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LITTLE NELL
07-05-2012, 02:35 PM
Sox are first in fielding in the A.L. with fewest errors and best fielding pct. This might be the best defensive Sox team I've seen since the days these guys:
http://90feetofperfection.files.wordpress.com/2012/02/minnie-minoso-jim-landis-luis-aparicio-nellie-fox.jpg?w=497&h=463

BigKlu59
07-05-2012, 02:49 PM
Thanks for the memories.... Yup, the old saying "Strength up the Middle"..The story of the 1959 Chicago White Sox..

BK59

LITTLE NELL
07-05-2012, 03:13 PM
Thanks for the memories.... Yup, the old saying "Strength up the Middle"..The story of the 1959 Chicago White Sox..

BK59

The sad thing is that Minnie wasn't on the 59 team, that picture was taken probably in the spring of 60 or 61 and the guys recieving their awards for the previous year. If it was in 1960, Minnie got his award for the 59 season with the Indians. If it was in 1961 then all 4 got them for the 1960 season with the Sox.

TDog
07-05-2012, 03:35 PM
The sad thing is that Minnie wasn't on the 59 team, that picture was taken probably in the spring of 60 or 61 and the guys recieving their awards for the previous year. If it was in 1960, Minnie got his award for the 59 season with the Indians. If it was in 1961 then all 4 got them for the 1960 season with the Sox.

Considering they traded Minoso away for Early Wynne and Al Smith and got him back in a deal that gave up Norm Cash, some consider it a shame Minoso was in the picture. But that is entirely hindsight.

As for the White Sox defense, it isn't just a matter of making the routine plays. The White Sox are playing great infield defense. De Aza has made a couple of mistakes in center in the first three months, and Rios was labeled "garbage" after he dropped a routine fly ball that had no effect on scoring in a game the White Sox won, but they have played excellent outfield defense. Their catchers have been much better at throwing out runners, although not as good lately as they were in April. This has been a very good defensive team. And it only became better with the addition of Youkilis.

SI1020
07-05-2012, 03:40 PM
I love good defense in all sports, but especially baseball. Of course you can't lack in other facets of the game, but good defense can mean all the difference in the world. Plus, as a baby boomer who remembers all that great defense in the go go era I feel that it is part of my Sox heritage. As for the picture, thanks again to LN and that has to have been taken in 1960.

Dan H
07-05-2012, 04:10 PM
I love good defense in all sports, but especially baseball. Of course you can't lack in other facets of the game, but good defense can mean all the difference in the world. Plus, as a baby boomer who remembers all that great defense in the go go era I feel that it is part of my Sox heritage. As for the picture, thanks again to LN and that has to have been taken in 1960.

You're right about defense; it can make all the difference. Just look at what Crede and Uribe did in the '05 World Series. And what Brooks Robinson did in the '70 series. Of course, balance is always needed. But it is tough to win anything of significance without defense. The White Sox have it.

downstairs
07-05-2012, 04:14 PM
Errors and fielding percentage are terrible indicators of defense. Not knocking the Sox, it certainly appears as if their defense is helping out quite a bit... but just hate when people use that metric.

Kinda wish we'd get rid of the "error" stat.

Also, fine, even if we keep it... I've always wondered why its the third stat on the standard scoreboard after runs and hits? Why is it that important? Curious on how that became the standard. There are far more stats that could take up that spot, if not eliminating it from the scoreboard entirely.

hawkjt
07-05-2012, 04:15 PM
I started a thread about 3 weeks ago saying that this Sox outfield defensively was about the best in my memory as a longtime Sox fan.
A handful maintained that Tank was mediocre and DeAza was nothing special. I disagree. Tank gets to most balls and has a big arm. DeAza covers a ton of territory,and Rios has arguably been the best all around outfielder in the league....along with Hamilton.

The infield is rock solid now with a real third baseman.
Great defense,good pitching from a bunch of no-names,and an offense that is clutch....good formula for a winning team.

LITTLE NELL
07-05-2012, 04:19 PM
I love good defense in all sports, but especially baseball. Of course you can't lack in other facets of the game, but good defense can mean all the difference in the world. Plus, as a baby boomer who remembers all that great defense in the go go era I feel that it is part of my Sox heritage. As for the picture, thanks again to LN and that has to have been taken in 1960.

