Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Numbers Don't Lie: The World Series Foretold

Like Sam, I'm totally stoked for the start of baseball season. In a little less than two weeks, I'll be in the bleachers of the new Yankee stadium eating overpriced snacks and watching Grady battle Robbie on the Jumbotron (these are $5 seats, so I'm keeping my expectations low). I'll be sure take detailed notes for a post-game blog analysis.

Additionally, I have an exciting group venture proposal to make. It involves unlimited hot dogs and our (collective) name in lights. Details forthcoming.

In the meantime, here is the much delayed summary of my pre-season attractiveness rankings. There are tons of statistical categories by which traditional baseball analysts assess and compare different teams and players, but Sam and I have really blazed a trail with our aesthete-metrics (or Grady-metrics, if you'd rather). Here's a quick overview of my methodology: each week, I focused on a specific division and rated each individual player's MLB Fantasy mugshot on a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 denoting extreme optical offensiveness and 10 being the opposite of that. Each team was given a ranking based on the average score of their mugshot ratings.

As in real baseball, the American League did better than the National League. But not by much:

In the above graph (crappy Excel screenshot...sorry), division leaders are highlighted in blue for the American League and in red for the National League. Interestingly, while the three NL division leaders are clustered together at the top of their league, there's a bit of distance between the best teams from the AL East, West and Central. Good lord, what's happening out in the grain belt? Grady Sizemore must tower over his fellow Midwesterners like a gigantic, radiant king amongst trolls. Here's the list again, with divisional averages (winners in blue and peach):

The NL actually fares better than the AL, here. Although the AL East leads all of the other divisions by a strong margin, the NL West and the NL Central rank higher than their AL counterparts by about 0.3 points each. Here's how the playoffs would look:

AL Divisional Series: Indians v. Mariners; Yankees v. Orioles (WC)

It's pretty funny to note that, true to life, the wild card goes to the second place team in the AL East.

NL Divisional Series: Brewers v. Mets; Dodgers v. Giants (WC)

AL Championship Series: Yankees v. Mariners

NL Championship Series: Dodgers v. Mets

WORLD SERIES: Yankees v. Dodgers
(I'm not going to be obnoxious, so I'll let the Dodgers win one game instead of predicting a full-blown NYY sweep).

Ladies and gentlemen, as if there were ever any doubts, your 2009 World Series champions (not to be confused with your 2009 World Baseball Classic champions) are the NEW YORK YANKEES. [cue confetti, champagne, Jock Jams]

Here's how all of the teams stacked up:

Apparently, there hasn't been a Jock Jams or related-spinoff CD since 2000. Perhaps we should make our own Third Base or Bust Jock Jams compilation? Reeeeeeeee-mix!!!!!!!!!!!!!


  1. two things and a warning about a third:

    1. my boys (the brewers, of course) would never be taken by the dodgers in a beauty contest. i will defend this statement below.

    2. I'm all for making your own rules, but want to point out that the dodgers can't play the giants in round one of the nlds. they're both in the nl west, and even though you rank the dodgers #1 in the nl (fallacy!) and the giants take the wild card, because they're in the same division, the dodgers would play the mets and the brew crew would kick the collective giants' ass. (you make the same mistake in the first round of the alds, but who the f cares about the american league? losers, all of them!)

    back to #1 -
    you're totally correct about mat gamel, ryan braun, and prince fielder being really, really attractive. i see no numerical rankings for them, so i'm not sure if you've given them enough credit... so my argument that the dodgers are uglier than the brewers actually rests on the lack of mention of one player, best known as J.J. "i look more like a movie star than a baseball player" Hardy. i have witnessed multiple women proposing to him - grown married women as well as young girls. the first time i saw him in person i almost fainted. and he's not my type - at all. but you cannot deny the aura of attractiveness that radiates from his perfect features! i don't know where you got your pictures, but that boy is in an attractiveness league of his own.

    you obviously cannot have assessed him correctly, as he is more attractive than mat gamel, prince fielder, and ryan braun combined!! if he was only given the ranking he deserves, i'm certain that the brewers would get the edge on the dodgers.

    i won't even start on dave bush's mustache, except to share something MBC once said - "if george w. bush had a mustache as great as dave bush's mustache, he wouldn't be a half bad president."

    warning about a third thing: all of my baseball crushes are based on body types and style, which you're clearly overlooking, and you're especially overlooking derek jeter's number one flaw: tapered pants. he might not be half bad, if it wasn't for those ugly pants.

  2. This guy?!

  3. thank you, jenni, for providing an image of a particularly whorish looking girl who is clearly proposing to J.J. Hardy, thus proving my point. he attracts all kinds.

    i was going to look for pictures as a counter-argument, but got distracted by ryan braun.

  4. RYAN BRAUN IS HOT. That's one thing I won't contest.