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View Full Version : What was Larry Himes like as a GM?


santo=dorf
11-29-2004, 02:33 PM
I'm too young to remember, but I have heard people say that he has been the best GM under the Reinsdorf regime. He would also go on to become the GM of the Cubs.
People give him credit for putting together the team that won the division in 1993, so why was he the GM from only 1986-1990? :?:

gosox41
11-29-2004, 03:15 PM
I'm too young to remember, but I have heard people say that he has been the best GM under the Reinsdorf regime. He would also go on to become the GM of the Cubs.
People give him credit for putting together the team that won the division in 1993, so why was he the GM from only 1986-1990? :?:
I think it was because he alienated people within the organization as well as other GM's and scouts around baseball to the point where the no longer wanted to deal with him.



Bob

robertks61
11-29-2004, 03:39 PM
I think it was because he alienated people within the organization as well as other GM's and scouts around baseball to the point where the no longer wanted to deal with him.JR once said "I didn't like him the day after I hired him, but I stuck with him"

jshanahanjr
11-29-2004, 03:55 PM
He did a great job with the first round pics of McDowell, Ventura, Thomas, and Fernandez along with the Sosa/Alvarez trade.

soxtalker
11-29-2004, 03:57 PM
IIRC he did pretty well with the farm system -- scouting and player development. This aspect contrasts with the RS and KW eras. (KW as GM probably deserves a bit more time for true comparison, though he was in charge of the farm system under RS.) He didn't do nearly as much trading as KW, but I'd guess that he did a bit more than RS.

As others have pointed out, he didn't seem to get along well with others in the management structure. I don't recall him having an adversarial relationship with the media to the degree that say Krause (Bulls) or even KW have had, though I don't really remember that aspect very well.

All in all, I do remember those days fondly.

Brian26
11-29-2004, 04:12 PM
He did a great job with the first round pics of McDowell, Ventura, Thomas, and Fernandez along with the Sosa/Alvarez trade.

Anyone remember the first round picks from '91 and '92?

Scott Ruffcorn and the dangerous Eddie Pearson.

SouthSide_HitMen
11-29-2004, 04:23 PM
Ranking the White Sox GMs under the sunshine boys as follows:

With the exception of JR's worst hire, Hawk, our GMs have gotten progressively worse throughout JR's reign as owner:

1. Roland Hemond (inherited by JR)
2. Larry Himes
3. Ron Schueler
4. Kenny Williams
5. Hawk

Flight #24
11-29-2004, 04:26 PM
IIRC he did pretty well with the farm system -- scouting and player development. This aspect contrasts with the RS and KW eras. (KW as GM probably deserves a bit more time for true comparison, though he was in charge of the farm system under RS.) He didn't do nearly as much trading as KW, but I'd guess that he did a bit more than RS.

As others have pointed out, he didn't seem to get along well with others in the management structure. I don't recall him having an adversarial relationship with the media to the degree that say Krause (Bulls) or even KW have had, though I don't really remember that aspect very well.

All in all, I do remember those days fondly.
IIRC, he was pretty good at player development, as noted above. But he was also not great at taking teams from the proverbial "Point B to Point C", i.e. working trades & FA signings to get a team with solid young talent over the hump. Wasn't he behind the Steve Sax deal?

Combine that with an inability to get along with people and you have a pink slip. Is he back in baseball anywhere? If not, that's saying something pretty strong given his eye for young talent.

Flight #24
11-29-2004, 04:27 PM
Ranking the White Sox GMs under the sunshine boys as follows:

With the exception of JR's worst hire, Hawk, our GMs have gotten progressively worse throughout JR's reign as owner:

1. Roland Hemond (inherited by JR)
2. Larry Himes
3. Ron Schueler
4. Kenny Williams
5. Hawk
I think you mean

1. Roland Hemond (inherited by JR)
2. Larry Himes
3. Ron Schueler
4. Kenny Williams
5.
6.
7.
8.
9.
10.
.......
1,000,000,001. Hawk

:redneck

SouthSide_HitMen
11-29-2004, 04:30 PM
I think you mean

1. Roland Hemond (inherited by JR)
2. Larry Himes
3. Ron Schueler
4. Kenny Williams
5.
6.
7.
8.
9.
10.
.......
1,000,000,001. Hawk

:redneck
Actually he stays at #5 - the same status as our #5 starters over the past few years :)

Brian26
11-29-2004, 05:15 PM
:hawk

"There may be some GM's AS BAD, but there are none WORSE than me!"

:DJ

"Definitely."

:hawk

"DJ, have you ever been a GM?"

:DJ

"No."

:hawk

"My point exactly. Because, until you've been a GM, you don't know what it's like. You don't know the MINDSET."

:DJ

"Mmmm hmmm."

wilburaga
11-29-2004, 05:38 PM
IIRC, he was pretty good at player development, as noted above. But he was also not great at taking teams from the proverbial "Point B to Point C", i.e. working trades & FA signings to get a team with solid young talent over the hump. Wasn't he behind the Steve Sax deal?

Combine that with an inability to get along with people and you have a pink slip. Is he back in baseball anywhere? If not, that's saying something pretty strong given his eye for young talent.Himes was NOT responsible for the disastrous Sax trade. That was Schueler's biggest bomb. Himes' first deal was for the pitiful Donnie Hill, but after that his trades were generally successful. He brought in players like Fred Manrique and Dave Lapoint for virtually nothing. He dumped the salaries of Rich Dotson, Floyd Bannister and Jose Deleon, bringing in Peacepipe Pasqua, Melido Perez, Greg Hibbard, and Lance Johnson. He got a pretty decent pitcher in Eric King for some guy named Kenny Williams. Finally, he got Sosa, Alvarez and Fletcher for Baines and Manrique.

The one guy he let go of prematurely was Randy Velarde. But the last trade he made more than made up for this when, in a swap of minor leaguers, he acquired Roberto Hernandez for Mark Davis.


