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Lip Man 1
06-07-2005, 04:51 PM
I have no idea what category this belongs in so I'll post it here and the powers that be can do what they will.

Brady Slater, my friend who did the column on me a few weeks back just sent me a long analysis piece by baseball Prospectus on the Sox.

The author spends the first two thirds of the story chastizing himself for not rating the Sox higher, he lists what has gone right for the club and how it has been the pitching that has put them in this position. Then however he offers his 'conclusion.'

Here it is, for your discussion purposes:

"I donšt think the Sox are a .500 team, though. I think they're a bit worse than that, although perhaps not the .440 team I expected back in March. They're hamstrung a bit by Guillen, who has been a deft manager of the pitching staff and a bumbler with the offense. They're terribly reliant on Podsednik, who's slugging .328 and is just a season removed from a .313 OBP. They have very little offensive depth, and no one is talking up Kenny Williams as a guy to be reckoned with at the trade deadline.

The Twins are still going to win the AL Central. The question for the Sox is whether they can build enough on those 38 wins in the bank to hold off the Rangers, Orioles, and Yankees--the competition, in all likelihood--for the wild card. How they integrate Thomas into the team may be the difference between baseball in October and just more excuses. "

Joe Sheehan is an author of Baseball Prospectus. You can contact Joe by clicking here or click here to see Joe's other articles.

They have eyes but still refuse to believe. Oh well...

Lip

fledgedrallycap
06-07-2005, 04:53 PM
Let's all sing together now: WE DON'T CARE.

Way to back up your conclusions, Joe

mweflen
06-07-2005, 04:55 PM
They ought to calculate Pods' slugging percentage (and since when did this matter for a leadoff hitter?) after adding his 30 stolen bases into the mix.

The bats are heating up. It's tough to understand how easily people accept the players' current slumps and just assume that there won't be any regression towards mean career averages. We have 6 guys who will definitely knock 20 HR or more, and probably 7 or 8 if things go well.

Baby Fisk
06-07-2005, 04:56 PM
The Sox are still going to win the AL Central. The question for the Twins is whether they can overcome those 22 losses already on record and hold off the Rangers, Orioles, and Yankees--the competition, in all likelihood--for the wild card.
See how easy it is to sound all wizened? :rolleyes:

Ol' No. 2
06-07-2005, 04:58 PM
I have no idea what category this belongs in so I'll post it here and the powers that be can do what they will.

Brady Slater, my friend who did the column on me a few weeks back just sent me a long analysis piece by baseball Prospectus on the Sox.

The author spends the first two thirds of the story chastizing himself for not rating the Sox higher, he lists what has gone right for the club and how it has been the pitching that has put them in this position. Then however he offers his 'conclusion.'

Here it is, for your discussion purposes:

"I donšt think the Sox are a .500 team, though. I think they're a bit worse than that, although perhaps not the .440 team I expected back in March. They're hamstrung a bit by Guillen, who has been a deft manager of the pitching staff and a bumbler with the offense. They're terribly reliant on Podsednik, who's slugging .328 and is just a season removed from a .313 OBP. They have very little offensive depth, and no one is talking up Kenny Williams as a guy to be reckoned with at the trade deadline.

The Twins are still going to win the AL Central. The question for the Sox is whether they can build enough on those 38 wins in the bank to hold off the Rangers, Orioles, and Yankees--the competition, in all likelihood--for the wild card. How they integrate Thomas into the team may be the difference between baseball in October and just more excuses. "

Joe Sheehan is an author of Baseball Prospectus. You can contact Joe by clicking here or click here to see Joe's other articles.

They have eyes but still refuse to believe. Oh well...

LipOnly a complete baseball nincompoop would base his analysis on a leadoff hitters slugging percentage.

Lip Man 1
06-07-2005, 05:00 PM
Fledge:

Ummm... Brady sent me the story. He didn't write it. :?:

Lip

DaleJRFan
06-07-2005, 05:04 PM
Only a complete baseball nincompoop would base his analysis on a leadoff hitters slugging percentage.

Ya know, I was shaking my head at that remark as well.

He failed to mention Aaron Rowand's 426 SLG%, Paul Konerko's 15 HRs 40 RBIs and 485 SLG%, Dye's 10 HRs 24 RBIs and 471 SLG%.

Flight #24
06-07-2005, 05:04 PM
More tripe from Joe "I need to bolster my previous 57 arguments that KW is a moron, and I'll bet no one does much independent checking of my data" Sheehan. Well Joe, too bad because if one actually looks at the facts you find something startlingly different from the Moronotti-esque tripe you spew.

For the record Joe, yes Podsednik is 1 year removed from a .313OBP. He's also 2 years removed from a .379OBP. When faced with a good OBP year, a bad OBP year, and then what looks like another good one, independent observers might figure that the 2d year could possibly be an outlier. But that would require one to be objective.

