Bob Broeg St. Louis Chapter meeting recap – 7/16/2012

Twenty-two people, including a couple of new faces, attended the July 16, 2012, Bob Broeg SABR Chapter meeting at The Original Crusoe’s in South St. Louis.

Chapter president Norm Richards encouraged those present to keep their SABR membership current. Chapters recently received lists of current and former members. While the Bob Broeg Chapter doesn’t make SABR membership mandatory for those attending the monthly roundtables, it encourages regular attendees to belong to SABR.

Kris Lokemoen gave reports on two recently published books, Summer of ’68 and One Shot at Forever.

Jim Rygelski, noting the high number of strikeouts (nearly 20% of 2012 plate appearances) as reported in a recent Sports Illustrated, spoke on the increase of strikeouts, decrease in double plays and decrease in runs scored since 1998. He also discussed the Cubs’ 33-inning consecutive scoreless pitching record that Ken Holtzman set in 1969 and Ryan Dempster recently tied, noting that Holtzman’s record included three consecutive complete-game shutouts while Dempster’s was done over five starts that did not include a complete game.

Jim Leonard presented a proposal to realign MLB into four divisions, three of them with eight teams and the other with six clubs. Leonard’s would have geographical realignment, with an East Division including the Yankees, Nationals, Mets, Orioles, Rays, Red Sox, Marlins and Phillies; a North Central Division with the Reds, Pirates, Braves, Tigers, Indians and Blue Jays; a Midwest Division featuring the Rangers, White Sox, Cardinals, Brewers, Royals, Twins, Cubs and Astros; and a Western Division of the Angels, Giants, Dodgers, Athletics, Diamondbacks, Mariners, Padres and Rockies. His argument was that such a realignment would keep divisional teams in the same time zone, save costs and restore pennant races since there would be no wild cards. Teams would play either 90 or 91 regular-season games against rivals in their own division and a 162-game schedule. The four divisional winners would meet in a best-of-seven first round with the team with the best winning percentage playing the divisional champ with the lowest winning margin. The two winners would meet in the World Series. Leonard included the recent realignment proposal of former Washington GM Jim Bowden to make six five-team divisions based on geographic rivalries.

Bob Tiemann presented a team-by-team statistical sheet on how the A.L. and N.L. have done against each other in interleague and World Series play since 1997. The A.L. holds an overall 2081-1883 edge in the regular season and has a 46-34 record in the World Series.

Rich Wolfe asked members for reminiscences for his new book on Cardinals fans. Steve Gietschier won the monthly trivia quiz compiled by Bob Tiemann, this one on All Star Game Managers. Members also discussed the current situation with the Cardinals and whether they needed to make trades for the stretch drive.

The next monthly roundtable will be Monday, August 20, also at Crusoe’s.

— Jim Rygelski