Picture was taken in 1960 according to this site, so Minnie's GG was for his 59 season with Tribe but all 4 were repeat winners for the 1960 season.
http://90feetofperfection.com/2012/02/22/30-posts-30-teams-the-chicago-white-sox/

SI1020
07-05-2012, 04:22 PM
Errors and fielding percentage are terrible indicators of defense. I don't subscribe to the deconstructionist aspects of the so called stats revolution. All stats are important, if you keep things in perspective and put them in context with everything else. Even before anyone ever heard of Bill James smart fans knew that fielding average wasn't the be all and end all of evaluating fielders. The Sox have had very solid fielding this year whatever the stats say. Both physical and mental errors are down, and big plays that matter are being made.

asindc
07-05-2012, 04:24 PM
I don't subscribe to the deconstructionist aspects of the so called stats revolution. All stats are important, if you keep things in perspective and put them in context with everything else. Even before anyone ever heard of Bill James smart fans knew that fielding average wasn't the be all and end all of evaluating fielders. The Sox have had very solid fielding this year whatever the stats say. Both physical and mental errors are down, and big plays that matter are being made.

You mean to tell me that you made your analysis by watching them play?

Daver
07-05-2012, 04:30 PM
Errors and fielding percentage are terrible indicators of defense. Not knocking the Sox, it certainly appears as if their defense is helping out quite a bit... but just hate when people use that metric.



Kind of like my dislike for range factor and any other contrived stat that exists only to produce a number?

slavko
07-05-2012, 05:11 PM
You mean to tell me that you made your analysis by watching them play?

The old Eyeball Test. They can pick it, the last hole has been sealed. Don't ignore what's happened to AJ's throwing.

Over By There
07-05-2012, 05:19 PM
Heading to the Parking Lot to see if there's a thread entitled, "Hell Hath Frozen Over."

CoopaLoop
07-05-2012, 05:24 PM
Infield defense certainly might be the best in the biz unless it is the opponent today.

TDog
07-05-2012, 05:49 PM
Errors and fielding percentage are terrible indicators of defense. Not knocking the Sox, it certainly appears as if their defense is helping out quite a bit... but just hate when people use that metric.

Kinda wish we'd get rid of the "error" stat.

Also, fine, even if we keep it... I've always wondered why its the third stat on the standard scoreboard after runs and hits? Why is it that important? Curious on how that became the standard. There are far more stats that could take up that spot, if not eliminating it from the scoreboard entirely.

Most of the stats that the Billy Beanes of the world would put after runs would be even less meaningless than hits and errors. On the scoreboard, runs is the only stat that matters. Hits show how many teams hitters earned their way on base and errors reflect misplays egregious enough that the pitcher isn't to blame. Some teams add their left on base. Many fans put out K's or their home strikeouts (in Arizona, when I was there, at least, it was incorporated into the scoreboard, sponsored by Circle K), but strikeouts generally show that pitchers are having to work harder becaue they are throwing more pitches, which most teams seem to track now too.

Hits and errors aren't metrics, but metrics don't mean very much. They don't tell you how many runs the teams have scored, how many they should have scored or predict how you will do in the future, especially with pitching changes always around the corner. People get excited about walks, but walks aren't as important as hits. It's true that Kinsler and Youkilis scored after being walked today for two of the three runs, but the walk to Viciedo didn't help. And Youkilis walking in the seventh (such was its importance to the White Sox that the Rangers walked him on purpose, even some non-intentional walks are like that because the defense considers walking to their advantage) contributed mightily to the game going extra innings last night while his failure to walk and instead drive in a runner who had walked and stole second in the 10th won it for the Sox.

Baseball is never going to get rid of errors if only because it would mean pitchers would take the blame for runs that are currently unearned. I wouldn't have a problem with a stat that showed pitchers' total RA as well as ERA, but ERA isn't going anywhere.

TomBradley72
07-05-2012, 05:54 PM
Errors and fielding percentage are terrible indicators of defense. Not knocking the Sox, it certainly appears as if their defense is helping out quite a bit... but just hate when people use that metric.

Kinda wish we'd get rid of the "error" stat.

Also, fine, even if we keep it... I've always wondered why its the third stat on the standard scoreboard after runs and hits? Why is it that important? Curious on how that became the standard. There are far more stats that could take up that spot, if not eliminating it from the scoreboard entirely.

I don't agree-on the purest, analytical sense- maybe- but look at a ranking of teams by errors committed or fielding percentage and that ranking will typically align pretty well with the quality level of their defense.

There can be individual examples of outliers, etc- but over a 162 game season I think they are very relevent indicators.

TomBradley72
07-05-2012, 05:57 PM
On a separate note- their defense has improved dramatically- but its basically the same team as in 2011- another piece of evidence for the quality of Robin Ventura and his staff.

