Every season, select staff members from the baseball wizards at Baseball Prospectus tour different ballparks to talk about new developments in sabermetrics and scouting and schmooze with members of MLB's front offices. Last season, they added Seattle to their roster, and have decided to make a repeat appearance this June.
Personally speaking, I loved the joint U.S.S. Mariner/Lookout Landing events that Dave and Jeff used to host at Safeco Field, so I jumped at the chance to attend another stats and scouting-heaving event last year. The BP panel featured Jason Parks, Mike Ferrin, and Matthew Kory, who hosted an hour-long Q&A session on everything from the M's hitting struggles to the telltale signs of decline in aging players.
Jack Zduriencik, assistant general manager Jeff Kingston, and select members of the Mariners baseball operations department took over the last hour before game time, answering questions from the audience and offering some behind-the-scenes insights of their own. If my memory serves me correctly, Jack Z spent most of his time defending his contract with the club, praising Dustin Ackley and Jesus Montero's efforts, and encouraging the audience with a lot of "wait and see, it'll get better" comments.
This year, Baseball Prospectus is kicking it up a notch with extra panel members (including BP president Joe Hamrahi) and pre-game appearances by MLB.com's Greg Johns and undisclosed members of the M's front office. The format will be similar, with a meet-and-greet period and Q&A session held in the Safeco Field Interview Room before the Mariners take on the Rangers at 7 p.m. If you're dying to get your hands on a Felix Hernandez King's Court Train Car that evening, they might give them away at the event, as they did with last year's perfect game bobbleheads. (If not, there's always eBay.)
- June 14, 2014 at 5:00 p.m.
- Mariners vs. Rangers
- Felix Hernandez King Court Train Car Night
- Tickets: $47.99 for event admission, Main Level seating, and a $15 coupon towards a Baseball Prospectus Premium subscription, available for purchase here
It would be great to see some of the Lookout Landing community turn up at this event. It's an excellent opportunity to talk baseball and pick the brains of some of the best scouting experts in the field. One note of caution: This event sold out well in advance last year, so if you're thinking of going, I'd recommend purchasing your tickets soon.