Also, it's great to note that KW isn't "a guy to be reckoned with" at the deadline. That's presumably because he dealt away such future allstars as Jon Rauch (aka Hal Vickery part deux), Jeremy Reed (of the .257BA with no power), and Miguel "welcome back to AAA" Olivo.

This guy rivals jeremyb1 in terms of ignoring changes in the underlying data when they don't fit his prior conclusions.

Joe Sheehan - :whatever:

DaleJRFan
06-07-2005, 05:09 PM
Also, it's great to note that KW isn't "a guy to be reckoned with" at the deadline.

What is Esteban Loaiza's BAA??? What's Franky Fransisco up to? How about Royce Ring or Mike Morse?? I am sure KW shares the general sentiment here at WSI: "We don't care".

jackbrohamer
06-07-2005, 05:11 PM
Some of these stat-heads simply cannot reconcile what actually happens to whatever goofy stats they make up tell them should happen.

I read Baseball Prospectus' annual publications for 2 or 3 years, and found it no more accurate in its predictions than the annual predictions of the slob sports columnists in Chicago.

Plus someone at Baseball Prospectus -- IIRC it was Sheehan --- picked the Sox to win the division at the start of the 2001, 2002 and 2003 seasons.

fledgedrallycap
06-07-2005, 05:11 PM
Fledge:

Ummm... Brady sent me the story. He didn't write it. :?:

Lip

My bad...reading is a talent, one which I should further refine :smile:

Mickster
06-07-2005, 05:12 PM
"I donšt think the Sox are a .500 team, though. I think they're a bit worse than that, although perhaps not the .440 team I expected back in March.

Mr. Sheehan,

Let's try some simple math:

Current Win-Loss: 38-19 (19 Games over .500)
Remaining Games: 105

Sox record required to finish sub .500? 42-63

I GUARANTEE that the Sox will not go 42-63 the rest of the way.

Nutbag.

RedHeadPaleHoser
06-07-2005, 05:17 PM
Mr. Sheehan,

Let's try some simple math:

Current Win-Loss: 38-19 (19 Games over .500)
Remaining Games: 105

Sox record required to finish sub .500? 42-63

I GUARANTEE that the Sox will not go 42-63 the rest of the way.

Nutbag.

Quite honestly, between the errors made "reporting" the sports news (i.e., simple math as shown above) and not being able to tell if it's going to rain, everyone on here has a better than 90% chance of being a sportswriter...or a weatherman. We're as good, if not better than these hacks. NO TEAL NEEDED - I AM DEAD SERIOUS. I am sick of crap like this.

WE DON'T CARE.

Ol' No. 2
06-07-2005, 05:18 PM
Mr. Sheehan,

Let's try some simple math:

Current Win-Loss: 38-19 (19 Games over .500)
Remaining Games: 105

Sox record required to finish sub .500? 42-63

I GUARANTEE that the Sox will not go 42-63 the rest of the way.

Nutbag.One wouldn't think this is such difficult math for someone who spends his time calculating park-adjusted (runs per game - strikeouts + walks squared) divided by the square root of his mother's hat size.:rolleyes:

RedHeadPaleHoser
06-07-2005, 05:22 PM
One wouldn't think this is such difficult math for someone who spends his time calculating park-adjusted (runs per game - strikeouts + walks squared) divided by the square root of his mother's hat size.:rolleyes:

:cheers: :roflmao:

PaleHoseGeorge
06-07-2005, 05:24 PM
One wouldn't think this is such difficult math for someone who spends his time calculating park-adjusted (runs per game - strikeouts + walks squared) divided by the square root of his mother's hat size.

Okay, now THAT'S FUNNY!
:thumbsup:

Propellerhead geeks writing for Baseball Prospectus...
:roflmao:

daveeym
06-07-2005, 05:46 PM
I see where he's going with this, you take out the two 8 game win streaks and the Sox don't look so hot. :roflmao:

Mickster
06-07-2005, 05:51 PM
I see where he's going with this, you take out the two 8 game win streaks and the Sox don't look so hot. :roflmao:

Even funnier, you take away the two 8-game winning streaks and we're still 3 games over .500! What a tool!

Sxy Mofo
06-07-2005, 05:55 PM
Even funnier, you take away the two 8-game winning streaks and we're still 3 games over .500! What a tool!


Still, according to most media, all but eight of the sox games they have played the royals. Whereas minnesota has a tough road playing the likes of texas, st. louis, and baltimore all year and is only 4 games out, so they're looking good.

Baby Fisk
06-07-2005, 06:03 PM
We're fooling ourselves. This will all end in tears! :whiner:

SoxFan48
06-07-2005, 06:17 PM
http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=4107

I like reading Joe Sheehan because he is honest about biases and his mistakes and he always takes a point of view. What most responders are missing is that he has caught the essence of the White Sox success this year:

The offense has performed as expected and the pitching bolstered by an incredible Defensive Efficiency Rating as reduced the expected runs allowed.

