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View Full Version : Stat Haters: If the North Siders Learned to Embace it, Why Can't You?


Lefty34
04-25-2008, 08:36 PM
I found this (http://sports.espn.go.com/espnmag/story?id=3363255), while tooling around on ESPN.com, and to be totally honest I was shocked to find such a well-written piece about, of all things, statistics on ESPN!

I don't want this to devolve into another Cubs hate-fest (which is why I posted it here instead of another section), rather, what I want is another open-forum discussion on the use of statistics, and how they have, possible, led to the North Siders having the second-best record in baseball.

doublem23
04-25-2008, 08:41 PM
Don't take stats to go 6-0 against the Bucs.

:party:

Frontman
04-25-2008, 08:43 PM
I found this (http://sports.espn.go.com/espnmag/story?id=3363255), while tooling around on ESPN.com, and to be totally honest I was shocked to find such a well-written piece about, of all things, statistics on ESPN!

I don't want this to devolve into another Cubs hate-fest (which is why I posted it here instead of another section), rather, what I want is another open-forum discussion on the use of statistics, and how they have, possible, led to the North Siders having the second-best record in baseball.

So good hitting, pitching, and a bit of luck have zero to do with it?

Stats can track a trend; but they can't define how a team should do.

The "on paper" argument is based on statistics. "On paper" the 2006 White Sox should of returned to the post-season.

They didn't.

While following stats might be fun, it might give you insight; a game is still decided in the course of actual play.

Daver
04-25-2008, 08:46 PM
They tried letting numbers play the game, it was kinda boring to watch.

Frontman
04-25-2008, 08:48 PM
They tried letting numbers play the game, it was kinda boring to watch.

On the North Side, noone noticed how boring it was.


:wink:

fquaye149
04-25-2008, 08:50 PM
I can't decide which side of the argument sounds silliest in this thread

Tragg
04-25-2008, 08:52 PM
rather, what I want is another open-forum discussion on the use of statistics, and how they have, possible, led to the North Siders having the second-best record in baseball.
That sounds like 2 separate discussions to me. The value of stats (an interesting discussion) and a second discussion about whether the Cubs hot start is due to Hendry being a stat-geek if he is a stat geek. Interesting - stat guru Sheehan has written at least 5 articles already about "small sample size" to explain why his predicted teams are doing poorly - isn't the Cubs hot start a small sample size?.

Full sample size would also warrant discussion about why stat-run Toronto is so mediocre, Texas is so horrible and Cleveland has been outperformed by 3 non-stat teams in its own division for most of this century: Chicago (Cleveland finished ahead of Chicago only once this century), Detroit and Minny.

The use and value of stats is an interesting discussion, though. The results of teas run by stats geeks is mixed, at best.

Frontman
04-25-2008, 08:55 PM
That sounds like 2 separate discussions to me. The value of stats (an interesting discussion) and a second discussion about whether the Cubs hot start is due to Hendry being a stat-geek if he is a stat geek. Interesting - stat guru Sheehan has written at least 5 articles already about "small sample size" to explain why his predicted teams are doing poorly - isn't the Cubs hot start a small sample size?.

Don't get me going on small sample sizes to make an argument. A certain mid-day radio host was using the "5-1" without Soriano to justify him not being brought back into the lineup for the Cubs.

Granted, 3 of those 5 wins were off of the Pirates, who in the very same discussion, said radio host said "They sucked."

Daver
04-25-2008, 08:55 PM
I can't decide which side of the argument sounds silliest in this thread

Wait till the Billy Beane comparisons start before deciding that.

Lefty34
04-25-2008, 09:15 PM
So good hitting, pitching, and a bit of luck have zero to do with it?


Luck? Luck!? How about being 2nd in the NL (and division) in walks, 2nd in the NL and division in OBP, 5th in the NL and 1st in the division in SLG and 2nd in the NL and 1st in the division in OPS? Does that say nothing? Or is it still all dependent on da Passion and da Fire of Carlos Zambrano on the mound?

Luck you say? I would rather think of it as having more guys on base more of the time (that would be walks and OBP) so as to let your division-leading and NL-leading AVG knock those runners in. And in terms of pitching, how about opposing batters having only a .313 OBP and .401 SLG against you? To put that into perspective, that is like pitching to Juan Uribe all the time.

Stats can track a trend; but they can't define how a team should do.

The "on paper" argument is based on statistics. "On paper" the 2006 White Sox should of returned to the post-season.

They didn't.

That is true, I could not agree with you more. The 2006 PECOTA rating for our Sox was 82, with the actual win total being 90, and as I recall the Sox make PECOTA look stupid more than any other team and the league (other than in 2007, but a blind squirrel eventually finds an acorn, right?).

