SABR 46: Poster Presentations

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From 12:30-1:30 p.m. on Saturday, July 30, 2016, attendees at SABR 46 will have the opportunity to ask questions and talk with presenters of the poster presentations in the Jasmine Room on the Terrace level of the Hyatt Regency Miami.

The posters will be available for viewing all week in the Jasmine Room. The top poster presentation, as selected by on-site judging, will win the USA Today Sports Weekly Award. Check out a list of past winners here.

To view the list of SABR 46 oral research presentations, click here.


P1: An Examination of Statistics in Marlins Postseason History
Mary Ann Barragan 

As related by Michael Lewis in Moneyball, Billy Beane said, “My [stuff] doesn't work in the playoffs. My job is to get us to the playoffs. What happens after that is… luck.” Barragan explores whether there is a significant difference in statistics such as WAR, WoBA, Win Shares and OPS between the regular season and postseason. She uses a multi linear regression model to compare Marlins statistics and the rest of the postseason teams. She uses this model to test which statistics are significant in the postseason, with an eye toward pinpointing what offensive statistics translate to the postseason.

Mary Ann Barragan <> is a Technical Analyst at the University of New Mexico and is currently working on her Masters in Sports Administration. In April 2016, she presented at the Frederick Ivor-Campbell 19th Century Base Ball Conference on the Dolly Vardens. However, as much as baseball history has fascinated her, her greatest passion is applying statistical methods to analyze data. Her current research is on a 10-year span of the MLB draft, where major-league statistics are tested to see if there is a difference between college and high school picks.


P2: The 2004 Japanese Professional Baseball Collective Bargaining Negotiations: A Qualitative Case Study
Joy Benjamin

After failing to block the Nippon Professional Baseball’s (NPB/management) decision to merge the Osaka Kintetsu Buffaloes and the Orix Blue Wave during their collective bargaining negotiations, the Japanese Professional Baseball Players Association (JPBPA/union) decided to pursue a weekend strike on September 18-19, 2004. Benjamin used Yin’s (2009) Case Study Research Approach to investigate how the relationship pattern in the collective bargaining negotiations changed from the beginning to the end of the conflict (if at all). Benjamin found that the NPB and the JPBPA negotiators operated in and operated between distributive and integrative bargaining sub-processes at the same time. She also found that the NPB and the JPBPA negotiators began proceeding away from containment-aggression toward cooperation with the change in the NPB’s lead negotiator position. In addition, she found that it was a shared emotional moment, considered a shock event, that shifted the NPB and the JPBPA negotiators away from stalemate.

Joy Benjamin, Ph.D. <> is a 2015 graduate of the Department of Conflict Resolution Studies in the College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences at Nova Southeastern University in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. In 2013-14, she was invited to Doshisha University in Kyoto, Japan as a Visiting Research Scholar to conduct the data collection activities of her dissertation entitled, “The 2004 Japanese Professional Baseball Collective Bargaining Negotiations: A Qualitative Case Study.” In professional baseball, she has held professional positions as an Executive Business Intern for the Florida Marlins, Inc. and Payroll Manager & Human Resources Supervisor for the Tampa Bay Rays.

P3: Once Again - The Increased Importance of Quality Starts
John Burbridge

At last year’s convention in Chicago, Burbridge gave a presentation concerning the growing importance of the statistic, Quality Starts. The presentation generated quite a bit of discussion, both pro and con on the significance of the statistic. Burbridge furthers the argument made last year but with new data and additional evidence that reinforces the need for such a statistic. At last year’s convention, several questioners made the argument that “wins’ is a much better statistic. The limitations of this statistic will be presented along with some extensions of the Quality Starts statistic. The subject of this presentation reflects on the role this statistic plays in explaining recent developments in pitching strategy and growing importance of measuring starting pitching.

John Burbridge <> is currently Professor Emeritus at Elon University where he was both a dean and professor. While at Elon he introduced and taught Baseball and Statistics. John has presented at SABR Conventions and the Seymour Medal Conference. He is a lifelong New York Giants baseball fan (he does acknowledge they moved to San Francisco). The greatest Giants-Dodgers game he attended was a 1-0 Giants’ victory in Jersey City in 1956. Yes, the Dodgers did play in Jersey City in 1956 and 1957 along with the Havana Sugar Kings in 1960 and 1961.


P4: Fans for Eternity: A Study of Obituaries that Include Mention of Major League Baseball Teams, in the Raleigh (NC) News & Observer
Elena Elms

North Carolina is rich in minor-league baseball teams, with nine affiliated teams. There are no strong connections to any major-league teams, situated farther than an easy round trip drive from Atlanta, Washington, DC, or Baltimore. When avid central or eastern North Carolina sports fans die, their obituaries are more likely to espouse an affection for Tar Heel, Blue Devil, or Wolfpack basketball than to a baseball team. Elms studied obituaries in the Raleigh News & Observer (second largest circulation in the state) for two years to see how often and to what Major League Baseball teams North Carolina fans included their favorite team among the list of their survivors.

Elena Elms <> is a library technician at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, cataloging materials in Slavic and East European languages. She has a bachelor’s degree in Russian language and literature from the University of Kentucky and completed graduate coursework in Slavic linguistics at UNC-Chapel Hill. She curated displays at the University Library on the Library’s baseball related holdings, from children’s books to manuscripts. Another exhibit highlighted North Carolina’s minor league baseball history. Elena provided editing assistance for “Yogi was up with a guy on third: Hall of Famers recall their favorite baseball games ever” by Maureen Mullen, published in 2009. Elena is a life-long fan of the St Louis Cardinals. She has been a member of SABR since 2006.


P5: Singular Sensation — Who is The Greatest Singles Hitter?
Steven Glassman

Singles, and singles hitters, come in all shapes and sizes. There are 717 baseball players with over 1,000 career singles through the 2015 season. Pete Rose is the all-time leader with 3,215, but does that mean he is the greatest singles hitter? Glassman measures singles per game, per plate appearance, and as a percentage of total hits. Glassman measures these numbers against the league average. and uses the singles component of Linear Weights, adjusting it for park effects. He also provides league season-by-season and era information.

Steven Glassman <> has been a SABR member since 1994 and regularly makes presentations for the Connie Mack Chapter. This is his 11th convention. “Singular Sensation — Who is the Greatest Singles Hitter?” will be his seventh convention poster presentation. The Temple University graduate in Sport and Recreation Management is currently a volunteer Director of Sports Information for Manor College. He has attended Phillies games since the 1970s. Steven serves as first base coach/scorekeeper for his summer league softball team. He currently resides in Warminster, Pennsylvania.


P6: Hitting for the Cycle: Why Babe Ruth Didn’t Do It, and Who Will Be the First Marlin?
Michael Huber

Babe Ruth is arguably the greatest player to swing a bat. He out-homered 90 teams, hit for average and for power. He hit 714 home runs, 136 triples, 506 doubles, and 1,517 singles in his great career. He is the all-time leader in both slugging percentage and in OPS (and OPS+). He had 29 games with four hits. He had three games with a home run, triple, and double. However, he never hit for the cycle. Huber offers a probabilistic approach based on the Babe’s actual statistics, discussing how close he did get to hitting for the cycle. He also uses this approach to determine who on the 2016 Marlins roster has the best chance of becoming Miami’s first batter to hit for the cycle. As of the beginning of the 2016 season, Miami is the only team in the major leagues without a cyclist.

Michael Huber <> is Professor of Mathematics at Muhlenberg College in Allentown, Pennsylvania, where he teaches an undergraduate course titled “Reasoning with Sabermetrics.” He has been modeling rare events in baseball, to include hitting for the cycle, pitching a no-hitter, and scoring 20 or more runs in a game, for over 15 years, and he genuinely enjoys contributing to SABR’s Baseball Games Project. He has been rooting for the Baltimore Orioles for close to 50 years.


P7: The Line Drive that Changed Baseball’s History!
Francis Kinlaw

One of the most traumatic incidents in the history of the major leagues occurred on May 7, 1957, when a line drive off the bat of Gil McDougald of the New York Yankees struck Herb Score of the Cleveland Indians in the right eye. This vicious smash instantly deprived the Cleveland franchise of baseball’s most exciting young pitcher and affected the competitive balance of the American League for years. Kinlaw notes Score’s exceptional potential prior to his injury while demonstrating the degree to which fulfillment of his extraordinary promise would have affected the Indians franchise and all of professional baseball. Plausible front-office maneuvers which might have occurred if Score had remained healthy, as well as differences in outcomes of pennant races that might have resulted from those transactions, are also explored.