I also agree with his conclusions are notwithing Pod's base stealing prowness and its postive impact on our offense, that the Sox are not a small ball team and we way overemphasize the sacrifice bunt...giving up those precious outs.

Anyhow, I liked the article and learned something from it...trash away if you want.

ilsox7
06-07-2005, 06:25 PM
http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=4107

I like reading Joe Sheehan because he is honest about biases and his mistakes and he always takes a point of view. What most responders are missing is that he has caught the essence of the White Sox success this year:


So what you're saying is that you enjoy a writer who is close minded? Someone who picks a side of an issue and won't budge from it no matter what? Even if there are obvious facts he is admittedly ignoring, all for the purpose of taking a point of view?

SoxFan48
06-07-2005, 06:26 PM
So what you're saying is that you enjoy a writer who is close minded? Someone who picks a side of an issue and won't budge from it no matter what? Even if there are obvious facts he is admittedly ignoring, all for the purpose of taking a point of view?

...and I will pay you the same respect.

ilsox7
06-07-2005, 06:35 PM
...and I will pay you the same respect.

It's one thing to admit your biases. It's another to fail to look past those biases when you have a job to do. I was simply wondering why you liked a writer who cannot put personal opinions and feelings aside for the purpose of doing his job. I could have phrased my original post as follows:

How do you respect and enjoy a writer who is admittedly biased and uses that bias when analyzing a team? Isn't that a rather close minded approach to writing? Isn't it pointless when a writer takes a position and refuses to change that position, even in light of new situations, simply to take a point of view?

I was not putting words in your mouth. I was simply trying to understand why you liked a writer who apparently cannot put his own personal feelings aside to do his job.

SoxFan48
06-07-2005, 06:37 PM
It's one thing to admit your biases. It's another to fail to look past those biases when you have a job to do. I was simply wondering why you liked a writer who cannot put personal opinions and feelings aside for the purpose of doing his job. I could have phrased my original post as follows:

How do you respect and enjoy a writer who is admittedly biased and uses that bias when analyzing a team? Isn't that a rather close minded approach to writing? Isn't it pointless when a writer takes a position and refuses to change that position, even in light of new situations, simply to take a point of view?

I was not putting words in your mouth. I was simply trying to understand why you liked a writer who apparently cannot put his own personal feelings aside to do his job.

...I learn from reading Joe Sheehan and other Baseball Prospectus writers (who by the way do not all have the same opinions). They challenge me to think as opposed to this board that basically like to ridicule anyone who disagrees with the party line.

ilsox7
06-07-2005, 06:44 PM
...I learn from reading Joe Sheehan and other Baseball Prospectus writers (who by the way do not all have the same opinions). They challenge me to think as opposed to this board that basically like to ridicule anyone who disagrees with the party line.

I am only commenting on this particular writer. I honestly do not read Baseball Prospectus and never will. I just find it difficult to respect someone who apparently has admitted that he is not only biased but then does not look past those biases when doing his analysis.

And if you read my posts, you'll quickly realize I hardly take the "party line" of this board. I am only ridiculing the fact that this apparent baseball analyst and writer does not look at things objectively. An objective point of view to Pods would have been: he's had 2 years in the major leagues that have been drastically different. Through 1/3 of a season this year, he seems to be repeating the 1 good year he had. So maybe last year was the outlier. Not being objective is saying: this guy was horrible last year and he won't keep it up the remainder of this year.

It's also quite inappropriate of any writer or analyst out there to say, "No doubt the Twins win the Central." Just as it'd be inappropriate of me to say the Sox will no doubt win the Central. All I'm looking for is some objective analysis. From what you have said about this guy (that he has biases and apparently sticks to them), I cannot respect what he says.

67sox
06-07-2005, 06:44 PM
19 games over .500 with what, a third of our lineup hitting close to their career averages and we just finished above .500 in a stretch of 26 games outside the division against the almighty Orioles and Rangers (teams that BP has rated higher than the Sox) and the author thinks we will finish below .500?

does he watch any Sox games or does he only look at stats the morning after?

SoxFan48
06-07-2005, 06:50 PM
19 games over .500 with what, a third of our lineup hitting close to their career averages and we just finished above .500 in a stretch of 26 games outside the division against the almighty Orioles and Rangers (teams that BP has rated higher than the Sox) and the author thinks we will finish below .500?

does he watch any Sox games or does he only look at stats the morning after?

Here are is actual words:

"Obviously, the Sox are going to win more than 71 games. They're going to win more than 81, in fact. Their small edge in the division is cushioned by what is a down season in the American League, making for a softer pool of wild-card contenders and a lower standard for making the playoffs. There's virtually no way for the Sox to not be in a race come September, and even if you consider them a .500 team, and expect them to play that way from here on out, that makes them a 90-win squad, and 90 wins looks like a wild-card team in the AL."

