Home MLB BGB Team Picker – Full results

BGB Team Picker – Full results

by Matt Smith

We revealed on Thursday that the Chicago Cubs had come out on top in our first ever stab at an MLB Team Picker, with the Giants and the Pirates coming in second and third respectively.  How did the other twenty-seven teams shape up?  Here is the full list.

# Team Roots and Tradition Underdog status Hope for the future Following from afar Road trip potential Total
1 Chicago Cubs 20 13 17.5 20 14 84.5
2 San Francisco Giants 13 16.5 5 18 16.5 69
3 Pittsburgh Pirates 18.5 20 6 17 6.5 68
4 Cincinnati Reds 18.5 17 12 14.5 5.5 67.5
5 New York Yankees 14 5 16 11.5 19 65.5
6 Oakland A’s 10 16.5 7 14.5 17 65
7 New York Mets 8.5 10.5 15 11.5 19 64.5
8 Chicago White Sox 15.5 14.5 9 11.5 14 64.5
9 Tampa Bay Rays 5 18.5 20 11.5 9 64
10 Boston Red Sox 15.5 9.5 19 5 13 62
11 Philadelphia Phillies 17 13 16 5 10.5 61.5
12 L.A. Dodgers 13 12.5 9 8 17.5 60
13 Cleveland Indians 15.5 15 17.5 5 5.5 58.5
14 Toronto Blue Jays 5 14 15 5 18.5 57.5
15 Arizona Diamondbacks 5 16 12 16 7 56
16 Detroit Tigers 15.5 12.5 5 18 5 56
17 Atlanta Braves 11.5 14.5 12 8 9.5 55.5
18 Florida Marlins 5 19.5 9 5 16.5 55
19 Texas Rangers 7 16.5 12 11.5 8 55
20 Minnesota Twins 10.5 15.5 7 17 5 55
21 Baltimore Orioles 11.5 17.5 12 8 5.5 54.5
22 St Louis Cardinals 18.5 14 12 5 5 54.5
23 Colorado Rockies 5 17 19 8 5 54
24 L.A. Angels 8.5 10.5 9 5 17.5 50.5
25 Kansas City Royals 7 18.5 5 14.5 5 50
26 Milwaukee Brewers 5.5 15 5 19 5 49.5
27 Houston Astros 8.5 14.5 5 8 10.5 46.5
28 San Diego Padres 5.5 16.5 5 5 13.5 45.5
29 Washington Nationals 5 19.5 5 5 10.5 45
30 Seattle Mariners 5 14.5 5 11.5 7.5 43.5

In terms of surprises, the Reds are higher up than we initially thought they would be when we started this process.  While we expected the Mariners, Nationals, Padres and Royals would all end up in the lower third, the poor showings by the Angels and the Brewers don’t reflect their appeal in terms of being current contenders for postseason spots.  Perhaps this suggests the rankings need some work? 

The Brewers have several low scores, although they have been hurt by the timing of these rankings in terms of the ‘Hope for the Future’ category: they’ve just lost Sabathia and Sheets and have not yet replaced them.  If we ran the same system in March they would be likely to move up a few spots. Meanwhile the Halos are particularly hurt by playing relatively few day games during the working week and personally we feel that this is a very valid reason for a team being downgraded.

The Cubs dominated the rankings and it’s going to be tough for anyone to catch them in the near future.  However, we will be looking at ways to improve the system and it may be that their advantage could be reduced as a result of these changes.  If you have any suggestions, please let us know.

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Jason Greenberg November 22, 2008 - 8:01 am

No way, Jose!

The Mariners are DEAD LAST in your team picker? I appreciate the exercise, but this result proves the picker was born defunct.

Sorry. I’m just a bitter M’s fan.

I grant that, as a young, under-performing franchise, it offers less in the way of Roots and Tradition and will obviously score badly on the Underdog Status item, having lost 100 games with a £100M+ payroll. But I take issue with two low-scores: Potential for the Future, and Road Trip Potential.

Potential for the Future was based on prospects and the burden of current, under-performing agents. I’d suggest there is a Sea Change in Seattle, as new GM Jack Zduriencik and Manager Don Wakamatsu are in the midst of shaking things up pretty dramatically. Nevertheless, your mathematical approach was consistent, and so be it.

But judging the best road trip locations by what is popular with tourists?! That’s like saying Vanilla is the best flavo(u)r, or Dominos makes the best pizza. And, if you asked tourists which they’d prefer, my guess is they’d choose the road less travelled, to paraphrase a famous American poet-wanderer.

Seattle is the gateway to one of the most beautiful parts of the country: the Pacific Northwest. It has joint appeal to Brits, given its proximity to British Columbia, and makes a great terminus for a Pacific Coast Road Trip, which could also include stopovers in Oakland, San Francisco, Anaheim, Los Angeles, and San Diego.