W

Flight #24
11-29-2004, 05:41 PM
Himes was NOT responsible for the disastrous Sax trade. That was Schueler's biggest bomb. Himes' first deal was for the pitiful Donnie Hill, but after that his trades were generally successful. He brought in players like Fred Manrique and Dave Lapoint for virtually nothing. He dumped the salaries of Rich Dotson, Floyd Bannister and Jose Deleon, bringing in Peacepipe Pasqua, Melido Perez, Greg Hibbard, and Lance Johnson. He got a pretty decent pitcher in Eric King for some guy named Kenny Williams. Finally, he got Sosa, Alvarez and Fletcher for Baines and Manrique.

The one guy he let go of prematurely was Randy Velarde. But the last trade he made more than made up for this when, in a swap of minor leaguers, he acquired Roberto Hernandez for Mark Davis.


W
I stand corrected. Apparently his being a horses ass was enough. Too bad, he certainly seems to have had an eye for talent. Anyone know if he's still working in baseball?

Brian26
11-29-2004, 05:43 PM
Himes was NOT responsible for the disastrous Sax trade.

I wouldn't classify the Sax trade as a disaster since we didn't give up the farm for him. I thought it was a good move to bring a veteran guy in to help out.

How could you not like Sax after they put him in leftfield and he made that crazy catch in Milwaukee?

Brian26
11-29-2004, 05:46 PM
Ok-

We gave up Melido, some guy named Domingo Jean, and Bob Wickman for Sax. Melido and Jean never did another thing in baseball. Wickman's been a decent closer for several years, so I guess we lost that trade. I thought it was an ok gamble- wouldn't classify it as a "disaster" of the Bonilla for Jose DeLeon proportions.

TDog
11-29-2004, 06:56 PM
I stand corrected. Apparently his being a horses ass was enough. Too bad, he certainly seems to have had an eye for talent. Anyone know if he's still working in baseball?
Himes went to the Cubs, traded for Sammy Sosa, got fired and bounced around in some low profile positions. I think he's still a scout for somebody.

Players hated Himes. Even players who never played under Himes have bad things to say about him. He made some very good high first-round draft picks for the Sox, which apparently is more than any other GM has done since Roland Hemond drafted Harold Baines at the direction of Bill Veeck (who had seen him play in, like, junior high school.

Flight #24
11-29-2004, 07:17 PM
Himes went to the Cubs, traded for Sammy Sosa, got fired and bounced around in some low profile positions. I think he's still a scout for somebody.

Players hated Himes. Even players who never played under Himes have bad things to say about him. He made some very good high first-round draft picks for the Sox, which apparently is more than any other GM has done since Roland Hemond drafted Harold Baines at the direction of Bill Veeck (who had seen him play in, like, junior high school.
Was he GM when the Chubs drafted Wood & Zambrano & Patterson? That would be an impressive run if he had a hand in some of the Cubs current youngsters following his success drafting for the Sox.

I know Hendry drafted Prior, but a blind monkey with both hands on his wang could have made that pick as long as he had a Tribune company expense account.

santo=dorf
11-29-2004, 07:29 PM
Ranking the White Sox GMs under the sunshine boys as follows:

With the exception of JR's worst hire, Hawk, our GMs have gotten progressively worse throughout JR's reign as owner:

1. Roland Hemond (inherited by JR)
2. Larry Himes
3. Ron Schueler
4. Kenny Williams
5. Hawk
I'm sorry, but I think KW has done a better job than Schueler. He won a division in 1993 using Himes' farm system, and he was given the third largest payroll in the MLB for 2 consecutive seasons. In 1996, Albert Belle made $10,000,000, which was more than the Expos' entire payroll.:o: I could only wish KW was allowed to be able to pay a guy like Beltran what the entire Devil Rays' payroll is for 2005.

I'm just waiting for Lip's "The Legacy of Ron Schueler" post. :smile:

Lip Man 1
11-29-2004, 08:45 PM
Himes rebuilt the Sox farm system and unlike today they actually produced. His biggest draft picks were McDowell, Fernandez, Thomas and Ventura.

As noted apparently he was a pain in the ass...but he produced and in my book that's all that matters.

Ruffcorn and Beane by the way were Jumbotron Ron's drafts.

As far as his relationship with Uncle Jerry...it went downhill late in the 1990 season after Himes refused to trade some young prospects for veteran pitching that Uncle Jerry said the Sox had to have to catch the A's. The name most often mentioned was Mike Scott.

Here are some specifics:"The fact is, Larry Himes cannot get along with anybody. You can hardly find anybody in the Sox organization that wasn’t happy when Larry Himes left." – Jerry Reinsdorf to radio talk show host Chet Coppock. September 1990.

"The past is gone. The fact we did reach Point C this year doesn’t mean Larry (Himes) wouldn’t have reached it. It does mean we guessed right with Ron (Schueler). I just felt at the time a change was necessary, so let’s not think about anything but the future. We all have a good relationship now." – Jerry Reinsdorf to Joe Goddard and Tony Ginnetti. Chicago Sun Times. September 28, 1993. Pg. 92.

As far as G.M.'s under Uncle Jerry the best without question, by a mile, was Roland Hemond. (naturally...he wasn't hired by Uncle Jerry!)

Lip

DrCrawdad
11-29-2004, 09:52 PM
Was he GM when the Chubs drafted Wood & Zambrano & Patterson? That would be an impressive run if he had a hand in some of the Cubs current youngsters following his success drafting for the Sox.

I know Hendry drafted Prior, but a blind monkey with both hands on his wang could have made that pick as long as he had a Tribune company expense account.

Interestingly Himes is viewed by many Cubbie fans as having been a horrible GM for them. Other than the Bell/Sosa trade, I can't think of a good trade Himes made for the Cubbies.

