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anewman35
03-28-2005, 08:21 AM
And it's actually pretty positive and accurate, with some interesting points I hadn't seen before...

http://www.hardballtimes.com/main/article/five-questions-chicago-white-sox/

Banix12
03-28-2005, 08:48 AM
Oh my god, an article that uses sound logic and a writer who backs up his assumptions with actual research!

And sweet lord he included every transaction...

After reading all the BP articles for the last week I forgot articles like these existed.

He's mostly right about the fences, man we need to move those back. Finding good pitching is much harder than finding good hitting. Give your pitchers all the help they can get.

SOXintheBURGH
03-28-2005, 08:58 AM
Oh my Lord...

Unregistered
03-28-2005, 09:23 AM
Although I'm pretty sure it's not possible, I really do wish they'd consider moving the fences back... The Cell really scares me in terms of our pitching staff.

balke
03-28-2005, 09:31 AM
Real. In depth. Not overly optimistic or pessimistic. Two thumbs up.

That graph really gets me, we were so good last season, we just had noone on base. I still think we had the best lineup in the league for hitting , just not getting runners on. This year, we need 90% of that out of the replacements we acquired. And we need Marte to step it up this season. Ozzie keeps saying he's there "Got the tigers eye" but I unfortunately haven't seen it. The Season is almost here!

PAPChiSox729
03-28-2005, 09:33 AM
Wow. That seemed to be pretty fair analysis. It would be nice if they could move the fences back, but it just isn't going to happen. Oh well.

Banix12
03-28-2005, 10:07 AM
We write so many e-mails to writers of articles that absolutely blow. For a change of pace I'm sending this guy a congratulations email, for what might be the most reasonable, well thought out white sox preview article of the preseason.

LVSoxFan
03-28-2005, 10:45 AM
Now that was an interesting article.

Lot of question marks this season. Oh well! Can't complain--even if it doesn't work out, I'd rather see them take some radical steps like they did than continue to stumble along.

anewman35
03-28-2005, 10:50 AM
Now that was an interesting article.

Lot of question marks this season. Oh well! Can't complain--even if it doesn't work out, I'd rather see them take some radical steps like they did than continue to stumble along.

It's probably worth pointing out that Hardball Times is doing "Five Questions" for every single team (proving that we're NOT the only team with question marks). I don't think they're all up yet, but some are at http://www.hardballtimes.com/main

havelj
03-28-2005, 11:10 AM
That graph was an outstanding analysis of the season. High marks for Hardball Times.

Frater Perdurabo
03-28-2005, 11:47 AM
Good article. I especially like that he says the lack of OBP in the Sox lineup was the biggest problem the offense faced. (That's why some of us called for the Sox to make a move for the Jason Kendalls and Frank Catalanottos of the world during the 2004 season!)

However, the author states the obvious when he argues the Cell particularly favors right-handed power hitters. Other than last year's injuries, the Sox had four power hitters (Frank, Maggs, Lee, Konerko) in their lineup the past few seasons! Their power made the Cell seem even more of a right-handed home-run hitters park!

If each of the four were left-handed power hitters who put up the same HR totals, stas would indicate the Cell would "favor" left-handed power hitters! What some folks need to realize is that park factors need to be adjusted for who plays 81 times per year in each stadium!

This does not entirely discount the park factor. Of course it is clear the Cell is a home-run happy park. But the teams who play in the park for 81 games account for half the stats produced in the park!

The Racehorse
03-28-2005, 12:27 PM
That graph really gets me, we were so good last season, we just had no one on base. I still think we had the best lineup in the league for hitting...

yup... and in 2003 [Maggs & Hurt in the lineup the whole way]...

The Season is almost here!
Amen Brother!!

Lip Man 1
03-28-2005, 12:42 PM
For the Sox to move the fences back even five feet they'd have to tear down previous construction, remove seats and spend a lot more of U.S. Cellular's money. (If there is even any left...)

The only way this happens is if the Sox decide to spend their money and are willing to remove potential customer seats.

I don't think that's going to happen.

Lip

chisox06
03-28-2005, 03:01 PM
For the Sox to move the fences back even five feet they'd have to tear down previous construction, remove seats and spend a lot more of U.S. Cellular's money. (If there is even any left...)

The only way this happens is if the Sox decide to spend their money and are willing to remove potential customer seats.

I don't think that's going to happen.