Looks like he is predicting a wild-card finish for the White Sox and 90 wins (and that is not below .500).

ilsox7
06-07-2005, 06:56 PM
Here are is actual words:

"Obviously, the Sox are going to win more than 71 games. They're going to win more than 81, in fact. Their small edge in the division is cushioned by what is a down season in the American League, making for a softer pool of wild-card contenders and a lower standard for making the playoffs. There's virtually no way for the Sox to not be in a race come September, and even if you consider them a .500 team, and expect them to play that way from here on out, that makes them a 90-win squad, and 90 wins looks like a wild-card team in the AL."

Looks like he is predicting a wild-card finish for the White Sox and 90 wins (and that is not below .500).

I don't get it. He is saying the Sox are essentially a .500 team but will finish with 90 wins. Last time I checked, you cannot ignore April and May. So is he saying the Sox have been lucky for 2 months, will revert to being what they really are (a .500 team) and then get beat in the playoffs?

This team is built for the playoffs, all we need to do is find a way to get there. Once they start, it's a whole different season.

SoxFan48
06-07-2005, 06:56 PM
I am only commenting on this particular writer. I honestly do not read Baseball Prospectus and never will. I just find it difficult to respect someone who apparently has admitted that he is not only biased but then does not look past those biases when doing his analysis. ...

It's also quite inappropriate of any writer or analyst out there to say, "No doubt the Twins win the Central." Just as it'd be inappropriate of me to say the Sox will no doubt win the Central. All I'm looking for is some objective analysis. From what you have said about this guy (that he has biases and apparently sticks to them), I cannot respect what he says.

As an avid reader of Baseball Prospectus, you will see from the attached the Baseball Prospectus using the current standings and that good old Pythagorean Theorm so detested on this board is projecting the White Sox will finish 1 game behind the Twins in American League Central and be the American League Wild card by a three game margin. That's his prediction, you can make yours and I will make mine and we will compare notes at the end of the season.

http://www.baseballprospectus.com/statistics/ps_odds.php

SoxFan48
06-07-2005, 06:57 PM
I don't get it. He is saying the Sox are essentially a .500 team but will finish with 90 wins. Last time I checked, you cannot ignore April and May. So is he saying the Sox have been lucky for 2 months, will revert to being what they really are (a .500 team) and then get beat in the playoffs?

This team is built for the playoffs, all we need to do is find a way to get there. Once they start, it's a whole different season.

...once you get there, anybody has a chance to win as witness Wild Card World Champions in '02, '03 and '04.

AZChiSoxFan
06-07-2005, 06:58 PM
...I learn from reading Joe Sheehan and other Baseball Prospectus writers (who by the way do not all have the same opinions). They challenge me to think as opposed to this board that basically like to ridicule anyone who disagrees with the party line.

A few weeks ago, I went to my local Borders store to pick up the BP. However, upon reading their predictions for the Sox and scrubs, I put it back on the shelf and walked out. I figured that if they were that far off on both teams, they didn't have any more of a clue than anybody else. Also, I can handle a preseason publication in which the writer thought that the Sox wouldn't do well. However, with BP it was more than that. The writer seemed to have a personal vendetta against the Sox.

maurice
06-07-2005, 07:00 PM
I have a big problem with folks who pretend to take a scientific approach to something . . . and then randomly ignore data and pull numbers out of their ass. See also Neyer, Rob.

ilsox7
06-07-2005, 07:02 PM
As an avid reader of Baseball Prospectus, you will see from the attached the Baseball Prospectus using the current standings and that good old Pythagorean Theorm so detested on this board is projecting the White Sox will finish 1 game behind the Twins in American League Central and be the American League Wild card by a three game margin. That's his prediction, you can make yours and I will make mine and we will compare notes at the end of the season.

http://www.baseballprospectus.com/statistics/ps_odds.php


Not trying to be an ******* here, but please explain to me how the Sox average record is 92.6 wins and 68.4 losses, for a total of 161 games. Meanwhile, the Twins (and 5 other teams I checked) seem to get to play all 162 games. This says the Twins will, on average, finish 93.6 wins and 68.4 losses.

ilsox7
06-07-2005, 07:03 PM
...once you get there, anybody has a chance to win as witness Wild Card World Champions in '02, '03 and '04.

Exactly. What I don't understand is how this guy says the White Sox are worse than a .500 team, then goes on to say they will win 91 games. If they do that, they are a 20 above .500 team. It just happened to be that they go to 20 above real fast, not gradually over a season.

MRKARNO
06-07-2005, 07:06 PM
So is he saying the Sox have been lucky for 2 months, will revert to being what they really are (a .500 team) and then get beat in the playoffs?