The George Castle book, "The Million-To-One Team..." has a very interesting chapter on the Himes era as Cubbie GM. Castle's book dissects Himes tenure and what he presents is very negative. Apparently while Himes was with the Cubbies Himes was given free reign with some wacky philosophies (eye/vision tests, balance tests, etc).

I am not aware of a book that delves so deeply into Himes tenure with the Sox as Castle's book does for the Himes Cubbie years.

If Himes was a failure as a GM for the Cubbies it should also be noted that Himes had no where near the budget that Jim Hendry has been allowed to work with.

Interestingly Himes gets criticized by some Cubbie fans as having been successful with the Sox largely on high draft picks that fell in his lap. On the other hand, these same Cubbie fans usually don't acknowledge that Wood (1st round, #5 pick overall) & Prior (1st round, #2 overall) both "fell" into the Cubbies laps.

Factoids From Himes Tenure as GM with the Cubbies:

1993-Cubbie Himes passed on Billy Wagner & drafted Brooks Kieschnick & Steve Rain.

1994-The Cubbies drafted 43 pitchers with their top pick being pitcher Jayson Peterson. The man who oversaw the draft, Goldis, said of the draft, "...A dynasty with pitching for the next ten years..." Of that group of 43 pitchers drafted in '93 only two ever made it to MLB Kyle Farnsworth & Rich Barker. What a dynasty of pitching!

santo=dorf
11-29-2004, 10:00 PM
Interestingly Himes is viewed by many Cubbie fans as having been a horrible GM for them. Other than the Bell/Sosa trade, I can't think of a good trade Himes made for the Cubbies. I think it's only fair to give :schueler credit for that trade being made. :)

Tragg
11-29-2004, 10:27 PM
Himes did some great deals when dumping veterans.

Scheuler made some horrendous trades - my favorite was his trade for Cory Snyder - what a stiff.

DrCrawdad
11-29-2004, 10:27 PM
I think it's only fair to give :schueler credit for that trade being made. :)

You may be right. However while Omar Minaya (sp?) is given credit for signing/drafting Sosa, Himes had absolute faith in Sosa.

cornball
11-29-2004, 11:58 PM
Himes drafted several college players who had an immediate impact on the Sox and traded for Sosa. That was his legacy here.

SouthSide_HitMen
11-30-2004, 12:30 AM
I'm sorry, but I think KW has done a better job than Schueler. He won a division in 1993 using Himes' farm system, and he was given the third largest payroll in the MLB for 2 consecutive seasons. In 1996, Albert Belle made $10,000,000, which was more than the Expos' entire payroll.:o: I could only wish KW was allowed to be able to pay a guy like Beltran what the entire Devil Rays' payroll is for 2005. I'm just waiting for Lip's "The Legacy of Ron Schueler" post. :smile:
Albert Belle, the corked bat jackass, was signed for the 1997 season, I believe the contract was $55 million / 5 years under the direction / orders of Jerry Reinsdorf. This was done after Jerry led the cancellation of 1994 to restore "fiscal responsibility".

Let us compare the payroll of the White Sox from Veeck through Reinsdorf:

http://roadsidephotos.sabr.org/baseball/TEAMSAL.xls

Payroll amounts are average player salary. Wins is total / MLB rank. Rank is rank among all MLB teams.

Owner Bill Veeck:
GM Roland Hemond
(Currently: On White Sox payroll as Kenny Williams' babysitter) http://chicago.whitesox.mlb.com/cws/team/exe_bios/hemond_roland.html

1977 Payroll $65,220 18th / 26; Wins (90) 9th
1978 Payroll $81,321 18th / 26; Wins (71) 19th
1979 Payroll $74,673 19th / 26; Wins (73) 19th
1980 Payroll $72,415 23rd / 26; Wins (70) 21st

Owner Sunshine Boys:
GM Roland Hemond
1981 Payroll $192,658 14th / 26; Wins (54) 15th (JR +EE = Strike (Bad Omen)
1982 Payroll $247,673 11th / 26; Wins (87) 11th
1983 Payroll $291,114 11th / 26; Wins (99) 1st
1984 Payroll $447,281 2nd / 26; Wins (74) 22nd
1985 Payroll $348,488 18th / 26; Wins (85) 9th

Average Roland Hemond Payroll 15th; Average Wins 14th - Achieved as budgeted.

GM Hawk Harrelson
(Currently irritating White Sox TV announcer)
http://wgntv.trb.com/sports/wgntv-harrelson-kenbio,0,7302230.story

1986 Payroll $324,337 20th / 26; Wins (72) 22nd

GM Larry Himes
(Last seen as GM Assistant in Baltimore)

1987 Payroll $344,739 19th / 26; Wins (77) 17th
1988 Payroll $226,392 26th / LAST; Wins (71) 21st
1989 Payroll $310,061 24th / 26; Wins (69) 22nd
1990 Payroll $422,199 22nd / 26; Wins (94) 3rd

Average: Payroll 23rd; Wins 16th - Overachieved


GM Ron Schuler
(Currently on White Sox payroll as Mr. Potter's, I mean JR's Lackey - White Sox GMs never die, they just slowly fade away)
http://chicago.whitesox.mlb.com/cws/team/exe_bios/schueler_ron.html

1991 Payroll $637,152 21st / 26; Wins (87) 6th
1992 Payroll $1,049,456 11th / 26; Wins (86) 10th
1993 Payroll $1,421,344 5th / 28; Wins (94) 5th
1994 Payroll $1,295,438 10th / 28; Wins (67) 4th
1995 Payroll $1,476,013 7th / 28; Wins (68) 18th
1996 Payroll $1,572,512 5th / 28; Wins (85) 11th
1997 Payroll $1,695,296 7th / 28; Wins (80) 13th
1998 Payroll $1,436,537 15th / 30; Wins (80) 15th
1999 Payroll $908,704 23rd / 30; Wins (75) 18th
2000 Payroll $1,360,172 21st / 30; Wins (95) 3rd

