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chisox06
01-28-2003, 08:33 PM
If the Sox took the field today how would you feel about the teams chances?

OfficerKarkovice
01-28-2003, 08:51 PM
Originally posted by chisox06
If the Sox took the field today how would you feel about the teams chances?

A hell of a lot better than last year...overall...pretty damn good actually.

Chisox_cali
01-28-2003, 08:56 PM
Hell, I would be happy if the Sox just took the field right now, this off-season is going way too slow... :whiner: :whiner:

WhiteSox = Life
01-28-2003, 10:00 PM
Well, there's actually something to be excited about this year with the pick-up of Colon. What has there been the last two years (besides the White Sox coming off their short playoff appearance)?

:KW
"Hey, don't forget about the David Wells trade. Or the acquisitions of the Choice and Todd Ritchie...

On second thought, you like that Colon pick-up, huh? And what about Koch, Gordon, White, Rios and Daubach? Oh, yeah!"

Lip Man 1
01-28-2003, 10:13 PM
I thought it was pretty good until Buehrle shot his mouth off again. (Wonder what "excuse" he'll give Sox fans this year? Maybe he was drunk?"

Lip

WhiteSoxWinner
01-28-2003, 10:26 PM
I am pretty psyched about the season. All depends on how well we start with that week early schedule, but I definitely like our chances.

jeremyb1
01-28-2003, 10:30 PM
Originally posted by WhiteSoxWinner
I am pretty psyched about the season. All depends on how well we start with that week early schedule, but I definitely like our chances.

i don't know how you could not consider this team as having at least close to a 50% chance of making the playoffs and that's exciting to me. with a pathagorean record of 87 wins last season and an improved team more or less across the board, the season seems pretty promising. it should certainly be better than last season.

WhiteSoxWinner
01-28-2003, 10:34 PM
I wasn't saying I am in doubt. I think we can do very well. I just hope that we don't have another sluggish start. I don't think we will. I like our chances of going somewhere in the playoffs this year.

Bmr31
01-28-2003, 10:38 PM
Originally posted by jeremyb1
i don't know how you could not consider this team as having at least close to a 50% chance of making the playoffs and that's exciting to me. with a pathagorean record of 87 wins last season and an improved team more or less across the board, the season seems pretty promising. it should certainly be better than last season.

I'm afraid. It seems every season we have high hopes, we fall on our faces. Let the Twinkies be the favorites, okay? :)

Daver
01-28-2003, 10:41 PM
Originally posted by Bmr31
I'm afraid. It seems every season we have high hopes, we fall on our faces. Let the Twinkies be the favorites, okay?

The Twins are the favorites till someone knocks them off the top of the division,something the Sox have failed to do for two seasons in a row.

I think most Sox fans are taking the Twins a little to lightly.

Bmr31
01-28-2003, 10:43 PM
Originally posted by daver
The Twins are the favorites till someone knocks them off the top of the division,something the Sox have failed to do for two seasons in a row.

I think most Sox fans are taking the Twins a little to lightly.

I KNOW they are, Daver. We can't let our hearts get in the way, the Twins are the favorites.

Chisox_cali
01-28-2003, 10:50 PM
Originally posted by daver
The Twins are the favorites till someone knocks them off the top of the division,something the Sox have failed to do for two seasons in a row.

I think most Sox fans are taking the Twins a little to lightly.

The Twins have only won the division in 2002, The Indians won in 2001, the Twins were second.

jeremyb1
01-29-2003, 02:54 AM
Originally posted by Bmr31
I'm afraid. It seems every season we have high hopes, we fall on our faces. Let the Twinkies be the favorites, okay? :)

as far as i'm concerned, my statement still left room for the twins to be the favorites.

Bmr31
01-29-2003, 03:10 AM
Originally posted by jeremyb1
as far as i'm concerned, my statement still left room for the twins to be the favorites.


Okay good. All loyalty aside, the twins SHOULD BE favorites. :gulp:

jeremyb1
01-29-2003, 03:35 AM
Originally posted by daver
The Twins are the favorites till someone knocks them off the top of the division,something the Sox have failed to do for two seasons in a row.

I think most Sox fans are taking the Twins a little to lightly.

i think the twins are overrated. i think the twins overacheived last season. whether or not you believe me, this has very little to do with the fact that i'm a sox fan. its largely based on actual facts and statistics.

i'll say right now that i think the twins could win 90 games again. however, i don't see them winning 94 again or approaching 100. i just don't think that's realistic. i don't know how anyone could disagree that a number of things broke the twins way last season. their record in one run games and their 87 pathagorean wins compared to their 94 actual wins more than support that.

as i like to say, before you take into consideration a teams success or lacktherof from the prior season you must ask yourself why the team had the success they did and and how likely the team is to repeat that success. its shocking to me how many writers assume that since the twins won 95 games last season and have (most of) the same players this season, their isn't the slightest possibility they'll win less than 95 this season. that's ridiculous unless you've assessed everything that went right for them last season.

the twins were 7th out of 14 teams in the al in ops while the sox were 4th. the twins were 6th in the al in opponents ops while the sox were 7th. do these stats make the twins sound like a team that should be considered far and away the favorites in the central to anyone? they don't to me.

if you listen to some "experts" the twins will improve this season because their pitching will be healthy. unfortunately if anything this could hurt the twins. i calculated statistics that showed that the era of the twins replacement starters was below 4 last season, a figure even lower than the twins team era of 4.12. if the twins pitchers pitching in place of their regular starters were better than the guys who will be pitching this season, how does that improve the twins? one could argue that the healthy pitchers will be better than they were last season but mays hasn't had any surgery to repair his arm and thus there's a good chance he won't be any more healthy than last season. the twins ace has a career era of 4.3. not the most impressive thing i've ever seen. rick reed is 37. its quite possible that the team's best starter (santana) will not start the season in the rotation if the team's starters are healthy.

another thing to remember is the success of the twins pen last season. nearly every pitcher in the pen had a career year. can that be repeated? what will happen to the health of the pen after the twins rode them to the playoffs last season? the health of our pen was absolutely terrible in '01.

the twins have no outstanding hitters on their entire team. the teams' best hitter ranks 19th in the al in ops. the twins have three players that rank in the top 30 in the al in ops which isn't bad but the sox have four with their highest at number 6 with an ops well over .100 points higher than the twins highest hitter. furthermore, the twins didn't have any players on their team last season that hit more than 30 home runs, any players that hit over .300 or any players that knocked in more than 100 rbis. the twins lost their third best hitter in ortiz.

the one thing the twins have is defense and i certainly give them credit that they have excellent defense but i think that ranks behind offense and pitching in terms of importance. no one is going to convince me that if we outhit them by the large margin we did last season and pitch as well or better than them, that we will lose to them by 13 games again because of their defense. that's absurd.

the only realistic ways in which the twins can improve this season would be if santana starts 30+ games and pitches as well as he did last season, if mays returns to '01 form, if rivas finally starts to hit in his third season, if guzman returns to his previous form, if milton finally has his break through season, or if lohse improves. at this point in their careers it seems unreasonable to expect improvements from mientkeivich, koskie, hunter, jones, and probably also pierzynski. cuddyer is an excellent young player but the twins received excellent production in the third of spot last season from a buchanon, restovich, cuddyer, and keilty. the twins should expect a decrease in performance at the dh spot with ortiz' departure. its also possible that hunter and jones could fall off.

by contrast, the sox should improve at third with a full season of crede, at shortstop (at least offensively) by replacing clayton's bat, in left with lee's improve plate discipline, at the dh spot where a future hall of famer had an off season, in the pen having returned glover to his best role and added white for greater depth, and in the second through fourth spots in the rotations. the only areas the sox production might fall off would be rf after maggs had an incredible season and at short where durham departs. worst case scenario the sox pick up at least a few games on the twins here with the addition of colon to the staff and the subtraction of ritchie. there is no way the twins have improved themselves more than the sox from last season to this season.

