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Lip Man 1
10-03-2012, 09:30 PM
Folks:

This is not a one year fluke, it's not a two year coincidence...it's a trend...and it's killing this franchise because of how it impacts everything from off season sales, to team payroll to potential advertising and marketing opportunities...and it's been going on for the past 10 years.

It's been discussed at WSI, the "second half blues" this organization suffers on the field almost every year since 2003.

Because of the characture limitations on the message boards, I'm going to post this in three parts. I should have everything up in about 20 minutes.

If you could refrain from comment until I can post the three parts back to back to back, I'd appreciate it. Then feel free to do what you will.

Part 1 (Overview)

--------------------------------

Once again the White Sox have found a way to snatch defeat from the jaws of post season victory. Again they collapsed down the stretch and in doing so wasted a golden opportunity to play in October.

This is something that has been occurring on a regular basis since 2003… playing worse down the stretch than earlier in the season or going through a 10 day / two week collapse and wasting postseason playoff spots.

The White Sox have wasted more chances to make the post season since the new century began, than they have actually made the postseason. That is embarrassing. It is making a fan base already upset about things even more combustible. It has got to be impacting ticket sales and ultimately team payroll.

I’ve attached some numbers for your consideration. I’m frankly shocked that no one seems to be making an issue out of this and asking the million dollar question, why is this continually happening?

I call it “the second half blues…” It is happening on a regular basis however you define ‘second half.’ Be it an equal division between 162 games or games played after the All Star Break.

I don’t have an answer for it, I wish I did, I’d send it to the Sox. JB might have hit upon the answer. I'm paraphrasing his reply.

“The Sox usually have pretty good players in the top half of the roster every year. What kill them are the bottom third, guys 16 through 25. When the regulars need a break, if they are injured seriously or to the point where they have to miss only three or four games, if they are in a slump… whatever reason when the Sox have to replace them, the guys they use to fill in simply aren’t major league caliber. At bats, innings, are going to guys who can’t cut it. That results in games lost and eventually enough games to be sitting at home in October. They have top heavy rosters with little to no depth.”

I think JB makes a valid point. Just look at this past September. On at least two occasions the Sox had either the tying or winning run at the plate in the 9th inning with two out. Who was hitting in those situations? Who was the ‘last hope?’ Orlando Hudson and Jose Lopez.

The question is why?

If you divide up the season into equal parts, the numbers from 2003 to 2012 show that the Sox played at a worse win percentage in games 82-162 as opposed to games 1-81 in six out of the 10 years. They played better in the second half three times and had the exact same numbers in both halves one time.

If you divide up the season into before and after the All Star break, the numbers from 2003 to 2012 show that the Sox played at a worse win percentage after the All Star break as compared to before it in eight out of the 10 years. In the crucial part of the season when games become more meaningful because there aren’t as many left the Sox can’t seem to get it done! They played better in the second half twice under these parameters, that’s it!

(Part II History is coming right up...)

Lip

Lip Man 1
10-03-2012, 09:33 PM
Part II History...

Now how did this impact potential playoff chances?

2003 – The Sox would play by far their best baseball in the second half over the next 10 years this season. However keep in mind the Sox led the Twins by two games with 18 left to play. They’d finish 8-10 over those games including five straight losses to the Twinswhich handed them the division (and got Jerry Manuel fired).

2004 – The Sox played worse in the second half under both scenarios however it’s hard to be to critical of the team that year even though they had a slim lead at the All Star Break. No team in baseball could have withstood the loss of its top two hitters right in the middle of the lineup. The Sox lost both Magglio Ordonez and Frank Thomas to season ending injuries.

2005 – The Sox had such an incredible start in the first half that it was almost impossible to play any better in the second half. They survived one of the hottest stretches in baseball history (by the Indians over two months) to hold them off, win the division and roar through the playoffs to the World Series title.

2006 – The defending champions looked loaded and ready for a repeat. They were one of the best teams in baseball in the first half, won a 19 inning game with Boston right before the All Star break…and then…fell apart in the second half. They opened the second half losing 10 of 12 and it was downhill from there. If the Sox play .500 baseball in the second half, they finish with 94 wins and are right there for a playoff spot.

2007 – The worst Sox team in almost 20 years had no chance at all regardless of half or how you divided it up.

2008 – Yes the Sox made the playoffs, but it took 163 games to do so and it came to that because the Sox lost eight of 10 including three straight at Minnesota before rebounding to win three in a row against three different opponents to claim the division by one game. And if the Twins hadn’t lost two of three the final weekend to K.C. the Sox never would have gotten the chance for the “black out” game. Even winning the division the way they did came at a price. The starting rotation was completely messed up and gassed in the opening round against Tampa, all because the Sox couldn’t make things easier on themselves by winning a few more games at the end.

2009 – Mark Buehrle had just thrown a perfect game in late July and moved the Sox into first place. The Sox then went to Detroit, lost three in a row and never recovered. Again they finish with worse numbers in the second half. A few more wins, against Detroit or Minnesota in a very mediocre division and who knows what could have happened.

2010 – A late stretch that saw the Sox win nine of the last 11 games gave them a better winning percentage in the second half than in the first; however look closer at some things. On August 8, the Sox had a slim lead in the division…and promptly lost 10 of the next 14. They compounded that by losing eight in a row starting on September 14. They won 88 games even with those terrible stretches…what happens if they play .500 baseball over those 22 games combined? If they win 11 out of 22 instead of four…what happens? You know the answer.

2011 – “All In” was “all out and dead” that season. I don’t know if I’ve ever seen a more dead team, dead fans and a manager who had already checked out before the season even started in Sox history. They had no chance although matters weren’t helped when the Sox came into a series with Detroit at home having closed the gap with one last chance to make a run…and Ozzie picked that day to complain about his contract and the money he was making. Yes the Sox immediately tanked again, although it was hard to blame the players.

2012 – Perhaps the worst collapse since 1967, certainly right up there with 2003. The Sox had won five straight and led Detroit by three games with 15 to play. The Sox then promptly collapsed…the offense disappeared, clutch hits were non-existent as were wins. They blew the chance to get to the post season again because of a crucial stretch that saw them lose 10 of 12.

So the scorecard shows that three seasons (2003, 2006 and 2012) saw almost guaranteed postseason berths flushed down the toilet because of terrible stretches in the second half. The scorecard also shows had the Sox played better at crucial times in 2009 and 2010 in the second half it was certainly possible they could have gone to the playoffs those years as well.

How much different would this franchise look if they had made the postseason say six or seven times in 13 years instead of three? What if they had, for the first time in franchise history, made the postseason in consecutive years? Think the media and fans would have been talking about “Sox attendance issues”?

Part III Numbers coming right up...

Lip

Lip Man 1
10-03-2012, 09:37 PM
Part III By the Numbers...(I apologize that they don't completely line up properly)

Red means the win percentage was worse than the first set of numbers.

Green means the win percentage was better than the first set of numbers.