Not exactly. He's saying the White Sox have been fortunate to get to that point that they are at and he expects them to play .500 ball the rest of the way and win the Wild Card. BP doesnt make serious predictions about the playoffs because the number of games involved is so small compared to a whole season and there is a much larger degree of unpredictability involved in the postseason.

Note: I changed this post, which is why it is different than VC's and ilsox's quote right now.

voodoochile
06-07-2005, 07:08 PM
Yes. He's saying the White Sox have been fortunate to get to that point that they are at and he expects them to play .500 ball the rest of the way.

Which really is a weird prediction because the Sox schedule is far easier the second half when it is loaded with KC, Cleveland and Detroit.

ilsox7
06-07-2005, 07:10 PM
Yes. He's saying the White Sox have been fortunate to get to that point that they are at and he expects them to play .500 ball the rest of the way.

So essentially he is saying that only 2/3 of the season counts. That makes no sense. Funny how he is picking the 2/3 he wants to before it even happens.

I'm not saying the Sox will win 108 games. I'm not even saying they will win 90. What I am saying is that this guy seems to come up with a conclusion, then go look for "facts" to try to support that conclusion, while completely discounting anything that would refute his pre-contrived conclusion.

voodoochile
06-07-2005, 07:12 PM
Not trying to be an ******* here, but please explain to me how the Sox average record is 92.6 wins and 68.4 losses, for a total of 161 games. Meanwhile, the Twins (and 5 other teams I checked) seem to get to play all 162 games. This says the Twins will, on average, finish 93.6 wins and 68.4 losses.

It's pretty simple... he figured no one would notice and since it supported his conclusion, he manipulated the data. :rolleyes:

ElevenUp
06-07-2005, 07:17 PM
Apparently this guys been drinking at the same bar as that idiot Steve Phillips.

ilsox7
06-07-2005, 07:18 PM
It's pretty simple... he figured no one would notice and since it supported his conclusion, he manipulated the data. :rolleyes:

The Yankees also got to play 163 games on average, somehow.

Talk about an East Coast bias!

ilsox7
06-07-2005, 07:21 PM
Apparently this guys been drinking at the same bar as that idiot Steve Phillips.

Maybe. But I can see why many people think the Sox have simply had some luck so far this season. But not the luck of going from a .500 team to a .667 team. Also, at some point, that "luck" is actually a good team creating opportunities for itself. I really cannot remember 1 game all year (maybe the shutout to Anaheim) where the Sox just were nowhere close to being in the game. When you're in every single game, you're going to win more than you lose.

Lip Man 1
06-07-2005, 07:32 PM
That's the 'problem' with sabermatricians. They flat out refuse to allow for the possibility of human error, or luck, or emotions that can change the destiny of a game or a season.

The 1969 Mets, the 1973 Mets, the 1990 White Sox, the 1991 Twins AND Braves shouldn't have done dung.....they had no track record, no reason for any belief that they'd do squat.....yet somehow they did.

The Twins according to that Pythagorean mumbo-jumbo shouldn't have won the division the last three years.....funny I saw them playing in October didn't I.

Freaky things happen, even freaky seasons....

To bad the stat folks refuse to accept that and keep trying to reduce a human game down to advanced calculus.

Lip

Foulke You
06-07-2005, 07:35 PM
Maybe. But I can see why many people think the Sox have simply had some luck so far this season. But not the luck of going from a .500 team to a .667 team. Also, at some point, that "luck" is actually a good team creating opportunities for itself. I really cannot remember 1 game all year (maybe the shutout to Anaheim) where the Sox just were nowhere close to being in the game. When you're in every single game, you're going to win more than you lose.
Exactly. It's the same argument that some made about the Twins being "lucky" which was untrue. At the end of the day, if you are the team who gets the W 70% of the time, you are a good team, not a lucky team. Make no mistake, the White Sox are not a "lucky" team and neither are the Twins. They are arguably the two best teams in the American League. If it doesn't agree with what Baseball Prospectus prognosticators had laid out for us, so be it. I hope they enjoy their crow come October.

flo-B-flo
06-07-2005, 07:47 PM
Sludge, crap, junk, dog ****, the usual non- believer drivel. WE DON'T CARE. Just another ass head that'll be wrong.:mad:

flo-B-flo
06-07-2005, 07:51 PM
That's the 'problem' with sabermatricians. They flat out refuse to allow for the possibility of human error, or luck, or emotions that can change the destiny of a game or a season.

The 1969 Mets, the 1973 Mets, the 1990 White Sox, the 1991 Twins AND Braves shouldn't have done dung.....they had no track record, no reason for any belief that they'd do squat.....yet somehow they did.

The Twins according to that Pythagorean mumbo-jumbo shouldn't have won the division the last three years.....funny I saw them playing in October didn't I.

Freaky things happen, even freaky seasons....

To bad the stat folks refuse to accept that and keep trying to reduce a human game down to advanced calculus.