Bmr31
01-29-2003, 03:42 AM
The twins had injuries last season. I dont think they have much of a chance to win it all, though. They lack stud starting pitchers. However, over a 162 game season, theyre gonna win around 92 games. Can the sox beat that? I doubt it....

hold2dibber
01-29-2003, 09:45 AM
I think the division is a toss up. I agree with just about everything Jeremy says about the Twins, with a few exceptions. I think the Twins starting rotation is deeper than the Sox. They don't have any world beaters in the rotation, but if they're all healthy and Santana is as good as I think he's going to be, the Twins have a deep, dependable rotation. The Sox' rotation, on the other hand, has a lot of question marks. Buehrle is a model of consistency - I think he'll be about the same as the last two years. I expect Colon to back-slide a little from his performance last year, but still be damn good. But that leaves Garland, Wright and Rauch. I, for one, wouldn't be shocked if Wright and Rauch get battered this year and are out of the rotation before the All-Star break. On the other hand, I wouldn't be shocked if Wright and Rauch absolutely kick tail and both end up with 15 wins. I don't think Garland will flame out, but I'm not convinced he'll improve. If Garland posts a 4.85 ERA while Rauch and Wright are getting lit up, the Sox will not beat the Twins. They have to have at least 2 of those 3 guys step up and be consistent, above average major league starters, and they need the rotation to stay healthy. If they do, it'll be a dog fight.

Iwritecode
01-29-2003, 10:34 AM
Originally posted by daver
I think most Sox fans are taking the Twins a little to lightly.

It's hard not to take the Twins lightly when you consider they play in the weakest division in MLB.

Last year the Twins beat the weaker teams (Tigers, KC, Tampa Bay, etc...) like they were supposed to and played OK against the strong teams (Oakland, Seattle, Yankees, etc...). The Sox on the other hand sucked against he weaker teams and played OK against the strong teams.

If the Sox can win the games they are supposed to win and get a little more luck in those 1-run games, I think they'll at least be able to keep pace with the Twins. In all honesty, I think the division will come down to the end of September and whichever team has the better head-2-head record (something the Sox have not had good luck with either) will take it.

THE_HOOTER
01-29-2003, 10:45 AM
You also have to remember that the Twins have kicked our butts for two years now.-or is it three?

I dont know how much we've improved.

We obviously upgraded our starting pitching with 2 solid proven ptichers.

However, we will be starting the year with Jimenez instead of Durham-who despite being overpaid was a major catalyst in our offense.

In order for us to beat the Twins, guys like Jimenez, Crede, Grland, and Wright will have to become more reliable and consistent.

Oh, Koch and Foulke are a wash statisically.

ssang
01-29-2003, 11:00 AM
If you put a gun to my head and told me I HAD to make the right call or the trigger gets pullled, I would say....................................

Twins 92-70
Sox 88-74


Sorry but that's my gut feeling. I will root like hell for my feeling to be wrong. Being a lifelong Sox fan, I expect disappointment. We have too many things that need to happen and I don't think it's realistic to expect Garland, Wright, and Rauch to improve as much as they need to in order to compete. Also, our defense is real shaky, we have a problem at the catcher position (nothing new there), Carlos Lee is unlikely to get over the hump (he shows me nothing), we are still terrible running the bases, our situational hitting is bad (at least last year and Manuel is to blame becuase of his tinkering), and Jerry Manuel is still out coach. I'm not saying that the Sox won't improve a lot in some of those areas, in fact, they probably will. However, I think there are just too many things that need to got right for us to make the playoffs.

Let's hope I' dead wrong!

gosox41
01-29-2003, 11:24 AM
Originally posted by Chisox_cali
The Twins have only won the division in 2002, The Indians won in 2001, the Twins were second.


The Twins are the only team in the AL Central to have a better record then the Sox the last two seasons. I think the Sox fans should stop talking like the AL Central is a lock. While the Sox are imrpoved on paper, it needs to translate on the field. That doesn't always work for the Sox.

The Sox can't handle playing the role of favorites.

Bob

voodoochile
01-29-2003, 12:12 PM
I think the division race will be close, but I think the Sox will pull away in September and win it by 7 games or so. I am an eternal optimist.

joecrede
01-29-2003, 12:15 PM
Originally posted by gosox41
The Twins are the only team in the AL Central to have a better record then the Sox the last two seasons. I think the Sox fans should stop talking like the AL Central is a lock. While the Sox are imrpoved on paper, it needs to translate on the field. That doesn't always work for the Sox.

The Sox can't handle playing the role of favorites.

Bob

I've said it before and I'll say it now, the Sox are the clear favorite in the division.

The Twins top out at 87 wins next year, Sox win the division by at least 4 games. Would anyone on this board trade Garland for Radke, Milton, Mays, or Reed?

Bmr31
01-29-2003, 12:25 PM
Originally posted by joecrede
I've said it before and I'll say it now, the Sox are the clear favorite in the division.

The Twins top out at 87 wins next year, Sox win the division by at least 4 games. Would anyone on this board trade Garland for Radke, Milton, Mays, or Reed?

umm yes?

FarmerAndy
01-29-2003, 12:32 PM
The best way to lose is to underestimate your enemy. Everybody keeps talking about the how the Twins weren't that good last year, and that they feasted on weak teams. Did anybody else watch the playoffs last year? The Twins beat Oakland in the ALDS, and put up a good fight against the Angels in the ALCS. They were pretty darn close to being in the World Series. It takes a good team to perform well in the post-season. The Twins played rather well, alot better than the White Sox did in the 2000 playoffs.

I think the Sox have a real chance this year. But in order to beat the Twins, we must first respect them. You'd think we would've learned that by now, after 2 years of shooting our mouths off and getting our butts kicked by them.

Bmr31
01-29-2003, 12:38 PM
Originally posted by FarmerAndy
The best way to lose is to underestimate your enemy. Everybody keeps talking about the how the Twins weren't that good last year, and that they feasted on weak teams. Did anybody else watch the playoffs last year? The Twins beat Oakland in the ALDS, and put up a good fight against the Angels in the ALCS. They were pretty darn close to being in the World Series. It takes a good team to perform well in the post-season. The Twins played rather well, alot better than the White Sox did in the 2000 playoffs.

I think the Sox have a real chance this year. But in order to beat the Twins, we must first respect them. You'd think we would've learned that by now, after 2 years of shooting our mouths off and getting our butts kicked by them.

Lets just hope the sox PLAYERS think like you and not some of these other guys. For the sox to win the division, its gonna take belief, hard work, and a few breaks. Not just belief...

Iwritecode
01-29-2003, 12:58 PM
Originally posted by FarmerAndy
The best way to lose is to underestimate your enemy. Everybody keeps talking about the how the Twins weren't that good last year, and that they feasted on weak teams. Did anybody else watch the playoffs last year? The Twins beat Oakland in the ALDS, and put up a good fight against the Angels in the ALCS. They were pretty darn close to being in the World Series. It takes a good team to perform well in the post-season. The Twins played rather well, alot better than the White Sox did in the 2000 playoffs.

Yes, but they sure feasted on those weak team to get there. And once you get to the playoffs, anything can happen. Especially in a 5-game series. Typically, the better team wins in a 7-game series

gosox41
01-29-2003, 01:19 PM
Originally posted by Iwritecode
Yes, but they sure feasted on those weak team to get there. And once you get to the playoffs, anything can happen. Especially in a 5-game series. Typically, the better team wins in a 7-game series


And the Sox played the same weak teams and couldn't get to the playoffs. They finished exactly .500. Maybe that would be why the Twins are a better team then the Sox...they beat up on the weaker guys.


Bottom line is the Sox have underperformed greatly the last 2 seasons while having this cocky attitude. It doesn't work, at least for the Sox and some of their fans. The funny part is it's probably the same fans running their mouths every year. When the Sox actually win something like a play off series or even the World Series they can gloat. Until then they're going to look like fools.

Bob

joecrede
01-29-2003, 01:35 PM
Originally posted by gosox41
And the Sox played the same weak teams and couldn't get to the playoffs. They finished exactly .500. Maybe that would be why the Twins are a better team then the Sox...they beat up on the weaker guys.


Bottom line is the Sox have underperformed greatly the last 2 seasons while having this cocky attitude. It doesn't work, at least for the Sox and some of their fans. The funny part is it's probably the same fans running their mouths every year. When the Sox actually win something like a play off series or even the World Series they can gloat. Until then they're going to look like fools.

Bob

Cocky attitude aside, Clayton, Johnson, Lofton, and Ritchie won't be sucking up AB's or innings in '03. 'Nuff said.

