So I’m a little late in writing about this, but with the season fast approaching, I figured better late than never.
Since 2001, The Detroit Baseball Society has been holding an annual dinner. This is the fifth year that I have attended. Previous dinners were held a the Bloomfield Hills Country Club. This year’s dinner, however, was held at the Amnesia Room on the 16th floor of the MotorCity Casino.
In addition to dinner, drinks and appetizer’s there as a silent, sports memorabilia , auction and a slate of guest speakers. The guest speakers included Andrew Romine, Brad Ausmus and Steve Chilton.
Romine was awarded the Bill MacAdam Tenth Man Award and gave a very nice speech. He seemed personable and genuinely excited about receiving the award, which I wondered about, given that the award and presenting organization are not widely known.
Brad Ausmus spoke for about 20 minutes and then took questions for the audience. If you weren’t a fan of BA before the dinner, you probably were after. He was smart, articulate, and seemed like a good guy, he was pretty funny too.
Worth the price of admission was Steve Chilton. The first time I heard of Steve was when I saw him at the 2014 dinner. He is a genuine baseball / Tigers fanatic and a fabulous speaker. In 2014, he spoke about his heartbreak at the Tigers’ playoff loss to the Red Sox. This year he spoke about a shift in trends in MLB in how teams evaluate and value players. Apparently, some teams are using advanced, video analysis of players that allows them to better evaluate their defense and runs they are able to save by making the proper defensive play. He said the these advanced metrics are going to show up in the contracts free agents are offered. I guess we got a little taste this past off season where Bautista and Encarnacion didn’t find the demand they were expecting. (Incidentally, Chilton informed us that the advanced metrics valued Kevin Kiermaier higher than Jose Batista.)
The price of the dinner was $150 and in my opinion, worth every penny.
I picked up a sweet autographed Gordie Howe picture in a baseball uniform.