Mingo
07-05-2012, 06:03 PM
The Sox are fielding and hitting with uncommon focus. I would love to be a pitcher on this team - I think they really give the pitchers the feeling that it is okay to let the other guys hit the ball.

I heard a stat the other day - on a TV broadcast - I think - that the Sox have given up the fewest unearned runs in the AL - about 30 fewer than the Tigers. That is a big time number.

DSpivack
07-05-2012, 06:13 PM
The Sox are fielding and hitting with uncommon focus. I would love to be a pitcher on this team - I think they really give the pitchers the feeling that it is okay to let the other guys hit the ball.

I heard a stat the other day - on a TV broadcast - I think - that the Sox have given up the fewest unearned runs in the AL - about 30 fewer than the Tigers. That is a big time number.

That's interesting. You can look at the difference in runs allowed/game and ERA below. From what I can tell the Sox have among the lowest difference between the two in the AL.

http://www.baseball-reference.com/leagues/AL/2012.shtml

SI1020
07-05-2012, 06:25 PM
That's interesting. You can look at the difference in runs allowed/game and ERA below. From what I can tell the Sox have among the lowest difference between the two in the AL.

http://www.baseball-reference.com/leagues/AL/2012.shtml That is something I would look at also in trying to determine how well a team ranks defensively.

SephClone89
07-05-2012, 06:52 PM
Most of the stats that the Billy Beanes of the world would put after runs would be even less meaningless than hits and errors. On the scoreboard, runs is the only stat that matters. Hits show how many teams hitters earned their way on base and errors reflect misplays egregious enough that the pitcher isn't to blame. Some teams add their left on base. Many fans put out K's or their home strikeouts (in Arizona, when I was there, at least, it was incorporated into the scoreboard, sponsored by Circle K), but strikeouts generally show that pitchers are having to work harder becaue they are throwing more pitches, which most teams seem to track now too.

Hits and errors aren't metrics, but metrics don't mean very much. They don't tell you how many runs the teams have scored, how many they should have scored or predict how you will do in the future, especially with pitching changes always around the corner. People get excited about walks, but walks aren't as important as hits. It's true that Kinsler and Youkilis scored after being walked today for two of the three runs, but the walk to Viciedo didn't help. And Youkilis walking in the seventh (such was its importance to the White Sox that the Rangers walked him on purpose, even some non-intentional walks are like that because the defense considers walking to their advantage) contributed mightily to the game going extra innings last night while his failure to walk and instead drive in a runner who had walked and stole second in the 10th won it for the Sox.

Baseball is never going to get rid of errors if only because it would mean pitchers would take the blame for runs that are currently unearned. I wouldn't have a problem with a stat that showed pitchers' total RA as well as ERA, but ERA isn't going anywhere.

I don't even know where to begin with this.

kittle42
07-05-2012, 06:53 PM
That is something I would look at also in trying to determine how well a team ranks defensively.

I would only use my eyes, because I personally attend each game played by each MLB team every season. Do not ask how this is possible.

doublem23
07-05-2012, 07:02 PM
I would only use my eyes, because I personally attend each game played by each MLB team every season. Do not ask how this is possible.

You just have to develop a gut feeling for it from watching. This is a sound defensive team, especially if Youk is going to be a Gold Glove caliber 3B.

TDog
07-05-2012, 07:07 PM
On a separate note- their defense has improved dramatically- but its basically the same team as in 2011- another piece of evidence for the quality of Robin Ventura and his staff.

It's not even the same team that lost two of three in LA and then lost two of three to the Cubs in June. This season, Rios has made a tremendous difference in right. Youkilis, Escobar and Hudson have played most of the post-Morel third base, and have done a pretty good job overall.

Right now with Youkilis at third base, the Sox are much better than they were at the start of the season. With Hudson as the utility infielder instead of Lillibridge, the infield defense is better.

The defense was pretty good last year, though. It is better this year, but it's better now than it was in April, May or even June.

Brian26
07-05-2012, 07:19 PM
Errors and fielding percentage are terrible indicators of defense. Not knocking the Sox, it certainly appears as if their defense is helping out quite a bit... but just hate when people use that metric.

This is a great point when considering last night's game. De Aza made a great diving catch in centerfield. If the ball dropped in front of him, it would have been a hit, not an error. Beckham made two strong throws (one on a double play, one on a grounder while he was moving away from first base). Weak throws on those would have resulted in a fielder's choice safe-at-first and an infield hit. Youk's backhanded grab at third would have been a hit if he didn't snag it. None of those plays are really measured by fielding percentage. Perhaps there are other metrics out there that can measure these type of performances, but the bottom line is that you have to watch the games to really appreciate how these guys are playing, because some things just don't show up in the box score.