Iwritecode
01-29-2003, 01:47 PM
Originally posted by gosox41
Bottom line is the Sox have underperformed greatly the last 2 seasons...

That is the key right there. IF the Sox would have played up to expectations the past two years, the Central divison probably would not have been clinched until the last week in September. That's exactly what I predict for this year. IF the Sox don't underperform like they have been the past two years, it should be a pretty good race. I don't think either team is a clear cut favorite right now. The Twins have a slight advantage though because they are still the division champs. But it's not like they are the Yankees or Angels...

hold2dibber
01-29-2003, 01:57 PM
Originally posted by joecrede
Cocky attitude aside, Clayton, Johnson, Lofton, and Ritchie won't be sucking up AB's or innings in '03. 'Nuff said.

But will Jimenez, Olivo, Rowand or Rauch be any better? We just don't know. Sox have too many ?'s to be considered the favorite, if you ask me.

Lip Man 1
01-29-2003, 02:11 PM
Jeremy says:

its largely based on actual facts and statistics.

Ahhhh yes, those stats again rearing their ugly head (or is that the quadratic equations?)

Your stats don't figure that the Twins are perfectly suited for their quirky ball park do they? and that opposing teams, especially the Sox, and ESPECIALLY Mr. Carlos Lee, have real problems in the Dome do they?

Your "stats" said that the Twins didn't have a chance to beat the A's in the playoffs did they? Yet somehow they did.. didn't they?

Lastly your "stats" can't compute the one thing that makes baseball what it is... heart and guts and the Twins have them in SPADES.

I've said it about the Sox players and I'd suggest the same for Sox fans. JUST SHUT UP AND PLAY HARD and see what takes place.

To many Sox fans are AGAIN thinking this is going to be easy just like in 2001 and 2002.

Lip

RichH55
01-29-2003, 02:28 PM
Originally posted by FarmerAndy
The best way to lose is to underestimate your enemy. Everybody keeps talking about the how the Twins weren't that good last year, and that they feasted on weak teams. Did anybody else watch the playoffs last year? The Twins beat Oakland in the ALDS, and put up a good fight against the Angels in the ALCS. They were pretty darn close to being in the World Series. It takes a good team to perform well in the post-season. The Twins played rather well, alot better than the White Sox did in the 2000 playoffs.

I think the Sox have a real chance this year. But in order to beat the Twins, we must first respect them. You'd think we would've learned that by now, after 2 years of shooting our mouths off and getting our butts kicked by them.

I was definately guilty of underestimating the Twins last year....but that being said, Jeremy pointed out that their Bullpen overachieved last year(does anyone remember when the Cubs did that? Fassero and the like coming with career years all around the same time?)

So I think the Bullpen will be worse, but they did have some injuires to the Starting Pitching, so that could be better. However, I think the main intangible that might be hard to get back was that threat of contraction. The whole Us against the World mentality can really do wonders for bringing a team together and I think the Twins benefited from that last year

I think the Twins win 86 games and the Sox 91

joecrede
01-29-2003, 03:24 PM
Originally posted by hold2dibber
But will Jimenez, Olivo, Rowand or Rauch be any better? We just don't know. Sox have too many ?'s to be considered the favorite, if you ask me.

Crede, Rowand and Olivo are the most likely ones to replace Clayton, Lofton and Johnson. Last year that trio had an OPS .745 in 527 AB's while Clayton, Lofton and Johnson's OPS of .683 in 957 AB's. I believe the offense we get from those three spots in the lineup will be better.

Ritchie was the worst starter in baseball last year. Rauch can't be any worse than that. If he isn't pitching well they won't hesitate to try someone else in that spot.

Since you had Rauch replacing Ritchie, Colon replaces Glover and that is a serious upgrade.

jeremyb1
01-29-2003, 03:31 PM
Originally posted by Lip Man 1
Jeremy says:

its largely based on actual facts and statistics.

Ahhhh yes, those stats again rearing their ugly head (or is that the quadratic equations?)

Your stats don't figure that the Twins are perfectly suited for their quirky ball park do they? and that opposing teams, especially the Sox, and ESPECIALLY Mr. Carlos Lee, have real problems in the Dome do they?

Your "stats" said that the Twins didn't have a chance to beat the A's in the playoffs did they? Yet somehow they did.. didn't they?

Lastly your "stats" can't compute the one thing that makes baseball what it is... heart and guts and the Twins have them in SPADES.

I've said it about the Sox players and I'd suggest the same for Sox fans. JUST SHUT UP AND PLAY HARD and see what takes place.

To many Sox fans are AGAIN thinking this is going to be easy just like in 2001 and 2002.


what's the argument here, lip? that stats have next to no bearing on baseball? to me that's the equivalent of saying the earth is flat. it can simply be proven wrong in so many ways, that there's just no doubt about it that you can go a long way towards predicting wins based on statistics. obviously there are fluctuations there but not huge ones.

all but three teams in baseball last season finished within 6 games of their pathagorean record. that means that simply based on a teams total number of runs scored and runs allowed, you can predict how many games they'll win within 6 games 90% of the time.

obvious intangibles play a role but that only accounts for minimal deviations. the twins home field advantage and will to win in close games doesn't account for 15 more wins. they didn't win 94 games last season because of their ballpark. i also think its unlikely that carlos lee's defense in the metrodome this season will decide the winner of the al central over the course of 162 games. that's just me.

you're bringing up the playoffs but the playoffs are a small sample size. comparing a five game series to a 162 game season is absolutely ridiculous. if you let take any five games from any team over the season you'd probably find some pretty insane trends. you could easily find ways to argue that the worst team in baseball is better than the best. the yankees probably lost a series to the d-rays at least once over the past few seasons. what does that mean? nothing. the a's number one starter imploded in two of the five games in the alcs so now the twins are a 100 win club? i don't see it.

as for heart and guts, see my argument above that most intangibles don't account for incredibly large differences over the course of a season. also, why wouldn't the twins "heart and guts" affect their performance on the field and then that would in turn be reflected by stats? if you gave me two teams in equal or nearly equal ability, i'd take the one with "heart and guts" but you're not discussing the ability of the teams at all here. for all we know from your argument the twins are the least talented team in baseball and the sox are the most talented yet the twins are better because of "heart and guts". obviously there are a number of other factors which come into play to a much larger extent than "heart and guts".

Hangar18
01-29-2003, 03:41 PM
can you Imagine how Tough these Twins could possibly
be if they Werent trying to make secret backroom Deals
with the Commissioner (Selig) and trying to get themselves
Folded, and werent afraid of meeting Greedy Mark Priors $10 Million dollar price tag??

jeremyb1
01-29-2003, 03:41 PM
Originally posted by hold2dibber
But will Jimenez, Olivo, Rowand or Rauch be any better? We just don't know. Sox have too many ?'s to be considered the favorite, if you ask me.

its true that we don't know how well jimenez, olivo, rowand, and rauch will do but we can make reasonable guesses, right? i'm not talking about anything exact but what's the worst each of those players could do? personally i'd say there's a 90% chance jimenez hits .270 and with his ability to walk ends up with a solid obp, that rowand hits .250 with regular playing time, that olivo hits at least .230 with speed and a strong ability to throw runners out behind the plate, and that rauch keeps his era under six.

if you're comparing rauch with ritchie and olivo with mj that means that even in the near worst case scenario we have a definate improvement at two of those four positions. and that's the worst case scenario. i'd argue there's close to a 50-50 chance of olivo hitting .250 and rauch finishing with an era under 5.25. that would be a drastic upgrade. lofton only hit .259 for the sox last season so as far as batting average goes, rowand doesn't look to be much of a dropoff from lofton. its true that lofton walks at a better rate than rowand but it should also be noted that lofton's inconsistencies were incredibly detrimental to the team as he got on base at a pathetic .268 clip in june when the sox began to unravel.

my point is that just because we "don't know what these players are going to do" doesn't mean there's an equal chance that olivo will hit .150 as there is that he'll hit .250 or that rauch will have an era of 11 as there is that he'll have an era of five. its not as though we have no knowledge of these players and that literally anything can happen. clearly we can make educated guesses about their performance based on their significant playing time last season and their minor league history. its not as though at the beginning of last season matt ginter had the same chance of winning rookie of the year as eric hinske because both of them were rookies and therefore we "didn't know what they'd do". even rookies such as sean burroughs that struggled didn't completely fall flat on their faces.

hold2dibber
01-29-2003, 03:43 PM
Originally posted by joecrede
Crede, Rowand and Olivo are the most likely ones to replace Clayton, Lofton and Johnson. Last year that trio had an OPS .745 in 527 AB's while Clayton, Lofton and Johnson's OPS of .683 in 957 AB's. I believe the offense we get from those three spots in the lineup will be better.