Average: Payroll 12th; Wins 10th - Achieved as budgeted (first four years mostly due to Himes' players)

GM Kenny Williams
(Currently STILL the GM of the White Sox)
http://chicago.whitesox.mlb.com/cws/team/exe_bios/williams_ken.html

2001 Payroll $1,739,206 18th / 30; Wins (83) 14th
2002 Payroll $1,791,286 20th / 30; Wins (81) 14th
2003 Payroll $2,616,469 13th / 30; Wins (86) 12th
2004 Payroll $2,508,173 13th / 30; Wins (83) 16th

Average: Payroll 16th; Wins 14th - Achieved as budgeted

Outside of the pre / post strike years, Jerry Reinsdorf is content with a middle / low end payroll and middle of the road team performance. The definition of insanity is to repeat the same behavior and expect different results. We can expect more of the same (drought since 1918) unless JR leaves and we get another owner who wants to trade up from an Oldsmobile to a Cadillac.

santo=dorf
11-30-2004, 01:01 AM
Average player salary?
http://asp.usatoday.com/sports/baseball/salaries/totalpayroll.aspx?year=2004
Total Payroll Rank (MLB):
1991: 23
1992: 17
1993: 13
1994: 8
1995: 5
1996: 5
1997: 3
1998: 18
1999: 24 (GOD! Did the WFT set us back or what?)
2000: 26

Average payroll rank under Schueler: 14.2

2001: 14
2002: 18
2003: 22
2004: 15

Average payroll rank under KW: 17.25

Winning % under Schueler: .521
Winning % under KW: .514

mrwag
11-30-2004, 08:17 AM
So, basically no matter how you break it down, we're a mediocre team, and have been for a long time. Thanks for brightening my morning!:gulp:

wilburaga
11-30-2004, 10:28 AM
I wouldn't classify the Sax trade as a disaster since we didn't give up the farm for him. I thought it was a good move to bring a veteran guy in to help out.

How could you not like Sax after they put him in leftfield and he made that crazy catch in Milwaukee?I would classify that trade as a disaster. I think we would have won the division in 1992 had we not made it. Perez was the best pitcher the Yankees had in 1992. The Sox sure could have used his 247 IP with a 2.87 ERA. As for Sax, he was absolutely pitiful, with an OBP under .300 and a slugging percentage of .317. Add to that his 20 errors and indifferent play - I have always thought that Sax was tanking it while with the Sox. Once he got his huge contract with the Yankees he just put it on cruise control. Once the Sox (Lamont's best move, IMHO) replaced Stevie Blunder with Joey Cora in 1993, the Sox improved dramatically.

Wickman has been a solid pitcher for over 10 years, with an all star appearance on his resume. Jean had a promising start with the Yankees, but a bad arm derailed his career.

On a side note, I have called a sports talk radio show once in my life. That was in the offseason after 1992, and Sax was on a NYC show, being interviewed by Ed Coleman. I was sick as a dog but when Sax attributed his lousy season to the Chicago weather, I grabbed the phone. Sax was then a spokesman for the National Rice Foundation, and was busily plugging his favorite grain. (And singing the praise of Rush Limbaugh as I recall.) By the time I got on with Coleman, Sax was gone but I got Coleman to admit that Sax was making lots of weak excuses for his poor play. I then commented that I didn't get the connection between Sax and rice, but if Alpo ever needed a spokesman, Sax was their man. So ended my talk radio career.


W

Ol' No. 2
11-30-2004, 10:36 AM
Average player salary?
http://asp.usatoday.com/sports/baseball/salaries/totalpayroll.aspx?year=2004
Total Payroll Rank (MLB):
1991: 23
1992: 17
1993: 13
1994: 8
1995: 5
1996: 5
1997: 3
1998: 18
1999: 24 (GOD! Did the WFT set us back or what?)
2000: 26

Average payroll rank under Schueler: 14.2

2001: 14
2002: 18
2003: 22
2004: 15

Average payroll rank under KW: 17.25

Winning % under Schueler: .521
Winning % under KW: .514Soooo.....If I understand this correctly, the two most successful seasons were those in which the Sox were 13th and 26th in MLB in payroll, while those seasons in which the Sox were among the leaders in payroll, the Sox weren't any more successful than they are now. How can this be? Doesn't spending automatically guarantee winning?

cornball
11-30-2004, 12:08 PM
Soooo.....If I understand this correctly, the two most successful seasons were those in which the Sox were 13th and 26th in MLB in payroll, while those seasons in which the Sox were among the leaders in payroll, the Sox weren't any more successful than they are now. How can this be? Doesn't spending automatically guarantee winning?
Who said any of these years were successful? Maybe by White Sox standards, but not by baseball standards.

Ol' No. 2
11-30-2004, 12:12 PM
Who said any of these years were successful? Maybe by White Sox standards, but not by baseball standards.Only 20% of the teams in any given year win their division. That's successful compared to the 80% who did not.

PaleHoseGeorge
11-30-2004, 12:24 PM
Only 20% of the teams in any given year win their division. That's successful compared to the 80% who did not.
Yep.

Sox Fan --------> :anon:

Lip Man 1
11-30-2004, 12:38 PM
PHG:

Brilliant reply! Now THAT'S funny.

No. 2:

For the tenth time spending does NOT guarantee success but it sure as hell increases your odds doesn't it?

"The record is clear. From 1995 through 2001, a total of 224 MLB postseason games were played. Only five were won by clubs whose payrolls were in the lower half of the industry. None advanced past the Division Series, and no team, other than those whose payrolls are in the top fourth of payroll, has won a World Series game during this period. The seven-year postseason record is 219-5 in favor of the high payroll teams"--Bud Selig April 2002.

****---If you can't get a 'guarantee' don't do a damn thing!

Tragg:

You may want to read this interview. There's more then meets the eye.

http://www.whitesoxinteractive.com/rwas/index.php?category=11&id=1689

South Side and others:

The Sox have averaged 83 wins a year since the start of the 1998 season. Remember what Carlton Fisk said on camera during a documentary aired on opening day 1993 on PBS stations, 'The Trouble With Baseball...' Fisk said Uncle Jerry wants a team that 'contends' but doesn't win anything. He said ownership makes its biggest profit margins under those circumstances. The fans come out, but then ownership doesn't have to pay new higher salaries for 'winning' something.

Sounds exactly like the past seven years doesn't it? At least during the seasons from 2000-2004.

Lip

gosox41
11-30-2004, 01:04 PM
PHG:

Brilliant reply! Now THAT'S funny.

No. 2:

For the tenth time spending does NOT guarantee success but it sure as hell increases your odds doesn't it?

"The record is clear. From 1995 through 2001, a total of 224 MLB postseason games were played. Only five were won by clubs whose payrolls were in the lower half of the industry. None advanced past the Division Series, and no team, other than those whose payrolls are in the top fourth of payroll, has won a World Series game during this period. The seven-year postseason record is 219-5 in favor of the high payroll teams"--Bud Selig April 2002.

****---If you can't get a 'guarantee' don't do a damn thing!

Tragg:

You may want to read this interview. There's more then meets the eye.

http://www.whitesoxinteractive.com/rwas/index.php?category=11&id=1689

South Side and others:

The Sox have averaged 83 wins a year since the start of the 1998 season. Remember what Carlton Fisk said on camera during a documentary aired on opening day 1993 on PBS stations, 'The Trouble With Baseball...' Fisk said Uncle Jerry wants a team that 'contends' but doesn't win anything. He said ownership makes its biggest profit margins under those circumstances. The fans come out, but then ownership doesn't have to pay new higher salaries for 'winning' something.

Sounds exactly like the past seven years doesn't it? At least during the seasons from 2000-2004.

Lip
Lip,
Do you have the stats for playoff teams since 2002? It's more relevant now.

Also, what exactly does Fisk know about running a business?


Bob

Ol' No. 2
11-30-2004, 01:27 PM
PHG:

Brilliant reply! Now THAT'S funny.

No. 2:

For the tenth time spending does NOT guarantee success but it sure as hell increases your odds doesn't it?

"The record is clear. From 1995 through 2001, a total of 224 MLB postseason games were played. Only five were won by clubs whose payrolls were in the lower half of the industry. None advanced past the Division Series, and no team, other than those whose payrolls are in the top fourth of payroll, has won a World Series game during this period. The seven-year postseason record is 219-5 in favor of the high payroll teams"--Bud Selig April 2002.

****---If you can't get a 'guarantee' don't do a damn thing!

Tragg:

You may want to read this interview. There's more then meets the eye.

http://www.whitesoxinteractive.com/rwas/index.php?category=11&id=1689

South Side and others:

The Sox have averaged 83 wins a year since the start of the 1998 season. Remember what Carlton Fisk said on camera during a documentary aired on opening day 1993 on PBS stations, 'The Trouble With Baseball...' Fisk said Uncle Jerry wants a team that 'contends' but doesn't win anything. He said ownership makes its biggest profit margins under those circumstances. The fans come out, but then ownership doesn't have to pay new higher salaries for 'winning' something.

Sounds exactly like the past seven years doesn't it? At least during the seasons from 2000-2004.

LipThere are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies and statistics. - Benjamin Disraeli

The insidious part of lying with statistics is that they are factually true, but are used to imply something else that is not. Look carefully at Selig's quote.

"Only five were won by clubs whose payrolls were in the lower half of the industry."

Lower half is the key phrase. Strictly speaking, you cannot conclude from this statement that the #1 spending team did any better than the #15 team. They're both in the top half. And you also cannot conclude that once you're in the top half, that spending any more has any effect. So before you go throwing this quote around, look at it more closely.

"...and no team, other than those whose payrolls are in the top fourth of payroll, has won a World Series game during this period."

True when he made that statement only because the Yankees had just completed a run of 4 consecutive WS appearances, winning 3 of them. That statement would not be true today. In fact, the LOWER-spending team has won 3 of the 4 WS since. Can we conclude from that that spending LESS gives you a better chance of winning a WS?

If you look at all the data and not just a convenient subset (which is what Selig did), you find that unless you're willing to spend Yankees-type money, more modest increases in spending have only a marginal effect on a team's chances of winning a division, a pennant or a WS. For winning a division, a 10% increase in payroll translated into only a few percent improvement in odds.

Also for the tenth time, spending more improves your odds, but not by nearly as much as most people assume.

cornball
11-30-2004, 02:20 PM
Only 20% of the teams in any given year win their division. That's successful compared to the 80% who did not.
And about 25% percent of the teams make the playoffs each year. In the division we are in now, you would think this franchise would have been in the playoffs more than 4 times since 1919. There are no excuses for the past 20+ years.

Frater Perdurabo
11-30-2004, 03:51 PM
Unless willing to spend on par with Boston and New York (and therefore be willing to paper over the bad decisions with still more money), an organization must be smart. (Smart = hire the best and brightest baseball people to execute a successful, well-conceived plan, etc.)

In addition, Texas' Tom Hicks threw money around from 1999-2002. But he wasn't smart about it and he consistently changed his plans. In addition to having large payrolls, Boston and New York are run by smart baseball people who have well-conceived plans for success.

Unfortunately, under JR's leadership the White Sox are neither profligate spenders nor smart. JR consistently hires inexperienced general managers and field managers, hoping to "catch lightning in a bottle," AND couples that with a meager payroll given Chicago's status as the #3 market.

IMHO, it's more important the Sox be smart, but smarts coupled with bucks is the best bet.

SouthSide_HitMen
11-30-2004, 07:09 PM
Unfortunately, under JR's leadership the White Sox are neither profligate spenders nor smart. JR consistently hires inexperienced general managers and field managers, hoping to "catch lightning in a bottle," AND couples that with a meager payroll given Chicago's status as the #3 market.
What is not to like about Kenny Williams - his hiring is both cheap and stupid.