TDog
07-05-2012, 07:20 PM
I don't even know where to begin with this.

It isn't that difficult, the team that scores the most runs wins. If you're into style points, you can watch gymnastics or figure skating.

Pythagoras died about 23 centuries before the invention of baseball. Chaos theory has more to do with who wins or loses baseball games than some of the metrics some people get excited about.

But if you watch the White Sox play, you don't need metrics to see they are playing great defense.

balke
07-05-2012, 07:27 PM
Question - so far how do people think Youk stacks up against Morel defensively?

I thought Morel is/was awesome defensively - but Youk gets the plays done and has a much better arm than I thought.

SI1020
07-05-2012, 07:43 PM
It isn't that difficult, the team that scores the most runs wins. If you're into style points, you can watch gymnastics or figure skating.

Pythagoras died about 23 centuries before the invention of baseball. Chaos theory has more to do with who wins or loses baseball games than some of the metrics some people get excited about.

But if you watch the White Sox play, you don't need metrics to see they are playing great defense. I'm with you totally on this one TDog. Especially the last sentence.

SephClone89
07-05-2012, 07:43 PM
I'm with you totally on this one TDog. Especially the last sentence.

Well, the rest of it is pretty standard "damn propellerheads!" fare.

Daver
07-05-2012, 07:47 PM
Question - so far how do people think Youk stacks up against Morel defensively?

I thought Morel is/was awesome defensively - but Youk gets the plays done and has a much better arm than I thought.
He lacks Morel's range to his left, but he's not playing the position like an out of place first baseman.

Daver
07-05-2012, 07:48 PM
Well, the rest of it is pretty standard "damn propellerheads!" fare.

It made sense to me.

Zakath
07-05-2012, 08:16 PM
Errors and fielding percentage are terrible indicators of defense. Not knocking the Sox, it certainly appears as if their defense is helping out quite a bit... but just hate when people use that metric.


It's that stat that got Jeter a Gold Glove over Alexei in 2010 when he really didn't deserve it. He made fewer errors on a lot fewer chances (so, basically, he wasn't making any extraordinary efforts to get balls out of his normal range).

Daver
07-05-2012, 08:38 PM
It's that stat that got Jeter a Gold Glove over Alexei in 2010 when he really didn't deserve it. He made fewer errors on a lot fewer chances (so, basically, he wasn't making any extraordinary efforts to get balls out of his normal range).

Alexei didn't hit well enough, and the Sox didn't finish well enough, for him to have a chance at a GG.

Boondock Saint
07-05-2012, 09:41 PM
Alexei didn't hit well enough, and the Sox didn't finish well enough, for him to have a chance at a GG.

But strangely enough, he did hit well enough to win the silver slugger award.

Daver
07-05-2012, 10:40 PM
But strangely enough, he did hit well enough to win the silver slugger award.

Of course he did, that is an offensive stat.

Tragg
07-05-2012, 11:09 PM
We're stout up the middle. Alexei and Beckham are nails and we're holding runners a lot better than we used to. De Aza and Rios do a great job covering 3/4 of he outfield. Viciedo isn't near the Carlos Lee/Manny Ramirez clone out there he was advertised to be.

thomas35forever
07-05-2012, 11:54 PM
I must admit I haven't found too many things to complain about with the defense this year. Everyone in the regular starting lineup seems comfortable with their role in the field and I'm having trouble recalling a time this year where I was really upset after a game because of bad D. De Aza and Rio have especially done their jobs with Viciedo bailing out the pitchers as well at times. Gotta hand it to these guys. It truly is a big reason why we're in first place.

Bodhi
07-06-2012, 12:16 AM
I haven't been able to watch many games, but the last two I was able to watch almost every single pitch. Our defense is great. AJ, Alexei, even Paulie astonish me sometimes. I haven't been around to watch Minnie Minoso, Luis Aparicio, or Nellie Fox, but I think I might one day look at this 2012 squad and view it as a near pinnacle of defense in the modern era.

TomBradley72
07-06-2012, 08:21 AM
It's not even the same team that lost two of three in LA and then lost two of three to the Cubs in June. This season, Rios has made a tremendous difference in right. Youkilis, Escobar and Hudson have played most of the post-Morel third base, and have done a pretty good job overall.

Right now with Youkilis at third base, the Sox are much better than they were at the start of the season. With Hudson as the utility infielder instead of Lillibridge, the infield defense is better.

