If only we had known... There we were, spending our off-season months imagining the A's being a contender, and then convincing ourselves it was possible. Well, maybe it was, but our predictions for the season didn't exactly pan out as planned.
Since the comments have closed on the original GOG #00, here are the questions once again, and some of my favorite answers, right and wrong. In the comments is a scored example.
Guess Oakland's regular season record for 2011. Correct answer: 74-88. Closest Answer: 80-82 (PDXAthleticsFan). My Favorite Answer: 96-66 (twinkle toes)
Predict the final AL West ranking. Correct Answer: Rangers, Angels, A’s, Mariners (PDXAthleticsFan - and nobody else!)
Now do the same for all the divisions that we don't care about. Correct Answer: We Don't Care About You.
Name the Wild Card teams from the AL and NL. Correct Answer: Rays & Cardinals. Most Ironic Answer: Red Sox (shudiddy).
Which pitcher and which position player are the A's season leaders for (fangraphs) WAR? Correct Answers: Crisp (2.4) & McCarthy (4.7). Most Common Answer for position player: Barton!
Which A's player (pitcher or position player) has the highest cumulative Win Probability Added (WPA)? Correct Answer: Willingham (2.20). Fun Fact: Balfour led all A's pitchers at 1.82 WPA.
Who is the home run leader for the A's? How many home runs does that player hit? Correct Answer: Willingham, 29. My Favorite Answer: Kouz, 24 (thewhizkid)
How many sacrifice bunts from Daric Barton? Correct Answer: 0. Heard around AN: Collective Sigh of Relief.
How many games does Suzuki start at catcher? Correct Answer: 127. Who Got It Right: Oaktown Power.
Does Trevor Cahill put up an ERA under 3.50? How about a FIP under 4.00? Correct Answers: No, (ERA 4.16) & No (FIP 4.10). Observation: This gives us a pretty decent idea of what to expect going ahead from here, right? Discuss.
New guys part 1 -- Who has more relief appearances, Fuentes or Balfour? Who has more strikeouts? Correct Answer: Fuentes, More G (67 to 62) & Balfour, More Ks (59 to 42). Wishful Thinking: Can we retroactively reduce Fuentes's Appearances to 57?
New guys part 2 -- Who finishes highest in each of the Triple Crown categories, Matsui, DeJesus, or Willingham? Correct Answer: Matsui, Best AVG (.251), Willingham, Most HR (29), Willingham, Most RBI (98). Incorrect Answer: DeJesus, DeJesus, and DeJesus. And DeJesus. And DeJesus...
How many games does Chris Carter play in the Majors? Correct Answer: 15. Who Got It Right: colin, the author of GOG #00!
The Billy Beane Special -- Name one player who starts out on the 25 man roster but gets traded mid-season. Correct Answers: Zeigler to Arizona (7/31 - SoCal A's Fan & GoAs got this one), Kouz to Rockies (8/23 - cuppy & PDX got this one), Ellis to Rockies (6/30), and Conor Jackson to Red Sox (8/31 - streetfan got it). The Guesses: McCarthy (to Yankees), Breslow (to a desperate team), a Wuertz & Sweeney package, Blevins (I wish I knew who would take him!), LaRoche (I wish I ...), Bailey, Fuentes, DeJesus, Willingham, Matsui (would he take his videos?), Sweeney, Crisp, and a whole lot more Wuertzes.
Last year, Oakland finished fifth in the Majors with a team UZR of +38.9 (behind Cincinnati, San Diego, SF, and Arizona). Will they crack the top 8 this year? Correct Answer: No. Correct Response: Ha ha ha ha! Actual Placement: 5th from bottom.
Know your enemies part 1 -- Coming off an MVP season, how many RBIs does Josh Hamilton rack up in 2011? Correct Answer: 94. Who Got It Right? dwishinsky.
Know your enemies part 2 -- Does Felix Hernandez continue to strike out more than three times as many hitters as he walks? (his K/BB was 3.31 in 2010) Does his rate of home runs allowed per 9 innings remain below 0.75? (it was 0.61 in 2010) Correct Answers: Yes (K/BB 3.31 - this is not a typo) & Yes (HR/9 .73). Correct Reaction: Remain very, very afraid.
Know your enemies part 3 -- In his first season as a DH, predict Bobby Abreu's totals for home runs, walks, and stolen bases. His 2010 totals were 20 HR, 87 BB, and 24 SB. Correct Answers: 8 HR, 78 BB, 21 SB. Who Got It Right? mikev, paris, and gratefuldude (BB); Berry Jo (SB).
Who is Oakland's representative to the 2011 All Star Game? Correct Answer: What is an All Star Game?