With baseball's awards season having just finished and the Presidential election just a few weeks behind, I thought it would be prudent to see how the awards voting broke down along the electoral map. Why would I do such a ridiculously silly thing? Because I finally get to play the Wolf Blitzer/Nate Silver combo that I've always wanted.
To make this work, I obviously had to make a few changes as not every state is represented and voters for the AL don't vote for the NL and vice versa. So I made two sovereign nations, The American Republic and the National United Places. Also, some states get to lay allegiance to both nations since they have multiple teams in each league (New York, California, Florida, etc). Using that, and making no other changes than giving Toronto 10 electoral votes to make everything even, we were given two nations, conceived in liberty, of 268 electoral votes.
Some of the ground rules:
The actual BBWAA awards feature two voters from each Major League city and thus, representatives of that state. If you were a Kansas City voter, you belonged to Missouri since that is where the team actually plays.
I was only counting the first place votes. You don't get to vote for five Presidents, so why should you for Cy Youngs?
The exception was in the case of split voting within a state. As this often happened, I looked at their second and third place votes to determine the victor. As an example, if Player A received a first place and third place vote and Player B received a first and second, Player B would be awarded the state.
If they were still tied, the writer with the larger Twitter following had his vote counted. I figured that was a rough and terribly inaccurate way of seeing who had more "clout" among his "constituents."
Any questions? I'm sure there are. Onwards to the election. (Note: All electoral maps screengrabbed from 270towin.com
AL ROOKIE OF THE YEAR:
Real Life Vote:
Mike Trout: Unanimous selection.
Trout: Unanimous (268 electoral votes)
Well, that was easy.
NL ROOKIE OF THE YEAR
Real Life Vote:
Bryce Harper over Wade Miley 112-105
Harper over Miley 204-64
Though there were many deadlocked states, the most damning thing to Miley's campaign was his inability to carry Arizona. The voters there were tied, but Keith Law and his enormous following swung it Harper's way. Ohio nearly went to a third party candidate with Todd Frazier receiving a vote, but Harper once again took the state. As Ohio goes, so goes the country.
AL MANAGER OF THE YEAR
Bob Melvin over Buck Showalter 116-108
Bob Melvin over Buck Showalter 186-82
Changing to electoral votes didn't make this one any closer. Out of the 13 states (including Ontario) voting, Showalter carried only three states unanimously: Illinois, Massachusetts, and Toronto (those damn liberal Canadians). Most damning, Showalter lost his home state of Maryland.
Melvin did get plenty of help from the Twitter vote, winning 5 of the 7 contested regions. I guess that's why baseball fans call him The Obama of the Dugout. (Note: No one has, or will ever again, call him such a thing.) No other manager received a first or second place vote, so there was no need to count ballots, only Twitter followers.
NL MANAGER OF THE YEAR
Davey Johnson 131-77 over Dusty Baker
Davey Johnson: 210
Dusty Baker: 29
Bruce Bochy: 29
Shocker of shockers, this is actually the most successful third party campaign ever run in America's history. Thanks to Florida's splitting off from the rest of the country, Bochy is able to wrestle away an entire state from Davey Johnson and Dusty Baker. The rest of the map is grim for Baker, winning only two states, both contested. I'd call that a mandate. Or something. Maybe a veto. I don't know…politic…words.
AL CY YOUNG
David Price over Justin Verlander153-149
Justin Verlander over David Price 165-103
David Price over Justin Verlander 158-110
Our first upset of the evening. Even though Justin Verlander lost his home state of Michigan, Verlander carried most of the big states, taking California, Texas, and New York. And as Twitter has made abundantly clear, Drew Davison of Texas voted for Fernando Rodney which may make him a war criminal in the eyes of the Geneva Convention.
UPDATE: And we've had our first recount of the election. Due to input error, the California election was prematurely called. In the greatest election re-decision in American history, David Price is your actual electoral Cy Young winner. Not that there isn't some interesting information to parse from here. After a deadlock between Price and Verlander on the first place ballots, Verlander earned third place votes at the hands of each Los Angeles-based voter. They are also the only third place votes he received from any BBWAA writer. While it's a mild case of bias, and one that would not have changed the outcome of the actual election (with Price still winning 153-151), it does change the outcome in California, and therefore, our winner.
NL CY YOUNG
RA Dickey over Clayton Kershaw: 209-96
RA Dickey: unanimous selection (268 electoral votes).
While this wasn't an upset, it's no less surprising. I thought if anything this election would be closer than the BBWAA vote, assuming that Kershaw would carry California, but instead, Dickey's 27-2 advantage in first place votes easily gives him the victory. A cakewalk for baseball's knuckleballing icon.
Miguel Cabrera over Mike Trout 362-281
Miguel Cabrera over Mike Trout 235-33
Turns out that I'm an idiot and the entire country still loves home runs and RBIs and playoffs. Trout could only take Massachusetts cleanly, picking up Washington and Missouri thanks to Twitter clout. (Seriously, look at Boston. Those writers are against the grain, voting for Verlander and Showalter. Damn rabble rousers.) Cabrera cleaned up the rest of the way, even taking California. Is there no disgusting, ungodly bias anywhere?
Buster Posey over Ryan Braun 422-285
And here we have another minor surprise. Rather than Ryan Braun coming in second, Yadier Molina, who finished fourth in the actual voting, comes in second. And before you accuse the voters of bias, realize that while Braun carried the Wisconsin vote, Molina lost Missouri, but won New York, getting Adam Rubin and Andy McCullough to vote for him. Other than that, this was Posey's MVP all the way.
So what did we learn? Well, not much. Perhaps in another year, one with some closer races, we would have seen more variety in the electoral results, revealing some interesting bias among the voting base. But as it was, the electorate pretty much followed the BBWAA's recommendations. While those regional biases may exist, BBWAA writers don't vote for the hometown guy nearly as often as I expected they would. Maybe future years could reveal that to be not so true. Either that, or Boss Tweed was going around buying lots of votes.
In conclusion: AMERICA! MANIFEST DESTINY! SPORTS.