Atticus Ryan, of Amsterdam, Netherlands, has won the 2003 Baseball Predictions by 34 points over Mike Gonzalez, columnist for the Arizona Republic. Atticus first took the lead on May 9th and was never lower than second the rest of the way. He held a fifteen point lead at the All-Star break and was not challenged in the second half of the season. Atticus had the dynamite combination of Oak/Seat in the AL West, the Mets last in the NL East and the Giants first in the NL West. All three were extending their respective gaps in the closing days of the season as Atticus doubled his lead in the last two weeks of the season.
This is Atticus' third year in the game. He was 12th in 2001 and 7th last year and he is also our new Cum Stats leader as well. He is the second straight Ryan to win the game- his father, John Ryan (62) won last year- and confirms a theory first advanced last year. Clearly, the view from abroad is better.
There were only three different leaders
this year and just three lead changes- none after mid-June- down
from twelve and twenty-two, respectively in 2002. A.W. West (3)
was the leader when the standing were first computed on May 1st.
Atticus Ryan took the lead on May 9th and held the lead for all
but one day- June 19th- when Mike Gonzalez held a two point lead.The
standings were computed 45 times and Atticus led 42 of 45 times.
I could have computed the standings more often (88 times in 2002)
but there didn't seem to be much point in it and Atticus took
all of the fun out of it. His 34 point winning margin was the
biggest since Mark Martinelli (12) won by 46 points in 1998.
Below is a list of the top picks in each division. There were
138 correct division scores this season, including 83 in the AL
East and thirty in the AL West. Mike Gonzalez (2) and Bob Finnigan
(13) got the entire American League correct. Twenty-eight other
players managed to get two divisions correct including those listed
in the AL East plus Don Ketchum (6) and Greg Skruch (75). This
is suppose to be a listing of the top ten in each division but
I have listed all the players with at least two correct division
scores, including 28 players in the AL East as well as all 30
players in the AL West and a 19 way tie in the NL West so we have
just a few more than just the top ten.
Keys: The keys (10 pts or more) to our individual performance this year are listed by a single letter code next to each player's score. These keys are listed and defined on a separate page. Under Code: caps indicate positive or good keys, while lower case indicate negative of bad keys. The approximate value is the amount of points saved or added to our scores. To determine the importance and value of each key, look at the final standings and find the significant gaps, for example, in the AL East, Toronto finished 15 games ahead of Baltimore. Then compare the keys to the consensus. The Toronto/Baltimore key (/o) adds 30 points to the 49 players that missed this key. The most important keys were Cleveland in the AL Central valued at 30 points, Seattle in the AL West valued at 32 points and San Francisco in the NL West valued at 31 points.
Thirty-five players failed to pick the Detroit
last in the AL Central where the Tigers finished 25 games behind
the Indians It could have been worse as the Tigers, after losing
nine straight, won five of there last seven games. This was a
deadly prediction and the best that any of these 35 players could
manage was Baseball Digest in 51st place.
Cum Stats: List below are the top ten player CumStats, 3 years or more and ten years or more. This year's winner, Atticus Ryan, is our new CumStats leader with a three year average of 3.68%. He holds a 14.7% lead over Gordon Edes. Gerry Hamilton (43) retained the lead among veteran players and now holds a 5.2% lead over Dudley Michael (88).
Best Prior: The last two columns of the final standings represent the best finish for each player through 2002. This is a weighted value. For example, it is better to finish 20th against over 200 players than to finish 10th against less than 100 players. There were eleven past winners in this year's game. Bob Thomas (9/W82) was the highest finisher among those players.
Trivia: This year there were eighteen father/son combinations. The dads won ten of eighteen. Gene Slagle beat all three of his sons to go 3-0 after going 0-3 last year. There were six husband/wife combinations and the husbands won four of six. There were seven brother combinations and in every case a brother won.
We experienced another drop in the participation this year, due primarily to ESPN discontinuing their team-by-team listing. Last year ESPN provided nineteen participants but this year it was down to two. I tried to contact ESPN and when I did, I was shuttled me off to their Fantasy Game network. This was offset, in part, by a dozen new players that "surfed" at in via links on Google.com and DiamondMind.com.
Normally at this time I give credit to those that have sent in several different sets of player picks but the game has now evolved to a point where nearly all player picks are received on individual e-mails. This year I received 118 separate e-mails; all but one contained just one set of picks. Eighty-five players submitted their picks using the new interactive, user friendly e-mail form found on the website. Only eight players are using the USPS. Nobody was turned away. After the game began in early May I heard from about thirty players and only got one complaint (that I can recall).
And finally I would like to thank the usual suspects for their continued strong support, including Nelson, Randy and Lucy. I especially want to mention what a great treat it was to get a visit from Al Julian and his family while they were vacationing in the Northwest during August.
To all who participated I hope that got some enjoyment from the game and look forward to hearing from you next season.
..... until next Spring....