And those who love Kenny Williams do not worry; he will join former Reinsdorf GMs Schuler, Hemond and Krause on the payroll for life.

Lip Man 1
11-30-2004, 07:21 PM
No. 2:

Your quote was first attributed to Mark Twain.

224 games played is NOT a small sample is it? The fact is that for every 2002 Angels and 2003 Marlins (neither of whom even made the post season the following year...) you have ten Yankees, Braves, Cardinals, Astros, D-backs, Cubs and Indians don't you?

Any change that increases your chances in my opinion is worth it.

Lip

Ol' No. 2
11-30-2004, 07:37 PM
No. 2:

Your quote was first attributed to Mark Twain.

224 games played is NOT a small sample is it? The fact is that for every 2002 Angels and 2003 Marlins (neither of whom even made the post season the following year...) you have ten Yankees, Braves, Cardinals, Astros, D-backs, Cubs and Indians don't you?

Any change that increases your chances in my opinion is worth it.

LipI looked it up and it was Benjamin Disraeli.

The point is not the sample size. The point is that the fact that the teams in the top half of the league in payroll won an overwhelming majority of post-season games says nothing about the effects of payroll differences WITHIN THAT GROUP. It's using one fact to imply something else that does not necessarily follow. Spending more money gives some advantage, but it's small in comparison to other factors. And if you take the Yankees out of the mix, you find that as a group, even the biggest-spending teams don't even win their division more than about a third of the time. The effect of adding another $10-20M in payroll is almost imperceptible, and can only be found by sampling a large group. If money was as important as you imply, the Sox would be 3-time defending Central division champions. Money matters, but other stuff matters more.

Lip Man 1
11-30-2004, 07:38 PM
No.2:

I have books that attribute the quote to Twain in the 18 hundreds.:?:

And you can't remove the Yankees from the equation. They are a large market, big payroll franchise. That's the way it is. If I had the ability to pick and choose who I want to remove from a list I could make it say anything I wanted it to.

Hey that sounds EXACTLY like the baseball owners and their 'books' doesn't it? :rolleyes:

Lip

Ol' No. 2
11-30-2004, 07:51 PM
No.2:

I have books that attribute the quote to Twain in the 18 hundreds.:?:

And you can't remove the Yankees from the equation. They are a large market, big payroll franchise. That's the way it is. If I had the ability to pick and choose who I want to remove from a list I could make it say anything I wanted it to.

Hey that sounds EXACTLY like the baseball owners and their 'books' doesn't it? :rolleyes:

LipBartleby's attributes the quote to Disraeli, although they do mention Mark Twain:

http://www.bartleby.com/66/99/16799.html

The point of removing the Yankees is that they are such an extreme case that they skew everything. If you're willing to spend 2-3X what everyone else is spending, then that makes a big difference. But that's really irrelevant for most teams, and it's why Selig's statement is so misleading. No one else can spend that kind of money. What you really want to know is what the effect would be of smaller increases, on the order of $20-30M. The answer is, not that much.

PaleHoseGeorge
11-30-2004, 07:53 PM
.... And if you take the Yankees out of the mix, you find that as a group, even the biggest-spending teams don't even win their division more than about a third of the time. The effect of adding another $10-20M in payroll is almost imperceptible, .... This begs the question why take the Yankees out of the mix?
:?:

What's the matter, No. 2? It's not enough for you to create an arbitrary bottom limit, you have to create an arbitrary top limit, too?
:?::?:

Talk about lying with statistics...
:cool:

Daver
11-30-2004, 08:05 PM
This begs the question why take the Yankees out of the mix?
:?:

What's the matter, No. 2? It's not enough for you to create an arbitrary bottom limit, you have to create an arbitrary top limit, too?
:?::?:

Talk about lying with statistics...
:cool:
I learned a long time ago that all numbers lie.

TornLabrum
11-30-2004, 10:14 PM
I learned a long time ago that all numbers lie.
Numbers never lie. Only the people interpreting them do.

TornLabrum
11-30-2004, 10:24 PM
No.2:

I have books that attribute the quote to Twain in the 18 hundreds.:?:

And you can't remove the Yankees from the equation. They are a large market, big payroll franchise. That's the way it is. If I had the ability to pick and choose who I want to remove from a list I could make it say anything I wanted it to.

Hey that sounds EXACTLY like the baseball owners and their 'books' doesn't it? :rolleyes:

Lip
More than anyone cares to know about this quote at http://www1c.btwebworld.com/quote-unquote/p0000149.htm:

Although sometimes attributed to Mark Twain – because it appears in his posthumously-published Autobiography (1924) – this should more properly be ascribed to Disraeli, as indeed Twain took trouble to do: his exact words being, ‘The remark attributed to Disraeli would often apply with justice and force: “There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics”.’

On the other hand, the remark remains untraced among Disraeli’s writings and sayings and Lord Blake, Disraeli’s biographer, does not know of any evidence that Disraeli said any such thing and thinks it most unlikely that he did. So why did Twain make the attribution? A suggestion: Leonard Henry Courtney, the British economist and politician (1832-1918), later Lord Courtney, gave a speech on proportional representation ‘To My Fellow-Disciples at Saratoga Springs’, New York, in August 1895, in which this sentence appeared: ‘After all, facts are facts, and although we may quote one to another with a chuckle the words of the Wise Statesman, “Lies - damn lies - and statistics,” still there are some easy figures the simplest must understand, and the astutest cannot wriggle out of.’

