Flurries fall, but baseball is in the air, thanks to Rocky Mountain SABR

The snow flurries are much lighter now than they were an hour or so ago. Perfect time to think about baseball. Pitchers and catchers are days from reporting to Spring Training, but that doesn’t mean baseball-minded folks aren’t mentally into the season already. One of the rites of this time of year is SABR Day in America tomorrow. Across the country will be celebrations of baseball. In Denver, the Rocky Mountain SABR chapter will have its annual hot stove meeting at the Blake Street Tavern (near Coors Field) at 11 a.m.

The event always is entertaining, educational and moves fans’ thoughts to baseball.

There will be a brief look back to last season, with the awarding of the champion of the Rockies prediction contest, to the participant who came closest to the number of wins for the Rockies in 2011.

One highlight is the way members turn education and research into entertainment. This year, Matthew Repplinger, the new chapter president, and Alan Rice will do a presentation on the expansion and contraction of the Minor Leagues, 1953-2011.

That is followed by the Sylvester Report, an anticipated speech and question-and-answer session with Rockies baseball operations member Walter Sylvester, who can discuss stats and styles of players on the team’s Major League roster and through its Minor League system. The questions from the fans are often pointed and always backed by knowledge, and Sylvester doesn’t duck any of them.

Finally, the plan is for a massive game of catch. Last year members conducted it in one of the parking lots near Coors Field. A certain baseball writer with a chronically sore throwing shoulder even donned catcher’s gear. The gear may stay packed Saturday, but we’ll see.

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