(**Previously titled: This Is How Stupid I Am About Baseball)
Before I turn to the MillersTime Baseball Contests for 2017 (to be emailed on March 1 and due back to me on April 1), there is one piece of unfinished business I’ve avoided.
Despite the obvious correctness of the message on the T-Shirt above, or maybe as proof of it, I am posting my predictions from last year’s contests and what in fact happened. (Heads up: not a pretty picture.)
Contest #1: Predictions about a favorite team:
A. The 2016 Red Sox win-lose record – 88-74. (FACT: Sox went 93-69 and won the AL East Division.)
B. They will make the playoffs and lose in the ALDS. (Fact: They did lose in the ALDS to the Indians in just three games.)
C. The positive factors for their season will be outfield defense and bullpen efficiency. Starting pitching, although better than 2015, won’t get them to 90 wins. (Fact: Outfield defense was good as was the bullpen, but it was starting pitching and hitting that propelled them as far as they got, before failing them.)
Contest #2: Prediction about something in the 2016 MLB season:
No MLB player will play in all 162 games. (Fact: Three players played in all 162 regular season games – Escobar, Schoop, and Springer.)
A. The top 10 MLB players’ Batting Average will be .319, lower than the .322 in 2015. (Fact: The top ten Batting Averages were higher – .326.)
B. The top 10 MLB players’ OPS Average will be .924, lower than .931 in 2015. (Fact: The top 10 OPS Averages were higher – .966.3)
C. The top 10 MLB pitchers’ Earned Run Average will be 2.33, lower than 2.38 in 2015. (Fact: The top 10 ERAs were higher – 2.74.)
D. The top ten MLB pitchers will win a total of 188 games, higher than 183 games in 2015. (Fact: The ten winning pitchers won a total of 185 games.)
A. Two teams with a combined won/loss record closest to .500 – Philles & Cubbies. (Fact: Indians & Rays = .502)
B. Team with the most won/loss improvement – White Sox. (Fact: Red Sox +15)
C. Pitcher with most relief wins – Mark Melancon will edge out Craig Kimbrel and Trevor Rosenthal. (Fact: Familia – 51)
Contest #5. Who will get the most AL & NL All Star Votes:
AL – David Ortiz and NL – Giancarlo Stanton who will edge out Bryce Harper. (Fact: AL was Salvador Perez and NL was Anthony Rizzo)
Contest #6. What 10 teams make it into the playoffs, which two to the WS and who wins it all?
AL – Kansas City, Houston, Chicago, Boston, Toronto (Fact: Red Sox, Orioles, Blue Jays, Indians, Rangers)
NL – Chicago, San Francisco, St. Louis, NYM, Arizona (Fact: Nationals, Mets, Cubs, Dodgers, Giants)
Cubbies beat Royals (Fact: Cubs best the Indians in seven games)
Extra Credit: Make up a question for the 2016 season and answer it:
Last year the total number of stolen bases in the MLB was 2,505. Will that number increase, stay the same, or decrease? What will that number be?
Decrease – 2,412. (Fact: Increase: 2537)
Respectfully submitted on The Ides of March, 2016 at 6:00 PM.
** ** ** ** ** ** ** **
So, except for partially getting the Red Sox season correct (but underestimating their wins) and choosing the Cubbies to win the World Series (over the wrong team), I was not even close. Hopeless.
And if you’re going to join me for a Nats’ game this season, please do not come hoping to learn anything useful from me.