There were only two contests this year, and the questions required contestants to answer six questions in the first contest and five in the second. In both contests, it was difficult to declare an outright winner, but here’s what yours truly has decided:
Contest #1: Are you a ‘homer’ or do you really know your team?
If your name is NOT in the following list, consider yourself a ‘homer’:
Ed Scholl, Jesse Maniff, Matt Galati, Larry Longenecker, Brent Schultz, Nicholas Lamanna, Bill Bronwell, Zack Haile, Jim Kilby, Chris Ballard, Dawn Wilson, John Carlson.
Of these 12 who all avoided the ‘homer’ label, it was difficult to choose between the two best submissions.
Matt Galati said the Pirate’s record would be 60-102 (they were 62-100), would be last in their Division (they were), and wouldn’t make the playoffs (they obviously didn’t), and he attributed that to mismanagement, lack of offense, and a weak defense (all true).
Chris Ballard said the Astro’s record would be 97-65 (they were 106-56), said they’d win the AL West (they did), have a first round bye (true), would go to the World Series and win it (true). His eight reasons were detailed and amazingly on target.
And so Matt and Chris share the Winner title for Contest #1, and each will receive a copy of Joe Posnanski’s superb The Baseball 100.
Contest #2: Name the four teams in the LCS, what two teams will make it to the WS, how many games will the WS go, which team will win, and why.
No one shined in this Contest. Brent Schultz did pick the Phillies to make it to the LCS and the WS (where they would lose to the Twins). Pretty good.
Joe Higdon and Chris Ballard (the same guy from Contest #1) had the best overall answers, each getting one of four teams in the LCS, one of two teams in the WS, who would win it all, and pitching being the reason for the victory.
Joe wins as he picked the Astros in six, and his submission was early. Chris loses to Joe as he picked the Astros in seven and, as usual, was late in making his picks.
So Joe gets one ticket to the 2023 World Series.
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See you all again next year when MLB will have instituted some new rules in the hopes of making beisbol more fan friendly.
Winners and Losers of the 2020 MillersTime Baseball Contests
Question #I: Name your favorite team and predict their won-loss record for the 60 games. Will they make the playoffs? Will they make it to the WS? Will they win the WS? Tie-breaker: Name thee Division winners in the AL & NL.
This question is meant to separate the ‘Homers” from those who truly know their teams.
Although the 19 contestants below had some flaws in their assessments of their favorite team, they should not be considered “Homers” but generally good evaluators of their ‘home’ team:
Land Wayland, Jeff Friedman, Rob Higdon, Colin Wilson, Daniel Fischberg, Jimmy 2 Wires, Maury Maniff, Sean Scarlett, Nich Nyhart, Justin Barasso, Tim Malieckal, Tova Wang, Kevin Curtin, Sam Poland, Mat Wax-Krell, Robert & Lynn Shilling, Matt Galati, and Jere Smith.
On the other hand, the following 25 are found wanting in this regard, with particular egregious performances by David Price & Chris Eacho:
Ed Scholl, Joe Higdon, Larry Longenecker, Chris Boutourline, Zach Haile, Todd Endo, Monica McHugh, Elizabeth & Brooke Tilis, Nicholas Lamanna, Andrew & Noah Cate, David Meyers, Romana Campos & Drew, Brian Steinbach, Jesse Maniff, Ellen Miller, Dan Fisher, Ron Davis, Jerome Green, Jon Frank, and Chris Ballard,
Winner and Runners-Up:
Bill Barnwell and Steve Kemp were quite close on their teams’ record and playoff performances. They are declared Runner-Ups and are entitled to a MillersTime Baseball Contest ‘Winner’ T-Shirt (please send size and address).
Dawn Wilson, however, is declared the Winner as she accurately predicted her Dodgers’ record of 43-17 and ultimate WS victory.
Prize: Assuming fans can safely attend games in 2021, Dawn will join me for a Nats’ game of her choice.
Question #II: True / False:
The entire 60 game season will not happen. FALSE
There will be at least one hitter with at least 100 AB who will hit. 400 or higher (submitted by Zach Haile). FALSE (Highest BA was LeMahieu’s .364)
There will be no starting pitcher who wins 10 games or more. TRUE (Darvis & Bieber led with eight wins)
No one will hit more than 23 HRs (submitted by Rob Higdon). TRUE (Volt hit 22)
At least one team in each league will win 42 or more games. FALSE (only the Dodgers who won 43, qualify. The Rays, the next closest, won 40)
One or more games in each of the three Divisions will be played in front of a crowd. FALSE.
Only one Division winner will make it to the World Series. FALSE (Both the Dodgers and the Rays did)
At least one MLB starting pitcher will win eight games or more without a loss and at least one MLB pitcher will lose lose eight games or more without a win. FALSE
Over the course of the 60-game season (or even if the season is shortened), the National League will outscore the American League for the first time in 45 seasons (submitted by Ron Davis). TRUE (NL teams scored 4227 runs, AL scored 4177)
At least one of these teams (Red Sox, Angels, Giants, White Sox will make it to the playoffs. TRUE. (White Sox did)
No one got all 10 questions correct.
Zach Haile, Tom Schultz, Andrew & Noah Cate, Maury Maniff, Justin Barasso, Ron Davis, Matt Galati, Jere Smith, and Bill Barnell all got seven correct.
Ed Scholl, Land Wayland, Daniel Fischberg, Tim Malieckal, Steve Veltri, Ellen Miller, and Sam Poland got eight right.
Chris Boutourline and Doug Wang got nine.
Chris is the Winner as his submission was July 11 at 2:31 PM. Doug’s was July 22 at 11:10 AM, and he is the Runner-Up and is entitled to a MillersTime Baseball Contest ‘Winner’ T-Shirt (please send size and address).
Prize: Assuming there is a season next year, Chris and a friend can join me for a Nats’ game in 2021. If Chris is not able to make it to DC, perhaps I can make it to where he is, and we’ll see a game together.
Contest III: Assuming there is a World Series, name the two teams who will make it to the WS. Which one will win, and in how many games? Tie-Breaker: Which AL or NL Division will have the most wins? Which AL or NL Division Winner will have the least wins?
As we all know now, the World Series featured the two teams with the best 60–game ‘season’ record – Tampa Bay Rays (40-20) and the LA Dodgers (43-17).
Dem Bums (I’m still mad that they left Brooklyn), clearly the stronger team, with their ‘unfortunate’ acquisition of Mookie Betts, broke their 32-year drought of not winning the WS and won in six games.
No MillersTime contestant had both the Rays and Bums as the finalists. (most predicted the Yunkees and Dodgers would make it to the WS). One contestant did have the Rays winning it all, but unfortunately pared them with the Nats. Thirty of you did have the Dodgers as one of the two teams.
So in these circumstances, I looked at the Dodgers in six and the Tie-Breaking questions to come up with a winner. Unfortunately, a number of you either didn’t answer that question or misinterpreted it. The NL West had the most wins, 160. The NL East had the least wins, 118.
Runners-Up (Dodgers in six but lost out on the Tie-Breaker questions): Jeff Friedman, Larry Longenecker, Rob Higdon, Todd Endo, Nicholas Lamanna, Andrew & Noah Cate, Dawn Wilson, Ben Senturia, Bill Barnwell
The Winner is Nick Nyhart who had the Dodgers in six and got one of the two Tie-Breaker questions correct.
Contest #IV: What will be the main takeaways from having a 60-game, or shorter, season?
Lots of terrific submissions (see an early list of Your Predictions). I’ve promised that this Contest would be settled by crowd sourcing from Contest participants. So I’ve picked five of the more than 50 possibilities and ask that you send me your choice for the Winner.
Which ONE of the following five submissions, in your view, should be the main takeaway from the shortened season?
NL Designated Hitter is a good idea that should be permanently adopted.
Play without fans sucks/Fans matter.
They should try the runner on second rule in extra innings during the 162 games season but not in the playoffs.
The 2020 season will forever have an asterisk.
Spouses of baseball fans will not be as aggravated as usual because the season is shorter.
Please send me your answer in an email: Samesty84@gmail.com or put it in the Comment section of this post by Sunday, Nov. 8., and I’ll post the Winner shortly thereafter, tho it may be hard as a number of you had similar potential take-aways.