We have entered the most boring part of the year for a baseball fan. The season is long over, and the once-sizzling hot stove has been reduced to embers. We have nothing to occupy us except what-if scenarios and trade talk. This is the time of year that leads actual paid writers to write things like "Club relying on starters to stay healthy all season long."
Seriously, if that's what the Cubs are relying on, I'm out of here.
But fear not - there is a cure for boredom, and it comes from a non-baseball source. We're going to spend the next month predicting how the Cubs will do this season.
And by "we," I mean "you." I'm just about to start reading "The Wisdom of Crowds"
by New Yorker business writer James Surowiecki. His basic thesis is this:
large groups of people are smarter than an elite few, no matter how brilliantóbetter at solving problems, fostering innovation, coming to wise decisions, even predicting the future.
It's a provocative idea, and we're going to put it to the test. There are 36 days before pitchers and catchers report for Spring Training. Over that period of time we, the Cub Reporter community, are going to predict the 2006 stats for the Cubs.
Here's how it's going to work: Every day, a new player will be up for prediction. Email what you think that player's stats will be for the 2006 season to me. I'll collate all the answers and determine what the TCR community thinks that player will do.
It's just that simple! Feel free to post/discuss your predictions in the comments, though I will only use predictions which come to me via email
. I'll do this for two reasons. First, it'll be a lot easier for me to keep track of them that way. Second, one of Surowiecki's conjectures is that it's important that the people in the crowd "need to be independent, so that they pay attention mostly to their own information, and not worrying about what everyone around them thinks." I was going to say not to discuss your predictions in the comments at all, but that hardly seems fair, so all I'm going to suggest is that you refrain from posting/discussing them until you've actually sent them in to me. That way you won't be swayed by what other people think might happen.
I'll post the results when pitchers and catchers report. I'll also keep track of each individual prediction, and we should be able to get some nice prizes to people who come closest to nailing any specific player's prediction.
I'd like these predictions to go beyond just the basic average, homers and RBIs. For offensive players, please give your prediction of:
* Games played
* Home runs
* Runs batted in
* Runs scored
* Stolen bases
For pitchers, please give your prediction of:
* Games pitched
* Games started
* Innings pitched
* Hits allowed
* Earned runs allowed
* Home runs allowed
I'll post the first player later today. So sharpen your pencils, polish your crystal balls, make sure your PECOTAs are properly adjusted, and prepare to prognosticate!