Wednesday, May 12, 2004


I attended the Baseball Prospectus Pizza Feed tonight here in Toronto and I had a pretty good time. Every baseball fan in Toronto was there, so all in all, about 30 people.

Will Carroll was the lone BP representative and he did a great job fielding questions and he flashed some fine public speaking skills to boot. A genuinely affable and nice guy, who knows more about the game of baseball than I shall ever hope to. He had the rare vibrance of a man who was actually doing what he loved to do, and that was a nice thing to see. (He gets to travel around writing and talking about baseball for God's sakes!)

Some highlights of the night off the top of my head:

A few silver-haired gentlemen were very pro-Gillick/anti-Ricciardi, which was both funny and good because they were in stark contrast to the rest of the crowd which was made up mostly of Sabermetric types who view Riccardi as if he were one of the Beatles. (I think Billy Beane would probably be John Lennon, Ricciardi is Paul McCartney, and Paul DePodesta is George Harrison. I'm not sure who would play Ringo but I'm leaning towards Alan Baird. "Whatever the lads want.") One of the "Gillick Lovers" said they thought Riccardi was doing a bad job and "The Sabeys" jumped on him with enough imperical data to crush an elephant. Will handled it all pretty well, explaining the depth the Jays have in the minors thanks to J.P.. "When Jason Arnold is being considered for the bullpen your system is pretty thick."

I heard of a pitch I never knew existed before: the gyroball! Apparently, it's only thrown by two guys in the Japanese league now and it is a fairly level pitch that basically makes a very hard turn towards or away from the batter.

The fact that Will couldn't comment on anything to do with the A's or Jose Reyes's injury. Not exactly sure why, he seemed pretty adamant about it though.

Will re-enacting the Lilly for Keitly trade between Beane and Ricciardi.

To be honest, the best stuff was after the feed officially came to an end and spilled across the street to a local pub. Will had some juicy stuff and some funny stories which aren't meant for public consumption. I could tell you but I have a feeling I'd be forever banned from any future pizza feeds. Since I've already been banned from hanging out with my former best-friend by his crazy Quebecoise girl-friend I'll have to take a pass. Sorry.

If you get a chance to go to one of these Pizza Feeds or to chat with Will, I highly recommend it.

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