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Congratulations to Scott Lucas who emerged the victor in the 2003 Batter's Box Predictions Contest.

There were 39 entries in the challenge issued in the March 25 post Throwing Down the Gauntlet.

You can see the full results in this Excel spreadsheet -- there are three pages to it, one called "Results" in which we learn, well, the results of the challenge; one called "Standings" in which we see everyone's predictions for the division winners, playoffs and World Series; and one called "Awards" which, hard as it may be to believe, outlines everyone's predictions for the major post-season award winners. Note: except for the "Results" document, the entries are listed in order of when posted.

Just a few observations ...

The Box really knows its American League teams, anyway, as the consensus pick for all three divisions actually won the division -- Oakland drew 31 of 39 picks in the West, while Minnesota grabbed 23 in the Central and New York 27 in the East. Boxers also nailed at least a plurality in the AL Wild Card, as the most common selection, with 16, was Boston.

The National League was a slightly different story, though the Box choice for the West was San Francisco with 27 of 39 picks, while eventual East winner Atlanta managed a tie with Philadelphia with 17 picks each. Over in the Central, a majority (20) of Boxers selected St. Louis, while 15 tabbed Houston and just three -- including your humble scribe, ahem -- nailed the Cubbies as eventual winners.

The NL Wild Card drew nine different teams as predicted winners, with Arizona (14) leading the pack while eventual World Champ Florida was selected by ... ah ... erm ... exactly nobody. The Arizona total of 14 comes with a Marisian asterisk as pistol managed to select the D-Backs to win both the West and the Wild Card of which, of course, they did neither.

With nobody tabbing Florida to make the playoffs, you can see where scores were pretty screwed at that point. The plurality NL champ was San Francisco (12), while Philadelphia, Houston and Arizona were each selected six times. Over the AL, Oakland (17) and Boston (10) were the favored choices while the Yankees were, probably out of sheer spite, named just four times -- the same number of times as the Twins.

Thirteen different teams were picked as the eventual World Series winner, including one vote for an Anaheim repeat and stalwart fans who chose the Dodgers and Mets to win it all.

The Box apparently also knows its MVP votes, as pluralities went to Alex Rodriguez (14) and Barry Bonds (15), the eventual winners. In the NL, Lance Berkman and Vladimir Guerrero didn't really live up to the hype (five votes each) but Albert Pujols stepped up to validate his four mentions. In the AL, Manny Ramirez was a solid second with nine mentions, while Eric Chavez presumably convinced the five people who named him as the future winner never to try that again. Shannon Stewart received no mentions.

Boxers played it safe with the Cy Young voting as Pedro Martinez (22) and Randy Johnson (20) were the pre-season selections. While Eric Gagne received no votes -- in fact, no reliever in either league did -- eventual AL winner Roy Halladay tied with Tim Hudson for second in AL selections with five each. The solid number two selection in the NL was 10-game winner Roy Oswalt, who battled injuries.

The eventual Rookies of the Year in both leagues went completely unrecognized in Box voting as Dontrelle Willis (and Brandon Webb, for that matter) and Angel Berroa received no picks. The leader in the AL was Hideki Matsui with 26, while the NL leader -- ironic given recent conversation -- was Hee Seop Choi with 10. Other prominent mentions went to Mark Teixeira (7) and Travis Hafner (4) in the AL and Marlon Byrd (8) and Brandon Larson (6) in the NL. So, Boxers apparently have a real keen eye for young talent.

As for the actual results, a perfect score of 152 remained just out of reach of most Boxers, as Lucas won going away with a final total of 55. We didn't need to go to the tie-breaker (how many combined games will the Tigers, Orioles, D-Rays and Royals lose in 2003), but for the record the final actual total of 388 was nailed by three people -- Craig B., jacko and Steve Z.

The average entry score was 30.5, so the most average entrants were Gitz (30), Spicol (30), Mike Moffatt (31) and jason (31).

Who's holding up the final standings from the bottom? The Detroit Tigers of the Box, with nine points, is our own Jordan Furlong, who finished one point better than 10-point scorer Kent Williams. Ladies and gentlemen, your Coach and GM.

On the other hand, Robert Dudek (49 and tied for second) and Craig Burley (42) did the ZLC proud -- relatively speaking. The average entry score for the ZLC was 28.4, so Box readers basically beat the living hell out of ZLC predictors, though if we were to randomly remove the two lowest scores from the ZLC, not naming any names, that score would improve to 34.3, not nearly in Scott Lucas country, but a bit more respectable.

Comments? This is a contest which features the New York Mets being chosen as World Series champs, two selections of Pat Burrell as NL MVP and a love-fest for NL Rookies Who Didn't Really Pan Out. Surely there are comments?
Great Scott! Lucas Wins Predictions Contest | 22 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
Pepper Moffatt - Thursday, November 27 2003 @ 12:56 PM EST (#33022) #
HA HA. I beat Gitz! :)

I can't seem to download your spreadsheet. Do you have the URL correct? I'm really curious to know how many people did worse than a girl (Hannah). Particularly one who picked the Dodgers to win the World Series because she "liked Brooklyn's chances".


Coach - Thursday, November 27 2003 @ 01:13 PM EST (#33023) #
Ladies and gentlemen, your Coach and GM.

Humbled again. Scott also kicked our butts in the BBFL. Well done, Mr. Lucas; that dual championship gives you some serious bragging rights.

