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Where "Catch the Fever" came from.

Most of our writers didn't enter the world sporting an @baseballprospectus.com address; with a few exceptions, they started out somewhere else. In an effort to up your reading pleasure while tipping our caps to some of the most illuminating work being done elsewhere on the internet, we'll be yielding the stage once a week to the best and brightest baseball writers, researchers and thinkers from outside of the BP umbrella. If you'd like to nominate a guest contributor (including yourself), please drop us a line.

Matthew Callan writes about the New York Mets for Amazin' Avenue and has written about everything else elsewhere. He is also the host of Replacement Players, a new podcast about old games. Catch him on Twitter at @scratchbomb.
 


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At the SABR Analytics Conference in Phoenix, the Indians introduce a new sort of sabermetrics, without some of the usual secrecy.

Among the attendees of the second annual SABR Analytics Conference, which took place in Phoenix this past Thursday through Saturday, were statistical analysts from several clubs; some whose names you’d know from Baseball Prospectus or other sabermetric sites, and others who’ve kept a lower public profile.  But with the exception of Bill James, whose stature is such that he can continue to play a public role even from the inside, the team statheads weren’t at SABR to take part in panels or present PowerPoint slides. They were there to keep their eyes and ears open for any ideas or developments that might give their employers an edge.

They sat silently in the back rows of conference rooms, or clustered together outside the exits with other delegates from their own clubs, talking quietly or sending messages back to base with their omnipresent phones. Occasionally, one team’s cluster would meet and merge with another’s, chatting amiably like less athletic versions of opposing players crossing paths before first pitch. But even (or especially) among their own kind, their words were guarded: they talked shop without citing specifics. As Zachary Levine wrote last week after returning from the MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference, team employees tell few tales.

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