2003:
Games 1-81: 39-42 .481
Games 82-162: 47-34 .580

Before All Star Break: 45-49 .478
After All Star Break: 41-27 .602

2004:
Games 1-81: 43-38 .530
Games 82-162: 40-41 .493

Before All Star Break: 46-38 .547
After All Star Break: 37-41 .474

2005:
Games 1-81: 55-26 .679
Games 82-162: 44-37 .543

Before All Star Break: 57-29 .662
After All Star Break: 42-34 .552

2006:
Games 1-81: 53-28 .654
Games 82-162: 37-44 .456

Before All Star Break: 57-31 .647
After All Star Break: 33-41 .445

2007:
Games 1-81: 36-45 .444
Games 82-162: 36-45 .444

Before All Star Break: 39-47 .453
After All Star Break: 33-43 .434

2008:
Games 1-81: 45-36 .555
Games 82-163: 44-38 .536

Before All Star Break: 54-41 .568
After All Star Break: 35-33 .514

2009:
Games 1-81: 42-39 .518
Games 82-162: 37-44 .456

Before All Star Break: 45-43 .511
After All Star Break: 34-40 .459

2010:
Games 1-81: 43-38 .530
Games 82-162: 45-36 .555

Before All Star Break: 49-38 .563
After All Star Break: 39-36 .520

2011:
Games 1-81: 39-42 .481
Games 82-162: 40-41 .493

Before All Star Break: 44-48 .478
After All Star Break: 35-35 .500

2012:
Games 1-81: 44-37 .543
Games 82-162: 41-40 .506

Before All Star Break: 47-38 .552
After All Star Break: 38-39 .493

That's all I've got, feel free to discuss, comment...whatever you wish

Lip

DSpivack
10-03-2012, 10:05 PM
It's a fluke of statistics, nothing more.

cub killer
10-03-2012, 10:09 PM
I went into the WSI archives to search the 2003 2nd half game threads, but there are no game threads until 2004.

Did this site never do any game threads until 2004? Or are they located somewhere else?

sachin
10-03-2012, 10:13 PM
Not trying to bust on you, but you just wrote 3 major pages on how the White Sox are lousy in the 2nd half, complete with delineated statistics over nearly 10 years.

Ok, so what? They seem to have bad luck or run out of gas. So do a lot of teams. Big whoop... Not exactly earthshaking news or something to really get all outraged over.

soxfan21
10-03-2012, 10:14 PM
Very good research Lip. As you stated, if we made the playoffs 6 or 7 times in the last 13 years I don't think that there would be attendance issues, and it would be nice to have a team that would have been a division contender every year. Unfortunately it wasn't meant to be, and I am afraid that if this trend keeps up and we don't make the playoffs in the next year or two we can see attendance dip to the way it was in the early 2000's.

Frater Perdurabo
10-03-2012, 10:17 PM
It's a fluke of statistics, nothing more.

I disagree. I think it's a function of a shallow roster, which is a function of this organization's long-term refusal to pay for top amateur talent in the draft, inability to develop fundamentally sound position players, and thus necessity to trade its limited supply of promising prospects to fill holes with mediocre and/or expensive veterans.

sachin
10-03-2012, 10:19 PM
Why not write something like "What If the White Sox drafted Derek Jeter?" and speculate how great attendance would be, how many titles the Sox would've won, etc. It didn't happen, so it seems like nothing but a moot argument.

WhiteSox5187
10-03-2012, 10:35 PM
I disagree. I think it's a function of a shallow roster, which is a function of this organization's long-term refusal to pay for top amateur talent in the draft, inability to develop fundamentally sound position players, and thus necessity to trade its limited supply of promising prospects to fill holes with mediocre and/or expensive veterans.

I think that has been the trend of late, but in 2004 it was a result of losing Maggs and Frank, in 2006 it was the fact that the starting pitchers were gassed, 2007 sucked and in 2008 the loss of Contreras, Crede and Quentin was hard to swallow. But as you pointed out, the fact that there was ZERO help from the farm made those losses much harder to take and as someone else mentioned, every team has to deal with injuries.

Lip Man 1
10-03-2012, 10:57 PM
Spivak: A fluke doesn't last 10 years does it?

Sachin: Those "other" teams don't do it three or four times in 10 years costing them postseason playoff spots. (If so maybe you can research and point out whom, not trying to bust your chops either...) Plus those "other" teams don't have the Sox attendence issues do they, which aren't being helped by giving away playoff chances on a regular basis.

"Luck is the residue of design..." -- Branch Rickey

5187: True injuries happen to everyone, others seem to survive it better than the Sox. The Yankees are a great example this season (there are others). There has to be a reason for it.

Lip

Daver
10-03-2012, 10:57 PM
I went into the WSI archives to search the 2003 2nd half game threads, but there are no game threads until 2004.

Did this site never do any game threads until 2004? Or are they located somewhere else?

Prior to 2004 the chat room was used more, but membership grew to the point that the chat just wouldn't work anymore, so we started the game threads instead.

kittle42
10-03-2012, 11:08 PM
6/10 by halves isn't statistically significant.

8/10 is, but aside from the farm being ****, there is no real correlation. Each team really had different issues.

Also, Lip, though I appreciate the effort and time it took, these stats really are incomplete without a comparison to other franchises. Your posts comparing playoff appearances over the past 30 years was more meaningful.

shingo10
10-03-2012, 11:17 PM
The bottom line is that the Sox do not finish seasons. They just don't and you can say that all the stats don't mean anything but obviously they do...because seemingly every year at this time we are having a similar discussion.

So now what is the solution? They have GOT to try to do something to correct this. If they are breaking down and becoming tired then there should be a way to remedy this...I know many have said a better bench would help but in 2006 they had a pretty good bench and it still made no difference. More rest for pitchers?

Part of the problem of the last few years (excluding this year) were the awful starts they would have to the season. Then they'd have to go on an exhausting run just to get to .500 and fade away.

Maybe its simply a mindset akin to the Metrodome or Johan Santana or the Royals...

Lip Man 1
10-03-2012, 11:20 PM
Kittle:

Sorry I can only do so much. If anybody else feels they can take that on, I'm willing to help them but I suspect it would require going over, day by day, for every other team in the majors to see if they blew postseason chances.

I don't know how it's possible to do that.

What I do know is that the Sox keep giving away chances and it's biting them in the ass.

Honestly I don't need to know if the Mariners did it and if so how many times or the Blue Jays or the Orioles... because that doesn't impact the Sox financially and their fans does it?

To me, just because the Sox do it 'less' (for discussion purposes-- I have no idea if that's true...) doesn't mean it doesn't have a significant impact given the other related issues.

Lip

kittle42
10-03-2012, 11:29 PM
The bottom line is that the Sox do not finish seasons. They just don't and you can say that all the stats don't mean anything but obviously they do...because seemingly every year at this time we are having a similar discussion.

So now what is the solution? They have GOT to try to do something to correct this. If they are breaking down and becoming tired then there should be a way to remedy this...I know many have said a better bench would help but in 2006 they had a pretty good bench and it still made no difference. More rest for pitchers?

Part of the problem of the last few years (excluding this year) were the awful starts they would have to the season. Then they'd have to go on an exhausting run just to get to .500 and fade away.

Maybe its simply a mindset akin to the Metrodome or Johan Santana or the Royals...

This is a great example of ignoring statistics in favor of only relying on data that support a false supposition.

Falstaff
10-03-2012, 11:33 PM
" as someone else mentioned, every team has to deal with injuries."
yet. somehow, year in year out, White Sox' opponents somehow eke out
a little more health, a few more runs, a few more second-half wins...
Lip documents its an ongoing decade long trend, which points to the organizational approach to assembling a team. We did not have this prob way back when Sox had the AAA Iowa Oaks as perennial minor league winners and conduit of talent to the bigs, like Bill Sharp etc. Personally I think the WS are a bit long in tooth, have always had a pudgy slugger clogging up bases, and Konerko cannot carry the team on his back for an entire season.

