03/30/2005: Honor! Glory! Prizes!
Baseball Prospectus is sponsoring a couple of contests this season which look interesting.
First, there's Predictatron:
GOALAnd for the diehard, does-the-calculations-in-her/his-sleep stathead, there's HACKING MASS:
To predict - as accurately as possible - the outcome of the 2005 season. Using the official ballot, predict the number of victories for each major league team in the year 2005, which teams will meet in the Divisional Series, League Championship Series, World Series and which team will be the World Champion. Your selections as to which teams will make the playoffs cannot contradict the standings in your predicted season! (For instance, you cannot predict a team to finish third in their division with 72 victories and have them in your playoff bracket.)
HACKING MASS is a contest to try and predict the worst/most offensive players in the upcoming season. HACKING MASS stands for Huckabay's Annual Call to Keep Immobility Next to Godliness: Maximus Aggregatus Stiffisimus Sensire.The basic rules (there are a few details that you should familiarize yourself with if you decide to participate) are fairly simple; you just have to pick the best lineup based on these rules:
Your ten players will be:And if you win either contest, you get Some Really Cool Stuff: $500 and a mint-condition, signed, framed photo reproduction of Commissioner of Major League Baseball Bud Selig ("Photo and signature are a 'preprinted' reproduction, whatever that means. We'll let you know when the item we bought off ebay arrives.").
Simply pick the players who you think will be the stiffest at each position. A team's aggregate stiffness is measured by summing the ESPN (Exuded Stiff Points, Net) of all of the players on your team. For hitters, ESPN is 0.800, minus his OBP, minus his SLG, and multiplied by plate appearances - i.e., (.8-OPS)*PA. For pitchers, the formula is the pitcher's ERA, minus 4.00, times his innings pitched, divided by three, or (ERA-4)*IP/3. This results in similar Stiffness scores for the firmest hitters and pitchers.
- one each at catcher and each infield position (5 players)
- one at each outfield position (3 players)
- two pitchers (2 players)
In each case, it isn't enough for a player to simply suck; somehow the Stiffest of the Stiff must find a way to remain in the lineup or rotation. Possession of incriminating photos of managers and GMs, telekinesis of ink onto lineup cards, large contracts that need justification, and ties to the underworld can all be important attributes of your players besides their lack of hitting and pitching talent.
Sure beats the hell out of an NCAA tournament pool. How can A True Baseball Fan Resist?
Len on 03.30.05 @ 03:50 PM CST