Our Politicians Suck at Predicting Sports
To be fair: Back in late March, as the MLB season got underway, few of us would have predicted that the defending World Series champion Red Sox would have won a mere 71 games and lost 91 of them.
And it’s hard to fault Massachusetts politicians for a little optimistic exuberance—I mean, no local politician truly wants the blowback from suggesting that the home team stinks. Nevertheless, it’s a little shocking to look back at the predictions I solicited back then from more than five dozen pols, on the number of Red Sox victories and team MVP for the 2014 season.
96 wins—really, Senator Elizabeth Warren? Really?
Grady Sizemore for team MVP, Seth Moulton? Is that really the wisdom you want to bring to Congress?
Naming a “best prognosticator” award among these entries is tough, but I’ll give it to Congressman Jim McGovern. He had the lowest guess with 85 wins. His MVP choice, Mike Napoli, wasn’t stellar by any means—but the next-lowest guesser, Republican Treasurer candidate Mike Heffernan with 87, picked Clay Buckholz, who was worse; and Boston City Councilor Tim McCarthy, who guessed 88 wins, picked Jon Lackey as MVP, and Lackey didn’t even finish the season with the Sox.
Honorable mention to two other City Councilors, Mark Ciommo and Tito Jackson, who both predicted 89 wins and David Ortiz as team MVP.
As for worst pick, that clearly goes to Republican congressional candidate Dan Shores, who lost his primary. Shores predicted a wildly incorrect 98 wins for the Red Sox, and was one of 8 pols to predict that the team MVP would be Xander Bogaerts.
A special dishonorable mention to Congressman Steve Lynch, who predicted a repeat World Series title, led by team MVP Daniel Nava. Not quite.
Thanks to all for playing, though. And better luck next time—to you and the team.