Lip Well said. Stats can say anything you want them to say. I wonder if butt heads like this even watch a game.

ilsox7
06-07-2005, 07:52 PM
Sludge, crap, junk, dog ****, the usual non- believer drivel. WE DON'T CARE. Just another ass head that'll be wrong.:mad:

I sure hope you're right. But I don't simply turn my head just b/c someone disagrees with me. There are a lot of reasns why the Sox are as good as they are. There are also some reasons why they might slip. Personally, I am leaning towards them actually being this good, mainyl b/c no one has shown any credible evidence that they are, in fact, lucky and will fall off the table.

Stats can be useful to some degree. But as Lip said, stats cannot account for emotion, energy, and games where a team scores 5 runs to make it a 9-5 game instead of a 9-0 game. Essentially, 5 useless runs. Look at each Sox game this year...there hasn't really been 1 game (that I can remember) where the Sox added a few runs in the last inning or two to make it a 5 run game instead of an eight run game. This means that when the Sox score runs, they are meaningful.

PaleHoseGeorge
06-07-2005, 07:58 PM
I think it's interesting that he admits he has so far been wrong about the Sox success because he underestimated the strength of the pitching staff, but then claims the team will fall flat on its face because of hitting.
:?:

Here's a cliche we've all heard in every type of sport we have ever followed: defense wins championships. In baseball, defense is pitching -- apologies to the dunderheads who think it's "pitching and defense."

Until this dope explains how the pitching staff is going to make the Sox mediocre, he doesn't have a leg to stand on -- whether statistically fact-based or not.

MRKARNO
06-07-2005, 08:04 PM
That's the 'problem' with sabermatricians. They flat out refuse to allow for the possibility of human error, or luck, or emotions that can change the destiny of a game or a season.

The 1969 Mets, the 1973 Mets, the 1990 White Sox, the 1991 Twins AND Braves shouldn't have done dung.....they had no track record, no reason for any belief that they'd do squat.....yet somehow they did.

The Twins according to that Pythagorean mumbo-jumbo shouldn't have won the division the last three years.....funny I saw them playing in October didn't I.

Freaky things happen, even freaky seasons....

To bad the stat folks refuse to accept that and keep trying to reduce a human game down to advanced calculus.

Lip

I'm with you to an extent though I'd put it this way:

Sabermetrically-inclined baseball writers sometimes do forget the human element of the game. The original intent of sabermetrics is to use statistical tools to evaluate baseball players to the greatest extent possible. Often times, some of these writers forget the human element of the game in their attempt to make sense of what's going on there in the field. I don't remember where I saw it but I do remember seeing that the "statistical variations" that often time appear to be due to luck, only appear that way and there are plenty of other factors, often mental ones, that go into those variations. Some teams are going to buck the established trends and the human element probably has a fair amount to do with this, but sometimes it genuinely is due to luck.

I am in the camp that thinks that you need to look seriously at both the human element and the statistical element of player performance. Even the much-maligned Billy Beane would tell you that you need both. You don't want to ignore the scouts and you don't want to ignore the statistics. Accepting both as half-truths usually would lead to the fullest picture of the situation. I personally pay attention to the statistical side of things more than the scouting side of things, but I definitely accept the scouting view as being an accurate one as well, just a different approach.

Sheehan here is providing a purely statistical view of the White Sox without offering up any observational analysis. The statistical tools he has available to him suggest that what he wrote is rational, but hugely pessimistic. Obviously, one would want to take his view with a grain of salt as it's not the balanced view of the White Sox.

Edit: I do think that Sheehan is missing out on the importance of defense though. Defensive efficiency (aka the percentage of balls in play turned into outs) is a stat that he's brushing aside for the most part, but it's extremely important IMO as to why the Sox are where they are. They have one of the best defenses in baseball and that is allowing their superior run-prevention ability. I have no clue why he thinks this defense is going to get worse or this offense is going to get worse.

When you put the ball in play, defense and pitching go hand in hand as PHG stated. Unfortunately, Sheehan conviniently ignored this, which is the major criticism I have with this column.

samram
06-07-2005, 08:18 PM
It's pretty simple... he figured no one would notice and since it supported his conclusion, he manipulated the data. :rolleyes:

And you had to ruin it for him by going and telling everybody.:D:

The odd thing is a column like this basically admits that luck and intangibles are important, even if the writer doesn't explicitly say that. If the stats suggest the team shouldn't win as much as it is, then what besides luck or intangibles or other non-statistical reasons could explain all the Ws? Likewise, if the statistical trends continue, but the team starts losing, what would have changed that the same performance is no longer good enough to win?

