Like Barry Bonds, Baseball Widow hasn't retired; she's just not playing.
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Tuesday, March 30, 2004

Battle of the Sexies
The Widow has prevailed upon me to do a brief statistical analysis of the Eye-Candies to see what sort of chance her guys have this year. And, after her first-game gloating, I'm getting the feeling that this could be a year-long battle of the sexes.

My Method
After pondering the possible courses of action, I've chosen the easiest. I could have compared the Widow's team to each of the other teams in her league, but that seemed like too much work. Instead I opted to compare them to one uber-team, The Knoxville Photons. Ok, so there's no reason to think that the Photons are an uber-team (other than that I put them together), but they were selected on playing potential and not looks, so they're a decent control group.

As for the comparative stat of choice, I'm going with win shares. Do either of our leagues use win shares? No. Are there procedural problems with using win shares? Sure, because it counts fielding, a part of the game our leagues don't count. But like I said at the beginning, this is about ease, not about impeccable statistical analysis.

My Team
You already know the Eye-Candies, so let me introduce my guys, the Knoxville Photons (so named because I'm a photographer and, you guessed it, we live in Knoxville). Here are both teams along with the win shares for each player.

Javy Lopez 30Jason Varitek 17
Tino Martinez 11Mark Teixeira 13
Michael Young 21Jose Vidro 19
Eric Hinske 2Aubrey Huff 21
Jose Reyes 12Derek Jeter 18
Craig Biggio 20Carlos Beltran 28
Pat Burrell 9Manny Ramirez 28
Jose Cruz 17Marlon Byrd 16
Joe Randa 14Milton Bradley 18
Brad Ausmus 2Torii Hunter 16
Joe Mauer 0Roberto Alomar 7
Eli Marrero 3Corey Koskie 21
Ryan Klesko 13Bobby Crosby 0
Jeff Cirillo 3Vinny Castilla14
Larry Walker 18
Tim Hudson 23Javier Vazquez 21
Mark Mulder 17Keith Foulke 21
Brad Lidge 8Hideo Nomo 17
Jaret Wright 1Brandon Webb 17
Eric Milton 2Wade Miller 9
Tim Wakefield 12Carlos Zambrano 18
Joe Mays 2Jake Peavy 7
Francisco Rodriguez 9
Chad Cordero 2
Jerome Williams 9

It's not so clear that my team is tremendously better, but they should be, right? Please, someone tell me they should be. The Eye-Candies average 11.5 ws per player and the Photons are right at 15.4 ws. That's way closer than I would have expected. On top of that, her team tops mine at 3 positions: Catcher, Second Base, and Staff Ace.

The biggest deficiency the Eye-Candies face is the lack of a closer, but the Widow just doesn't feel right about relaxing her standards to add someone who didn't make the cuteness cut. Oddly enough, there's plenty of talent in the waiver wire/free agent pool. Baez, Rhodes, Macdougal, and Kolb are all available closers. (And speaking of available players, Photon's starters Milton Bradley, Vinny Castilla, Mark Teixeira are all unowned in the Widow's league).

So, what have we learned? The Eye-Candies may actually perform well this year, thanks to guys like Javy Lopez, Craig Biggio, Pat Burrell, Mark Mulder and Tim Hudson. That's not such a bad core. If the surrounding cast puts up good performances I think it's reasonable for them to finish in the top half of the league.

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