Hot Stove Burn Baby

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Hot-stove Season (n) - the winter season, when baseball is not played but only discussed.

While looking at ESPN's list of 2004's top free agents I noticed that David Wells, at number 33 (which coincidentally is also his jersey number), is the only top free agent projected to sign with the Phillies. This bugged me for two reasons. One, ESPN must still think that the Phillies still can't attract free agents, and two, I really don't want David Wells to sign with the Phillies.

Hoping that they're wrong, I decided to look at last year's list of top free agents and see how well ESPN did with their predictions. Here they are:

1. Vladimir Guerrero Prediction: Orioles. Signed with: Angels
2. Bartolo Colon Prediction: Yankees. Signed with: Angels
3. Miguel Tejada Prediction: Dodgers. Signed with: Orioles
4. Gary Sheffield Prediction: Yankees. Signed with: Yankees
5. Ivan Rodriguez Prediction: Cubs. Signed with: Tigers
6. Kevin Millwood Prediction: Red Sox. Signed with: Phillies
7. Keith Foulke Prediction: Braves. Signed with: Red Sox
8. Andy Pettitte Prediction: Astros. Signed with: Astros
9. Kazuo Matsui Prediction: Angels. Signed with: Mets
10. Javy Lopez Prediction: Dodgers. Signed with: Orioles
11. Greg Maddox Prediction: Cardinals. Signed with: Cubs
12. Shannon Stewart Prediction: Twins. Signed with: Twins
13. Rafael Palmeiro Prediction: Angels. Signed with: Orioles
14. Ugueth Urbina Prediction: Cubs. Signed with: Tigers
15. Sidney Ponson Prediction: Orioles. Signed with: Orioles
16. Luis Castillo Prediction: Red Sox. Signed with: Marlins
17. Eddie Guardado Prediction: Twins. Signed with: Mariners
18. Mike Cameron Prediction: Mets. Signed with: Mets
19. Tim Worrell Prediction: Blue Jays. Signed with: Phillies
20. Kelvim Escobar Prediction: Rangers. Signed with: Angels
21. LaTroy Hawkins Prediction: Yankees. Signed with: Cubs
22. Shigetoshi Hasegawa Prediction: Mariners. Signed with: Mariners
23. Rich Aurilia Prediction: Giants. Signed with: Mariners
24. Raul Ibanez Prediction: A's. Signed with: Mariners
25. Juan Gonzalez Prediction: Expos. Signed with: Royals
26. Miguel Bastista Prediction: Cardinals. Signed with: Blue Jays
27. Tom Gordon Prediction: A's. Signed with: Yankees.
28. Maels Rodriguez Prediction: Devil Rays. Signed with: ????
29. Carl Everett Prediction: Rockies. Signed with: Expos
30. Todd Walker Prediction: Padres. Signed with: Cubs
31. Jose Cruz, Jr. Prediction: Pirates. Signed with: Devil Rays
32. Raul Mondesi Prediction: Giants. Signed with: Pirates
33. Rod Beck Prediction: Mets. Signed with: Padres
34. Reggie Sanders Prediction: Royals. Signed with: Cardinals
35. Wilson Alvarez Prediction: Dodgers. Signed with: Dodgers
36. Fernando Vina Prediction: White Sox. Signed with: Tigers
37. David Wells Prediction: Yankees. Signed with: Padres
38. Jose Guillen Prediction: Braves. Signed with: Angels
39. Curt Leskanic Prediction: Cubs. Signed with: Royals
40. Kenny Lofton Prediction: Cubs. Signed with: Yankees
41. Joe Randa Prediction: Royals. Signed with: Royals
42. Benito Santiago Prediction: Padres. Signed with: Royals
43. Roberto Alomar Prediction: Cardinals. Signed with: Diamondbacks
44. Jeromy Burnitz Prediction: Diamondbacks. Signed with: Rockies
45. Rondell White Prediction: Pirates. Signed with: Tigers
46. Vinny Castilla Prediction: Rockies. Signed with: Rockies
47. Arthur Rhodes Prediction: Yankees. Signed with: Athletics
48. Mark Grudzielanek Prediction: Cubs. Signed with: Cubs
49. Brian Jordan Prediction: Mariners. Signed with: Rangers
50. Jose Mesa Prediction: Astros. Signed with: Pirates.

So they got 10 out of 50 predictions (or 20%) right. While that's way better than draft-day goldenboy Mel Kiper Jr. does with his football forecasts, it's nothing to write Bristol about. Amazingly, ESPN predicted that none of last year's top fifty would sign with Philadelphia. We ended up with two (both in the top 20), which is better than average when you spread 50 players among 30 teams.

So if you're worried about the Phillies signing Wells, or not signing someone else on ESPN's list, find something else to worry about. Like what ever happened to Maels Rodriguez? (Or better yet, stop worrying and take a look at my daily photo, I'm kind of extra proud of today's.)

Update: I originally didn't give ESPN enough credit. I initially had said that they got 9 predictions right, but missed that they correctly predicted Vinny Castilla signing with the Rockies in 2003. But how tough of a prediction was that? Other than the Rockies, who in their right mind would sign a Coors Field hothouse flower like Castilla? The guy can't hit at sea level. What? Washington just signed him for two years? Oh. Well, it's good to see les Expos Ressortissants are getting off on the right foot.


At 6:44 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Congratulations. You posts are now so anti-David Wells that your site has become unreadable. You just lost a reader.

At 2:21 PM, Blogger Dee said...

HEY! Go spout that garbage somewhere else!


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