From the morning’s SABR meeting, Mrs. Ducksnorts and I walked a few blocks to The Mission (coincidentally the name of a favorite San Diego restaurant). Our server recommended the street tacos, and they did not disappoint. Mrs. D’s pork shoulder tacos were smoky, 55+. My skirt steak tacos were an easy 70.

After a brief rest, I bid farewell to Mrs. D and piled with my fellow conference attendees into a bus to Surprise for the Fall Stars Game. We sat just to the first-base side behind home plate. I spent the evening with my usual companions, Brian and Drew, as well as BaseballHQ writer Jock Thompson in front of me and the parents of Austin Hedges to my left. Read More…

One hazard of writing for a living is that people sometimes compliment (or criticize) articles you’d forgotten you ever wrote. Once you file something, it’s onto the next project. Always looking forward, never back.

This came up at Don and Charlie’s on the first night of the SABR Arizona Fall League conference, but it also applies to baseball. The second day brought with it two games, one back at HoHoKam and another at Salt River.

Teams rested their best players in preparation for the following evening’s All-Star Game, recently rebranded as the Fall Stars Game. That’s not what I would call it (seems better to catch a rising star than a falling star), but nobody asked me. The games were uneventful, allowing me to reconnect with industry friends that I see once or twice a year if I’m lucky. Read More…

Last month I made my annual trek to the Arizona Fall League for a much-needed dose of good baseball and good friends. Each year, SABR’s Flame Delhi Chapter hosts a conference that has become a must for me.

Baseball Prospectus subscribers can read about my experience at the 2012 conference here and here. For everyone else, a quick summary: It was awesome.

This year’s event? Same story. Organizer Rodney Johnson, the Diamondbacks’ official scorer, puts on a great show. He knows everyone in town and gets many of them to participate.

Guests included legendary baseball executive and AFL founder Roland Hemond; retired big-leaguers Ron Davis, Lou Klimchock, and Ken Phelps; former Padres first-round pick Dave Hilton; and former Padres Cy Young Award winner Mark Davis.

Beyond famous people, the conference was filled with folks who can watch and talk baseball all day. It’s my kind of place.

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