I knew I'd eventually have to live down those picks. What can I say? I had a vision about the Mariners and thought the Unit and Curt were indestructible. The tea leaves lied.
Gerry - Thursday, November 27 2003 @ 01:17 PM EST (#33024) #
Top score of 36% shows how tough it is to predict a season. That's what makes each season so interesting.

We know what happens to major league GM's and coaches who don't perform. What happens to Da Boxes equivalents?
_Mick - Thursday, November 27 2003 @ 01:22 PM EST (#33025) #
Mike, it's displaying fine for me (obviously, or I wouldn't have posted the link) but this may be one of those Microsoft Evil Universe-Ruling things. Since it's a plain Excel doc uploaded, I'm guessing if you're not using a PC platform and an MSIE Web browser, it might not load.

I tried saving it as an HTML document but that did Bad Things to my interface. Anyone who can access it and knows how to redisplay it appropriately, be my guest.

Otherwise, I will try again tomorrow as the save-as-table-then-import-to-HTML-then-FTP-then-change-the-link method cannot be accomplished in the 12 minutes before my in-laws get here.
Pepper Moffatt - Thursday, November 27 2003 @ 01:26 PM EST (#33026) #
I'm on Windows XP, so that can't be it. I'm just getting one of those "Cannot find server" errors.

If would only take you a few seconds, could you cut and paste the rankings into a message?


_Spicol - Thursday, November 27 2003 @ 01:33 PM EST (#33027) #
I'm average.

When will it end?
_Jonny German - Thursday, November 27 2003 @ 01:52 PM EST (#33028) #
It's a fix! Mick didn't want to mail the prize out of state!
_Shrike - Thursday, November 27 2003 @ 02:17 PM EST (#33029) #
I suck. A score of 22, albeit with a tie-breaker over 400.
_Cristian - Thursday, November 27 2003 @ 02:18 PM EST (#33030) #
I nailed the NL trifecta picking San Fran, Chicago, and Atlanta to win their divisions. I even went one better and picked the NL Wild Card to win the World Series.

Unfortunately my NL Wild Card pick wasn't the Fish but the 98-loss San Diego Padres.
Craig B - Thursday, November 27 2003 @ 04:01 PM EST (#33031) #
The Tiller also did the ZLC proud, as he finished in front of me. I was very pleased to hit the tiebreaker question, but it did me no good... I didn't finish tied with anyone!
_King Rat - Thursday, November 27 2003 @ 04:30 PM EST (#33032) #

I got every AL pick, then got everything else wrong. Even the MVPs, which seem obvious in retrospect. Coupled with my 16th place finish in the BBFL, it's increasingly obvious that I am the Baltimore Orioles of Batters Box-bad, and not even an interesting bad.
Pepper Moffatt - Thursday, November 27 2003 @ 04:40 PM EST (#33033) #
I seem to be the only one having technical trouble. Weird.

Can someone e-mail the Excel file to ? I'll be your best friend for life!


_Matthew Elmslie - Thursday, November 27 2003 @ 04:54 PM EST (#33034) #
I also couldn't see the file. Windows ME; IE 6. So it's not just you.
_Donkit R.K. - Thursday, November 27 2003 @ 06:10 PM EST (#33035) #
I'm not seeing the file. I'm getting that same "Cannot Find Server" error.
_Scott Lucas - Thursday, November 27 2003 @ 06:39 PM EST (#33036) #

Spreadsheet loads fine for me. On a Win2k with IE6.
_Donkit R.K. - Thursday, November 27 2003 @ 07:36 PM EST (#33037) #
Looking back (I guess the point totals for correct answers never changed) I scored 46 points with six fairly safe predictions. I got the AL Divisions and Pennant correct. I also got the NL East, West, and MVP right. So , I guess I did fairly well for myself!

BTW - I psoted my entry as "Daniel MacKinnon"
_gid - Thursday, November 27 2003 @ 08:53 PM EST (#33038) #
Folks who can't reach the original copy of the spreadsheet, try here.
_Jordan - Thursday, November 27 2003 @ 09:25 PM EST (#33039) #
Does this mean I get a first-round draft choice next year?

Wow, what a horrible, horrible performance. I'm getting my keister kicked in my NFL pools and fantasy football too, so this clearly is not my year for predictions. Among my howlers: NL MVP Shawn Green and NL ROY Joe Thurston. See, this is what happens when I try to be cute.

I'm writing this whole year off as a bad dream and putting a pillow over my head. G'night, everybody.
Pistol - Saturday, November 29 2003 @ 11:23 PM EST (#33040) #
I finished tied for 2nd and I picked the Diamondbacks to win the NL West and NL wild card. Oy.

I know I meant to have the Giants in the playoffs, just not sure if it was the WC or Division. I think I had Arizona with the division first, and changed my mind to the Giants, but forgot to change that before I submitted it. 5 extra points still would have put me in 2nd so my boneheadedness didn't end up meaning much (besides revealing my idiocy).
_Donkit R.K. - Sunday, November 30 2003 @ 05:01 PM EST (#33041) #
Anyone feel like telling me where my 46 points placed me? I can't see the spreadsheet.
Pistol - Sunday, November 30 2003 @ 05:29 PM EST (#33042) #
Anyone feel like telling me where my 46 points placed me? I can't see the spreadsheet

7th out of 39
_Donkit R.K. - Sunday, November 30 2003 @ 05:59 PM EST (#33043) #
Thank you
Great Scott! Lucas Wins Predictions Contest | 22 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.