It is conceivable that Twain acquired the quotation from this - and also its veiled attribution to a ‘Wise Statesman’, whom he understood to be Disraeli. The speech was reproduced in the (British) National Review, No. 26, in the same year. Subsequently, Courtney’s comment was reproduced in an article by J.A. Baines on ‘Parliamentary Representation in England illustrated by the Elections of 1892 and 1895’ in the Journal of the Royal Statistical Society, No. 59 (1896): ‘We may quote to one another with a chuckle the words of the Wise Statesman, lies, damn lies, and statistics, still there are some easy figures which the simplest must understand but the astutest cannot wriggle out of.’

It would be a reasonable assumption that Courtney was referring to Disraeli by his use of the phrase ‘Wise Statesman’, though the context in which the phrase is used is somewhat complicated. For some reason, at this time, allusions to rather than outright quotations of Disraeli were the order of the day (he had died in 1881). Compare the fact that the remark to an author who had sent Disraeli an unsolicited manuscript – ‘Many thanks; I shall lose no time in reading it’ – is merely ascribed to ‘an eminent man on this side of the Atlantic’ by G.W.E. Russell in Collections and Recollections, Chap. 31 (1898).

Comparable sayings: Dr Halliday Sutherland’s autobiographical A Time to Keep (1934) has an account of Sir Henry Littlejohn, ‘Police Surgeon, Medical Officer of Health and Professor of Forensic Medicine at the University [Edinburgh] ... Sir Henry’s class at 9 a.m. was always crowded, and he told us of the murder trials of the last century in which he had played his part. It was Lord Young [judge] who said, “There are four classes of witnesses - liars, damned liars, expert witnesses, and Sir Henry Littlejohn”.’ Lies, Damn Lies, and Some Exclusives was the title of a book about British newspapers (1984) by Henry Porter. ‘There are lies, damned lies ... and Fianna Fáil party political broadcasts’ - Barry Desmond MEP, (Irish) Labour Party director of elections, in November 1992.

***John Campbell, the political biographer, challenges me on this point. ‘Surely Harold Macmillan’s supposed “Events, dear boy” [in answer to what worried him most about being Prime Minister] must have surpassed “damned lies and statistics” by now? I scream every I hear it.’ Quite so. And we are no nearer finding an origin for this indeed much quoted line. It is Q1532.

Ol' No. 2
12-01-2004, 10:11 AM
This begs the question why take the Yankees out of the mix?
:?:

What's the matter, No. 2? It's not enough for you to create an arbitrary bottom limit, you have to create an arbitrary top limit, too?
:?::?:

Talk about lying with statistics...
:cool:Tom Cruise is wealthy and good-looking. He gets to date movie stars. If I get a 5% raise and have my teeth whitened, I'll be wealthier and better looking, and my chances of dating a movie star will be slightly improved. What do you think the chances are that I'll notice the difference?

Same principle applies to the Yankees. Money is only one of a number of factors that lead to success. Surely you wouldn't suggest a farm system isn't important. The Yankees have arguably the worst farm system in the majors. They must be in dire straits. :?: Given the number of bad contracts they're saddled with, one might also question their scouting ability, or at least their ability to make sound decisions based on those reports. But when your strategy is to just throw piles of money at the top players, who needs scouts? All you really need is a copy of the All-Star game roster. These flaws would be fatal for most teams, but when you can spend $200M, you can overcome a lot of deficiencies. Money isn't that big of a factor for most teams, but if you spend huge piles of it, you can make it a big factor. That doesn't imply that for an average team, spending another $10M will make a noticable difference. The effect of that amount of money, though real, is now small in comparison to the many other factors that go into making a successful team. It's observable only if you have a large sample size, but for an individual team, the difference will not be noticable.

That's the mistake people make when pointing to the Yankees as an example of how important money is. And it's why they're as irrelevant when discussing the effects of spending on success for an average team as Tom Cruise is when discussing my chances of nailing a movie star.:(:

PaleHoseGeorge
12-01-2004, 10:51 AM
Tom Cruise is wealthy and good-looking. ...
Same principle applies to the Yankees. ....
That's the mistake people make when pointing to the Yankees as an example of how important money is. .... This post without question is the biggest crock of **** I have read in a long, long time.
:rolleyes:

The point is being made about payroll and playoff success. The greater the payroll, the greater the probability of playoff sucess. The Yankees are the most obvious example of this phenomenon precisely because they spend the most and enjoy the greatest playoff success, too.

But you don't believe it, so you concoct a bunch of bull**** with arbitrary limits to statistically "prove" your point. The Yankees are irrelevant? Their extraordinary payroll is as relevant to playoff success as the White Sox mediocre payroll is relevant to playoff failure.

All the teams between these two extremes only prove the point to the extent they lie further up the payroll/playoff success curve. They don't disprove the Yankees' correlation between payroll and playoff success. They reinforce it!
:?:

Time to take that college statistics course over again, No. 2. You flunked.
:cool:

Ol' No. 2
12-01-2004, 11:16 AM
This post without question is the biggest crock of **** I have read in a long, long time.
:rolleyes:

The point is being made about payroll and playoff success. The greater the payroll, the greater the probability of playoff sucess. The Yankees are the most obvious example of this phenomenon precisely because they spend the most and enjoy the greatest playoff success, too.

But you don't believe it, so you concoct a bunch of bull**** with arbitrary limits to statistically "prove" your point. The Yankees are irrelevant? Their extraordinary payroll is as relevant to playoff success as the White Sox mediocre payroll is relevant to playoff failure.

All the teams between these two extremes only prove the point to the extent they lie further up the payroll/playoff success curve. They don't disprove the Yankees' correlation between payroll and playoff success. They reinforce it!
:?:

Time to take that college statistics course over again, No. 2. You flunked.
:cool:George, you missed the point entirely. Just because spending huge amounts of money has an observable effect, that doesn't mean that spending much smaller amounts of money will have the same effect. Spending large amounts of money will have an effect that's large in comparison with the other factors. But no one else can come close to that amount of money. Spending smaller amounts of money will have much smaller effects, which will be small in comparison with the other factors.

