee, an adjunct professor at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, and pitching consultant for Little League Baseball and Softball.
- Chris Marinak, Vice President, League Economics and Strategy, MLB: Chris is the Vice President for League Economics and Strategy at Major League Baseball. He manages a strategy division that provides internal consulting services to the 30 Major League Clubs and the Commissioner on issues including player contracts, league-wide economic policy, local media rights, and business development. He is also responsible for design and development of numerous technology systems, including player Electronic Medical Records and Injury Tracking System. He joined MLB in 2008 as the Director of Labor Economics, where he led a team responsible for player contract valuation, salary arbitration analysis, team payroll reporting, umpire performance reporting, and financial modeling related to revenue sharing. Chris led negotiations for the economic provisions of the 2012-2016 Collective Bargaining Agreement with the Major League Baseball Players Association. Prior to his role with MLB, Chris was a Manager of Strategic Analysis at Capital One Financial. Chris received an MBA from Harvard Business School and a B.S. in Computer Engineering from the University of Virginia, where he was a four year letterman on the baseball team and team captain his senior year.
- Moderator: 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.
Which Numbers Athletes Love, Which Numbers Athletes Hate: Baseball players-turned-broadcast analysts will explain how they use analytics to cover baseball from the booth. 4:30 p.m., Thursday, March 13.
- Aaron Boone, Analyst, ESPN: Aaron is an analyst for ESPN's “Monday Night Baseball” with frequent appearances on “Baseball Tonight” and other studio programming. He joined ESPN in 2010 after his retirement from professional baseball. He also served as a guest analyst on ESPN Radio during the 2009 National League Division Series. Boone played for six Major League franchises over 12 seasons including stops in Cincinnati (1997-2003), New York Yankees (2003), Cleveland (2005-2006), Florida (2007), Washington (2008) and Houston (2009). In 2003, Boone earned his first and only All-Star appearance before being traded from the Cincinnati Reds to the Yankees. Later that year, he famously hit a dramatic, series-clinching home run in the bottom of the 11th inning of Game 7 of the ALCS, giving the Yankees a 6-5 victory over their rival, Boston Red Sox.
- 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.
- Manny Acta, Analyst, ESPN: Manny joined ESPN and ESPN Deportes as a baseball analyst in 2013. He served as manager of the Cleveland Indians from 2010 to 2012, leading the Tribe to a second-place finish in 2011 and an 11-game improvement. Previously, he was manager of the Washington Nationals from 2007 to 2009; at age 37, he was the youngest active manager in MLB at the time of his hiring. He finished sixth in the NL Manager of the Year voting in 2007. Manny played in the Houston Astros minor league system for seven years, eventually becoming a coach in the organization in 1991. In 2013, he was named general manager of the Tigres del Licey in the Dominican Professional Baseball League after managing that club to the Caribbean World Series championship in 2003-04. In 2006, he also managed the Dominican Republic to a semifinal appearance in the inaugural World Baseball Classic.
- Kirk Goldsberry, Staff Writer, Grantland.com: Kirk is a staff writer at Grantland.com, a visiting scholar at the Harvard Center for Geographic Analysis and an assistant professor in the Department of Geography at Michigan State University. He received his Ph.D. from the Department of Geography at the University of California, Santa Barbara.
- John Walsh, Executive Vice President and Executive Editor, ESPN: Since joining ESPN in 1988, John's fingerprints are on many of the network’s largest initiatives and launches. An executive vice president, Walsh has served as executive editor since December 1990 and oversaw the launch of ESPN The Magazine and ESPN Radio; been instrumental in developing the many news and information elements within ESPN, including networks and new shows; and led the editorial direction of ESPN.com and its properties. Currently he also serves as chairman of ESPN’s editorial board. John had served as a consultant to the company since July 1987 before being hired in January 1988 as managing editor. In that role, he was responsible for the editorial content of all news and informational programming, including "SportsCenter," ESPN’s flagship sports news program.
Analytics from the Players' View: Listen to insight from MLB players on how they use analytics to help their performance on and off the field. 6:30 p.m., Thursday, March 13.