Lip

Great article, was the best I've seen all year on a preview on the sox. As far as the fences are concerned, can a team just move the fences at their own will, does MLB have to approve it, is their any litigation in it, or are teams free to do what they want with their ballpark? Seems to me, that if their wasnt some type of red tape to get through, you would see teams moving fences around all the time in order to fit the home teams makeup.

mweflen
03-28-2005, 04:00 PM
Stunning to see a fair minded analysis of the Sox, which takes into account ALL of their offseason moves. :o:

I was so tired of seeing "The Sox traded Lee for Podesednik and signed Dye... they'll win 71 games and come in fourth..."

As far as the fences go, we couldn't move them in if we wanted to, not without some significant construction. Let us recall that the bullpens were reoriented and the picnic area added in RF in 2001, all done in concrete.

skobabe8
03-28-2005, 04:15 PM
For the Sox to move the fences back even five feet they'd have to tear down previous construction, remove seats and spend a lot more of U.S. Cellular's money. (If there is even any left...)



Lip


In right field, yes, but in left field, no. The least that can be done is make the wall in left-left center flush against the stands. Remember, last year there was still a "moat" between the wall and the stands, albeit a small one. It wouldnt make a dramatic difference, but i can remember a handful of balls last year that hit the top of the wall.

On a side note, writing this article must have been like a thesis for a baseball masters degree. Great chart!

Lip Man 1
03-28-2005, 04:44 PM
All fence changes have to be approved by MLB and can not be started once the season begins. They have to do it the previous off season.

Lip

nasox
03-28-2005, 05:26 PM
For the Sox to move the fences back even five feet they'd have to tear down previous construction, remove seats and spend a lot more of U.S. Cellular's money. (If there is even any left...)

The only way this happens is if the Sox decide to spend their money and are willing to remove potential customer seats.

I don't think that's going to happen.

Lip


what about moving home plate back? that wouldn't be possible for this season, but would be for next season, especially with roger bossard doing the work.

studes
03-28-2005, 06:15 PM
If each of the four were left-handed power hitters who put up the same HR totals, stas would indicate the Cell would "favor" left-handed power hitters!

Thanks a lot for all the great comments on my article. But I wanted to clear up one misconception. The above statement isn't true. HR factors for LHB and RHB are calculated independently. It doesn't matter how many of each the Sox (or any other team) has. The park factors look at all RHB to see how they did at the Cell and elsewhere, and it looks separately at all LHB to see how they did at the Cell and elsewhere.

You can argue that the sample size may not be large enough, but the fact that the Sox had more righthanded sluggers didn't impact the RHB HR park factor.

WikdChiSoxFan
03-28-2005, 07:14 PM
Fortunately, this guy is right.

Unfortunately, this guy is right.

It's gonna be a great year. See you all on opening day.

A. Cavatica
03-28-2005, 08:47 PM
Perhaps we can move the plate back when the visiting team is batting and move it forward when the Sox are batting? Small servo motors are very quiet...

Fake Chet Lemon
03-28-2005, 09:01 PM
Although I'm pretty sure it's not possible, I really do wish they'd consider moving the fences back... The Cell really scares me in terms of our pitching staff.


I asked Kenny Williams about moving the fences back at Sox Fest. He said they wouldn't consider it because it would "bring fan interference into play, and we know we haven't had any such issues with that lately." It was a nice use of teal by Kenny. He also went on to say that they wouldn't pick up enough space to really make it worth considering.

Kalish
03-29-2005, 08:14 AM
Thanks a lot for all the great comments on my article. But I wanted to clear up one misconception. The above statement isn't true. HR factors for LHB and RHB are calculated independently. It doesn't matter how many of each the Sox (or any other team) has. The park factors look at all RHB to see how they did at the Cell and elsewhere, and it looks separately at all LHB to see how they did at the Cell and elsewhere.

You can argue that the sample size may not be large enough, but the fact that the Sox had more righthanded sluggers didn't impact the RHB HR park factor.

You're making the rounds it seems. Welcome to WSI and good job on the article.:cheers:

Hardball Times is a great site. If you could only come out with your fantasy analysis a little earlier though.

Frater Perdurabo
03-29-2005, 09:03 AM
Thanks a lot for all the great comments on my article. But I wanted to clear up one misconception. The above statement isn't true. HR factors for LHB and RHB are calculated independently. It doesn't matter how many of each the Sox (or any other team) has. The park factors look at all RHB to see how they did at the Cell and elsewhere, and it looks separately at all LHB to see how they did at the Cell and elsewhere.