Ritchie was the worst starter in baseball last year. Rauch can't be any worse than that. If he isn't pitching well they won't hesitate to try someone else in that spot.

Since you had Rauch replacing Ritchie, Colon replaces Glover and that is a serious upgrade.

I agree. I THINK that those guys will be better than the people they're replacing, but the fact remains that Crede, Rowand and Olivo are all very young and very inexperienced, so you can't really count on them to do better. Again, they are question marks - they are, IMHO, likely to be better than the guys they're replacing, but last year a lot of people thought Hank Blalock and Sean Burroughs were going to be forces in '02 and they both flamed out. Also don't forget that Jimenez is replacing Durham, and Durham was awfully good offensively while he was here last year. You just never know with young, unproven players. So, until those guys actually prove themselves over the long haul, I give the Twins the edge.

Also, I suppose it's not suprising, but its remarkable to me how so many people assume that many Twins players are due for a fall off in performance, but no one seems to admit to the possibility that Sox players may not repeat their '02 performances. Maggs had the best year of his career - isn't it possible that he'll regress somewhat? Or that Wright or Garland or Marte will crash and burn? That Konerko's 2nd half will carry over into this year? That Colon will go back to the 14 win level he was at a few years ago? That Rowand will hit .210, Jimenez will hit .230 and Crede will hit .240? These all seem to me to be 50/50 propositions. Not everything is going to go right, not everyone is going to improve, not all of the starters are going to make it through the year healthy. It just never works out that way.

jeremyb1
01-29-2003, 03:59 PM
Originally posted by hold2dibber
Also, I suppose it's not suprising, but its remarkable to me how so many people assume that many Twins players are due for a fall off in performance, but no one seems to admit to the possibility that Sox players may not repeat their '02 performances. Maggs had the best year of his career - isn't it possible that he'll regress somewhat? Or that Wright or Garland or Marte will crash and burn? That Konerko's 2nd half will carry over into this year? That Colon will go back to the 14 win level he was at a few years ago? That Rowand will hit .210, Jimenez will hit .230 and Crede will hit .240? These all seem to me to be 50/50 propositions. Not everything is going to go right, not everyone is going to improve, not all of the starters are going to make it through the year healthy. It just never works out that way.

i think i'm on record on this board as saying there's a legitimate chance colon, maggs, paully, and crede might fall off from last seasons production. however, i think the difference with most of the other players is that they're young players and they've struggled in the past and made improvements. when young players take steps forward, they ussually continue to move forward instead of regressing. its more often that veteran players that have their best seasons (such as maggs) tend to drop off.

i haven't seen any posts where anyone suggested lohse, santana, cuddyer, or rivas will fall off because they're young players (all are 25 or younger i believe). i don't think its anywhere near a 50/50 proposition that players like garland, wright, and jimenez will take steps backwards. all three players had strong minor league careers and didn't initially play as well in the majors as their minor league careers and natural ability indicated they could.

young players that drop off in performance ussually do so for a reason. this is ussually the result of a player that has a great deal of success of the bat (see crede, mike caruso, et al) or has a flaw in his game which is exploited over time such as bad plate discipline (see chris singleton, crede, carlos lee early in his career). most things in baseball happen for a reason. i don't believe that just because jiminez is young there's a 50/50 chance he'll hit .230 or .300 this season. clearly we have more to go by than the fact that he's young. his minor league numbers don't suggest he's a .230 hitter. he hit near .330 in AAA one year i believe. that doesn't guarantee he'll hit for high average in the majors but it certainly makes it more likely that he'll hit .270 than .230.

RKMeibalane
01-29-2003, 06:00 PM
The Sox will be better than they were last season. The question is, how much better will they be?

They begin the season facing the likes of Kanas City and Detroit. They should have no problem winning at least 4-5 of those games. It is not out of the realm of possibilities that they may win six straight to start the season.

Because of the easy schedule in April, we will know right away if the Sox have a chance to contend. If they take care of business against the weaker teams and play at or slightly above .500 against the contending teams (New York, Oakland, etc.), they have a strong chance of winning the division. If not...

Jerry Reinsdorf, get the HELL OUT!

hold2dibber
01-29-2003, 06:47 PM
Originally posted by jeremyb1
what's the argument here, lip? that stats have next to no bearing on baseball? to me that's the equivalent of saying the earth is flat. it can simply be proven wrong in so many ways, that there's just no doubt about it that you can go a long way towards predicting wins based on statistics. obviously there are fluctuations there but not huge ones.

all but three teams in baseball last season finished within 6 games of their pathagorean record. that means that simply based on a teams total number of runs scored and runs allowed, you can predict how many games they'll win within 6 games 90% of the time.

obvious intangibles play a role but that only accounts for minimal deviations. the twins home field advantage and will to win in close games doesn't account for 15 more wins. they didn't win 94 games last season because of their ballpark. i also think its unlikely that carlos lee's defense in the metrodome this season will decide the winner of the al central over the course of 162 games. that's just me.

you're bringing up the playoffs but the playoffs are a small sample size. comparing a five game series to a 162 game season is absolutely ridiculous. if you let take any five games from any team over the season you'd probably find some pretty insane trends. you could easily find ways to argue that the worst team in baseball is better than the best. the yankees probably lost a series to the d-rays at least once over the past few seasons. what does that mean? nothing. the a's number one starter imploded in two of the five games in the alcs so now the twins are a 100 win club? i don't see it.

as for heart and guts, see my argument above that most intangibles don't account for incredibly large differences over the course of a season. also, why wouldn't the twins "heart and guts" affect their performance on the field and then that would in turn be reflected by stats? if you gave me two teams in equal or nearly equal ability, i'd take the one with "heart and guts" but you're not discussing the ability of the teams at all here. for all we know from your argument the twins are the least talented team in baseball and the sox are the most talented yet the twins are better because of "heart and guts". obviously there are a number of other factors which come into play to a much larger extent than "heart and guts".

If I were you, I'd just give up, Jeremy. Trying to convince Lip of the usefulness of statistical analysis in baseball is akin to trying to stop an avalanche with tissue paper - it ain't gonna happen. I view myself as being in the middle on this issue (between those who are married to stats and those who are anti-stats) and I do view Lip's disdain for stats to be somewhat irrational (no offense, Lip).

jeremyb1
01-29-2003, 06:50 PM
Originally posted by hold2dibber
If I were you, I'd just give up, Jeremy. Trying to convince Lip of the usefulness of statistical analysis in baseball is akin to trying to stop an avalanche with tissue paper - it ain't gonna happen. I view myself as being in the middle on this issue (between those who are married to stats and those who are anti-stats) and I do view Lip's disdain for stats to be somewhat irrational (no offense, Lip).

hehe. what can i say, i have a fair amount of time on my hands and it gives me something to do.

Lip Man 1
01-29-2003, 09:05 PM
The only problem I have with the stats and their supporters is when they come across as "all knowing, all seeing." and basically feel that the whole season has already been laid out.

That is very common among a bunch of stat supporters here at WSI.

As one poster said (and I'm paraphrasing) if the business of stats was such an exact science, why bother to play the games?

Amen, brother.

What happened LAST year can't predict THIS year can it? Every season is different, every game is a new variable. Players get older, players get hurt, other teams change players. Even the ballparks change along with such small things as the baseballs themselves and the weather.

So please spare me the attitude of "the Sox HAVE to be better because the stats say this" or "the Twins HAVE to be worse because of these stats..."

Games are won and lost on the field, not in a math classroom or with slides rules or with pythegorian (sorry about the spelling) theories.

Baseball is supposed to be an escape from reality, these stat supporters are sucking the life out of the game just like Uncle Jerry.

Lip

jeremyb1
01-29-2003, 10:07 PM
Originally posted by Lip Man 1
The only problem I have with the stats and their supporters is when they come across as "all knowing, all seeing." and basically feel that the whole season has already been laid out.

That is very common among a bunch of stat supporters here at WSI.

