Statistical Analysis. Humor. Knicks.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

62

The Knicks have not signed Vin Baker (yet), and the Knicks don’t play again until Friday. I don’t have a comment (yet) on Kurt Thomas, so what else is there to talk about?

WARNING: This column has little to nothing to do about the Knicks or basketball stats.

All I have to say about this, is I have both T-Mac and Gilbert Arenas on my fantasy squad. In case you don’t know just yet, they’ve combined for 102 points last night. Don’t email me with kudos just yet, because I’m still in last place.

As of this post there is nothing up at Orlando Magic Fan yet, but I’m sure there will be something there in a bit. I found them by putting Orando Magic Blog into a Yahoo! search. Of course it was the first site to come up. I decided to put New York Knicks Blog into a Yahoo! search to see where this lowly site ranks. I’m not even in the top 100. Not that there’s anything wrong with Michael Avallone’s Knicks’ Clicks (which I highly recommend), but if anyone has any advice to get me higher in their rankings, I would be most interested to hear about it.

One thing about the number 62, is that for a long time it was one of the holy grails of baseball stats. Roger Maris hit 61 home runs in 1961, to break the great Babe Ruth’s record by one. Home run number 62 would be another record breaking shot. Everyone knows that McGwire hit #62 back in 1998. I’m sure we all remember something or another about that game, whether it was the ball barely clearing the fense, Sammy Sosa being on hand, or McGwire lifting his kid up in celebration.

The ironic part of this story is that a few people predicted Big Mac hitting #62, and they did so 11 years before! Yes back in 1987, an arcade version of RBI baseball was released. It was similar to the NES version, but instead of having the best teams of ’86 & ’87 it had the best players of all time on 10 teams. For example, the Yankees consisted of Ruth, Mantle, and Mattingly, while Boston had Williams, Yaz, and Boggs.

Oakland had McGwire, who had just come off his rookie season where he hit 49 home runs. In an effort to stay timeless, they made projections on some players. Canseco stats would read 54 homers, while Cards slugger Jack Clark had 41. Neither would ever hit that many home runs in a single season. However McGwire’s blast a decade later would make them look like mind readers, since the programmers decided to give him 62 home runs.

Sure if they had real psychic power, they could have put him in a Cards uniform with 70 dingers. Despite that, it’s probably one of the better prediction jobs I’ve seen, and it wasn’t done by some baseball experts, but rather video game programmers.