You can argue that the sample size may not be large enough, but the fact that the Sox had more righthanded sluggers didn't impact the RHB HR park factor.

Welcome aboard! Thanks for the great article and thanks for explaining the HR factor.

Maybe the misunderstanding is completely mine (I'm not a math whiz :o: ), but still, if a home team has a plethora of RHB power hitters, as you admit the Sox had (Lee, Frank, Konerko, Maggs and sometimes Crede), wouldn't that impact the total number of homers hit in a given park by all right handed batters? And therefore, with an inflated total, wouldn't that somehow affect the numbers when you compute totals?

I don't have the stats - or the formulas - in front of me, but you do. What if we pretended that Maggs, Frank, Lee, Konerko and Crede all batted left-handed exclusively and only at U.S. Cellular, and all their ABs and HR totals only affected the LHB stats in the Cell. Would re-running the calculations give us different results - even if we adjusted the totals for your park-adjusted coefficient factor? I'm not the math whiz, so I'm hoping you can explain how the formulas adjust for the plethora of RHB on the Sox roster from 2001-2004.

In any case, I'm burying the lead. I think your analysis on the whole is great and I'm glad to see the Sox get a fair shake in the national media.

:cool:

ma-gaga
03-29-2005, 09:43 AM
if a home team has a plethora of RHB power hitters, as you admit the Sox had (Lee, Frank, Konerko, Maggs and sometimes Crede), wouldn't that impact the total number of homers hit in a given park by all right handed batters?

Well, the way I understand park factors to work is that they look at how SPECIFIC teams/players hit at specific parks and that is how park factors are created.

In other words, if FT hits 24 homeruns at home and only 12 on the road, that would tend to show that US Cell tends to inflate the homeruns. Assuming that everything else is equal, or close enough.

:gulp:

studes
03-29-2005, 10:29 AM
"I'm not the math whiz, so I'm hoping you can explain how the formulas adjust for the plethora of RHB on the Sox roster from 2001-2004."

Here's how park factors work: to compute RH HR factor, it looks only at righthanded batters. For the LH HR factor, it looks only at lefthanded batters. It isolates the two.

If Thomas, Konerko, etc. were lefthanded batters, they would be in the LH group. And, if they were lefthanded, the park would presumably affect them differently. So their underlying stats would change to be more in line with the LH HR park factor. That's a difference between 137 and 121.

Park factors are based on three year's data, not just one, to ensure a significant sample size. However, you can certainly argue that three year's data is not enough to say that the difference between 137 and 121 is "statistically significant." But you can't really say that the data is skewed because they Sox had a lot of righthanded batters. That is accounted for in the mathematical approach.

Frater Perdurabo
03-29-2005, 12:13 PM
"I'm not the math whiz, so I'm hoping you can explain how the formulas adjust for the plethora of RHB on the Sox roster from 2001-2004."

Here's how park factors work: to compute RH HR factor, it looks only at righthanded batters. For the LH HR factor, it looks only at lefthanded batters. It isolates the two.

If Thomas, Konerko, etc. were lefthanded batters, they would be in the LH group. And, if they were lefthanded, the park would presumably affect them differently. So their underlying stats would change to be more in line with the LH HR park factor. That's a difference between 137 and 121.

Park factors are based on three year's data, not just one, to ensure a significant sample size. However, you can certainly argue that three year's data is not enough to say that the difference between 137 and 121 is "statistically significant." But you can't really say that the data is skewed because they Sox had a lot of righthanded batters. That is accounted for in the mathematical approach.

Thanks for being patient with math idiots like me. I still have one more question/concern. Can you address it elementary terms for me?

I understand the reasons for isolating right and left handed batters. IMHO, it's not the fact that Maggs, Frank, Lee, Konerko and Crede are right handed, but that they are right-handed power hitters that I believe disproportionately affects the totals. Given that White Sox batters account for roughly 1/2 of all the at-bats at U.S. Cellular, don't Sox right-handed power hitters have a disproportionate effect on the results? We're talking about 5/9ths of the Sox lineup, which accounts for rougly 1/2 of all the at-bats at U.S. Cellular. That's almost 28% of the total at-bats at U.S. Cellular (leaving aside, for the moment, which lineup positions bat more frequently) taken by right-handed power hitters. And among all RHB, the percentage of only RHB at-bats taken by the five would be even greater, yes?

