by Seph Lietz
In my previous column, I was pretty tough on my Bement brethren for their lack of commitment when it comes to SLW activities. Also, for one of them being a cheap bastard who, a full week later, unbelievably still owes me $1200. So, I think it’s only fair that I spend some time this week defending my compadres.
The truth is, we’ve had a good number of slanderous comments thrown our way over the years. For example, everyone has heard the claim by some that we drink 1 beer and are in bed by 9:30 the night before the tourney. I think it’s been brought up in every podcast. But I’m not going to waste my time today on hearsay.
One of my many, important responsibilities as SLW Chief Scientist is to rigorously research the vast repository of SLW data and use that information to discover innovative approaches that might possibly be employed in order to better our beloved tournament. To that end, I have compiled some telling statistics, encompassing the last 4 years (2006-2009), the only time such detailed information is available. And as it turns out, the Bement contingent dominates the wiffle diamond.
Let’s start with defense. Our teams have given up a combined 233 runs over 49 games, for an average of 4.76 runs/game. There is only one wiffler who put up better defensive numbers than that (Hasler: 76 runs, 19 games, 4 runs/game). Nobody else is particularly close.
That stellar defense has helped lead to an equally stellar run differential for our teams of +101, for an average of +2.06/game. Only two wifflers have done better (Gentry: +28, 4.67; Hasler: +56, 2.95). The next closest are James Morton (+1.05) and Chris Shoemaker (+0.86). (Or was it Brian? Even on paper I can’t tell the two apart.) Everybody else has a +0.15 or worse.
Who is the mystery wiffler at the far bottom right with the worst run differential?
Naturally, as should be expected with a run differential like that, we have won a lot, compiling 34 team wins for a .694 win percentage. Again, only Gentry (6-0, 1.000) and Hasler (15-4, .789) have better individual numbers.
But really, does all of this mean anything? No. I think every wiffler comes to win championships. And nobody has done it better than us.
Going back 6 years (perhaps more, but I don’t think so), every single SLW Champion has had at least one of us on their team. And out of the 18 slots (6 years * 3-wiffler teams), 9 have been filled by us.
Can a Bement-less team win a championship anymore?
Let’s just consider the last 4 championships (again, when the only detailed records are available). What are the odds of those happening randomly? 1.33%, or 75:1 for you gamblers out there. I estimate the odds for us winning 6 in a row to be roughly 300:1.
Imagine if we actually showed up every year?