As one poster said (and I'm paraphrasing) if the business of stats was such an exact science, why bother to play the games?

Amen, brother.

What happened LAST year can't predict THIS year can it? Every season is different, every game is a new variable. Players get older, players get hurt, other teams change players. Even the ballparks change along with such small things as the baseballs themselves and the weather.

So please spare me the attitude of "the Sox HAVE to be better because the stats say this" or "the Twins HAVE to be worse because of these stats..."

Games are won and lost on the field, not in a math classroom or with slides rules or with pythegorian (sorry about the spelling) theories.

Baseball is supposed to be an escape from reality, these stat supporters are sucking the life out of the game just like Uncle Jerry.

suprisingly i agree with a lot of what you're saying there. clearly you can't know what will happen before the season based on last season. that's a great part of what makes baseball so wonderful. i don't think anyone thinks that here, even if they come across in that manner. their will be huge players this season that get injured and have unexpected downseasons and players that come out nowhere to have monster seasons. in many of those cases, we can't predict what will happen at all.

despite this, i don't think stats are useless. i'd rather have the best prediction possible than no prediction at all even if the prediction is somewhat off. last season most people probably saw the sox between 85-90 wins with very few seeing them winning more than 95. that means most people's predictions were pretty close. obviously we can have some idea how well a club will do and i think we all enjoy making predictions to some extent and expressing our viewpoints on the season. that's why we post here.

the reason stats are so valuable is that they're completely neutral as long as you don't subjectively choose which stats to use and which to omit. if i list a players ops that will give us a much more accurate and trustworthy idea of how he hits than if i simply said that i think he's a good hitter. my opinion might be wrong and there's nothing to keep others from disagreeing with me.

Lip Man 1
01-29-2003, 11:58 PM
Surprisingly Jeremy I feel that is one of the most intellegent posts you have ever done!

I agree with your point on WHO is doing the stats and how unbiased are they (In my business I took the same approach to "ratings"-- they can say anything you want them to say by twisting, editing and flip flopping them)

Allow me to give a specific example of what I mean.

When Keith Foulke was traded for Billy Koch a number of "statiticians" came on condemming the deal. They brought out reams and reams of numbers PROVING that Foulke was better then Koch and that Williams got screwed etc...

What these people fail to understand is one simple fact....Since October 2000 Keith, as good as he was, had a tendency to blow up in the biggest, most crucial games of the year. He did it in 2001 and he did it in 2002. So although his "stats" were excellent, a CHANGE NEEDED TO BE MADE.

The problem with many sabermetricians (I hope I spelled that correctly) is that they LACK COMMON SENSE.

All the stats in the world may say Foulke is better then Koch but what good are those if he keeps blowing up in crucial games?

Williams got the only available closer that we know of in the deal. I have to assume that was the best he could do (since I don't think John Smoltz was available.)

Ultimately it may prove to be a monster mistake but even so it was a risk worth taking since we've seen conclusively what has been happening to Keith the past two years. (and I like Keith, he's a hell of a pitcher!)

That's what I mean when I say I get upset over this "know it all" attitude. perhaps that's what Mark Twain meant when he said "there are lies, damn lies and statistics."

Lip

MarkEdward
01-30-2003, 12:36 AM
Originally posted by Lip Man 1

What these people fail to understand is one simple fact....Since October 2000 Keith, as good as he was, had a tendency to blow up in the biggest, most crucial games of the year.

Yup, he's just blown so many games these past two years. Six of them! Six! Never mind the fact that Koch has blown 14 in the past two seasons, that's not the point. Foulke blew six games!

The problem with many sabermetricians (I hope I spelled that correctly) is that they LACK COMMON SENSE.

Could you explain this? I don't mean to sound like an ass, but I'm just intrigued.

All the stats in the world may say Foulke is better then Koch but what good are those if he keeps blowing up in crucial games?

Yeah, all six of them!

Williams got the only available closer that we know of in the deal. I have to assume that was the best he could do (since I don't think John Smoltz was available.)

Or we could have just kept Foulke...

Ultimately it may prove to be a monster mistake but even so it was a risk worth taking since we've seen conclusively what has been happening to Keith the past two years. (and I like Keith, he's a hell of a pitcher!)

There's conclusive evidence that Keith Foulke is a bad closer? Where?

That's what I mean when I say I get upset over this "know it all" attitude. perhaps that's what Mark Twain meant when he said "there are lies, damn lies and statistics."
Lip

"SABREmtrics isn't about statistics, it is about the search for new evidence." -Bill James. See? I can play the quoting game too.

Lip Man 1
01-30-2003, 12:52 AM
Mark:

You obviously don't get out of your room much do you? You are the perfect example of the "know it all" attitude I was talking about.

Yes Foulke only blew six games but my point is WHEN did he blow them? Only the biggest games of the past two seasons.

So you can yell and scream all you want about how the stats say you're right and if that makes your ego feel better that's well and good. I'm sure you can convince your little friends how smart you are.

The reality is Keith had a problem (unfortunately) and it seemed to surface at the wrong times. I don't care that he saved all those games against Kansas City, Detroit and Tampa... what did he do against the Yanks, Twins, Mariners etc. That's what I meant by "common sense" or lack of it when looking at a situation and basing it purely on statistics

According to your ilk that doesn't matter because the "stats" say that he's great. And I think he's a tremendous pitcher but I also know that his teammates may have started to lose confidence in Keith at the wrong time. Blowing key games can only happen for so long before individuals start to think, "what's going to happen this time?"

A change needed to be made. Could it turn out worse for the Sox... of course. But we knew what was happening the past two years. We had seen it. it was also a fact. Those blown games and WHEN they happened were a big problem.

Koch may blow more of them, he might blow fewer that's the chance you take.

Bottom line, the situation had to be changed since we've seen where the Sox finished in 2001 and 2002.

As Charlie Brown said to Lucy "tell your statistics to shut up..."

Lip

Bmr31
01-30-2003, 01:01 AM
Originally posted by Lip Man 1
Mark:

You obviously don't get out of your room much do you? You are the perfect example of the "know it all" attitude I was talking about.

Yes Foulke only blew six games but my point is WHEN did he blow them? Only the biggest games of the past two seasons.

So you can yell and scream all you want about how the stats say you're right and if that makes your ego feel better that's well and good. I'm sure you can convince your little friends how smart you are.

The reality is Keith had a problem (unfortunately) and it seemed to surface at the wrong times. I don't care that he saved all those games against Kansas City, Detroit and Tampa... what did he do against the Yanks, Twins, Mariners etc. That's what I meant by "common sense" or lack of it when looking at a situation and basing it purely on statistics

According to your ilk that doesn't matter because the "stats" say that he's great. And I think he's a tremendous pitcher but I also know that his teammates may have started to lose confidence in Keith at the wrong time. Blowing key games can only happen for so long before individuals start to think, "what's going to happen this time?"

A change needed to be made. Could it turn out worse for the Sox... of course. But we knew what was happening the past two years. We had seen it. it was also a fact. Those blown games and WHEN they happened were a big problem.

Koch may blow more of them, he might blow fewer that's the chance you take.

Bottom line, the situation had to be changed since we've seen where the Sox finished in 2001 and 2002.

As Charlie Brown said to Lucy "tell your statistics to shut up..."

Lip

I am a huge Keith Foulke fan. However, i would hate to have him closing for me in a big game, in October. Anyone who would rather have Foulke CLOSE over Koch is misquided, and may need to watch a few more baseball games instead of reading the morning newspaper.

RichH55
01-30-2003, 02:00 AM
Originally posted by Bmr31
I am a huge Keith Foulke fan. However, i would hate to have him closing for me in a big game, in October. Anyone who would rather have Foulke CLOSE over Koch is misquided, and may need to watch a few more baseball games instead of reading the morning newspaper.

Well I think I will use numbers to support Lip here......How about contracts...I think that Foulke for Koch will basically amount to a wash, but Koch is here for at least the next 2 years while this would have been Keith's swan song and then the question becomes do you trade him? Do you try and compete? Who closes, etc.....With Koch...the questions are answered, you keep Marte's asking price down(How much more does a pitcher make just for putting closer on his resume?)....This is a fine example of being proactive to solve a potential problem....Granted there is a reason they play the games, but hard to fault KW on this deal and I wonder if Beane makes the deal if money/contracts weren't a consideration...that is an interesting question to me

Bmr31
01-30-2003, 02:02 AM
Originally posted by RichH55
Well I think I will use numbers to support Lip here......How about contracts...I think that Foulke for Koch will basically amount to a wash, but Koch is here for at least the next 2 years while this would have been Keith's swan song and then the question becomes do you trade him? Do you try and compete? Who closes, etc.....With Koch...the questions are answered, you keep Marte's asking price down(How much more does a pitcher make just for putting closer on his resume?)....This is a fine example of being proactive to solve a potential problem....Granted there is a reason they play the games, but hard to fault KW on this deal and I wonder if Beane makes the deal if money/contracts weren't a consideration...that is an interesting question to me

KW has had an excellent winter! Hopefully the reward will return through the standings.

RichH55
01-30-2003, 02:07 AM
Originally posted by Bmr31
KW has had an excellent winter! Hopefully the reward will return through the standings.

And the attendence....as much as we hate to hear the owners whining, especially when they don't seem to have a clear plan...when they make a good effort in good faith, hopefully we reward them for it....I plan to do my best to make more games this year(hopefully triple from 5 to 15), so we see how that goes.....But all in all a real positive offseason, and a real nice learning curve for KW...not to mention he has shown the ability to cut his losses(Ritchie) which is an absolute great trait for management to have

Bmr31
01-30-2003, 02:13 AM
Originally posted by RichH55
And the attendence....as much as we hate to hear the owners whining, especially when they don't seem to have a clear plan...when they make a good effort in good faith, hopefully we reward them for it....I plan to do my best to make more games this year(hopefully triple from 5 to 15), so we see how that goes.....But all in all a real positive offseason, and a real nice learning curve for KW...not to mention he has shown the ability to cut his losses(Ritchie) which is an absolute great trait for management to have

Could he instruct Jerry Krause?

RichH55
01-30-2003, 02:24 AM
Originally posted by Bmr31
Could he instruct Jerry Krause?

Short Answer: No

Long Answer: Yes, with a but.....

Twins8791
01-30-2003, 05:47 AM
When comparing teams, don't forget to eval managers as well.
Worth a few games, eh?

maurice
01-30-2003, 12:30 PM
Originally posted by Lip Man 1
You obviously don't get out of your room much do you? You are the perfect example of the "know it all" attitude I was talking about....So you can yell and scream all you want about how the stats say you're right and if that makes your ego feel better that's well and good. I'm sure you can convince your little friends how smart you are.


With all due respect, Lip, this is exactly backwards. You may not like the folks who cite statistics, but at least they make some effort to support their claims with reasons. Your arguments boil down to "Foulke is bad because I say so, and I'm smarter than you." The condescension is apparent in the above excerpt and completely unwarranted. You, sir, are the one playing the classic "know it all." Pot...kettle...black.

Yes Foulke only blew six games but my point is WHEN did he blow them? Only the biggest games of the past two seasons.

The Sox didn't play ANY "big games" in "the past two seasons." The Sox were bad. Bad teams don't play big games. OTOH, for teams in a close playoff race, ALL 162 games are be big games, since they could affect the standings at the end of the season. Thus, a closer on a good team who blows 6 games is just about twice as good as a closer who hypothetically would have blown 12. This is not a "statistical" argument; it's the "common sense" you purportedly advocate.

You have the classic Chicago sports fan attitude (e.g., Bears fans always want to see the backup QB play). You think the current closer is bad because you see every save he blows. You have an emotional response to the mistakes made by the players on your team, even if they are made infrequently by objectively good players. The grass is always greener . . . .

The reality is Keith had a problem (unfortunately) and it seemed to surface at the wrong times.

"Seemed" is right. The reality is quite different. Every closer blows some games. Every closer blows some big games. Keith blew games at a lower rate than almost every other closer in baseball. Therefore, "common sense" dictates that Keith is an objectively good closer, irrespective of your subjective, emotional response.

I don't care that he saved all those games against Kansas City, Detroit and Tampa... what did he do against the Yanks, Twins, Mariners etc.

You should care. Most closers would have blown more of those games, which is a bad thing, since they counted EXACTLY THE SAME as the games against NY. The only difference is the amount of your subjective emotional investment. The only Sox games that counted even marginally more over the last two years were games againt the teams which eventually won the division. Yet, Keith surrendered only 3 runs in 19 innings in those "big games," including 0 runs last year. That's real good -- for example, Koch gave up the same number of runs against those same teams in less than half as many innings. Please don't try to argue that the number of runs a pitcher gives up is an irrelevant "statistic."

Bottom line, the situation had to be changed since we've seen where the Sox finished in 2001 and 2002.

The variance in the Sox record over the last three years obviously has nothing to do with the identity of their closer, since it was the exact same person all three years. The Sox were good in 2000 because their starting pitching was good. The Sox were bad in 2001 and 2002 because their starting pitching was bad. Everything else was basically a wash. The Sox record in 2003 also will be determined by the quality of their starting pitching. Koch will not cause the Sox to win more games. The best case scenario is that he will not cause them to lose more games.

The trade was driven by contracts and FA eligibility, and will need to be judged on that basis, since "common sense" dictates that the Sox did not acquire an objectively better closer using ANY relevant standard (your personal feelings notwithstanding).

(Sorry, all, for the long post.)

jeremyb1
01-30-2003, 03:06 PM
Originally posted by Lip Man 1
Surprisingly Jeremy I feel that is one of the most intellegent posts you have ever done!

I agree with your point on WHO is doing the stats and how unbiased are they (In my business I took the same approach to "ratings"-- they can say anything you want them to say by twisting, editing and flip flopping them)

Allow me to give a specific example of what I mean.

When Keith Foulke was traded for Billy Koch a number of "statiticians" came on condemming the deal. They brought out reams and reams of numbers PROVING that Foulke was better then Koch and that Williams got screwed etc...

What these people fail to understand is one simple fact....Since October 2000 Keith, as good as he was, had a tendency to blow up in the biggest, most crucial games of the year. He did it in 2001 and he did it in 2002. So although his "stats" were excellent, a CHANGE NEEDED TO BE MADE.

The problem with many sabermetricians (I hope I spelled that correctly) is that they LACK COMMON SENSE.

All the stats in the world may say Foulke is better then Koch but what good are those if he keeps blowing up in crucial games?

Williams got the only available closer that we know of in the deal. I have to assume that was the best he could do (since I don't think John Smoltz was available.)

Ultimately it may prove to be a monster mistake but even so it was a risk worth taking since we've seen conclusively what has been happening to Keith the past two years. (and I like Keith, he's a hell of a pitcher!)

That's what I mean when I say I get upset over this "know it all" attitude. perhaps that's what Mark Twain meant when he said "there are lies, damn lies and statistics."

Lip

the problem here lip is that you're assuming certain saves count for more than others. a loss is still a loss in the scheme of things unless it takes place in the playoffs. foulke has blown a game in the playoff (or gotten the loss at least) but so has koch.

you could argue that certain "momentum crushing" saves hurt the team's morale and i would give you some leeway there. however, to argue that they would kill morale the the extent that the team would lose 8 more games over the course of two seasons seems a little extreme to me.

Lip Man 1
01-30-2003, 04:02 PM
Guys:

Just two example for what it's worth.

On June 26, 2001 Keith blew a big lead and lost to the Twins 7-6.
With the win (I think) the Sox would have closed to within four games of first place. The Sox then lost seven of their next ten. Do I completely blame Keith for that? Of course not, but that type of loss against the team you are trying to catch is difficult to take.

Last year Keith blew a game to the Yanks. What did the Sox then do? Blow the entire series and go right in the tank. Coincidence? Again I'm not totally blaming Keith I just saying their are certain losses at certain times that can be momentum shifters.

In regards to Mark. I shouldn't have gotten so personal. I'm sorry. However this is something I've noticed about his posts. (I write for a living so I pick up these things...) His posts are always written with an eye towards belittling or destroying someone else. The words used are always confrontational, aggresive sometimes arrogant. There is never any room for discussion, it's always "black or white" (either I'm right or you're wrong) no shades of gray. I guess I should expect that when someone has the statistical mentality that numbers tell all. But this isn't life or death, the smallest detail doesn't have to be argued until Mark shows he's correct. I KNOW he's a smart kid (probably gets straight A's) he doesn't have to jam his intelligance down my throat, this isn't war here...it's baseball. (or as Sgt. Hulka said in Stripes..."lighten up Francis!"

I never said knowing or using stats are wrong. I said the best GM's look at them but base their decisions on more then just numbers. (or else how do you explain Billy Beane signing Chris Singleton who the "stats" say is an awful player? Beane must be seeing something beyond just numbers, or his "infallibility" is very overrated)

Lip

ma-gaga
01-30-2003, 04:28 PM
Originally posted by jeremyb1
this has very little to do with the fact that i'm a sox fan. its largely based on actual facts and statistics.
...
at this point in their careers it seems unreasonable to expect improvements from mientkeivich, koskie, hunter, jones, and probably also pierzynski.
...
by contrast, the sox should improve at third with a full season of crede, at shortstop (at least offensively) by replacing clayton's bat, in left with lee's improve plate discipline, at the dh spot where a future hall of famer had an off season,
...
there is no way the twins have improved themselves more than the sox from last season to this season.

You make a ton of good points. BUT...

I'm guessing that you'll agree that peak years usually run from 27-30. Of the five Twins that you mention, only Koskie is on the outside edge of that range, and he had a crappy year "only" putting up an OPS of .815. The rest are actually younger than peak with Mientkiewicz turning 29. Ortiz is a perfect 'split' DH. He epitomized the Twins struggles with lefties. He should be replaced with either Kielty, Cuddyer or LeCroy who don't show the same types of splits.

The W.Sox have to rely on 3-4 rookie players younger than 'peak'. Or hope that Sandy Alomar stole some of the special 'moon juice' from Sosa's locker this winter. Can Crede kill the ball like he did last summer? Can J'menez crush MLB pitching? Willie Harris? Can Olivo hit? Will Frank Thomas ever hit again? You say its' reasonable to expect a 30 year-old 3rd baseman to regress but not the 35 year old DH...? Of all your assumptions, I think F.Thomas can crush the snot out of the little golf ball, and is the most likely to perform up to previous standards/projections, but there's a little bit of 'bias' showing through in your analysis.

Now, Colon was a masterstroke, and yes, the W.Sox definitely improved themselves MORE than the Twins, but they needed to. All the Twins had to do was to sign a couple of players that are 'arbitration eligible'. We'll see how the Twins bullpen fares. They will regress, but I'm firmly in the boat that says the Twins starting staff will be better this year. I'd still expect an STAFF ERA of the Twins around 4.10. Good for first in the division, and 5th in the AL.

If I replace Ritchies 133 innings of 6.06 ERA with Colons 2.93 ERA, it looks like I reduce the W.Sox staff era from 4.53 to 4.24. Is that good enough to win the division? Yes, if the Sox score 850+ runs. Which I think is easier said than done. Can Colon put back up a sub 3.00 era? (I know Colon eats up more innings, but this are rough estimates here

Methinks you overestimate the 'regression' of the Twins, and the 'potential' of Lee/Crede/J'minez/Olivo... We'll see.

MarkEdward
01-30-2003, 04:51 PM
Originally posted by Lip Man 1

In regards to Mark. I shouldn't have gotten so personal. I'm sorry. However this is something I've noticed about his posts. (I write for a living so I pick up these things...) His posts are always written with an eye towards belittling or destroying someone else. The words used are always confrontational, aggresive sometimes arrogant.

When have I tried to belittle or destroy someone on this message board? As far as I know, I have never made any personal attacks or slanderous comments to anyone here.

If my posts seem confrontational, it's because I'm ardently trying to defend my opinion. If I believe I'm right, I won't concede.

If others think I'm an arrogant jackass, then I apologize.

I guess I should expect that when someone has the statistical mentality that numbers tell all.

See? I try not to make these type of comments. I never claim that I am always right.


I KNOW he's a smart kid (probably gets straight A's)

Lip

Ha! Try telling that to my Latin teacher.

By the way, great post maurice.

jeremyb1
01-30-2003, 05:27 PM
Originally posted by Lip Man 1
Guys:

Just two example for what it's worth.

On June 26, 2001 Keith blew a big lead and lost to the Twins 7-6.
With the win (I think) the Sox would have closed to within four games of first place. The Sox then lost seven of their next ten. Do I completely blame Keith for that? Of course not, but that type of loss against the team you are trying to catch is difficult to take.

Last year Keith blew a game to the Yanks. What did the Sox then do? Blow the entire series and go right in the tank. Coincidence? Again I'm not totally blaming Keith I just saying their are certain losses at certain times that can be momentum shifters.

i definately agree with you to a certain extent here. i agree that some of the games that foulke blew hurt the team's momentum. however, by the fact that koch blows significantly more saves than foulke, he's just as likely if not more likely to blow critical games.

also, i think it should be noted that no save has a good influence on morale. a game which would go a long ways towards helping you catch your division rival is obviously more important than one against tampa bay when you're ten games up or ten games ahead but in a close division race, every single blown save is going to affect the team's morale at least slightly because blowing a game in the 9th is always crushing.

in short, i agree that some of the games foulke blew hurt the team's momentum. however, i think you probably feel it hurt the momentum to a greater extent than i do and i feel you probably think foulke is more vulnerable to "momentum killing" saves than other closers, which in reality is probably not true if only by virtue of the fact that foulke blows fewer games than other closers.

guillen4life13
01-30-2003, 05:46 PM
Originally posted by Lip Man 1
Guys:

Just two example for what it's worth.

On June 26, 2001 Keith blew a big lead and lost to the Twins 7-6.
With the win (I think) the Sox would have closed to within four games of first place. The Sox then lost seven of their next ten. Do I completely blame Keith for that? Of course not, but that type of loss against the team you are trying to catch is difficult to take.

Last year Keith blew a game to the Yanks. What did the Sox then do? Blow the entire series and go right in the tank. Coincidence? Again I'm not totally blaming Keith I just saying their are certain losses at certain times that can be momentum shifters.

In regards to Mark. I shouldn't have gotten so personal. I'm sorry. However this is something I've noticed about his posts. (I write for a living so I pick up these things...) His posts are always written with an eye towards belittling or destroying someone else. The words used are always confrontational, aggresive sometimes arrogant. There is never any room for discussion, it's always "black or white" (either I'm right or you're wrong) no shades of gray. I guess I should expect that when someone has the statistical mentality that numbers tell all. But this isn't life or death, the smallest detail doesn't have to be argued until Mark shows he's correct. I KNOW he's a smart kid (probably gets straight A's) he doesn't have to jam his intelligance down my throat, this isn't war here...it's baseball. (or as Sgt. Hulka said in Stripes..."lighten up Francis!"

I never said knowing or using stats are wrong. I said the best GM's look at them but base their decisions on more then just numbers. (or else how do you explain Billy Beane signing Chris Singleton who the "stats" say is an awful player? Beane must be seeing something beyond just numbers, or his "infallibility" is very overrated)

Lip

I agree with pretty much everything you've said, but in Keith Foulke's defense, the ball made some extremely unlucky bounces in the Twins' favor. IIRC, there were a couple of balls that Paulie dove for that he just couldn't get to because of the speed the turf added to the ball. I have no doubt whatsoever that if that game happened on a grass field, the Sox would have won it.

That said, I have to agree with you. He blew the playoff game in 2000, he blew that Twins game just mentioned, and in 2K2, he blew a few games right when the sox were on a roll, that sort wounded the momentum the team had. As for the Koch v. Foulke deal, I don't know if there's any side I can take because Koch has much room to improve, and it is quite possible that in this new setting, he will have more success, especially in the playoffs (if that happens) because the dryness of the weather here will make his heat just a little harder to catch up to in cold weather. The bullpen the Sox have assembled this winter, IMO, can be compared with the best of them (I'm biased yes, but many of you might agree with me). The batting lineup is also right up there. All it comes down to is the rotation...

Why is a closer making more money than the #1 starter on this team?

ewokpelts
01-30-2003, 05:50 PM
Hey all,

Let's not forget that the twinkies(players, not management) had the extra motivation of contraction. That was thier single biggest motivator. They even joked about giving Bud Light thier team MVP award. Now, they have a 4 year stay of execution from the labor deal. I dont think they ill be as hungry. They wont have the same playoff sized crowds this year.

Gene
p.s. Twins management sucks. In order to get playoff tix early, you had to put a 400 dollar down payment on 03 ticket packages. They only sold the remainder of available tickets for both playoff rounds onte day before the games. At least Jerry sold them a monh in advance, to promote playoff hype,even though some tix were later refunded(thanks to a sweep).

hold2dibber
01-30-2003, 06:11 PM
Originally posted by guillen4life13
Why is a closer making more money than the #1 starter on this team?

Because the closer is arbitration eligible and the starter is not. When Buehrle puts in his time and becomes arbitration eligible, he'll be making more than Koch, I would think.

delben91
01-30-2003, 06:18 PM
Originally posted by ma-gaga
Methinks you overestimate the 'regression' of the Twins, and the 'potential' of Lee/Crede/J'minez/Olivo... We'll see.

Yeah, the double curse of the preseason, hope springs eternal and being sox fans, we all naturally expect our young players to come through with big performances. Will we be disappointed? Who knows, why they play the games.

In the end, I think both the White Sox and the Twins have lots of question marks. Overall though, the Sox probably have more than those Twinkies. The twins are the favorite in my book until the Sox prove otherwise. I think they'll do just that, but the players have rarely listened to my opinions in the past.

jeremyb1
01-30-2003, 06:21 PM
Originally posted by ma-gaga
You make a ton of good points. BUT...

I'm guessing that you'll agree that peak years usually run from 27-30. Of the five Twins that you mention, only Koskie is on the outside edge of that range, and he had a crappy year "only" putting up an OPS of .815. The rest are actually younger than peak with Mientkiewicz turning 29. Ortiz is a perfect 'split' DH. He epitomized the Twins struggles with lefties. He should be replaced with either Kielty, Cuddyer or LeCroy who don't show the same types of splits.

The W.Sox have to rely on 3-4 rookie players younger than 'peak'. Or hope that Sandy Alomar stole some of the special 'moon juice' from Sosa's locker this winter. Can Crede kill the ball like he did last summer? Can J'menez crush MLB pitching? Willie Harris? Can Olivo hit? Will Frank Thomas ever hit again? You say its' reasonable to expect a 30 year-old 3rd baseman to regress but not the 35 year old DH...? Of all your assumptions, I think F.Thomas can crush the snot out of the little golf ball, and is the most likely to perform up to previous standards/projections, but there's a little bit of 'bias' showing through in your analysis.

Now, Colon was a masterstroke, and yes, the W.Sox definitely improved themselves MORE than the Twins, but they needed to. All the Twins had to do was to sign a couple of players that are 'arbitration eligible'. We'll see how the Twins bullpen fares. They will regress, but I'm firmly in the boat that says the Twins starting staff will be better this year. I'd still expect an STAFF ERA of the Twins around 4.10. Good for first in the division, and 5th in the AL.

If I replace Ritchies 133 innings of 6.06 ERA with Colons 2.93 ERA, it looks like I reduce the W.Sox staff era from 4.53 to 4.24. Is that good enough to win the division? Yes, if the Sox score 850+ runs. Which I think is easier said than done. Can Colon put back up a sub 3.00 era? (I know Colon eats up more innings, but this are rough estimates here

Methinks you overestimate the 'regression' of the Twins, and the 'potential' of Lee/Crede/J'minez/Olivo... We'll see.

i do agree that ussually 27 or 28 is the age at which a player reaches his peak and goes onto have his best seasons. however, obviously i look at that as a general guidline as opposed to something set in stone.

torrii hunter for instance, was 26 when last season began (he turned 27 in july) and watched his ops jump nearly .75 points in a season. to me that seems like his breakout season so i'm skeptical that he'll have an even better breakout season next season. he could have some minimal improvements but i think, he's come very close to reaching his season. you'll notice i used the same logic for maggs, a player just two years older than hunter, because he had his best season last year, i even suggested his production is likely to drop off this season.

looking back i couldn't find anywhere that i suggested that any twins players other than reed would drop off this season. i did say "its also possible that hunter and jones could fall off" which i think is true but i didn't mean to present that scenario as being likely.

in some ways i disagree with your use of "peak age". while i think its a valuable tool, it only shows at one time each player should have what is a peak season for them. for instance, arod's seasons at 22 or 23 weren't his best but they were better than the best of most players.

its true that the sox have young players that won't have their best seasons in jimenez, rowand, olivo, and crede but the twins have similar players in rivas, guzman, and cuddyer. also, you have to realize that if crede does in fact become an all-star calliber player at some point in his career, his early mediocre seasons are still likely to be as good or better than the best seasons from an average to slightly above average offensive 3B such as koskie.

as for a player like thomas, he's expected to improve because he had his worst season. at not point did i suggest that he will return to '00 or '97 levels of production because he's older now but its unlikely that his skills have deteriorated to such a large extent physically that he can no longer hit within .60 points of his career batting average. rereading my post at no point do i suggest that meintkeivich will struggle because of his age, only that he was never a good hitter in the first place.

you didn't really offer a strong reason for the twins pitching to improve. i think more innings from radke are a distinct possibility but i don't know that better innings from him are. i wouldn't miraculously expect mays to return to '01 form. milton is a guy that could post big numbers. i just don't know that i'd bet on it. the biggest problem i see with the twins having a team era of 4.10 is that the lowest career era of any of their starters belongs to rick reed with his 3.93 figure. i won't say the twins can't do it but i just wouldn't expect it.

all in all, i'm not really relying on the regression of the twins players' performances here, just a regression as far as the number of victories those same performances will earn them, that is where i have my doubts. i certainly leave open the possibility that there is bias present in my comments as a die hard sox fan. while the extent to which i take some of the arguments may be extreme, i think that the logic behind them is sound.

i think that perhaps the best argument available is that while they had more wins, the twins didn't completely outplay us last season as whitnessed by the fact that each team had 87 pathagorean wins. the sox did lose durham but cut dead weight in clayton and lofton while adding colon and depth to the bullpen. you could make a strong argument that if the sox simply have average luck/intangibles and the twins have the same average luck/intangibles the sox win the division. is that easier said than done? maybe but quite possibly not.

RichH55
01-31-2003, 02:20 AM
Originally posted by delben91
Yeah, the double curse of the preseason, hope springs eternal and being sox fans, we all naturally expect our young players to come through with big performances. Will we be disappointed? Who knows, why they play the games.

In the end, I think both the White Sox and the Twins have lots of question marks. Overall though, the Sox probably have more than those Twinkies. The twins are the favorite in my book until the Sox prove otherwise. I think they'll do just that, but the players have rarely listened to my opinions in the past.

The Rookie Struggles of Olivo, Crede, and Rowand/? should be better than who they replace....Jimenez is a key because he is virtually the only option to hit leadoff, and even if he has a good year there will be a dropoff from Ray...

Even if the young guys don't come through to the extent we hope is the Crede/Valentin combo not going to hit better than the Valentin/Royce combo? Was MJ/Paul something you don't want to forget?

I am willing to keep my bet with Lip from before when I said I would take the Sox to win the division if we got either Moyer or Colon....and I will say this as well, I will bet(gentlemens bet of course) that the Sox score 900+ runs this year

maurice
01-31-2003, 12:39 PM
Lip is correct that stats are sometimes useful but often overblown. They can be useful evidence or "damn lies," depending on the context. That premise leaves a wide middle ground for friendly disagreement. Besides, we need something to argue about here until the season starts.

Originally posted by MarkEdward
If others think I'm an arrogant jackass, then I apologize.

I don't think you're arrogant. :D:

By the way, great post maurice.

Thanks.

SoxRulecubsdrool
01-31-2003, 10:56 PM
Originally posted by chisox06
If the Sox took the field today how would you feel about the teams chances?

I am as happy as a little girl!


:gulp:

Dan H
02-02-2003, 10:20 AM
I won't get any real hopes up until I see where the Sox are on September 1. They still have to prove they can put a whole season togeher. They didn't do that in the last two seasons. This team can't get off to another bad start, and it can't let teams like Detroit, Kansas City and Baltimore beat them.

Procol Harum
02-02-2003, 03:38 PM
Originally posted by chisox06
If the Sox took the field today how would you feel about the teams chances?


I think there'd be a good chance the game would be postponed because of inclement weather... :D: