First: Any opinion on the future trajectory of political science work influencing practical politics. It seems like there is quite a buzz right now, but I have no sense of whether it is short-lived fad or possible SABRmetric style revolution.The first question is (I assume) about Rick Perry's so-called Eggheads and the research into (and helpful for) electioneering. I don't know that I have much of an opinion here, but I'll speculate anyway, I suppose. My sense is that baseball should have been abut the best-case scenario for a sabermetric revolution: almost everything is measurable, and the goals are very clear -- and the gap between what people believed and what basic, simple sabermetric analysis knew was large. How does electioneering compare? It's true that elections results are measurable in votes, which helps, and that the goal of "more votes" is clear. But my impression -- and I know a lot more about the baseball situation -- is that the gap isn't as large in politics. Well, let's put it another way: my guess is that the gains from systematic analysis are probably less substantively important. It's a guess, though.
Second: what are your thoughts on pitchers winning MVP awards?
On the other hand, there's probably a lot less hostility from political practitioners towards political scientists than there was from baseball people to analysts, for a variety of reasons.
If you move beyond electioneering, I'm not sure that I see a lot of scope for game-changers. I do hope that the increased public presence of political scientists combined with the openness of folks such as Ezra Klein, Matt Yglesias, Andrew Sullivan, Greg Sargent, Jonathan Cohn, and others to what people at the Monkey Cage and the rest of us are saying makes me optimistic about the future of political reporting. But I'm not sure how that changes practitioners, exactly.
On the second question...if I was voting, I'd treat pitchers and non-pitchers the same way. They're eligible by rule, and I've never seen any reason to not include them based on whatever value they've had during the season.