Monday, October 17, 2011


Never thought this would be happening in mid-August.

Cards in five.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

2011 Start Wedman MVP Voting

Time to show our support for the democratic system around here again and decide who ultimately deserves the MVP. Since our opinions are just as dumb as those of the typical BBWAA member, I like to think that last year's winners, Jose Bautista and Joey Votto, were more honored to receive our first inaugural MVP award. And once again, shenanigans are about to be had.

The process remains the same as last year with the writers of this great site contributing their votes and Fangraphs offering a WAR buffer vote to counteract any Steve Bartman-esque nominations. The only difference is that there were only four voters instead of five this year. First place votes will be in parentheses next to the player.

We pride ourselves in being gentlemen through and through here at Start Wedman, so we will allow the oldest (and worst) of the two leagues to go first. And the 2011 Start Wedman NL MVP award goes to...

1 Matt Kemp (4) 47
2 Ryan Braun (1) 43
3 Justin Upton 27
4 Roy Halladay 25
5 Albert Pujols 19
6 Joey Votto 17
7 Jose Reyes 15
8 Clayton Kershaw 12
9 Lance Berkman 12
10 Troy Tulowitzki 8
11 Bruce Chen 8
12 Cameron Maybin 6
13 Dan Uggla 5
14 Cliff Lee 5
15 Prince Fielder 5
16 Starlin Castro 5
17 Emilio Bonifacio 3
18 Logan Morrison 3
19 Brandon Phillips 2
20 Michael Morse 2
21 Nyjer Morgan 2
22 Shane Victorino 1
23 Rick Ankiel 1
24 Michael Bourn 1
25 Andrew McCutchen 1

After leading the Dodgers to a season one game above break-even, Matt Kemp has taken the award with his off the charts season. I was the only one who slotted Braun above Kemp, mainly because I believe that his season mattered more since he was on a playoff team not cleaning up against the scrubs of the NL West. Plus, I don't see Kemp as the type of person who would be able to endure this sort of joking around. And that's what I ultimately want in an MVP candidate - a bro with a sense of humor.

Although the biggest item to note is that Bruce Chen received 8 points despite never donning an NL uniform this year. But I allowed the vote to stand, unlike Fangraphs. Democracy rules!

Let's see how Chen fairs in the AL MVP vote. Could he take home the award?

1 Jose Bautista (2) 40
2 Jacoby Ellsbury (1) 39
3 Miguel Cabrera 34
4 Justin Verlander (1) 28
5 Curtis Granderson 25
6 Dustin Pedroia 18
7 Ian Kinsler 16
8 Bruce Chen 11
9 Josh Hamilton (1) 10
10 Michael Young 10
11 CC Sabathia 7
12 Melky Cabrera 7
13 Ben Zobrist 5
14 Adam Jones 5
15 Adrian Gonzalez 5
16 Brandon Allen 4
17 Paul Konerko 4
18 Adam Dunn 3
19 Alex Gordon 2
20 Coco Crisp 1
22 James Shields 1

Well, fiddlesticks. Sorry, Bruce Chen; so close though with your 8th place finish. Instead, Jose Bautista takes home his second straight Start Wedman AL MVP award by another single point, over Jacoby Ellsbury this time.

And once again, the AL voting has been lampooned by our quality writers. First, Josh Hamilton received one single first place vote, which amounted to his only vote; I hope something similar happens in the real MVP voting sometime. Despite all the hype, Start Wedman clearly does not support Justin Verlander's bid to Eckersley the awards this year. Brandon Allen is flattered. Alex Gordon's vote is actually not a joke vote; he was tenth in WAR this year in the American League. And finally, Adam Dunn probably did have the greatest impact of any one player on his team's season, so he receives his deserving points.

Congratulations once again to Jose Bautista as well as newcomer to the MVP posse, Matt Kemp. I would love to get you two awards and send them your way, but this blog kind of fails to create revenues for itself.

Better luck next year, Bruce Chen!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Pointless Analysis, Part 2 of likely 4

Now that the season has fully wrapped up, the time has come to apply some more Pointless Analysis. Luckily, this time, I will refrain from jinxing any remaining teams, sorry Braves and Red Sox.

Today's session is a nice and easy appetizer for the more intense waste of time I will bother with in the next two posts. Two quick comparisons of my previous, early season predictions to the finalized standings, in order of final win/loss record find their way to the menu today. The two main reasons for this are to one, figure out well my process predicting the final standings, and two, add to the pointlessness of this entire endeavor since baseball's unbalanced schedule makes a one through thirty ranking of the teams' records fairly pointless.

When I ultimately compared the final standings to my original predictions, here are the five biggest winners and losers based on the number of rankings spots they jumped or fell, respectively:

1. Arizona Diamondbacks +21
2. Milwaukee Brewers +17
3. Detroit Tigers +14
4. Cleveland Indians +12
5. Toronto Blue Jays +9

1. Minnesota Twins -19
T2. Colorado Rockies -17
T2. Chicago White Sox -17
T4. San Diego Padres -14
T4. Baltimore Orioles -14

In addition, the "worst player" process correctly predicted the final standings of three teams (Astros, Angels, and Rays). When looking at the losers are winners, for the most part, the most surprising teams (Diamondbacks, Indians, Blue Jays) and biggest disappointments (Twins, Rockies, White Sox) overall based on anyone's initial predictions all make an appearance. So the "worst player" ranking system was unable to identify those unexpected results. The system also proves that no matter his best efforts, Mark Kotsay was unable to hold back the Brewers this year.

For the second course, I decided to take the ultimate WAR rankings of my "worst players" and compare those to the final rankings as well, just to check and see if the players I chose held some sort of magic theory that could predict the final win/loss standings. Much to my surprise, that also failed.

Here are the biggest winners and losers using that method of comparison:

1. Tampa Bay Rays (Dan Johnson, funny enough) +23
2. St. Louis Cardinals (Miguel Batista) +21
3. Philadelphia Phillies (Pete Orr) +20
4. Arizona Diamondbacks (Melvin Mora) +18
5. Detroit Tigers (Carlos Guillen) +17

1. Houston Astros (Carlos Lee) -29
2. Baltimore Orioles (Derrek Lee) -23
3. Minnesota Twins (Jim Thome) -20
4. New York Mets (Chris Capuano) -17
T5. Colorado Rockies (Jason Giambi) -15
T5. Oakland Athletics (David DeJesus) -15

One team came out spot on with no difference at all, the Atlanta Braves with Brooks Conrad. Again, there is a slight, but unsurprising trend. The good teams with terrible years from their "worst players" jumped into the winners category while bad teams with (relatively) great years from their "worst players" fell into the losers category. I am also constantly amazed at how Carlos Lee and the Astros keep screwing everything up since Lee posted a 3.2 WAR, which actually was the highest on the dead last Astros team. I think that if it wasn't for him and his terrible team, things would be far more stabilized.

Hopefully these two quick bits of analysis wet your pallet for the rest of the Pointless Analysis that will follow in the next week or so. Stay tuned.