Francis Kinlaw <> has contributed to 16 SABR publications and attended 20 SABR national conventions. A member of SABR since 1983, he resides in Greensboro, North Carolina. At the age of 12, he heard about Herb Score’s injury during a radio broadcast of a different major-league game, and he recalls that it was featured the following night on the national telecast of The CBS Evening News with Douglas Edwards. His poster presentation pertaining to Score is a long-delayed sequel to his oral presentation on a similar topic at SABR 27 in Louisville.


P8: Campaigning On Twitter: The Effect of Verified Tweets on 2015 MLB All-Star Game Voting
Allison Levin

Over the long history of baseball every franchise has had its superstar players, but there is only one game where a fan can see all the superstars at once — the All Star Game — and since 1970 select the starting lineup. Since 2000 baseball has moved away from paper balloting to a fully online process in 2015. In addition, from 2012-15, teams and individual players going have begun to go onto Twitter to request their followers to vote. Levin builds on her previous work that shows that Twitter requests for votes have a statistically significant impact on the percentage change in votes received by players. In this presentation, she uses tweets and voting updates from all MLB teams to further understand how votes received by players were influenced by the tweets they sent. Her presentation adds to our understanding of how players and teams can maximize fan engagement on Twitter by explaining: (1) what factors lead to one tweet being retweeted over another, (2) what factors lead to fans developing parasocial relationships on Twitter, and (3) what factors lead to action being taken following a request on Twitter.

Allison R. Levin <> (MA, JD) is a consultant and professor. Her research builds upon an eclectic background in political science, economics, women’s studies, communications and law. In recent years she has focused on the effects of social media on pop culture, communications and sports. She has been invited to present her work at conferences both nationally and internationally. Her research on athlete’s use of social media appears in Casing Sport Communication (2016). Her presentation on domestic violence in baseball will appear as part of a comprehensive study of the implicit acceptance of celebrity domestic violence to be published in View Points on Media Effects: Pseudo Reality and its Influence on Media Consumers (Sage, 2017).


P9: The Reserve Clause and Employee Non-Compete Agreements: Will the Infamous Relic of Baseball’s Past Make a Comeback in Your Future?
Charles H. Martin

The reserve clause began in 1879 as an unwritten rule among National League owners to protect smaller city clubs from being outbid for player talent. It ended in 1998, when the U.S. Congress passed the Curt Flood Act, providing that “… major-league baseball players will have the same rights under the antitrust laws as do other professional athletes….” Martin notes that the reserve clause is similar to “non-compete agreements” in other professions. His presentation shows how the negative past effect of the reserve clause on the growth of baseball is predictive of the negative future effect of employment non-compete agreements, which employers are aggressively imposing on everyone from hairdressers to journalists, on the American economy.

Charles H. Martin <> is an attorney in the District of Columbia and the State of Florida, practicing contracts, sales and international law. He taught these subjects as a full-time professor in U.S. and foreign law schools. He is a Washington Nationals fan, and is the author of Every1’s Guide to Electronic Contracts, and Lawyerball. Both books are available on Amazon, and Lawyerball is in the Amazon SABR Bookstore. More information about Lawyerball and related research sources are available at


P10: Why Yankees Fans Should Vote for Hillary (or Bernie): An Interesting Historical Coincidence
Kenneth Ganning

The New York Yankees' World Series record is 20-3 under Democratic administrations and 7-10 under Republican. These data are examined both through a traditional statistical analysis and within historical context. Dividing the history of the Yankees into the pre- and post-“George Steinbrenner's Illegal Contributions to Richard Nixon's 1972 Presidential Campaign Fund" eras, the presentation provides a plausible argument for the existence of a real, literally unbelievable, explanation for this discrepancy. Next, multiple reasons for why the author claims this trend is not likely to continue are given. Finally, a recommendation to Yankee fans as to why they should vote for the Democratic nominee, in order to benefit the Yankees, is provided.

Kenneth Ganning <> has a Ph.D. in Statistics from Rutgers University and is currently on the faculty of the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science at Seton Hall University, where he is course coordinator for all higher level undergraduate statistics courses. Dr. Ganning has delivered presentations in the fields of scale types, semiorders, and subjective probability. He is a lifelong Yankees fan and is currently on a multiyear quest to visit every professional MLB stadium with his son Kyle.

For more information on SABR 46, or to register for the convention, click here.