- Brian Bannister, former major league pitcher: Brian spent parts of five seasons in the major leagues with the New York Mets and Kansas City Royals from 2006 to 2010. He finished third in the American League Rookie of the Year voting in 2007, when he went 12-9 with a 3.87 ERA, and was once named by The Sporting News as one of the smartest athletes in sports. A native of Scottsdale, Arizona, and a Chaparral High School alumnus, Brian is the son of former pitcher Floyd Bannister; his uncle, Greg Cochran, and brother, Brett Bannister, also played professional baseball. As a walk-on at the University of Southern California, he helped the Trojans qualify for the College World Series in 2000 and 2001. He graduated from USC with a bachelor's degree from the School of Fine Arts. He is the founder of 19 Loft Studios, a photography studio complex based in Phoenix. His work has been featured in the New York Times, New York Daily News, and American Photo.
- Moderator: 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.
- More speakers TBA!
SABR Defensive Index: This panel will discuss developments with the SABR Defensive Index, which beginning in 2013 is used to help select the winners of the Rawlings Gold Glove Award and Rawlings Platinum Glove Award, presented by SABR. 1:45 p.m., Friday, March 14.
- 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.
- Sean Forman, President, Sports Reference, LLC: Sean is the President of Sports Reference, LLC, which includes Baseball-Reference.com, the game’s premier statistical website which launched in 2000. Over the past decade, Sean has built and engineered what has become the go-to site to look up statistics for any baseball player or team, and he was a recipient of SABR's Henry Chadwick Award in 2011 to honor baseball's greatest researchers. He was also a co-founder of BaseballThinkFactory.org and has authored numerous sabermetric articles. Sean has a Ph.D. in Applied Mathematical and Computational Sciences from the University of Iowa, and was a tenured math and computer science professor at Saint Joseph’s University before resigning in 2006 to focus full-time on the Sports Reference websites, which have grown to include pro and college football, pro and college basketball, ice hockey and the Olympics.
- Vince Gennaro, President, SABR: Vince is the President of SABR and author of Diamond Dollars: The Economics of Winning in Baseball. He is a consultant to MLB teams, appears regularly on MLB Network, and he teaches in the graduate programs at Columbia University and Manhattanville College. 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.
- Kurt Hunzeker, Senior Director of Brand Marketing, Rawlings: Kurt has more than 15 years of experience on both sides of the sports sponsorship equation and in a wide array of sports marketing positions. In his current role as the lead brand marketer at Rawlings Sporting Goods, he manages the progressive global growth for the 127-year-old brand, connecting it with next-level athletes worldwide. In 2011, Kurt launched the Rawlings Platinum Glove Award (now presented by SABR) to include baseball fans in the Rawlings Gold Glove Award platform, as they help select the best defender in each League. Last year, he spearheaded the addition of the SABR Defensive Index into the Rawlings Gold Glove Award process, to resounding success and accolades across the industry. Most recently, the University of Missouri School of Journalism graduate negotiated and signed the deal with Baseball Australia, designating Rawlings as the official baseball, batting helmet and catchers’ protective gear of the national governing body.
- Moderator: 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, Jon 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.
Panel: Clubhouse Confidential: Our panelists appear regularly on MLB Network's signature sabermetrics program, "Clubhouse Confidential" (airing at 5:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. daily). You will have the opportunity to ask them questions related to baseball analytics, value projection and other topics. 4:00 p.m., Friday, March 14.
- Dave Cameron, FanGraphs: Dave is Managing Editor and a Senior Writer at FanGraphs. He was the co-founder of the U.S.S. Mariner blog and previously worked at Baseball Prospectus.
- Vince Gennaro, President, SABR: Vince is the President of SABR and author of Diamond Dollars: The Economics of Winning in Baseball. He is a consultant to MLB teams, appears regularly on MLB Network, and teaches in the graduate programs at Columbia University and Manhattanville College. 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.
- Ben Lindbergh, Editor-in-Chief, Baseball Prospectus: Ben is the Editor-in-Chief at Baseball Prospectus and a member of the Baseball Writers Association of America. He served as editor of the two-volume Best of Baseball Prospectus collection and contributes regularly at Grantland.com. He formerly worked as a baseball analyst for Bloomberg Sports, and has interned for multiple MLB teams.
