Bob Broeg St. Louis Chapter meeting recap – 6/24/2013

Nineteen people attended the monthly roundtable of the Bob Broeg SABR Chapter on June 24, 2013. It was held at the usual location, the Original Crusoe’s in South St. Louis.

Members discussed the recent weekend sweep of the Cardinals by the Texas Rangers, the future of Cardinals rookie first baseman Matt Adams, and whether the Cardinals should re-sign outfielder Carlos Beltran.

Norm Richards presented a list of current major leaguers who attended high school in the St. Louis area. The list included: Jacob Turner of the Marlins (Westminster Christian Academy); Mark Buehrle of the Blue Jays (Francis Howell North); Kyle McClellan, formerly of the Cardinals and now with the Rangers (Hazelwood West); Josh Outman of the Rockies (Lindbergh); Neal Cotts of the Rangers (Lebanon); Scott Van Slyke of the Dodgers (son of former Cardinals-Pirates outfielder Andy Van Slyke, John Burroughs); Max Scherzer of the Tigers (Parkway Central); Ross Detwiler of the Nationals (Wentzville); David Phelps of the Yankees (Hazelwood West); Ryan Howard of the Phillies, David Freese of the Cardinals, and Jeff Gray of the White Sox (all three from Lafayette). Norm was a counselor at Lafayette High School in the St. Louis suburbs and knew Howard, Freese, and Jeff Gray of the White Sox when they were high school students.

Jim Rygelski reviewed the book Closer by Kevin Neary and Leigh Tobin (published in 2013 by Running Press). Jim thought the vignettes of the 62 players, all relief pitchers at some point in their careers, interviewed for the book were sometimes interesting and informative. But he also thought the book overall lacked a narrative focus and that the authors didn’t do enough careful research into the subject of closing or the sometimes inaccurate statements of the players about their accomplishments.

Bob Tiemann presented information on the development of the save statistic, how it went from an unofficial stat kept by the Sporting News starting in 1960 to an official MLB stat in 1969, and how the current rule was adopted in 1975. He compared the 1974 save stats of some relievers and how they would have been under the 1969 and 1975 rules. The 1974 rule was more stringent than 1969 or 1975, requiring the pitcher credited with a save to face the tying run at the plate whereas the current rule allows a save if the tying run is in the on-deck circle. Under Bob’s analysis, Mike Marshall of the Dodgers, credited with 21 saves in 1974, would have had 42 under 1969 rules and 29 under those adopted for 1975. Rollie Fingers of the A’s had 18 saves in 1974 but would have had 27 that season under 1969 rules and 25 under 1975 rules.

Steve Gietschier won the monthly trivia quiz assembled by Bob Tiemann, this one on “Expansion and Relocation Clubs Since 1993.”

The next Bob Broeg roundtable is Monday, July 22.

Submitted by Jim Rygelski, chapter secretary