Now let's pretend instead of the five RHB power hitters we listed, those 28% of U.S. Cellular's at bats were taken by right handed slap/spray hitters like Jason Kendall. Such a scenario would result in different totals, and therefore a different factor, right? And furthermore, given the Sox have not had any legitimate LHB power threats other than Valentin and occasionally, Everett, wouldn't that at least partially account for the lower park factor for LHB than for RHB at U.S. Cellular?

My ultimate point is not mathematical, but rather qualitative. In the final analysis, it is players who make the stats, so therefore changing the players will result in different stats, yes?

:cool:

Flight #24
03-29-2005, 12:28 PM
Thanks for being patient with math idiots like me. I still have one more question/concern. Can you address it elementary terms for me?

I understand the reasons for isolating right and left handed batters. IMHO, it's not the fact that Maggs, Frank, Lee, Konerko and Crede are right handed, but that they are right-handed power hitters that I believe disproportionately affects the totals. Given that White Sox batters account for roughly 1/2 of all the at-bats at U.S. Cellular, don't Sox right-handed power hitters have a disproportionate effect on the results? We're talking about 5/9ths of the Sox lineup, which accounts for rougly 1/2 of all the at-bats at U.S. Cellular. That's almost 28% of the total at-bats at U.S. Cellular (leaving aside, for the moment, which lineup positions bat more frequently) taken by right-handed power hitters. And among all RHB, the percentage of only RHB at-bats taken by the five would be even greater, yes?

Now let's pretend instead of the five RHB power hitters we listed, those 28% of U.S. Cellular's at bats were taken by right handed slap/spray hitters like Jason Kendall. Such a scenario would result in different totals, and therefore a different factor, right? And furthermore, given the Sox have not had any legitimate LHB power threats other than Valentin and occasionally, Everett, wouldn't that at least partially account for the lower park factor for LHB than for RHB at U.S. Cellular?

My ultimate point is not mathematical, but rather qualitative. In the final analysis, it is players who make the stats, so therefore changing the players will result in different stats, yes?

:cool:

Isn't the key the difference in what those guys do at home v. on the road? So even though we have great RH power guys, only their differential H/A would be factored in. And our LH guys, while hitting overall for less power, would theoretically have the same ratio of H/A HRs, just applied to a lower base.

Or am I just completely off base here?

studes
03-29-2005, 02:53 PM
Isn't the key the difference in what those guys do at home v. on the road? So even though we have great RH power guys, only their differential H/A would be factored in. And our LH guys, while hitting overall for less power, would theoretically have the same ratio of H/A HRs, just applied to a lower base.

Or am I just completely off base here?

No, that's exactly right. If the Sox had a bunch of slap hitters, their home/road differential would still comprise the calculation. AFAIK, there's no reason to believe that a home/road differential for home runs would be different between power hitters and slap hitters. Although that might be an interesting thing to study someday.

Still, the point is exactly right. Park factors are computed in such a way that the overall makeup of the home team is not a factor.

GiveMeSox
03-29-2005, 03:05 PM
Oh my god, an article that uses sound logic and a writer who backs up his assumptions with actual research!

And sweet lord he included every transaction...

After reading all the BP articles for the last week I forgot articles like these existed.

He's mostly right about the fences, man we need to move those back. Finding good pitching is much harder than finding good hitting. Give your pitchers all the help they can get.

True about the pitching but the fences aren't going to be moved. And they weren't moved becuase of the makeup of our team, they were moved for us the fans. The fences being moved allowed the bullpens to be relocated, the sports bar to be built, seats to be added closer to the field, and the shape of the field to change to one assymetrical. All of this combined gave us a much better and cozier ballpark and the bland symmetric one we had before.

Frater Perdurabo
03-30-2005, 08:28 AM
No, that's exactly right. If the Sox had a bunch of slap hitters, their home/road differential would still comprise the calculation. AFAIK, there's no reason to believe that a home/road differential for home runs would be different between power hitters and slap hitters. Although that might be an interesting thing to study someday.

Still, the point is exactly right. Park factors are computed in such a way that the overall makeup of the home team is not a factor.

How, exactly, is the formula computed to eliminate the statistical bias inherent to the overall makeup of the home team's roster of RHBs, and independently, LHBs?

I'm not saying U.S. Cellular itself does not favor RHB power hitters. However, until someone can demonstrate how the park factor formula reduces the natural weight of home team stats on the total accumulated stats over the three-year period, I remain unconvinced that the RHB park factor is that much different from the LHB park factor at the Cell. Can anyone share what the exact formula is?

:cool: