Saturday, May 09, 2009

You could be a part time model

Decided just now to start a Flight of the Conchords based running post.

The most beautiful girl in the room can either be the best player on a terrible or unsung team. It can also be the best performance by a player on a losing team.

For the latter, let's start with Cliff Lee's Friday night. 8 innings, 1 run, and the loss because the Indians couldn't muster a run against Justin Verlander.

Here's some great or good players on bad or untalked about teams:

Nick Markakis, OF Baltimore Orioles
31 R (1st in AL), 29 RBI (4th in AL), .342 BA
If he played for 3 of the 4 other teams in the AL East, he would be an all-star. In Baltimore, he's mostly forgotten about except in fantasy circles.

Freddy Sanchez, 2B Pittsburgh Pirates
.301 career batting average. Never an RBI machine, but he's scored over 70 R in each of his last 3 seasons. Keeps coming out and hitting no matter than the Pirates have lost 90 some games every year he's been with them.

Med Mania

Generally, I don't care too much about performance enhancing drug stories and try not to say much about them (which is easy when I never write blog entries). However, with all the hoopla surrounding Manny's 50 game suspension, I think there's an angle that's been missed.

Manny indicated that he's been tested many times since 2003, the year, evidently, that steroids were invented. Other things Manny has done since 2003:

Won 2 World Series with the Red Sox.
Hit a crap-ton of doubles and singles (and several home runs).
Asked to be traded from Boston on roughly 9 separate occasions (at least one of which was during the World Series).
Turned down a $45 million contract before eventually "winning" by signing... a $45 million contract.
Turned a bunch of doubles into singles and singles into ground outs by walking down to first.

So here's my thought. Does anyone else think that Manny may have intentionally took a small about of a banned substance so he could sit out for 50 games and do whatever it is he does when he's not playing baseball?

I can't shake the thought. I think he took a weird drug, in a small amount. And then reminded us that he could have passed the drug test if he had wanted. I mean, what does Manny actually want? He wanted a huge payday from the Dodgers because it was more like Cleveland than Boston (still confused on that). He wants to play when it matters. He does not like playing every day. So the way to keep himself fresh was either to sit down and walk out grounders and complain on the bench about something.

Or... Take a pill and get a month and a half off.

Monday, May 04, 2009

Predictions Revisited

I'm planning something cool (read math related and not really cool for people who don't do math in their spare time) for this week regarding end of season results based on April records, but that's actual content and takes time. In the mean time, enjoy my terrible, terrible predictions from before the season.

AL East (Average Spots Off = 2)
Preseason Picks 5/4 Morning
Yankees Blue Jays
Rays Red Sox
Red Sox Yankees
Orioles Rays
Blue Jays Orioles

How bad are my predictions looking? Well, I thought that Yankees, Red Sox, and Rays would be battling it out. However, the Blue Jays are one of two teams that are in the opposite position of my prediction (last to first or first to last). Of the 6 divisions, my average spots off here were the second highest only to:

AL Central (Average Spots Off = 2.4)
Preseason Picks 5/4 Morning
Indians Royals
Twins Tigers
Tigers White Sox
Royals Twins
White Sox Indians

The Indians were my other complete mis-pick, but hey, at least I knew it was a homer call. What I really didn't expect was for the non-Indians in the central to all be within 2 games of each other.

AL West (Average Spots Off = 1)
Preseason Picks 5/4 Morning
Angels Mariners
Mariners Rangers
Rangers Angels
Athletics Athletics

The AL West was the best by my made up, completely meaningless metric of average spots off. I believe this is at least partially affect by there only being 4 spots, so less possible deviation. Basically, the Angels are underperforming to my expectations, but the rest of the order remains the same.

NL East (Average Spots Off = 1.2)
Preseason Picks 5/4 Morning
Mets Marlins
Phillies Phillies
Braves Braves
Marlins Mets
Nationals Nationals

Despite my made up metric (mmmmmmmm), the NL East looks the best for me, as 3 of 5 are in the right position with the Mets and Marlins just flipping spots. I'll take it.

NL Central (Average Spots Off = 1.7)
Preseason Picks 5/4 Morning
Cubs Cardinals
Brewers Reds
Reds Cubs
Cardinals Brewers
Astros Pirates
Pirates Astros

Opposite issue of the AL West where the number is probably inflated because of the presence of 6 teams instead of the normal 5. The only real surprise here are the Cardinals strutting (though I suppose the Cubs underperforming is the second part of that).

NL West (Average Spots Off = 1.2)
Preseason Picks 5/4 Morning
Diamondbacks Dodgers
Dodgers Giants
Giants Diamondbacks
Rockies Padres
Padres Rockies

No one cares about the NL West.

In summation: Overall, I was an average of 1.6 spots off, which sounds small except being off by 1.6 of 5 means I was closer to being 2 spots off than correctly guessing or being 1 spot off.

# of spots off # of teams
0 4
1 12
2 8
3 4
4 2

If I randomly selected each teams placement, while ignoring every other teams placement, I would have a 20% chance of guessing the placement correctly. To this point, I have correctly predicted 4 of 30 teams, or .13%. Not good. However, if you include the teams that are 1 spot off (and I do because it makes me feel better) then I predicted 16 of 30, 53%. Not bad.

Assuming there could be ties (which is possible, sort of), then I could randomly get the place of every team in a division 0.032% of the time. The math here doesn't really work, but I'll leave it to someone else to point out why.