before we get to the mulder projection results, coupla items. first, valatan's series of diaries on the all-time franchise team now moves to third base -- boyer, rolen, kurowski, and others. second, i'm on the road again today; will prob'y have time to toss up a post tomorrow morning, then back to reg'r posting schedule wednesday.
we got 54 qualifying projections for mulder (and thanks to all who went to the trouble). this time we didn't track the "expert" projections nearly as closely as we did with our edmonds forecast; we did, however, closely track mulder's 2005 season. we're pretty much anticipating no change -- new year, same performance:
(per VEB readers)
now take a look at our projection alongside the ZIPS and PECOTA forecasts:
we did agree with ZIPS on quite a few points -- bull's-eyes on homers and strikeouts, a virtual bull's-eye vis-vis innings pitched, and comparable figures for whip. but ZIPS doesn't translate those figures into nearly as good a bottom line as we do, suggesting that either a) we're deluding ourselves, thinking wishfully, or b) we're weighing some factors ZIPS isn't, including the new ballpark, mulder's strong second half, and his impending free agency.
or maybe it's both a) and b). a number of our respondents admitted that their projections came from the heart as much as from the head, prefacing their numbers with comments like "Here's hoping for the best..." and "May it come true." nearly half of us think mulder's era -- which came down 79 points last season -- will go down even further next year, but the odds are strongly against that, per bill james' "law of competitive balance" and a lot of empirical evidence. so in that respect we may be guilty, collectively speaking, of some irrational exuberance.
then again, mulder has the majors' 15th-best era over the last five seasons (3.65) and is tied for the highest win total (88). even if we just look at the last two years (mulder's worst seasons since he was a rookie), he has the majors' 25th-best era and is tied for 5th in wins. he's coming off a strong 2d half and moving into a park that supposedly will favor pitchers; he's also pitching for a big payday, which many believe will provide a little extra incentive. then again it might mess with mulder's mind; having watched him wilt in game 6 of the nlcs with the season at stake, i'm not so sure i want him thinking about all those millions on the line every time he takes the mound.
if anybody has access to either bill james' or ron shandler's 2006 projection for mulder, please post in the comments. no afternoon post from me today, but plenty of worthwhile reading elsewhere in cardblogland. a few items of note: cardnilly's all-uniform-number series touched poignantly on 66 friday . . . . diaspora pits the cardinals' rotation against the mets' and -- rightly, i think -- declares stl's no worse than even . . . . fungoes wonders whether la russa should try to line up his rotation so that carpenter and mulder avoid zambrano/prior and pettitte/oswalt and instead get mismatches against weak down-rotation starters . . . .