The effect of payroll on playoff success is not fundamentally different from regular season success. It's just a special case. I've looked at all the salary data from all teams back to when 3-division play started. It turns out that for every 10% increase in payroll over the average, the expected win total (on average) is increased by about 1 game. If you spend twice the average payroll, you can expect to win (on average) 91 games. With 91 wins, your chances of winning your division are pretty good, and if you have a few key players who have above-average years, you're almost a lock. If you spend 20% above the average, you can expect only 2 more games above average (83 wins). If you have several key players have above average years, you might win 88-90, and you have a shot at a division title, but you're relying on those above average performances, which come and go from year to year. The additional 2 wins from the extra 20% payroll increases your chances slightly, but it's small in comparison to the other factors. It's observable with a large sample set, but for an individual team, you'll never notice the 2-game difference in the background of normal year-to-year variations.

The key statistic is that the correlation coefficient is only 0.2, which means that only 20% of the total variation in winning percentage is attributable to payroll. Put another way, 80% is due to other factors.

I also did a logistic regression correlating the odds ratio of winning a division with normalized salary. The slope not very steep, and even with a payroll of 2X the average, the odds of winning a division are only about 33%. The Yankees clearly stand out as an outlier at the extreme of the distribution.

Enough college level statistics for you?

(BTW, I got A's all the way through statistics and advanced calculus.)

PaleHoseGeorge
12-01-2004, 11:37 AM
George, you missed the point entirely. Just because spending huge amounts of money has an observable effect, that doesn't mean that spending much smaller amounts of money will have the same effect..... Actually No. 2, I understood your point perfectly. You're claiming payroll and playoff success aren't related, or as you're now claiming only carry a correlation of 0.2.

Here's the problem with your analysis: Regular season victories and playoff victories are NOT random events. Playoff victories are completely dependent on regular season wins. You don't make the playoffs unless you win in the regular season. They are not mutually exclusive events as your flawed model claims.

In fact the teams who typically make the playoffs with low payrolls did so winning a weak division where 90 or so victories was all that was necessary to make the playoffs. The (relatively) low payroll Minnesota Twins have exactly ZERO playoff wins if they compete inside the A.L. East Division. In fact they don't make the playoffs playing in the A.L. West Division either.

I should also note that MLB has instituted an UNBALANCED SCHEDULE in the years you analyzed and have made it further unbalanced in the most recent years, too. Regular season win totals cannot be considered random between leagues or divisions, or even between teams now that Selig has unbalanced inter-league schedules, too.

The Twins are fattening up knocking off tomato cans in the A.L. Central, but your analysis treats all season-long victories exactly the same. They're not random, as anyone who taught you how to do regression analysis would tell you (and flunk you) for claiming otherwise.
:cool:

Ol' No. 2
12-01-2004, 12:00 PM
Actually No. 2, I understood your point perfectly. You're claiming payroll and playoff success aren't related, or as you're now claiming only carry a correlation of 0.2.:cool:No. My point was the opposite. Payroll and playoff success ARE related. The question is, how much of an influence does payroll have in relation to all the other factors that are also important, i.e. scouting, farm system, key players having good years, injuries, etc. Obviously, the effect of payroll will depend on how much you spend. Spending another $100M will have a much bigger effect than spending another $10M. More to the point, the effect of spending an extra $100M is large in relation to the other factors, and teams that can do so will enjoy much more frequent success. OTOH, the effect of $10M is small in relation to other factors, and the improvement in a team's chances of success will be difficult to observe against the background of normal year-to-year variations.

"It's a lot easier to see a tall man in a cornfield than a short one." - Me

TDog
12-01-2004, 12:23 PM
What makes the correlation between salaries and team success tenuous is the fact that players generally are not paid according to how well they perform, but how well they have performed in the past. Many players enjoy their biggest economic success during down statistical years.

Examples are abundant and come readily to mind. Navarro pitched better for the Cubs the year before he came to the White Sox to get more money. The 2000 Sox did better with a smaller payroll than the 2001 Sox. And had the 2000 high-priced talent (Frank Thomas) come through with a couple of hits in the playoffs, they could have had playoff success.

That still doesn't make up for the fact that nobody wanted to play for Larry Himes.

Frater Perdurabo
12-01-2004, 12:30 PM
Let's not bury the lead in arguments over interpretations of statistics.

Unless the Sox are willing to spend $200 million on payroll per year like the Yankees, they must be smarter. It's possible to reach the postseason cheaply (Marlins, Athletics), although less likely than if you have a higher payroll. But it's impossible to get in the playoffs if you're stupid, even if you have Tom Hicks' 2000-2002 payroll.

Being smarter coupled with a larger payroll befitting Chicago's #3 market status would be ideal. I believe a $85-$90 million payroll (in 2004 dollars) coupled with smart scouting and player development would yield a team that would dominate the AL Central every year, giving the Sox a better than even shot at reaching and winning a World Series in the next decade. Given their market size in comparison with their divisional rivals' respective market sizes, the Sox should dominate, but don't.

Cheap and stupid has gotten JR results with which he (apparently) is satisfied. Are we satisfied?

ode to veeck
12-01-2004, 12:38 PM
Numbers never lie. Only the people interpreting them do.
Which is why my favorite respinning of the famous quote (whether originated from Twain or Disreali) goes more like:

There are liers, damn liers, and then there are statisticians

I use it all the time at work, mostly in jest (had a statistician working for me for a few years), but ocassionally with intent

PaleHoseGeorge
12-01-2004, 01:24 PM
No. My point was the opposite. Payroll and playoff success ARE related. The question is, how much of an influence does payroll have in relation to all the other factors that are also important, ....
This is your point?
:o:

And you're trying to use regression analysis to prove it???
:o::o:

What a waste of my time this has been. You agree with the central premise of payroll and playoff success -- but you'll still use a flawed statistical analysis to claim there are other factors, too. We're left to piss over the relative weights of these other factors... with nothing but your disproven regression analysis to laugh about.

I'm out...