Detroit Chapter meeting recap – 7/26/2020

The SABR Detroit Chapter held an open baseball forum on Zoom on July 26, 2020, with nine participants, including Tom Biblewski, Dan D’Addona, Al Davis, Gary Gillette, Francis Kinlaw, Mitch Lutzke, Stan Okenka, and Joe Shaw.

Tom Biblewski asked us to discuss how we thought the Covid-19 coronavirus might affect the remainder of the baseball season given that Matt Davidson, the Reds designated hitter, tested positive.  Tom must be psychic. 

Francis Kinlaw, from Greensboro, SC, wanted our evaluations of Detroit’s top young prospects and the quality of the team.  Roger Castillo recommends that we visit two websites that he works on: and

Joe Shaw asked us to describe our Opening Day experience.  He reminded us that Bill Nowlin has invited us to write articles about our 2020 Opening Day experience for possible publication in SABR’s First Games Back project. 

Gary Gillette gave us an update on the Negro League Centennial Symposium, a joint event led by The Friends of Historic Hamtramck Stadium and co-sponsored with the Detroit Historical Museum and SABR Detroit.  Gary has been working to establish an annual collaboration with the Detroit Tigers Baseball Club’s Negro League Weekend. 

Stan Okenka solicited our opinions regarding the placement of a runner at second base to start the 10th inning of play.  The extra innings rule was not popular with our group.  One sly participant suggested the a second runner be placed on first base for the 11th inning, and a third runner should be added for the 12th inning.  Amusing and brilliant!

Al Davis decried home-run ball and asked us to opine about which baseball record will never be broken.  ‘Home-run baseball’ refers to a hitting approach designed to maximize home runs and accept a significant rise in strikeouts.  I suppose that the opposite of ‘home-run ball’ would be ‘scientific hitting’ associated with the Deadball Era. 

Dan D’Addona asked whether baseball players will suffer increased injuries during the 2020 season due to the interruptions and delays caused by the Wuhan pandemic. Justin Verlander’s injury was raised as possible evidence of increased risk. 

Mitch Lutzke raised the evening’s final topic: whether Moneyball works.  This led to a discussion about the successes and failures of the Oakland, Kansas City, and Philadelphia Athletics. 

Please welcome two new student members from Williamston, Michigan: Will Geiger and Trevor Fortin.  SABR awarded these memberships based upon our previous donations to the national office.

Thank you very much for your interest and participation in all of our events.  I encourage all of you to remain actively involved.

— Peter Hoyos