Archive for November 9th, 2012

Political Plunkings

Friday, November 9th, 2012

With the recent US Presidential election wrapping up this week, it seems like a good time to reflect on our system of electing the President.  Lots of people have criticized the Electoral College system we use for various reasons, like that it makes some states more important than others and is less reflective of the nation as a whole and… whatever.

My problem with the electoral college is not that it exists, but that it allocates votes to each state based on their population.  Why do it that way, when we could allocate electoral votes based on how many times batters born in each state were hit by pitches?  Wouldn’t we all be better off that way? Wouldn’t that make a lot more sense?  Wouldn’t that be more fair?

The only thing I haven’t decided yet is whether the HBP count should be based on just the election year, or the four year total since the last election.  However, it turns out not to matter, as you’ll see below.  Based on the election results, and the new HBP based electoral votes by state, the result of this election would have been the same.  (It also would end up the same as how it actually turned out – the one year HBP totals method would give President Obama 63% of the electoral vote, and the 4 year HBP total method would give him 65%).

Here are the HBP counts by state, for determining electoral votes under my new method:

State 2012 total 2009-2012 total
Alaska 0 5
Alabama 42 152
Arkansas 19 46
Arizona 30 90
California 283 1227
Colorado 4 20
Connecticut 9 30
Delaware 4 4
Florida 146 592
Georgia 50 229
Hawaii 12 59
Iowa 4 42
Idaho 1 1
Illinois 28 117
Indiana 19 113
Kansas 3 30
Kentucky 34 112
Louisiana 6 45
Massachusetts 0 0
Maryland 17 55
Maine 3 4
Michigan 6 58
Minnesota 5 21
Missouri 18 61
Mississippi 11 68
Montana 0 7
North Carolina 28 96
North Dakota 9 31
Nebraska 3 14
New Hampshire 1 5
New Jersey 20 81
New Mexico 6 25
Nevada 1 11
New York 42 122
Ohio 32 107
Oklahoma 13 64
Oregon 7 96
Pennsylvania 16 97
Rhode Island 9 54
South Carolina 6 46
South Dakota 9 32
Tennessee 15 37
Texas 85 338
Utah 0 2
Virginia 11 96
Vermont 1 8
Washington 19 82
Washington DC 4 17
Wisconsin 0 11
West Virginia 0 0
Wyoming 3 17
2012 election totals
Obama-Biden 690 3041
Romney-Ryan 404 1636

You might notice that under this new method, if we just use the current year plunk totals, several states would not get to take part in choosing the president. My response to that is maybe they should have thought of that before they didn’t get hit by any pitches. Even under the four year plan, Massachusetts and West Virginia would get no say in the election because no one born in Massachusetts has been hit by a pitch since Matt Antonelli on Sept 28, 2008, and no West Virginia born batter has taken a plunk since J.R. House on Sept 30, 2007.

The other potential problem I see with this method is that it still makes everything hinge on Florida.  Under the 1 year HBP method, President Obama would have lost if Florida had gone to Romney, but he still would have won under the 4 year totals with 52% of electoral votes.

I think I’m leaning toward the 4 year method.  If we went by the results of the election year only, teams might be flooded with super-PAC money to sign one year deals with retired players like Craig Biggio and David Eckstein to stack the electoral votes for particular states (Biggio for New York, Eckstein for Florida, Kendall for California, Don Baylor for Texas), while opposing super-PACs would be driving up the price of non-plunk-throwing pitchers like Yovani Gallardo to try to make sure fewer batters got hit.  The four year method would reduce the disruption of the election cycle on the game.  But I’m open to other compromises.

The most plunked batters born on November 9th

Friday, November 9th, 2012

76hbp – Adam Dunn, born 11/09/1979, 176th all time, played from 2001 to 2012
44hbp – Jack Crooks, born 11/09/1865, 522nd all time, played from 1889 to 1898
32hbp – George Wood, born 11/09/1858, 878th all time, played from 1880 to 1892
29hbp – Bill Bruton, born 11/09/1925, 1009th all time, played from 1953 to 1964
16hbp – Harvey Hendrick, born 11/09/1897, 1758th all time, played from 1923 to 1934