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WSI News - WSI Spotlight

Royce & Jose's Errors 

By Sox Fan Iwritecode

As you may or may not know, I wrote a column last year taking an in-depth game-by-game look at each of Jose Valentin's 36 errors of the 2000 season and how each one affected the outcome of the game. If Jose hadn't made the error, could the game have been won instead of lost? In 2001, the Sox management decided that 36 errors were too many and that the Sox needed a better defensive shortstop. This was after the Sox had won 95 regular season games. So the Sox made a trade to acquire shortstop Royce Clayton. Still wanting to keep Jose's bat in the game, he was moved around to share playing time at centerfield, third base and shortstop. Was this a smart move or not? Although a few Sox fans still like Royce and think he should be the Sox starting shortstop in 2002, it seems a lot of them want to see Jose back at short and Royce traded for a bag of balls. I decided to once again to take a game-by-game look at each of Jose's 22 errors and also each of Royce's 7 errors to try and determine who cost the Sox more wins. The decision after each recap is whether or not the game could have been won had the error not occurred. 

 

JOSE VALENTIN

Error#  Date  Result Opponent Position played 

 

#1  April 7  Loss  Tigers   3B

His first error of the season came on the first batter of the game, first play of the game. Jose throws a ball away and allows the leadoff man to third base. The next batter triples him home. A walk and a sac fly and the Sox are already down by 2 in the first inning. The Sox manage 3 runs but the Tigers add 3 more of their own. Sox lose by 2 instead of 1.

Decision: NO 

 

#2   April 11  Win Indians  3B

The Sox are up 7 - 3 in the 8th inning. Osuna and Wunsch come in and quickly allow 3 runs. Jose makes a throwing error allowing men to second and third with 1 out. The next two batters get out and Keith Foulke comes in and pitches a scoreless 9th.

Decision: NO 

 

#3   April 20  Loss Twins  SS

This was Jose's first error at short. He makes a fielding error allowing a man to first. He never crosses the plate and the Sox still lose 4 - 1.

Decision: NO 

 

#4  May 1  Loss Angels  3B

Jose makes a throwing error allowing a man to first. The next 3 guys go down in order and the Sox lose 6 - 4.

Decision: NO 

 

#5  May 12  Loss Texas  3B

Another game where Jose makes an error on the first play of the game. This time he allows a man to first. The next guy grounds into a fielder's choice (gee, no DP?) to SS. Three homeruns later, Texas is up 5 - 0. The Sox manage 6 runs but all for not since Texas pounds out 16.

Decision: NO 

 

#6  May 13  Win Texas  SS

Jose allows a man to first with a fielding error. The next guy up makes the third out and the Sox hold on to win 6 - 3.

Decision: NO 

 

#7  May 26  Win Detroit  SS

Jose misses first base trying to turn a DP and allows a runner to third base. No matter though. He gets left there as Buerhle was on the mound and tossed a complete game shutout with the Sox on top 8 - 0.

Decision: NO 

 

#8  June 2  Win Detroit  SS

After combining with Durham for a DP, Jose mis-fields a ball and allows a man to first with 2 outs. The next guy grounds out and the Sox hold on for a 5 - 3 win.

Decision: NO 

 

#9   June 6  Loss Kansas City SS

KC is up 11 - 5 in the seventh inning. Jose allows a man to first on a fielding error. The next 2 guys get out and the Sox fall 12 - 6 to the mighty Royals.

Decision: NO 

 

#10  June 27  Loss Twins  SS

He eventually comes around to score making it 2 - 0 Twins. That's all they really needed as the Sox could only muster 1 run losing 4 - 1.

Decision: NO 

 

#11  July 14  Win Cubs  SS

Easy one. Jose makes a throwing error allowing a man to first with 2 outs. Next guy pops out and the Sox go onto beat the sCrUBS 3 - 1.

Decision: NO 

 

#12 & 13 July 16  Win Brewers 3B

First multiple error game of the season. 3rd inning, Sox are up 1 - 0. 2 outs, man on first. Somehow Jose boots a ball bad enough to allow the runner to score and the hitter to second. The next guy grounds out. Jose makes a throwing error later in the seventh but the guy never scored. Sox go on to win 6 - 5.

Decision: NO 

 

#14  Aug 16  Win Rangers SS

That's right, one whole month error-free. In this game, Jose made a throwing error allowing a man to first. A triple and double later, the score is tied 2 - 2. The Sox still win 7 - 5 with Jose crossing the plate once.

Decision: NO 

 

#15 & 16 Aug 20  Loss Kansas City 3B

These 2 errors look ugly but don't really matter since the Sox offense took the day off. The score is 1 - 0 KC in the third inning. Three straight singles and the bases are loaded. Jose mis-fields a ball and allows a run to score. The very next play(he probably still had his mind on the first error he made), he makes a throwing error allowing another run. A couple more singles and KC is up 6 - 0. They eventually tack on 4 more and take the game 10 - 1.

Decision: NO 

 

#17 & 18 Sep 1  Loss Indians  3B

Jose's first error was a throwing error on a bunt. The guy never got past second. His second error was a fielding error. Once again, the guy never got past second. Sox still lose 4 - 3.