I'm not saying the Sox have been lucky- I think they're good. The point here is that there is an implicit admission by a propellerhead in writing a column like this that luck and intangibles play a role in determining results.

skobabe8
06-07-2005, 08:26 PM
Quite honestly, between the errors made "reporting" the sports news (i.e., simple math as shown above) and not being able to tell if it's going to rain, everyone on here has a better than 90% chance of being a sportswriter...or a weatherman. We're as good, if not better than these hacks. NO TEAL NEEDED - I AM DEAD SERIOUS. I am sick of crap like this.

WE DON'T CARE.

How did weathermen come into this? Lay off weathermen.

rwcescato
06-07-2005, 08:37 PM
Some of these stat-heads simply cannot reconcile what actually happens to whatever goofy stats they make up tell them should happen.

I read Baseball Prospectus' annual publications for 2 or 3 years, and found it no more accurate in its predictions than the annual predictions of the slob sports columnists in Chicago.

Plus someone at Baseball Prospectus -- IIRC it was Sheehan --- picked the Sox to win the division at the start of the 2001, 2002 and 2003 seasons.

Actually I remeber reading the preview now. He said the Sox will finish closer to the Royals than any other team in the division. Somehow he is still trying to back it up. Let this be the Magical season we have been waiting for. :bandance:

MIgrenade
06-07-2005, 08:42 PM
I think the reason why there is negative press now is because since the Sox last 8 game win streak, they have played only 2 games over .500 and that was just about a month ago. The Sox have hovered around 20 games over for almost a month and haven't been able to top it (hopefully tonight will change things).
What these writers fail to recognize is that the Twins have only played 3 games over in that span against the same or maybe worse competition (except the DRays), AND they had their best lineup out there, some of which has gone back to the DL I believe.
I think the best thing would be another 5+ game win streak because right now this guy can back up a fall to around .500 for the rest of the season since its been happening. I am not a stat head, I just counted games.
If these writers are looking for ways of backing up their pre-season predictions they have something right now.

Cubbiesuck13
06-07-2005, 08:44 PM
How did weathermen come into this? Lay off weathermen.

Fellow weatherguesser eh?

I think everyone knows that the stats for SOX hitters are not going to jump out and shock you in a good way. I doubt if anyone is going to hit career highs in homers or average. Personal stats go down when you give up one or two at bats a game to move a runner over or are taking a few pitches to let someone swipe a bag. That doesn't gell with stat-heads and that is how we get analysts like this.

skobabe8
06-07-2005, 08:45 PM
Cubbiesuck--I graduated with a degree in meteorology, so you can say so! :smile:

That IS a great sig, MIgrenade!:D:

MeanFish
06-07-2005, 08:55 PM
...I learn from reading Joe Sheehan and other Baseball Prospectus writers (who by the way do not all have the same opinions). They challenge me to think as opposed to this board that basically like to ridicule anyone who disagrees with the party line.

There are many biases on this board, but you can hardly accuse White Sox fans of simply "towing the party line."

We've bashed heads over the Garcia trade, Jerry's spending habits, The political correctness of the gong noise, etc. We butt heads constantly here. Many views and opinions are expressed here, many of which are very different. But when your team is doing the unexpected -- sitting in first place with an obviously good baseball team and winning two games for every one loss -- you at least want analysts to admit that your team is, you know, at LEAST better than average.

Some writers at Baseball Prospectus, Joe Sheehan included, use their numbres to communicate the way they think things should be based on personal opinion. The problem, of course, is that with little real understanding of what a winning team is made up you can't just take numbers and generate how good a team is.

As was mentioned, Sheehan liked the White Sox of the last few years, and now bashes our offense. It seems fairly obvious to me that he puts an emphasis towards teams that can mash and doesn't really respect pitching, defense, or baserunning as much as they should be respected.

CallMeNuts
06-07-2005, 09:23 PM
Thanks for reinforcing my decision not to spend my money on the BP book or their premium website access for 2005.

Here is the intangible that the numbers geeks always miss. You can see it in every champion that I can remember. You here people talking about how a team got "lucky" and that many of the players just happenned to have career years at the same time. You hear about momentum.

It's not luck! It's attitude. It's confidence. It's why good things get better, and why bad things generally get worse. It exists in sports, in business and in life in general. Confidence is contagious. And the Sox have got it!

Buehrle has always been a quick working, no-nonsense, confident pitcher. Garland has followed his lead. Look at the results. While not working as quickly, the rest of the staff is clearly more aggressive in their approach to the game.

And when you get to the playoffs, the same thing holds true. The HOT (i.e. Confident, Positive-Attitude team, at that moment in time) is going to ave everything fall in place, ad they won't be stopped. Keep up the attitude and that will be us.

Jurr
06-07-2005, 09:55 PM
Stat geeks have no purpose in baseball. They just do NOT get it. They should be measuring triangles.

For instance, you talk about slugging percentage with a guy like Podsednik. SLUGGING PERCENTAGE??????????????????? That's saying how many bases a guy got from hits in each at bat. It does nothing to analyze the fact that Pods gets doubles (and sometimes triples) out of walks or base hits.

