How dumb are we? (2011 edition)

Before the season began, we—the supposed baseball experts at THT—made our annual preseason predictions. Twenty-two different writers and thinkers made their (or I should say our, as I was one of them) best guesses as to how all six divisions would end up. We weren’t just looking at who would win, but the exact order the teams would place.

Well, that was then, and now the season is over. Let’s compare reality to ourselves and see who did best—and worst. Since this is THT, we’ll quantify it.

If you picked a team to come in first and they finished in first, that’s zero points. If you picked them to come in first, and they came in second, it’s one point. If they came in fifth, that’s four points. You get a point off for every placement you’re wrong. So the goal is to get as low a score as possible.

I tallied things up (with pen an paper, so hopefully I didn’t make many errors), and here’s how (dumb) we are. Below are the ranks from best to worst, not only overall scores, but scores within each division:

Person	       ALE     ALC    ALW     NLE      NLC     NLW	ALL
Ben Pritchett	 5	 6	0	2	 4	 6	 23
Chris Jaffe	 0	10	0	4	 4	 7	 25
Vince Caramela	 2	10	0	4	 4	 8	 28
Brad Johnson	 4	 6	2	2	 8	 6	 28
Greg Simons	 3	 6	2	4	 6	 8	 29
David Wade	 3	 6	2	4	 6	 8	 29
Josh Shepardson	 4	10	2	4	 4	 6	 30
Rory Paap	 4	10	4	4	 4	 6	 32
Mike Clark	 6	 8	0	4	 8	 8	 34
Paul Singman	 8	 6	6	6	 2	 6	 34
Steve Treder	 4	10	2	6	 4	 8	 34
Derek Amrosino	 6	10	2	4	 5	 8	 35
Jonathan Halket	 5	10	2	4	 6	 8	 35
Mat Kovach	 2	10	4	6	 4	10	 36
Bossman Studes	 3	10	2	6	 8	 8	 37
David Gassko	 4	10	6	4	 6	 8	 38
Kevin Lai	 4	 8	4	6	 6	10	 38
Bruce Markusen	 6	 8	4	6	 6	 8	 38
Jeffrey Gross	 6	 8	4	4	 8	10	 40
John Barten	 4	10	4	6	12	 8	 44
Paul Sullivan	 3	12	4	6	 9	10	 44
Maz Marchi	 6	10	6	6	10	 8	 46

All hail Ben Pritchett!

How much does this mean? Not much. After all, I came in second, and I am well aware how random my guesses were. One of the divisions I thought I had a handle on was the AL Central, and I sucked at that. The only good things I can take credit for are knowing not to bet against the Yankees or Tony LaRussa.

Here’s how little I really know about it all: I also predicted the Dodgers to win the World Series. Uh, oops. Well, they did win over half their games this year. Barely.

Ah, that leads us to something else. How did we do predicting the postseason teams? Well, of the eight teams in the postseason, none of us correctly identified them all. Hell, none us predicted the Diamondbacks to still be playing. Or the Cardinals. But a whole bunch of us said Boston and Atlanta.

Several of us tied for the THT lead by correctly guessing the identity of five postseason teams. At the other end, some only got one right.

That’s nothing—seven of us picked a World Series featuring two teams not even in the postseason. Oops. In contrast, only one—count ‘em, one—writer correctly said the World Series would feature two teams that actually made the playoffs. Take a bow, Brad Johnson and your pick of Tampa Bay defeating Philadelphia. All the rest of us had at least one team sitting at home in our World Series picks.

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Great story. It really makes you realize that pre-game banter that we all tune in for is a bunch of malarky. Last night, almost everybody predicted the Red Sox and Yankees results wrong, and that was just the current 1 night. Predicting 162? C’mon.

This is why you need to play the games. And this is why pro athletes don’t tune in to talk radio. It’s meaningless, and almost always completely wrong. Only weatherman are less accurate.

jeffrey gross
jeffrey gross

Well, at least i (probably) predicted the AL Cy Young right!

I was truly awful in my predictions this year, largely because of my love for the Jays and A’s, hate for the Yankees pitching staff, and belief in Adam Dunn.

Mat Kovach
Mat Kovach

I’m surprised I did that well! I would like to note:

The Indians were in it far longer than most expected.

Ozzie WAS fired (but not hired by the Royals)

I *did* have the Rays in the playoffs and the Red Sox out.

Paul Francis Sullivan
Paul Francis Sullivan

Yeeee Haw!

Brad Johnson
Brad Johnson

I wish I had read this before submitting my postseason picks…

Brad Johnson
Brad Johnson

Oh and I will take that bow now.

I’d also like to highlight that “One T” Kovach ranked just 1.5 points worse than the median. I recall some particularly pointed ridiculing of his picks.

Lastly, I’d like to point out what I did there, ” I stole the “Mat” but give him back his T (and three more letters too). Cheers T.