The defense was pretty good last year, though. It is better this year, but it's better now than it was in April, May or even June.

Ventura made the call to move Rios to RF. Ozzie could have made the same call- but chose not to.

Morel was solid on defense last year- so yes that's been a change- but I'd say Youkilis = Morel on defense.

Railsplitter
07-06-2012, 08:53 AM
The Sox aren't giving away any bases.

People who bring up Earl Weaver relying on the three run homer forget he mentioned it AFTER pictching and defense.

TheVulture
07-06-2012, 01:35 PM
Sox are first in fielding in the A.L. with fewest errors and best fielding pct. This might be the best defensive Sox team I've seen since the days these guys:
http://90feetofperfection.files.wordpress.com/2012/02/minnie-minoso-jim-landis-luis-aparicio-nellie-fox.jpg?w=497&h=463

I don't know - the early 90s teams were pretty darn good. I'd still probably take the 2005 infield, but the outfield might have left a little to be desired.

what the foulke?
07-06-2012, 02:17 PM
Poeple who say that Youk is better than Morel on defense are crazy. He provides a lift on offense without giving up much on defense. He can make both the easy and tough plays but Morel defensively WAS much greater.

With that said, the lift he gives the offense that I mentioned far and blending in with the energy of the team outweighs his defensive contributions. (which both have been great so far)

Another point is that pitchers who know that the leather behind them is solid and can make the plays gives them confidence on the mound. They don't have to rely on the strikeout as often because they don't need to.

TDog
07-06-2012, 04:45 PM
Ventura made the call to move Rios to RF. Ozzie could have made the same call- but chose not to.

Morel was solid on defense last year- so yes that's been a change- but I'd say Youkilis = Morel on defense.

Quentin was in right last year. The Sox might have been better off with Quentin DHing and Rios in right, both offensively and defensively, but that wasn't the way the team was put together.

Mingo
07-06-2012, 05:25 PM
Props to Beckham for his defense at 2nd base - the guy is a vacuum cleaner on ground balls - makes the pivot for the double play fearlessly - and is usually the guy this year on the tag out on the steal attempt. He may disappoint at the plate, but on the field he is very gifted and focused.

I'd have to say- I'd perfer Morel defensively at 3rd, but not by very much - what Youkilis gives up in range he makes us a lot in his baseball smarts. Even in the field - though - Youkilis has a crash bang way of inspiring play that's a hidden plus.

I don't think Alexei is as focused this year or as good - perhaps he was thinking of his parents - I think he plays much better in the 2nd half on the field and at the plate.

Paulie = also has limited range, but he doesn't mishandle balls and he is a big plus on throws to 1st. He is much better than his reputation on the field would suggest.

Great year for AJ - behind the plate and on the field.

I really love this team. I have never followed a team that has shown such an marked improvment in fundamental baseball execution from one year to the next as this team has shown.

If Ventura was indeed - surprised when he got the tap on his shoulder to Manage - his decisions in the first few weeks on coaches were pure genius. I think the turnaround in the play is very remarkable.

eastchicagosoxfan
07-06-2012, 07:04 PM
The Sox aren't giving away any bases.

People who bring up Earl Weaver relying on the three run homer forget he mentioned it AFTER pictching and defense.

As part of my Independence Day festivities, I played some clips of Earl Weaver. :redneck

Rounding_Third
07-06-2012, 10:59 PM
Through tonight's game, Sox have only given up 14 unearned runs; tops in MLB. Great fundamentals! Robbieball!

Also, in the nearly 50 years I've followed the Sox and baseball, Pauly's probably the best I've ever seen at digging throws out. Can't remember anyone better. He hardly ever misses; maybe once or twice a season. And he's done it his entire career.

hawkjt
07-07-2012, 09:31 AM
Through tonight's game, Sox have only given up 14 unearned runs; tops in MLB. Great fundamentals! Robbieball!

Also, in the nearly 50 years I've followed the Sox and baseball, Pauly's probably the best I've ever seen at digging throws out. Can't remember anyone better. He hardly ever misses; maybe once or twice a season. And he's done it his entire career.


That last catch by PK on the doubleplay to end the game was no easy play.
Whatever range we lose with him,he more than makes up with good hands.

wassagstdu
07-07-2012, 11:22 AM
It's really great to see that Ozzie's emphasis on defensive fundamentals over all of those years has finally borne fruit!

Frater Perdurabo
07-07-2012, 11:46 AM
It's really great to see that Ozzie's emphasis on defensive fundamentals over all of those years has finally borne fruit!

Well played