In Our Defense

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.

[4.66666666666667], [2.94736842105263], [2.5], [2.375], [1.05], [0.857142857142857], [0.15], [0.142857142857143], [0.05], [0.0], [0.0], [0.0], [-0.142857142857143], [-0.25], [-0.272727272727273], [-0.318181818181818], [-0.583333333333333], [-0.91304347826087], [-1.23809523809524], [-1.38888888888889], [-1.66666666666667], [-2.2], [-2.75], [-2.80952380952381], [-4.77777777777778]

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.

[2004: 3], [2005: 2], [2006: 1], [2007: 1], [2008: 1], [2009: 1]

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?



Filed under Opinion Pieces

12 responses to “In Our Defense

  1. Geoff Hixson

    My head hurts. Who let the nerd into the clubhouse?
    Actually, this is very impressive info indeed. One issue I have is the Gentry numbers are slanted as he only has been back for one year (on a good team). I move his data be thrown out as a one year instance with no trending data to support it.
    That said, data mining aside, it would seem that when I mentioned the success of the chief Scientist on the filed of play, my recolection was accurate. However, Leitz may equate to the majority of the success.
    How about a list of the Bementans and corresponding number of championships? I propose that Seph’s success has weighted the results. Please advise.

    • sephlietz

      I can not, in good conscience, in my capacity as Chief Scientist, deny your request for more data.

      However, I can only provide information for the previous 6 years.

      Seph: 4
      Jed: 3
      Einhorn: 1
      Patrick: 1

  2. Geoff Hixson

    Therefore, you and Jed slant the data. I can’t believe that cheap ass dipshit has three championships!

    One last question, how many of these championships overlap – in other words how many of Jed’s three were you (or some other South Piatter) a part of?

    • sephlietz

      We don’t slant the data as much as you think. Jed and I have simply been in attendance more.

      2004: Seph, Jed, Patrick
      2005: Seph, Einhorn, Chris Shoemaker
      2006: Seph, Hasler, Tank
      2007: Seph, Hasler, Endsley (Patrick MIA)
      2008: Jed, Chris Shoemaker, Walsh (Patrick, John, Seph MIA)
      2009: Jed, Gentry, Morton (Patrick, John MIA)

      • Geoff Hixson

        As you can see, all three in 2004 were wildcats.
        Two in 2005. So 5 guys in two years. Does this data support the fact that you may want a Bement kid on your squad? Sure. Dominance over the recent past? Not so fast.
        By the way, thanks for making my fun summer activity into a stats class………

      • This will be added to the topics for next week’s podcast. Also, please stop harassing our website contributor as we need content and his stuff has been solid.

  3. Matt Endsley

    2007 was the greatest year in Shangri La history . Although you are great player, I do feel your teammates have made it able for you to elevate your status.I recall you” dropping” a few fly balls TO ACTUALLY GIVE THE OPPONENTS HOMERUNS.I know I’m slow and tired but ,really, lietzing or I mean leeching of your teamates is awful. I do appreciate the graphs but the government has graphs too and they are bleeding us dry.

    • sephlietz

      You won’t find any argument from me that I have been fortunate to be on some great teams with some great, uninjured teammates, most years.

      2007 was a great year, I agree. But I would have to say the most dominant team I’ve been a part of was in 2004 (the year of The Wiffle-Flood), with Patrick and Jed.

      As to the “dropping a few fly balls…” claim, I remember no such occurrence. Perhaps you are remembering when Windy City Dave practically pulled a Canseco by fumbling a popup at the wall and propelling it across, to give me a home run.

      Thank you for the positive feedback on the graphs. I’m glad you enjoy them.

  4. Duderino

    Show me UZR, BABIP and WAR and then lets talk.

    P.S. Did I miss the names on the run differential b/c would love to see

    • sephlietz

      If only we had player level batting statistics…

      I believe the SLW Front Office is considering releasing the detailed stats including run differential. Stay tuned.

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