Contest # 1: Pick your favorite MLB team (or the team you know the most) and answer the following questions to prove whether your just a homer – “someone who shows blind loyalty to a team or organization, typically ignoring any shortcomings or faults they have” – or whether you rally know something about your team and can honestly evaluate its strengths and weaknesses:
a. What will your team’s regular season 162 game record be in 2017?
b. Will they make the playoffs, and if so, how far will they go?
c. What will be the most important factor (hitting, starting pitching, bullpen, an individual’s performance, injuries, etc.) in determining their season?
There were four teams chosen that had five or more of you predicting their season:
Orioles fans over predicted what their team would accomplish this season. (Once again Chris Eacho, who probably should never be taken seriously, thought the O’s would win over 100 games, would win the WS, and Buck Showalter would win Manager of the Year.)
Red Sox fans also largely over estimated how well they would do, but there were also a number of these wonderfully intelligent and obsessive fans who were very close to exact in their predictions.
Yankee fans largely underestimated how well they would do this year. (David P., however, thought they’d win the WS, which wasn’t as wild a prediction as it seemed at the beginning of the season.)
Nats’ fans were the most accurate in their assessment of their team.
Although the numbers were not significant, fans of the Cubs, Cards, Reds, Giants Braves, Royals, and Mets generally overestimated how their teams would do. Fans of the Pirates, Brewers, and Astros underestimated their teams for 2017. Dodger fans were split between over and under estimating how the Bums would do.
Winner of Contest #1:
There were a number of you who came close, generally faltering on Part B of this question. Included in this category were David Price, Daniel Fishberg, Jesse Maniff, Steve Veltri, Matt Wax-Krell, Ellen Miller, Jeff Friedman, Jon Frank, Nick Nyhart, and Meg Gage.
The two who vied for winning were Monica McHugh and Annie Orgad.
Monica predicted the Nats’ record would be 96-66 (they were 97-65), they would lose in the NLDS (true), and Bryce Harper would be instrumental in their season.
Annie predicted the Red Sox would be 94-68 (they were 93-69), they would lose in the first round of the playoffs (true), and hitting would be a big factor in their season outcome.
Monica McHugh wins this closely ‘fought’ Contest, based on the fact that her submission preceded Annie Orgads’. Monica’s prize is two tickets to a regular season game with her favorite team (details to be negotiated with me).
Land Wayland said:
Since the great majority of my answers were purely ESP derived, it is somehow comforting to realize that all of the contests closed so far have all been won by fans who truly knew a great deal about their team and baseball in general and that skill was still worth something.
This, of course, speaks wordless volumes about the knowledge of the interlocutor and his skill at drafting the questions. Next year I resolve to spend more time and thought in answering at least some of the questions to accord the contest the dignity it deserves but I will still have to depend on ESP to tell me how many triple plays there will be.