Decision: NO 

 

#19  Sep 18  Loss Yankees 3B

This was the first game back in New York after the September 11 attacks on the WTC. The Sox were pretty much of this game from the beginning. Jose makes a throwing error in the 4th inning but the runner never scores. The Sox are held to 3 runs while the Yankees rack up 11.

Decision: NO 

 

#20  Sep 23  Win Kansas City 3B

Jose makes a fielding error in the first inning. The guy gets left on first base and the Sox pound the Royals 10 - 2.

Decision: NO 

 

#21 & 22 Oct 7  Loss Twins  3B

Last game of the season, last error of the season. I'm not really sure why Jose was in instead of Joe Crede anyways... Minnesota is up 4 - 1 in the 5th. Jose makes a throwing error allowing a run to cross the plate. The next inning, after a hit-by-pitch, stealing second and advancing to third on Josh Paul's throwing error, the Twins single home another run. Then Jose can't field a ball cleanly and allows men on first and third. A sac fly and the runner scores. The next 2 guys fly out. So Jose gave the Twins two extra runs they didn't even need because they won by three. 8 - 5.

Decision: NO 

 

ROYCE CLAYTON

Error# Date  Result Opponent  

 

#1 April 6  Loss Detroit

Yes, that's right. This is the first and only time during the season that Royce had more errors than Jose. Royce can't field a ball cleanly and allows a runner to second. That's where he stays. The Sox lose a close one 10 - 9 in 10 innings because Jerry Manuel insisted on bringing in Foulke with the game tied in the ninth.

Decision: NO 

 

#2 April 18  Win Detroit

The Sox are up 6 - 1 in the 5th. Royce can't field a ball cleanly allowing a man to first with one out. The next 2 guys get out and the Sox win 6 - 4.

Decision: NO 

 

#3 May 6  Win Texas

The game is tied 2 - 2 in the 2nd inning. Royce makes a throwing error allowing a man to second. He eventually scores giving Texas a 3 - 2 lead. The lead changes a few more times throughout the game but the Sox end up on top 10 - 5.

Decision: NO 

 

#4 June 16  Loss St. Louis

Royce makes a throwing error with 2 outs allowing a man to second. The third out is made and the runner never scores. With the help of a Cards 5-run fifth, the Sox fall 8 - 3.

Decision: NO 

 

#5 Aug 18  Loss Oakland

With 2 outs, Royce loads the bases with a throwing error. Luckily the next guy up lines out. Oakland takes a 5 - 4 lead in the 8th thanks to Bob "Gascan" Howry and the Sox lose.

Decision: NO 

 

#6 Aug 21  Win Kansas City

Royce makes a throwing error on the first batter of the game. He comes around to score giving KC an early 1 - 0 lead. That's the only run they get as the Sox pound out 6 runs to win 6 - 1.

Decision: NO 

 

#7 Aug 28  Win Detroit

The Tigers are up 4 - 1 with men on second and third and 1 out. Clayton can't field a ball and allows 2 more runs to score. The next 2 batters fly out. The Tigers are held scoreless the rest of the game while the Sox manage another 7 runs. Sox win 8 - 6.

Decision: NO 
 

Final thoughts and totals... 

Jose Valentin

@SS - 8 errors in 8 games. 4 throwing, 4 fielding.

@3B - 14 errors in 10 games. 8 throwing, 6 fielding. 4 two-error games.

total - 22 errors in 18 games. 12 throwing, 10 fielding.  

Jose seems to split pretty evenly between throwing errors and fielding errors. Although it seems he has more trouble making the throw from 3rd. 

Royce Clayton

7 errors in 7 games. 4 throwing 3 fielding. 

Royce is also split between throwing errors and fielding errors. Albeit, far less than Jose. It has been argued however, that a player cannot be charged with an error if he never gets to the ball in the first place or if he makes an accurate, yet weak throw. I'll leave that for someone else though. 

Jose and Royce combined for the most errors in games against the Tigers. 6 games, 6 errors. 3 apiece in each category.

Against the rest of the AL central they combined:

3 errors in 2 games vs. Cleveland

5 errors in 4 games vs. Kansas City

4 errors in 3 games vs. Minnesota 

This is probably because the Sox played each of these teams at least 18 times in the 2001 season. The rest of the 11 errors were in 9 games against various teams. Most notably 4 errors in 3 games against the Texas Rangers. Who, coincidentally would replace the Twins in the AL central should Bug Selig get his way and be able to contract them. Again, that is another topic for someone else...

Yet, out of all those games and all those errors, Jose and Royce directly contributed to the exact same amount of losses. ZERO. That means had both players gone error-free and not allowed any runs because of errors, assuming everything else in each game stayed the same, the Sox still would have had the same record that they really ended up with. Neither player cost the team anything defensively. So my question is, did moving Jose out of the spot he is most comfortable at and replacing him with a player who statistically makes less errors actually improve the team? Well, Herbert Perry and Tony Graffanino, 2 players who played a large role on the 2000 team, became forgotten men. Jose was shuffled between 3 different positions only to make more errors at 3rd and injure his hamstring in center. Joe Crede came to the team in September only to ride the bench. So I would have to say no. So unless a miracle happens and Sox GM Ken Williams is able to find a team to take Royce (which he has been trying to do since the beginning of the 2001 season) Sox fans are going to have to suffer through this exact same situation again in 2002. Sigh...

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