DSpivack
10-03-2012, 11:35 PM
" as someone else mentioned, every team has to deal with injuries."
yet. somehow, year in year out, White Sox' opponents somehow eke out
a little more health, a few more runs, a few more second-half wins...
Lip documents its an ongoing decade long trend, which points to the organizational approach to assembling a team. We did not have this prob way back when Sox had the AAA Iowa Oaks as perennial minor league winners and conduit of talent to the bigs, like Bill Sharp etc. Personally I think the WS are a bit long in tooth, have always had a pudgy slugger clogging up bases, and Konerko cannot carry the team on his back for an entire season.

But do the White Sox lose any more down the stretch than the 29 other teams? Do they have more injuries than the 29 other teams? You'd have to look at all of that before actually saying that those things about the White Sox. Unless facts aren't important and you're just looking at the White Sox in a vacuum.

shingo10
10-03-2012, 11:43 PM
This is a great example of ignoring statistics in favor of only relying on data that support a false supposition.


No it's not. Tell me when the Sox have had a good second half and finished a season strong and maybe a deep postseason run? Even made it to the postseason?

Are you seriously trying to say that there is nothing to the fact that they have sucked in the second half for all these years? That it's all a big coincidence?

Just look at what you see every year...the Sox not making the playoffs. It's not ALL because of the second half performance but it sure as hell doesn't help to not play well.

DSpivack
10-03-2012, 11:54 PM
No it's not. Tell me when the Sox have had a good second half and finished a season strong and maybe a deep postseason run? Even made it to the postseason?

Are you seriously trying to say that there is nothing to the fact that they have sucked in the second half for all these years? That it's all a big coincidence?

Just look at what you see every year...the Sox not making the playoffs. It's not ALL because of the second half performance but it sure as hell doesn't help to not play well.

It's only meaningful if it's significantly different as compared to the other 29 teams.

shingo10
10-04-2012, 12:10 AM
It's only meaningful if it's significantly different as compared to the other 29 teams.

Is that what made the Twinkie dome curse significant? Not trying to ask in a confrontational tone, I'm really asking if thats what the difference is.

Because the Sox didn't lose EVERY game there...it just seemed like it. And it became big enough that we expected them to lose when they went there. It's kind of become similar to me in the second half. I don't feel confident in them to finish a season out because it's been all these years and they haven't done it. And personally I think the results support that. But to each his own.

PKalltheway
10-04-2012, 12:19 AM
"Statistics can be tortured to the point at which they will confess anything." -George Will

Lip, I think these seasons can be looked at as being mutually exclusive.

Take 2010 for example. Did you ever think that their poor start (24-33 on June 8 of that year) had more to do with their eventual downfall?

Or 2006. The pitching just ran out of gas. Plain and simple. Making the playoffs takes a little bit of luck too, and ****, the Sox were just unlucky during the 2nd half. Who the hell saw Detroit coming that year? Besides, you mention 94 wins as being right there for a playoff spot. They would have still went home with 94 wins that year, so what's the difference between winning 90 and winning 94, when it means you're still going home anyway?

It's also unfair to point out how the '08 team finished because they were already without their MVP (Quentin) and their all-star third baseman (Crede). Plus, they still made the damn playoffs anyway. Close, sure, but they still got in. End of story.

You also point out the 2009 team. Have you ever thought that the team wasn't all that great to begin with?

2009:
Games 1-81: 42-39 .518
Games 82-162: 37-44 .456

Before All Star Break: 45-43 .511
After All Star Break: 34-40 .459

I mean, come on. They played like an average team before the All-Star break, and guess what? They finished with a slightly below average record (79-83).

JB98
10-04-2012, 12:32 AM
It's hard to point to one single thing as the cause of these assorted second-half flops. Every year is different.

2004, Frank and Maggs went down and it killed the Sox. 2006, Contreras and Buehrle showed signs of fatigue after doing a lot of the heavy lifting on the run to the World Series the previous year. 2008, we lost Quentin that last month, and he might have won the MVP if he had stayed healthy. When your best players get hurt or fail you, it's hard to get across that finish line.

I can't say there's necessarily a mental thing about second halves with this organization. This season reminds me of 2003, but what correlation could there be between now and something that happened nine years ago? Konerko is the only player left from that team. It's a totally different cast of people.

Like Lip said at the start of the thread, lack of depth has been my theory for these second-half slides. The Sox always, and I mean always, have a number of solid ballplayers on their roster. Aside from the disaster of 2007, this is a competitive club every year, and that shows that we've got some people here who can play. The question is, do we have enough people who can play? This year, I'd say no. Hell, Dewayne Wise, a journeyman outfielder, is head and shoulders above some of the other bench bums who have come through here this year. (Olmedo, Lopez, Hudson, Fukudome, Lillibridge, the list goes on and on.) You ride your top players hard, there's physical fatigue that can lead to mental fatigue over the course of a long year.

The other thing I'd point out is the Sox don't have that one really standout player who is looked upon as being among the best in the league at his position. We don't have a Cabrera. We don't have a Robinson Cano. We don't have a Josh Hamilton. We don't have a Joey Votto. We don't have that guy with an OPS over .900 who scares the piss out of the other team and just makes everyone around him better.

Now, I don't think you necessarily have to have that guy. There are plenty of examples of teams that have success without a transcendent star, but I do think it helps. There's really no question Cabrera and Fielder were more productive than Dunn and Konerko coming down the stretch this year. Cabrera and Fielder are simply better players than Dunn and Konerko. And while Chris Sale had a fine year and Jake Peavy is a solid guy, Verlander and Scherzer were simply better the second half. I do feel the star power of Detroit was a factor in this year's race.

Tragg
10-04-2012, 12:41 AM
I haven't studied it but my reaction for this year is we had a lot of past their prime vets who wore down. And our young pitcher Sale, was over-worked all year and got less sharp. The bad bench abetted all of this because they got too little rest early, and when Ventura rested them in August and September, the non-productive replacements led to losses.
Quintana just regressed to his norm I'd suspect.

Falstaff
10-04-2012, 01:38 AM
But do the White Sox lose any more down the stretch than the 29 other teams? Do they have more injuries than the 29 other teams? You'd have to look at all of that before actually saying that those things about the White Sox. Unless facts aren't important and you're just looking at the White Sox in a vacuum.

Lip has documented that 6 of 10 years, the White Sox played sub-.500
ball in the second half. By definition, those years, the opponents were better
at overcoming adversity and winning games. That is a fact, 6 of 10 years the
Sox won less than half of their second half contests, while those same 6 years, the opposition won more than half (>50%) of second half games against the White Sox. Those years, the W/L record reveals the bottom line, and not a vacuum.

I notice that Oakland runs out a young lineup with farm call-ups every year, and often that team gets better as the season progresses. The White Sox seem to get overly sober and tired.

cub killer
10-04-2012, 02:18 AM
Prior to 2004 the chat room was used more, but membership grew to the point that the chat just wouldn't work anymore, so we started the game threads instead.
Thank you. I assume the chat logs were never saved.

One great thing about this site is that we can take a walk down memory lane in a way that can't be replicated by simply watching old games on videotape. When Lip mentioned all those prior collapses, it was intriguing to relive them through WSI game threads.

SI1020
10-04-2012, 07:29 AM
This is a great example of ignoring statistics in favor of only relying on data that support a false supposition. What information or proof do you need to convince you of anything? This is about as close to a burning bush as you can get. The Sox have made a habit of tanking in the second half in the last decade. Does deconstructionism that is the rage among some mean you have to ignore reality?

LoveYourSuit
10-04-2012, 07:44 AM
Let's do point out that in this so called decade of hell, there is a World Series championship in there. It's got to be worth something, no?

Railsplitter
10-04-2012, 08:23 AM
I disagree. I think it's a function of a shallow roster, which is a function of this organization's long-term refusal to pay for top amateur talent in the draft, inability to develop fundamentally sound position players, and thus necessity to trade its limited supply of promising prospects to fill holes with mediocre and/or expensive veterans.
Indeed. I would also like to point out Kenny Williams penchant for having two big, lumbering slowpokes (Thomas-Konerko, Konerko-Thome, Konerko-Dunn) for first base/DH duties. Why not four outfielders, with the fourth outfielder your DH?

SCCWS
10-04-2012, 08:26 AM
Lip: Interesting info. If somone had some time, I think it would be interesting to see if there was a trend in the offense or pitching consistently dropping off in the 2nd half.

Lets not forget. This is a 10 year stretch. The same pitching coach has been in place these 10 years. If the pitching has been the problem in 2nd half swoons, then mabe Coop is the problem. I think we all agree, the offense was the problem this time. But team .ERA went from 3.91 pre All Star to 4.15 post. Runs scored went from 4.8 pre to 4.4 post.

Huisj
10-04-2012, 08:45 AM
Indeed. I would also like to point out Kenny Williams penchant for having two big, lumbering slowpokes (Thomas-Konerko, Konerko-Thome, Konerko-Dunn) for first base/DH duties. Why not four outfielders, with the fourth outfielder your DH?

Yeah! It could be Mark Kotsay!

jdm2662
10-04-2012, 08:51 AM
To add to JB's post, I met him for the first time at the ol ballpark on Memorial Day weekend. I mentioned how the team was very top heavy, and the starters seem to be ridden out more than usual. He told me his theory, and it looks to have happened yet again. The Sox really had no choice but to ride out Konerko and Youk despite them being banged up. They simply had no one else to come close to replace them, even when banged up. DeWayne Wise ended up being the best bench player the Sox had this year. Now, I'm fully aware bench players are bench players for a reason. But, the ones they had couldn't even fill in for a day or two a week.

kittle42
10-04-2012, 10:18 AM
What information or proof do you need to convince you of anything? This is about as close to a burning bush as you can get. The Sox have made a habit of tanking in the second half in the last decade. Does deconstructionism that is the rage among some mean you have to ignore reality?

As has been pointed out multiple times, looking at one team in a vacuum doesn't tell us much.

Here you go: "The Sox drew 1.9 million customers this season. That's horrible!"

How would I have any appreciation for whether 1.9 million is a godo or bad or average number unless I knew what all the other teams drew?

That was a very basic example, but this is similar.

Another would be Lip's continued "The Sox are hitting XXX with RISP!" all season, but as it turned out, they were at or above the league average. Knowing what they hit with RISP without looking at what all the other teams do for context is just not very informative. It may *sound* like a bad number, but is it?

hawkjt
10-04-2012, 10:37 AM
The Sox have the 2nd best win percentage in inter-league play behind only the Yankees. They play all of those interleague games in the first half.
Take out the interleague games,and compare the winning percentages....it would be much closer.

The Sox need to play in the National League to cure their second half woes.

Lip Man 1
10-04-2012, 12:11 PM
I'm going to take a little time than I want to start working on something examining more closely the seasons in 2003, 2006 and 2012 (and possibly 2010) to see if there are any common threads as to why they fell apart for varying lenghts of time in the second half and cost them the postseason.

I strongly suspect that there are... along the general lines of injuries, the "house of horrors syndrome," and losing games to bad teams / bad pitchers (which could be related to the Sox 'home run or bust' philosophy all these years.)

We'll see what comes out of this if anything.

Lip

JB98
10-04-2012, 12:33 PM
To add to JB's post, I met him for the first time at the ol ballpark on Memorial Day weekend. I mentioned how the team was very top heavy, and the starters seem to be ridden out more than usual. He told me his theory, and it looks to have happened yet again. The Sox really had no choice but to ride out Konerko and Youk despite them being banged up. They simply had no one else to come close to replace them, even when banged up. DeWayne Wise ended up being the best bench player the Sox had this year. Now, I'm fully aware bench players are bench players for a reason. But, the ones they had couldn't even fill in for a day or two a week.

I was taking a look at the production of the Sox bench players this morning. For purposes of this discussion, I'll limit it to guys who had 50 or more plate appearances in a Sox uniform this year. That means we're talking about Wise, Flowers, Hudson, Escobar, Danks, Lillibridge and Fukudome.

Wise finished with a batting average of .258, and he was the only one of that group who hit better than .224 (Danks).

Wise's OBP was .295, Flowers was at .296. Fukudome was at .294 in his short time with the club. Bench players are bench players, but geez, that's not impressive at all.

OPS, at least Flowers provided a little bit of pop, finishing at .708. Wise was at .700. Nobody else was above .568 (Hudson).

I haven't taken the time to compare Sox bench production with bench production from other clubs, but I think it's safe to say the Sox got little out of their reserve players.

Hell, the bench has been a revolving door all year, which goes to show the Sox weren't happy with what they were getting either. When this club broke camp last spring, the bench was Flowers, Escobar, Fukudome and Lillibridge. Flowers is the only one of the four still with the organization.

kittle42
10-04-2012, 01:13 PM
What this team really needs on the bench is a Greg Dobbs type - a guy who loses you very little when you might lose a player to injury, and a guy you can rotate in several days a week at corner OF, 3B, 1B, DH.

hawkjt
10-04-2012, 01:27 PM
I really think that the A's and Angels and Giants have a big edge in September over Texas,Sox and other midwest teams due to playing the summer in moderate temps,while Texas and Sox swelter in July and August.

The A's,Angels, and Giants play great late in the year,when they have good teams.

SoxSpeed22
10-04-2012, 02:18 PM
I would believe temperature, except that the Cardinals don't really have that problem and St. Louis gets hotter than Chicago.
The biggest problem is a lack of depth everywhere. I'm with Kittle that the Sox need an all-around utility type of player that is at least decent enough with the bat, that we don't lose much with him on the field. Our bench players this year were a total liability on offense that cost us games and forced Robin to use the same lineup in the hot months of July and August. In the Cardinals case, they have enough versatile players on the bench to survive those hot months.

SI1020
10-04-2012, 09:15 PM
As has been pointed out multiple times, looking at one team in a vacuum doesn't tell us much.

Here you go: "The Sox drew 1.9 million customers this season. That's horrible!"

How would I have any appreciation for whether 1.9 million is a godo or bad or average number unless I knew what all the other teams drew?

That was a very basic example, but this is similar.

Another would be Lip's continued "The Sox are hitting XXX with RISP!" all season, but as it turned out, they were at or above the league average. Knowing what they hit with RISP without looking at what all the other teams do for context is just not very informative. It may *sound* like a bad number, but is it? OK, it's been a long day and you know how grumpy an OF can get when he's tired so bear with me. Yes in order to more fully understand a problem you need to look at it in total or as close as you can get. True data was provided for only the Sox and ignoring all the other 29 teams. However sports is kind of a zero sum thing isn't it? Somebody wins, somebody loses. If your team tends to be ****ty in the second half over a fairly long period of time, it's probable that not that many more teams are having the same problem. It would be interesting if one had the time to crunch the first half/ second half and pre and post all star records of all the teams and see how they stack up. However I'm having the temerity of making a judgment based on the stats provided here (thanks Lip Man 1) to say this confirms that the Sox are having trouble closing the deal in the second half. I will say I wholeheartedly agree with this post you made later in the thread.


What this team really needs on the bench is a Greg Dobbs type - a guy who loses you very little when you might lose a player to injury, and a guy you can rotate in several days a week at corner OF, 3B, 1B, DH. As you've noted here, and JB previously, lack of quality depth has really hurt the Sox in recent years.

PushinWeight
10-05-2012, 11:14 AM
If Guillen would have started Clayton Richard in game 1 of the '08 ALDS instead of Javy, I still think the Sox get past the Rays to advance to the ALCS v Boston. I'm not sure how much further in the playoffs they would have gone, nor am I sure what affect (if any) this would have on the attendance, franchise accomplishments, etc., just wanted to bring that up since this reminded me of the '08 season.

jfinsocal
10-05-2012, 11:35 PM
The Sox have the 2nd best win percentage in inter-league play behind only the Yankees. They play all of those interleague games in the first half.
Take out the interleague games,and compare the winning percentages....it would be much closer.

The Sox need to play in the National League to cure their second half woes.

This is a good theory and I mostly agree but one could argue that if they played the NL in the second half of the season the interleague winning percentage wouldn't be so good.

Chicken or the egg here.

FielderJones
10-05-2012, 11:41 PM
This is a good theory and I mostly agree but one could argue that if they played the NL in the second half of the season the interleague winning percentage wouldn't be so good.


We will find out in the 2013 season as we will be playing interleague all year.

SCCWS
10-06-2012, 07:59 AM
I really think that the A's and Angels and Giants have a big edge in September over Texas,Sox and other midwest teams due to playing the summer in moderate temps,while Texas and Sox swelter in July and August.

The A's,Angels, and Giants play great late in the year,when they have good teams.


Actually Los Angeles is hotter on average July-Sept than Chicago.

http://www.weather.com/weather/wxclimatology/compare/USIL0225?sfld1=Chicago, IL&sfld2=los angeles california&clocid1=USIL0225&clocid2=

hawkjt
10-06-2012, 09:09 AM
Actually Los Angeles is hotter on average July-Sept than Chicago.

http://www.weather.com/weather/wxclimatology/compare/USIL0225?sfld1=Chicago, IL&sfld2=los angeles california&clocid1=USIL0225&clocid2=


But,as everyone knows, the low humidity out west means that at nite the temps moderate quickly....as Hawk has said many times...the ball does not carry at nite in Angels or Dodgers stadium...but does during the day. That humidity makes a big difference on ball carry,and humans.

Frater Perdurabo
10-06-2012, 09:13 AM
LA may have a higher daily average temperature than Chicago in July and August, but their drier air means the temperature drops more quickly when the sun sets. However, while on average there is greater temperature fluctuation on each individual day in LA than in Chicago, there is much less seasonal variability between April, July and September in LA than there is in Chicago.

Lip Man 1
10-07-2012, 12:02 PM
In Sunday's Sun-Times an A.L. scout had an interesting comment on what happened to the Sox this year in September:

http://www.suntimes.com/sports/15586591-419/no-easy-answers-about-which-direction-sox-should-take-next-season.html

Lip

LITTLE NELL
10-07-2012, 01:32 PM
It's just one of those things. If there is a reason its we just we have not had the players. How many Cy Young pitchers have we had? Any Triple Crown threats? Any Hall of Famers? Maybe PK. ( Thomas is going to the HOF but was not around for most of the years in question) How many 5 tools players in that time, Rios and who else?
If we had the same players all the time that Lip has mentioned then I say we have a bunch of losers, thats not the case, just a bunch of players that were decent but not just good enough.
It comes down to JR running a big market team like a small market team.

BigKlu59
10-07-2012, 07:33 PM
It's just one of those things. If there is a reason its we just we have not had the players. How many Cy Young pitchers have we had? Any Triple Crown threats? Any Hall of Famers? Maybe PK. ( Thomas is going to the HOF but was not around for most of the years in question) How many 5 tools players in that time, Rios and who else?
If we had the same players all the time that Lip has mentioned then I say we have a bunch of losers, thats not the case, just a bunch of players that were decent but not just good enough.
It comes down to JR running a big market team like a small market team.


Been my contention for years. Always hear about going out to get top level talent, but end up with meets requirements. Sure, maybe 1 or 2 Marquee players to spin the turnstyles to buy churros and dogs, but no big dogs that bring home silverware.

BK59

palehozenychicty
10-08-2012, 01:42 AM
It's just one of those things. If there is a reason its we just we have not had the players. How many Cy Young pitchers have we had? Any Triple Crown threats? Any Hall of Famers? Maybe PK. ( Thomas is going to the HOF but was not around for most of the years in question) How many 5 tools players in that time, Rios and who else?
If we had the same players all the time that Lip has mentioned then I say we have a bunch of losers, thats not the case, just a bunch of players that were decent but not just good enough.
It comes down to JR running a big market team like a small market team.

That's what happens when you don't really commit to a plan. It's hard to win a title when the management makes middling decisions.

mahagga73
10-10-2012, 08:48 PM
Part III By the Numbers...(I apologize that they don't completely line up properly)

Red means the win percentage was worse than the first set of numbers.

Green means the win percentage was better than the first set of numbers.

2003:
Games 1-81: 39-42 .481
Games 82-162: 47-34 .580

Before All Star Break: 45-49 .478
After All Star Break: 41-27 .602

2004:
Games 1-81: 43-38 .530
Games 82-162: 40-41 .493

Before All Star Break: 46-38 .547
After All Star Break: 37-41 .474

2005:
Games 1-81: 55-26 .679
Games 82-162: 44-37 .543

Before All Star Break: 57-29 .662
After All Star Break: 42-34 .552

2006:
Games 1-81: 53-28 .654
Games 82-162: 37-44 .456

Before All Star Break: 57-31 .647
After All Star Break: 33-41 .445

2007:
Games 1-81: 36-45 .444
Games 82-162: 36-45 .444

Before All Star Break: 39-47 .453
After All Star Break: 33-43 .434

2008:
Games 1-81: 45-36 .555
Games 82-163: 44-38 .536

Before All Star Break: 54-41 .568
After All Star Break: 35-33 .514

2009:
Games 1-81: 42-39 .518
Games 82-162: 37-44 .456

Before All Star Break: 45-43 .511
After All Star Break: 34-40 .459

2010:
Games 1-81: 43-38 .530
Games 82-162: 45-36 .555

Before All Star Break: 49-38 .563
After All Star Break: 39-36 .520

2011:
Games 1-81: 39-42 .481
Games 82-162: 40-41 .493

Before All Star Break: 44-48 .478
After All Star Break: 35-35 .500

2012:
Games 1-81: 44-37 .543
Games 82-162: 41-40 .506

Before All Star Break: 47-38 .552
After All Star Break: 38-39 .493

That's all I've got, feel free to discuss, comment...whatever you wish

LipBravo. You couldn't be more right . And you are right a lot of people never even mention this . To me it is huge . All we hear is this " but they were in first all year garbage" and to that I say "so what", it seems like they are near or in first every year and the same choke job happens continuously . It has an underrated effect on attendance , because a lot of fans have seen this movie before and assume they are going to blow it anyway. Also, the Sox are always mediocre, around 83 wins on average, so despite the hailing of Kenny Williams as a genius by many, they don't inspire many hopes of contending for the AL pennant.

mahagga73
10-10-2012, 08:53 PM
This is a great example of ignoring statistics in favor of only relying on data that support a false supposition.
What false supposition? The Sox choke a lot at the end of the season. That's a fact. You must be watching the season in reverse or something. I would bet they have been in first or near it in most years since 08 and still have not once made the playoffs. The Sox need you badly in the PR department , i suggest you send your posts with your resume.

mahagga73
10-10-2012, 08:56 PM
It's a fluke of statistics, nothing more.
No, it is fact. The Sox suck when it counts. Anyone with 2 eyes can see that, don't even need statistics.

mahagga73
10-10-2012, 08:58 PM
Not trying to bust on you, but you just wrote 3 major pages on how the White Sox are lousy in the 2nd half, complete with delineated statistics over nearly 10 years.

Ok, so what? They seem to have bad luck or run out of gas. So do a lot of teams. Big whoop... Not exactly earthshaking news or something to really get all outraged over.
Good teams do not wilt in the pennant race. Yes it is something to get mad about because I am personally sick of being teased every year. The stats say trend , not bad luck.

mahagga73
10-10-2012, 09:00 PM
The bottom line is that the Sox do not finish seasons. They just don't and you can say that all the stats don't mean anything but obviously they do...because seemingly every year at this time we are having a similar discussion.

So now what is the solution? They have GOT to try to do something to correct this. If they are breaking down and becoming tired then there should be a way to remedy this...I know many have said a better bench would help but in 2006 they had a pretty good bench and it still made no difference. More rest for pitchers?

Part of the problem of the last few years (excluding this year) were the awful starts they would have to the season. Then they'd have to go on an exhausting run just to get to .500 and fade away.

Maybe its simply a mindset akin to the Metrodome or Johan Santana or the Royals...
It's amazing how accepting of mediocrity some of these people are.

mahagga73
10-10-2012, 09:02 PM
Very good research Lip. As you stated, if we made the playoffs 6 or 7 times in the last 13 years I don't think that there would be attendance issues, and it would be nice to have a team that would have been a division contender every year. Unfortunately it wasn't meant to be, and I am afraid that if this trend keeps up and we don't make the playoffs in the next year or two we can see attendance dip to the way it was in the early 2000's.
And Kittle42 and Spivak will still say the statistics and numbers are a fluke and mean nothing,lol.They will need the stats for all teams to determine what is obvious to most, the Sox don't get it done when it counts, with the exception of one magical year.

TheVulture
10-10-2012, 09:14 PM
If the Sox had just won every game they ever played, they would have over one hundred World Series titles. What went wrong? What. went. wrong.

TheVulture
10-10-2012, 09:16 PM
Good teams do not wilt in the pennant race. Yes it is something to get mad about because I am personally sick of being teased every year. The stats say trend , not bad luck.

I'll tell you what happened this year. The Sox two best pitchers never pitched more than 80 innings in a season before, while the two best hitters are getting old, banged up and all four of them ran out of gas for the last four to six weeks of the season.

Lip Man 1
10-10-2012, 10:36 PM
Vulture:

The Sox apparently "ran out of gas" in 2003, 2006, 2010 and now 2012. The individual circumstances may be different from season to season but the end result is the same. Perhaps the Sox would do well to try to find some common threads in those four seasons and then try to repair them or eliminate them.

I still say JB has it pretty much spot-on, the rosters are top heavy, there is no depth, guys get hurt, go into slumps and the drop off to replacement players is very dramatic.

Compare that for example to what the Yankees pulled off tonight with their bench.

Fans were pleading with Kenny to upgrade the bench back in August saying it was going to haunt the club. It did. Better guys were available...the million dollar question is why Kenny did nothing and up to that point he had a hell of a season getting the help needed.

Lip

DSpivack
10-10-2012, 11:22 PM
Vulture:

The Sox apparently "ran out of gas" in 2003, 2006, 2010 and now 2012. The individual circumstances may be different from season to season but the end result is the same. Perhaps the Sox would do well to try to find some common threads in those four seasons and then try to repair them or eliminate them.

I still say JB has it pretty much spot-on, the rosters are top heavy, there is no depth, guys get hurt, go into slumps and the drop off to replacement players is very dramatic.

Compare that for example to what the Yankees pulled off tonight with their bench.

Fans were pleading with Kenny to upgrade the bench back in August saying it was going to haunt the club. It did. Better guys were available...the million dollar question is why Kenny did nothing and up to that point he had a hell of a season getting the help needed.

Lip
Ibanez was pretty much their starting LF for the majority of the season, until they traded for Ichiro. That's the only big difference there. Otherwise, their bench partially relied on castoffs from the White Sox in Jayson Nix, Dewayne Wise, Chris Stewart, and Andruw Jones.

Frater Perdurabo
10-11-2012, 06:14 AM
Ibanez was pretty much their starting LF for the majority of the season, until they traded for Ichiro. That's the only big difference there. Otherwise, their bench partially relied on castoffs from the White Sox in Jayson Nix, Dewayne Wise, Chris Stewart, and Andruw Jones.

The Yankees upgraded by trading for Ichiro. The Sox "upgraded" by signing Wise. Big difference.

Wise had an excellent hot streak, but then he regressed to his mean.

Lip Man 1
10-11-2012, 11:30 AM
Spivak:

Jones played very well for the Sox remember and Kenny himself was quoted as saying that he'd love to have had him back as a 4th outfielder/ bench guy but for the cost.

Lip

TheVulture
10-11-2012, 01:18 PM
Vulture:

The Sox apparently "ran out of gas" in 2003, 2006, 2010 and now 2012. The individual circumstances may be different from season to season but the end result is the same. Perhaps the Sox would do well to try to find some common threads in those four seasons and then try to repair them or eliminate them.


Lip

Yeah, but the team wasn't built to win this year anyway, remember? I don't really see a common thread between this team and the past teams. It would be nice to have had Sale and Quintana built up to throw 200+ innings, but at least they are on their way now. We basically saw two young studs establish themselves in a major league rotation, and hints that Santiago might be ready to join them, along with a boatload of rookies in the bullpen, in a season where the Sox were expected to win 80 games at best.

Sure it sucked to watch them blow it over the last two weeks, but I'm not complaining. You could see it coming a mile away considering Sale and Quintana's workload history. It looks like we've got a lot good young arms going forward who got a lot of valuable experience this year.

palehozenychicty
10-14-2012, 11:16 PM
Yeah, but the team wasn't built to win this year anyway, remember? I don't really see a common thread between this team and the past teams. It would be nice to have had Sale and Quintana built up to throw 200+ innings, but at least they are on their way now. We basically saw two young studs establish themselves in a major league rotation, and hints that Santiago might be ready to join them, along with a boatload of rookies in the bullpen, in a season where the Sox were expected to win 80 games at best.

Sure it sucked to watch them blow it over the last two weeks, but I'm not complaining. You could see it coming a mile away considering Sale and Quintana's workload history. It looks like we've got a lot good young arms going forward who got a lot of valuable experience this year.

I think the Sox do a very good job of developing pitchers. It's the lineup that is a problem on a yearly basis. They don't make enough contact, they are not athletic, nor do they get on base. As a result, they are decent offensively, but not dynamic enough to win. Let's see what they can do with some money coming off the books.

gosox41
10-16-2012, 10:36 PM
I disagree. I think it's a function of a shallow roster, which is a function of this organization's long-term refusal to pay for top amateur talent in the draft, inability to develop fundamentally sound position players, and thus necessity to trade its limited supply of promising prospects to fill holes with mediocre and/or expensive veterans.

That may be part of the reason but there's got to be more to it. Some thought Ozzie went with too many Sunday line ups throughout the course of the whole season. He didn't just institute them after the All Star Break. So guys were getting days off (or multiple days off as Ozzie scheduled off days around the schedule) and thus they should have been fresher in the second half.

Also, why do our guys get tired and fade. Didn't Cabrera and Prince play 160 games this year. They didn't fade, and Prince is fat. Verlander has thrown the most pitches of any pitcher in baseball 3 of the last 4 years. He hasn't faded.

There's got to be more to it. I was hoping that when Robin took over, some of those trends that happened under Ozzie would stop (ie second half fades, losing tough luck games to Minnesota, bad west coast trips). To Robin's defense, this years bench was not very good.

But there are some teams that seem to have a history of heating up in the second half. The A's and definitely the Cards come to mind. What is the difference between them and us? Is it the youth of the A's? If they faded, inexperience would be an issue. Is this years A's bench really that much better then ours? They had a tougher schedule and a tiny payroll then the Sox. And the Cardinals have this switch that clicks on in August and runs through October.

There's more to this. I wish I had answers.


Bob

gosox41
10-16-2012, 10:38 PM
I think the Sox do a very good job of developing pitchers. It's the lineup that is a problem on a yearly basis. They don't make enough contact, they are not athletic, nor do they get on base. As a result, they are decent offensively, but not dynamic enough to win. Let's see what they can do with some money coming off the books.

I also think the cooler weather in April and September hurts a team a lot more when it lives and dies by the long ball. When was the last time the Sox had a great April? When was the last time they started the season better then 2-0? My selective memory goes back to 2000 for a team that seemed to come out swinging well offensively.


Bob

Frater Perdurabo
10-16-2012, 10:49 PM
I also think the cooler weather in April and September hurts a team a lot more when it lives and dies by the long ball. When was the last time the Sox had a great April? When was the last time they started the season better then 2-0? My selective memory goes back to 2000 for a team that seemed to come out swinging well offensively.

Bob

2000 was before the Sox brought in the fences, when it still played "neutral." They had bigger gaps, which helped their roster full of doubles hitter.

doublem23
10-16-2012, 11:05 PM
There's more to this. I wish I had answers.


I think 99.9% of it can be explained by baseball being super difficult and generally unexplainable.

Other .1% is probably that other teams just have better players than we do.

TheVulture
10-17-2012, 12:16 PM
I disagree. I think it's a function of a shallow roster, which is a function of this organization's long-term refusal to pay for top amateur talent in the draft, inability to develop fundamentally sound position players, and thus necessity to trade its limited supply of promising prospects to fill holes with mediocre and/or expensive veterans.

I think that was definitely the case this year, but looking at the benches of the past teams I don't think that was the case. The Sox have had some of the strongest benches in the league at times over the last ten years.

JB98
10-17-2012, 12:40 PM
That may be part of the reason but there's got to be more to it. Some thought Ozzie went with too many Sunday line ups throughout the course of the whole season. He didn't just institute them after the All Star Break. So guys were getting days off (or multiple days off as Ozzie scheduled off days around the schedule) and thus they should have been fresher in the second half.

Also, why do our guys get tired and fade. Didn't Cabrera and Prince play 160 games this year. They didn't fade, and Prince is fat. Verlander has thrown the most pitches of any pitcher in baseball 3 of the last 4 years. He hasn't faded.

There's got to be more to it. I was hoping that when Robin took over, some of those trends that happened under Ozzie would stop (ie second half fades, losing tough luck games to Minnesota, bad west coast trips). To Robin's defense, this years bench was not very good.

But there are some teams that seem to have a history of heating up in the second half. The A's and definitely the Cards come to mind. What is the difference between them and us? Is it the youth of the A's? If they faded, inexperience would be an issue. Is this years A's bench really that much better then ours? They had a tougher schedule and a tiny payroll then the Sox. And the Cardinals have this switch that clicks on in August and runs through October.

There's more to this. I wish I had answers.


Bob

They did, but they are 29 and 28 years old, respectively. In the prime of their careers. When Paul Konerko was that age, he was enjoying some of his finest seasons. He led us to a World Series title at age 29. Now, Paul is 36 and more prone to injury. He's not the only older player in the Sox lineup who struggled down the stretch either.

It is worth noting Alex Rios led the Sox in games played with 157, and he did not fade at all. He played some of his best baseball down the stretch while teammates were crumbling around him. Rios is 31, a little older than Cabrera and Fielder, but still young enough to handle a huge workload. Two of the five games Rios did not appear in this season were the final two meaningless contests in Cleveland.

As for Verlander, check his August and September numbers (http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/split.cgi?id=verlaju01&year=2006&t=p) for his first full year in Detroit's rotation. That was 2006. I think you'll see he had some struggles as a young pitcher, much like a couple young pitchers in the Sox rotation this year. It takes a little time to build up the kind of arm strength where a pitcher can handle a 200-plus innings haul. He's at a much different place in his career than say, Chris Sale.

As a matter of fact, Detroit's best players are all in their primes. The Sox best players are mostly on the back end of their careers, or in the case of a few pitchers, just getting started. That makes a difference.

doublem23
10-17-2012, 12:52 PM
As for Verlander, check his August and September numbers (http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/split.cgi?id=verlaju01&year=2006&t=p) for his first full year in Detroit's rotation. That was 2006. I think you'll see he had some struggles as a young pitcher, much like a couple young pitchers in the Sox rotation this year. It takes a little time to build up the kind of arm strength where a pitcher can handle a 200-plus innings haul. He's at a much different place in his career than say, Chris Sale.

Verlander is also just a freak of nature. He's just the best pitcher in baseball right now, that's all you can say about it. It'd be like complaining why Viciedo can't be more like Frank Thomas; the Big Hurt, in his prime, was probably the best right handed hitter in baseball history. You can't set the bar at that level, no one will ever measure up.

WhiteSox5187
10-17-2012, 01:33 PM
Verlander is also just a freak of nature. He's just the best pitcher in baseball right now, that's all you can say about it. It'd be like complaining why Viciedo can't be more like Frank Thomas; the Big Hurt, in his prime, was probably the best right handed hitter in baseball history. You can't set the bar at that level, no one will ever measure up.

While that is true I also think that because it was Sale's first year in the rotation it is harder to complain about him fading down the stretch than it would be if a guy like Danks started to struggle were he around. Sale was just out of gas and it stands to reason as to why he would be.

JB98
10-17-2012, 01:45 PM
Verlander is also just a freak of nature. He's just the best pitcher in baseball right now, that's all you can say about it. It'd be like complaining why Viciedo can't be more like Frank Thomas; the Big Hurt, in his prime, was probably the best right handed hitter in baseball history. You can't set the bar at that level, no one will ever measure up.

Agreed. Verlander is a freak. Even if Sale establishes himself as a legitimate ace over the next two or three years, he may still not be as good as Verlander is right now.

As much as I hate Verlander's guts, I have no problem admitting the guy is unbelievable. He had thrown over 130 pitches last night, and he was still hitting 98 on the gun in the ninth inning. That's sick.

asindc
10-17-2012, 02:02 PM
They did, but they are 29 and 28 years old, respectively. In the prime of their careers. When Paul Konerko was that age, he was enjoying some of his finest seasons. He led us to a World Series title at age 29. Now, Paul is 36 and more prone to injury. He's not the only older player in the Sox lineup who struggled down the stretch either.

It is worth noting Alex Rios led the Sox in games played with 157, and he did not fade at all. He played some of his best baseball down the stretch while teammates were crumbling around him. Rios is 31, a little older than Cabrera and Fielder, but still young enough to handle a huge workload. Two of the five games Rios did not appear in this season were the final two meaningless contests in Cleveland.

As for Verlander, check his August and September numbers (http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/split.cgi?id=verlaju01&year=2006&t=p) for his first full year in Detroit's rotation. That was 2006. I think you'll see he had some struggles as a young pitcher, much like a couple young pitchers in the Sox rotation this year. It takes a little time to build up the kind of arm strength where a pitcher can handle a 200-plus innings haul. He's at a much different place in his career than say, Chris Sale.

As a matter of fact, Detroit's best players are all in their primes. The Sox best players are mostly on the back end of their careers, or in the case of a few pitchers, just getting started. That makes a difference.

Excellent post.

doublem23
10-17-2012, 02:19 PM
While that is true I also think that because it was Sale's first year in the rotation it is harder to complain about him fading down the stretch than it would be if a guy like Danks started to struggle were he around. Sale was just out of gas and it stands to reason as to why he would be.

Absolutely, I think many people had very legitimate fears that Sale wouldn't be able to hold up for the entire season, it's stressful for any pitcher let alone a twig like Sale who fell to the Sox in the draft precisely because there were some legitimate concerns if he had the build to hold up as a starter. He really progressed as a pitcher this year who used location and pitch selection to get guys out rather than relying on pure velocity. It's was a very, very encouraging year.

I think going into this year, anyone who would have projected Sale for 29 starts and 192 innings with an ERA under 3 for almost the entire season would have been labeled as a polyanna. He pretty much exceeded every realistic expectation.

doogiec
10-17-2012, 02:49 PM
Why do the Sox always do better in the first half?

The Sox have dominated in interleague play for years.

Interleague play takes place in the first half of the season.

Move interleague play to the second half of the season, and the thread title would change to “First Half Blues”.

I only went back five years, but it you eliminate interleague games, the Sox have averaged 36 wins and 35 losses in AL games in the first half, and 36 wins and 37 losses in AL games in the second half (using B-R’s definition of “half” being the ASG). The Sox have been dominant over the NL for most of the ten years originally mentioned, so I’d think a longer analysis would find the same thing.

Now this year is different, as the Sox were 9-9 against the NL, and I do believe the team was simply playing over its head for a while and finally hit reality in September, combined with an inexperience pitching staff. But in previous years, they’ve gotten fat off the NL and played around .500 against everyone else- first half and second half.

In the end, it doesn’t really matter what order you win the games in. I know that a team that plays poorly in April and May and plays well in August and September is more highly regarded than a team that does the opposite, but why?

WhiteSox5187
10-17-2012, 03:01 PM
Absolutely, I think many people had very legitimate fears that Sale wouldn't be able to hold up for the entire season, it's stressful for any pitcher let alone a twig like Sale who fell to the Sox in the draft precisely because there were some legitimate concerns if he had the build to hold up as a starter. He really progressed as a pitcher this year who used location and pitch selection to get guys out rather than relying on pure velocity. It's was a very, very encouraging year.

I think going into this year, anyone who would have projected Sale for 29 starts and 192 innings with an ERA under 3 for almost the entire season would have been labeled as a polyanna. He pretty much exceeded every realistic expectation.

He did an outstanding job and perhaps for once I am blinded with optimism but MLB Network super imposed Sale's motion over Randy Johnson's awhile ago and they were almost exactly the same. Sale has the same sort of build as Johnson and Johnson didn't have any arm problems until he was in his late 30's, so hopefully Sale can have the same sort of luck.

SCCWS
10-17-2012, 03:14 PM
It'd be like complaining why Viciedo can't be more like Frank Thomas; the Big Hurt, in his prime, was probably the best right handed hitter in baseball history. You can't set the bar at that level, no one will ever measure up.

Well, how about best in American League. There was this guy named Hank Aaron.............................

SCCWS
10-17-2012, 03:30 PM
Vulture:

The Sox apparently "ran out of gas" in 2003, 2006, 2010 and now 2012. The individual circumstances may be different from season to season but the end result is the same. Perhaps the Sox would do well to try to find some common threads in those four seasons and then try to repair them or eliminate them.



Lip: Very easy. In 2003, 2006, 2010 and now 2012 there are very few constants. Kenny Williams is one and so is Don Cooper. Do you want to repair or eliminate either one????

Lip Man 1
10-17-2012, 04:25 PM
SCCWS:

Well if the reports are true Kenny is going to be "replaced" but I was thinking more along the lines of:

*injuries
*little help in the minor leagues
*"House of Horrors" syndrome
*losing to many games to "bad teams / bad pitchers" more than teams that did make the playoffs.

I'm working on these areas for a future story. Early research shows that in the four seasons I was talking about, there are at least two and usually three of these four areas in play.

Lip

SCCWS
10-17-2012, 07:02 PM
SCCWS:

Well if the reports are true Kenny is going to be "replaced" but I was thinking more along the lines of:

*injuries
*little help in the minor leagues
*"House of Horrors" syndrome
*losing to many games to "bad teams / bad pitchers" more than teams that did make the playoffs.

I'm working on these areas for a future story. Early research shows that in the four seasons I was talking about, there are at least two and usually three of these four areas in play.

Lip

Just a thought. has anyone broken down offense vs pitching stats pre All Star vs post for this period where the Sox fade down the stretch.

gosox41
10-19-2012, 10:47 PM
They did, but they are 29 and 28 years old, respectively. In the prime of their careers. When Paul Konerko was that age, he was enjoying some of his finest seasons. He led us to a World Series title at age 29. Now, Paul is 36 and more prone to injury. He's not the only older player in the Sox lineup who struggled down the stretch either.

It is worth noting Alex Rios led the Sox in games played with 157, and he did not fade at all. He played some of his best baseball down the stretch while teammates were crumbling around him. Rios is 31, a little older than Cabrera and Fielder, but still young enough to handle a huge workload. Two of the five games Rios did not appear in this season were the final two meaningless contests in Cleveland.

As for Verlander, check his August and September numbers (http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/split.cgi?id=verlaju01&year=2006&t=p) for his first full year in Detroit's rotation. That was 2006. I think you'll see he had some struggles as a young pitcher, much like a couple young pitchers in the Sox rotation this year. It takes a little time to build up the kind of arm strength where a pitcher can handle a 200-plus innings haul. He's at a much different place in his career than say, Chris Sale.

As a matter of fact, Detroit's best players are all in their primes. The Sox best players are mostly on the back end of their careers, or in the case of a few pitchers, just getting started. That makes a difference.


Good points.

Falstaff
10-21-2012, 02:47 AM
see belowSCCWS:

Well if the reports are true Kenny is going to be "replaced" but I was thinking more along the lines of:

*injuries
*little help in the minor leagues
*"House of Horrors" syndrome
*losing to many games to "bad teams / bad pitchers" more than teams that did make the playoffs.

I'm working on these areas for a future story. Early research shows that in the four seasons I was talking about, there are at least two and usually three of these four areas in play.


Lip I have done lots of thinking/drinking and it occurs to me that those stupid black jerseys they sometimes wear must be hot as hell, especially
for sunday day games in august. I am thinking their record while wearing the black must be like .358 or so, and its not just the heat, its the humidity. Maybe management ought to look at this from a scientific pov
and get cooler duds for the dudes.

Lip

billyvsox
10-24-2012, 01:27 PM
Lip,

What I agree with most in your post is the bench problems. In the WS year we had guys like Willie Harris, Geoff Blum, Chris Widger and of course TIMO. While that dosent seem like much, they all knew their roles and were very productive when called upon.

Our bench has stunk for a few years now, and the insistance of using 12-13 pitchers on the roster limits the guys we have on the bench.

I am not sure if this equates to guys tiring out and needing rest that the bench players can provide or not, but what I do know is that all great teams have productive bench players for whatever role needed.