- 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.
Panel: The International Baseball Landscape: on how analytics have changed the landscape of international scouting and player development in baseball. 10:00 a.m., Saturday, March 15.
- Tyrone Brooks, Director of Player Personnel, Pittsburgh Pirates: Tyrone is Director of Player Personnel for the Pittsburgh Pirates. Before being named to his current position, he was the club’s Director of Baseball Operation for two years. Previously, he was a Professional Scout for the Cleveland Indians in the Pacific Coast, Texas and California leagues. He worked with the Atlanta Braves for 11 years while serving as their Director of Baseball Admissions. Tyrone is also the founder of the Baseball Industry Network, which covers the full gamut of people working in industry of baseball.
- Leonte Landino, ESPN Deportes: Leonte is a Venezuelan journalist for ESPN Deportes who has covered baseball in the U.S. and Latin America since 1996. He has extensive experience in the media as a commentator and producer, and as a writer for many print and electronic publications. He has worked for Aguilas del Zulia of the Venezuelan League and the Tampa Bay Rays. He currently produces all baseball properties for the ESPN Deportes Spanish-language network and continues to display his work on ESPNdeportes.com. Landino has done extensive research with SABR on the life of Luis Castro and contributed a biography of Hall of Famer Luis Aparicio for the book Go-Go to Glory: The 1959 Chicago White Sox.
- Moderator: 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.
Panel: Prospect Analysis and Evaluation: on how analytics has impacted the scouting and evaluation of minor league prospects. 1:15 p.m., Saturday, March 15.
- 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.
- 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.
- Bernie Pleskoff, Columnist, MLB.com, Rotowire: Bernie spent nine years as a professional scout for the Houston Astros and Seattle Mariners after graduating from the Major League Scouting Bureau. Since 2009, he has written regularly about baseball prospects and scouting at MLB.com and Rotowire.com. Previously, he was a Dean of Campus Life at Loyola University in Chicago following a long career in higher education. He holds a Bachelor's degree from Bowling Green State University and a Master's degree from the University of Massachusetts.
- Moderator: Barry M. Bloom, MLB.com: Barry has been a national reporter for MLB.com since 2002 and has more than 35 years of experience covering sports. He covered baseball and hockey for five years at Bloomberg News and also spent 16 years as a writer at the San Diego Union-Tribune.
Panel: Telling Stories in the Age of Sabermetrics: on how analytics has impacted the scouting and evaluation of minor league prospects. 2:30 p.m., Saturday, March 15.
- Howard Megdal, Contributing Writer, Sports on Earth: Howard is a contributing writer for Sports on Earth and Writer At Large for Capital New York. He has also written for the New York Times, New York Magazine, ESPN.com, Salon and numerous other publications. His books include The Baseball Talmud, Taking the Field, and Wilpon's Folly.
- Emma Span, Senior Editor, Sports on Earth: Emma is a writer and editor at Sports on Earth and the author of 90% of the Game Is Half Mental: And Other Tales From the Edge of Baseball Fandom. Most recently an associate sports editor at The Daily, she has also written for The Village Voice, The New York Press, Slate, Newsday.com and Baseball Prospectus. She graduated from Yale University.
- Mike Tanier, Staff Writer, Sports on Earth: Mike is a staff writer for Sports on Earth, with a focus on the NFL. He joined Football Outsiders in 2005 and co-authored Pro Football Prospectus from 2005-08 and the Football Outsiders Almanac from 2009-12. His weekly "Walkthrough" column was an eclectic mix of jokes, statistical analysis, strategy diagrams, historical research and pop-culture references. Mike wrote weekly NFL game previews for the New York Times from 2009-11 and FoxSports.com from 2005-07, in addition to a variety of humor pieces on football, baseball and basketball for the Times.
- Moderator: Steve Madden, General Manager, Sports on Earth: Steve is the General Manager for Sports on Earth, a joint venture between USA TODAY Sports Media Group and MLB Advanced Media, L.P. Steve is a two-time National Magazine Award winner who most recently served as Vice President of Digital Product Development for Rodale Inc.
For more information on the 2014 SABR Analytics Conference, visit SABR.org/analytics.