Write it down: the Red Sox will win the World Series. So says the 3DO company, a Redwood City, Calif., software firm that manufactures the computer game High Heat Baseball 2001 ($29.99 for the personal-computer version, $39-99 for Sony PlayStations). " Boston's not the best team on paper," says Mark Dickinson, HHB's executive director, "but besides having Pedro and Ramon Martinez, the Red Sox can score runs at any time."
You don't have to be a techno-geek to know that. After all, the Red Sox were SI's pick, too. However, Dickinson and his staff back up their assertion with raw data. "We don't just take stats from last year and account for personnel changes," he says of 3DO's talent assessments. First, every current player's career numbers were calculated, with more weight given to recent seasons. Next, the stats of everyone who has played in the majors were analyzed to gauge the effects that aging has on performance. Then 3DO ran 10 HHB simulations of the 2000 season. "Each took about 20 minutes on a Pentium 400 computer," says Dickinson. "The Red Sox did not win all 10 times, but they did win more than anyone else."
Dickinson is well aware of Beantown's 82-year World Series drought, but he has some history on his side. "This is the third time we've done this," he says. "The previous two years we picked the Yankees to win it all, and in 1998 our simulation projected that Mark McGwire would hit 71 home runs."
So, you Red Sox fans, don't blame us.