Not to mention it has the most beautiful baseball stadium in the world, Safeco Field, which allows you to watch the great game, in the rain, with the roof closed, but the stadium still ‘open air’. So between innings you can admire the gorgeous, snow-capped mountains and island scenery of Pugeot Sound regardless of the elements.

Surely THAT is more appealing than, say, Detroit. or Baltimore. Or Cleveland! Not to judge. And, anyone that’s actually been to Oakland will admit that – although close to San Francisco – it’s got to be one of the worst stadiums or cities in which to watch baseball. Yet, it gets a 17 on Road Trip Potential?! Get outta here.

Not to harp. I love the concept of what you’ve put together, but I fear that baseball-loving foreigners will overlook the unique appeal of a place like Seattle and opt for the same-old, vanilla-ish Florida experience.

Britain has embraced everything else that’s Seattle-produced, it being the western home to Nintendo, Amazon, Costco, Boeing, Starbucks, Microsoft, et al.

Now why not the Mariners and their lovable Moose?

Matt Smith November 22, 2008 - 10:51 am

Hi Jason

I’m sure you’re not the only British fan who’s looking at the rankings and are annoyed that the M’s are last! Joe Gray himself is in the number, so I guess it at least proves that we didn’t tamper with the system to help out own teams.

With the Hope for the Future category, as you mention, we took a consistent line that ended up hurting the M’s. I’m sure your new GM and manager will be trying to put this right, but it’s difficult for us to factor this in without artificially boosting/lowering each team. Maybe there is a more systematic way we could do it though?

The Road Trip category is a very fair comment. Joe and I wanted this to be one of the factors to consider, but it was difficult to find any meaningful data to use. We mentioned in the Intro that it’s something that could be improved and you have raised several good points about other factors that we might consider. For example, factoring in the quality of the ballpark is a very good idea and there are various sources we could use for this. Sports Illustrated.com have a Fan Survey on ballparks which places Safeco in sixth.

This was our first bash at it and we thought we would publish our findings and then get some ideas on how to improve it. We’ll consider all of the comments and then publish new rankings in March.

Chico November 22, 2008 - 4:41 pm

Matt and Joe: It appears that anyone who is the fan of a team already will probably not agree with the outcome in certain catagories at least. I do agree with Jason about road trip potential in Seattle. You know how I “lobbied” for the White Sox with some humor thrown in. This is a very unique undertaking, something I have never seen or even thought about. It is not pre season rankings or potential to win it all in ’09, etc. I hope British baseball newcomers will all have a chance to read today’s final picks. I have enjoyed the idea immensely.

Joe Gray November 22, 2008 - 9:10 pm

Hi Jason,

I love Pike Place Market, I love the independent coffee houses, I love the underground buses, I love Hendrix and grunge, I love Mt Rainier as a backdrop, I love the Space Needle’s outline in the skyline, I am eager to visit the Puget Sound, and I don’t mind rain. However, as much as I wanted to give Seattle a 20, I would have felt bad to impose my views on everybody else. And my guess is that there are probably more Brits who would prefer Florida to Washington State. That said, I don’t know if this would necessarily be the case if we looked at just Brits getting into baseball. And you make a strong case for the road less travelled.

As Matt suggests, this is the category that we are least happy with at the moment, but we still feel that we should be using data that are as objective as possible. If we can boost locations by the beauty of their surroundings in an objective fashion, then I am all for that. The Rockies would also profit from this. And factoring in stadium quality is an excellent idea. Interestingly, three of the top stadiums to visit as a Brit would probably be those of the top three teams in the Team Picker.

Finally, Oakland scored highly because I used San Francisco ratings owing to proximity.

Jason Greenberg November 24, 2008 - 8:37 am

Thanks for indulging my PacNW-centric point of view. I think the team picker overall is a great idea, and well thought out, and I failed to mention that in my first comment.

Factoring in the stadium-ratings is a good idea. And, until the M’s manage to win some games, I’ll have to settle for bottom of the barrel. (sigh)

I’ll be home to Seattle for the holidays, and I promise to bring your well wishes along in my carry-on.

Mark George December 11, 2008 - 10:37 am

I really like the team picker idea, and the thought which went into the various categories.

I ended up a Dodger fan because it was the team my US-based grandparents would go and see, so I’ve benefitted from supporting a team rich in history with plenty of young talent, but suffered with the 3.40am starting times!

I have a suggestion for hope for the future, maybe as a way of combining the top minor league prospects with young players already in the majors.

Perhaps bonus points could be awarded to each team for each player they drafted who is under 25 and already in the Major Leagues?

This might add something as a team which is loaded with young players both in MLB and the minors – Arizona, Oakland, LA Dodgers, LA Angels – would receive a higher score than a team with a few prospects but nothing much to shout about at the MLB level – or vice versa.

Maybe you could also take into account strength of a team’s minor league system as a whole using Baseball America or Baseball Prospectus overall grades?

Matt Smith December 11, 2008 - 6:49 pm

Thanks for the suggestions Mark. We’ll add them into the mix!


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