However, I must ask why there is so much opposition by so many people to using statistics as a way to evaluate a team and/or its players? And on top of that, are people simply ignoring the tests and studies done showing that getting on base and getting extra base hits are way more important that sacrificing or stealing? Bill James started looking at these things years ago, and look at box score after box score to prove that his theory about getting on base was in fact true, and Baseball Prospectus has indeed proved over and over again that this is true (although being snooty and coming up with other crazy schemes and statistics along the way helps no one's cause).

Sure, simply getting on base and getting extra base hits will not get you to a World Series, but does no one here believe that it can get you close?

Daver
04-25-2008, 09:25 PM
Luck? Luck!? How about being 2nd in the NL (and division) in walks, 2nd in the NL and division in OBP, 5th in the NL and 1st in the division in SLG and 2nd in the NL and 1st in the division in OPS? Does that say nothing? Or is it still all dependent on da Passion and da Fire of Carlos Zambrano on the mound?

Luck you say? I would rather think of it as having more guys on base more of the time (that would be walks and OBP) so as to let your division-leading and NL-leading AVG knock those runners in. And in terms of pitching, how about opposing batters having only a .313 OBP and .401 SLG against you? To put that into perspective, that is like pitching to Juan Uribe all the time.



That is true, I could not agree with you more. The 2006 PECOTA rating for our Sox was 82, with the actual win total being 90, and as I recall the Sox make PECOTA look stupid more than any other team and the league (other than in 2007, but a blind squirrel eventually finds an acorn, right?).

However, I must ask why there is so much opposition by so many people to using statistics as a way to evaluate a team and/or its players? And on top of that, are people simply ignoring the tests and studies done showing that getting on base and getting extra base hits are way more important that sacrificing or stealing? Bill James started looking at these things years ago, and look at box score after box score to prove that his theory about getting on base was in fact true, and Baseball Prospectus has indeed proved over and over again that this is true (although being snooty and coming up with other crazy schemes and statistics along the way helps no one's cause).

Sure, simply getting on base and getting extra base hits will not get you to a World Series, but does no one here believe that it can get you close?

According to Baseball Prospectus the Sox still didn't win the world series in 2005, because they did it by stealing bases and sacrificing when it was appropriate. All numbers lie, the true art is using how they lie to your advantage.

Lefty34
04-25-2008, 09:45 PM
According to Baseball Prospectus the Sox still didn't win the world series in 2005, because they did it by stealing bases and sacrificing when it was appropriate. All numbers lie, the true art is using how they lie to your advantage.

Or because they had Starting Pitching that was ranked 2nd in the AL in WHIP, 2nd in the AL in OBP, 2nd in the AL in SLG and 2nd in the AL in OPS. Also, I don't think it hurt that they had the most CG's by starting pitching in the AL.

But no, I'm wrong. Numbers suck. It was Tadihito Iguchi laying down those sac bunts while Scottie Pods was taking off for second base that won the Sox the World Series. I'm such an idiot.

Lefty34
04-25-2008, 09:47 PM
All numbers lie, the true art is using how they lie to your advantage.

Oh yeah, and don't forget, Daver, your eyes can deceive you as well....

Daver
04-25-2008, 09:50 PM
Oh yeah, and don't forget, Daver, your eyes can deceive you as well....

Your stats still say Royce Clayton is the best SS the Sox ever had. You really want to claim that?

DSpivack
04-25-2008, 09:54 PM
According to Baseball Prospectus the Sox still didn't win the world series in 2005, because they did it by stealing bases and sacrificing when it was appropriate. All numbers lie, the true art is using how they lie to your advantage.

Here's one number that doesn't lie: 4/25. It's only April 25, it's ridiculous to start anointing teams and claiming them great. Then again, when you root for the Cubs, might as well anoint them champs in March and April, since you can't do it in October.

Lefty34
04-25-2008, 10:12 PM
Your stats still say Royce Clayton is the best SS the Sox ever had. You really want to claim that?

As Peter Griffin once famously said, "Ummm...WHAT?"

Royce Clayton? You put "Royce Clayton" and "best SS" in the same sentence?

Ok, well Clayton's best seasonal line for the Sox came in 2001 when he went .263/.315/.393. However the year before that, my guy, the Stache himself, Jose Valentin had a line in 2000 of .273/.343/.491 and had an OPS+ of 107, which, when compared with Clayton's OPS+ of 83 in 2001, is much much better.

Now, since I don't know where to find normalized statistics throughout baseball history, I will not bore you with comparing Royce Clayton with the Sox SS's of years past, however I think I have just shown that "my statistics" do not show that Royce Clayton is particularly good at anything. And I leave you with one question: Who are you crappin?

:duel:

Lefty34
04-25-2008, 10:13 PM
Then again, when you root for the Cubs, might as well anoint them champs in March and April, since you can't do it in October.

Zing! :rolling:

Daver
04-25-2008, 10:21 PM
Now, since I don't know where to find normalized statistics throughout baseball history, I will not bore you with comparing Royce Clayton with the Sox SS's of years past, however I think I have just shown that "my statistics" do not show that Royce Clayton is particularly good at anything. And I leave you with one question: Who are you crappin?



You can find them in the Sox media guide, but I am sure that publication is way to pedestrian for a math geek to use.

Tragg
04-25-2008, 10:27 PM
Or because they had Starting Pitching that was ranked 2nd in the AL in WHIP, 2nd in the AL in OBP, 2nd in the AL in SLG and 2nd in the AL in OPS. Also, I don't think it hurt that they had the most CG's by starting pitching in the AL.

.
Except that after their stat machine projected the Sox at 72 wins, the games were actually played, and their stat machine said we won 90 games and finished 5 games behind Cleveland.
Yes that same Cleveland that was swept by a Sox team the last weekend of the season that consisted of Ross Gload, Willie Harris and assorted members of the Charlotte Knights.

Lefty34
04-25-2008, 10:32 PM
You can find them in the Sox media guide, but I am sure that publication is way to pedestrian for a math geek to use.

No, it's certainly not too pedestrian, but I am just too poor to afford that guide and spend way too much of my money on Miller Lite and Skoal. Are the stats in the guide normalized to the season Baseball Prospectus uses as the most noraml offensive season after the integration of baseball (isn't it like 1972 or something? Someone help me out on this one)?

gosox41
04-25-2008, 10:52 PM
Or because they had Starting Pitching that was ranked 2nd in the AL in WHIP, 2nd in the AL in OBP, 2nd in the AL in SLG and 2nd in the AL in OPS. Also, I don't think it hurt that they had the most CG's by starting pitching in the AL.

But no, I'm wrong. Numbers suck. It was Tadihito Iguchi laying down those sac bunts while Scottie Pods was taking off for second base that won the Sox the World Series. I'm such an idiot.

Small ball is a myth with this team. Outside of Pods, there have been no stolen base threats. And the bunting on this team has been far from good.

Like you, I'm pretty sure the number one reason the Sox in 2005 was because of pitching. The number 2 reason was because of the long ball.



Bob

EndemicSox
04-25-2008, 10:52 PM
OBP is the name of the game, see the state of most front offices nowadays...the stat "geeks" are taking over the game, and morons like Joe Morgan are pissed off! Scouting with the eyes/stats aren't mutually exclusive...a good FO will use a hefty dose of both...the Swisher trade leads me to believe Kenny Williams is embracing this new "science"

On the other hand...the presence of Juan Uribe in the everyday lineup, a player who makes an out 70-80% of the time, leads me to believe the manager doesn't like these new fangled stats...

gosox41
04-25-2008, 10:54 PM
No, it's certainly not too pedestrian, but I am just too poor to afford that guide and spend way too much of my money on Miller Lite and Skoal. Are the stats in the guide normalized to the season Baseball Prospectus uses as the most noraml offensive season after the integration of baseball (isn't it like 1972 or something? Someone help me out on this one)?


I'd like to know which page in the media guide shows that Royce is the best SS the Sox ever had.


Bob

chaerulez
04-25-2008, 11:05 PM
Haven't the Sox steered towards this same philosophy? They've only attempted six stolen bases, and put Nick Swisher an OBP machine at the top of the lineup. I think after seeing the success of last years Red Sox, I don't think teams are oblivious to the whole sabermetrics thing.

Nellie_Fox
04-26-2008, 12:18 AM
Why in the world would I want to embace anything that has been embaced by the north siders? I'd feel unclean.

FarWestChicago
04-26-2008, 06:43 AM
I found this (http://sports.espn.go.com/espnmag/story?id=3363255), while tooling around on ESPN.com, and to be totally honest I was shocked to find such a well-written piece about, of all things, statistics on ESPN!

I don't want this to devolve into another Cubs hate-fest (which is why I posted it here instead of another section), rather, what I want is another open-forum discussion on the use of statistics, and how they have, possible, led to the North Siders having the second-best record in baseball.:crossdresser

You love "stats" more than the Sox. Nothing to see here. Everybody move along. :puking:

santo=dorf
04-26-2008, 07:22 AM
Why in the world would I want to embace anything that has been embaced by the north siders? I'd feel unclean.
OK Hangar.

Lefty34
04-26-2008, 08:09 AM
You love "stats" more than the Sox. Nothing to see here. Everybody move along. :puking:

What? Where have I posted that says anything to that affect? I mean, seriously, where in the hell is that coming from?

FarWestChicago
04-26-2008, 08:14 AM
OK Hangar.Ahh, Dorf, your true colors are shown.

:crossdresser