I think some people get so blinded by stats that they forget what baseball is.

SABRSox
06-07-2005, 09:57 PM
I'm with you to an extent though I'd put it this way:

Sabermetrically-inclined baseball writers sometimes do forget the human element of the game. The original intent of sabermetrics is to use statistical tools to evaluate baseball players to the greatest extent possible. Often times, some of these writers forget the human element of the game in their attempt to make sense of what's going on there in the field. I don't remember where I saw it but I do remember seeing that the "statistical variations" that often time appear to be due to luck, only appear that way and there are plenty of other factors, often mental ones, that go into those variations. Some teams are going to buck the established trends and the human element probably has a fair amount to do with this, but sometimes it genuinely is due to luck.

I am in the camp that thinks that you need to look seriously at both the human element and the statistical element of player performance. Even the much-maligned Billy Beane would tell you that you need both. You don't want to ignore the scouts and you don't want to ignore the statistics. Accepting both as half-truths usually would lead to the fullest picture of the situation. I personally pay attention to the statistical side of things more than the scouting side of things, but I definitely accept the scouting view as being an accurate one as well, just a different approach.

Sheehan here is providing a purely statistical view of the White Sox without offering up any observational analysis. The statistical tools he has available to him suggest that what he wrote is rational, but hugely pessimistic. Obviously, one would want to take his view with a grain of salt as it's not the balanced view of the White Sox.

Edit: I do think that Sheehan is missing out on the importance of defense though. Defensive efficiency (aka the percentage of balls in play turned into outs) is a stat that he's brushing aside for the most part, but it's extremely important IMO as to why the Sox are where they are. They have one of the best defenses in baseball and that is allowing their superior run-prevention ability. I have no clue why he thinks this defense is going to get worse or this offense is going to get worse.

When you put the ball in play, defense and pitching go hand in hand as PHG stated. Unfortunately, Sheehan conviniently ignored this, which is the major criticism I have with this column.

Well put. I just got through reading all of these posts, and was going to say something but you took the words right out of my mouth.

My problem with Sheehan is that he's completely entrenched in the sabermetric camp, and his analysis is sometimes clouded by his strong beliefs. There are teams that, for whatever reason, become much more efficient than their records and stats project them to be.

Bill James has done a little work on team efficiency, as he was trying to figure out why the team he works for, the Red Sox, had been underachieving pre 2004. Anyway, during the 50's, James concluded, the 1959 White Sox were the most efficient team in baseball, winning 94 games when only expected to win 82 according to the numbers. That team led the majors in stolen bases, and was dead last in home runs, somewhat similar to this year's version of the White Sox.

At the end of that article, James concedes that a lot of efficiency is due to luck, though there is a relatively low rate of persistance when it comes to efficiency. But James admits he has no idea what causes it. He says it could be "baserunning, subtle defensive skills, bullpens, witchcraft, alien abduction, and selling Babe Ruth."

That's what I love about sabermetrics; it's trying to find quantitative answers to questions that don't easily present them. Unfortunately there are people like Joe Sheehan who come off like they have the answers to everything. They are just as bad as scouts that claim to have the answers to everything.

At any rate, I think the Sox fall into that category of efficient ball clubs. I haven't crunched the numbers though, so I can't say for sure how efficient. But I wouldn't pay much mind to what Sheehan says. He seems to get rubbed the wrong way by teams that don't make sense to him.

A. Cavatica
06-07-2005, 10:08 PM
For instance, you talk about slugging percentage with a guy like Podsednik. SLUGGING PERCENTAGE??????????????????? That's saying how many bases a guy got from hits in each at bat. It does nothing to analyze the fact that Pods gets doubles (and sometimes triples) out of walks or base hits.

I think some people get so blinded by stats that they forget what baseball is.

I think you are so blinded by your ideal of a "leadoff hitter" that you forget that the leadoff hitter is only guaranteed to lead off the first inning. If Pods comes up in the third with a runner on first, there's a considerable difference between a double and a single or a walk.

So hell yes, slugging percentage is a valid measure for a leadoff hitter. It's just that you have to weight it less.

FarWestChicago
06-07-2005, 10:10 PM
I think you are so blinded by your ideal of a "leadoff hitter" that you forget that the leadoff hitter is only guaranteed to lead off the first inning. If Pods comes up in the third with a runner on first, there's a considerable difference between a double and a single or a walk.

So hell yes, slugging percentage is a valid measure for a leadoff hitter. It's just that you have to weight it less.Look!! Up in the sky!! It's a bird, it's a plane!! No!!! It's SuperFOBB!!!! :bandance:

MeanFish
06-07-2005, 10:12 PM
Stat geeks have no purpose in baseball. They just do NOT get it. They should be measuring triangles.

For instance, you talk about slugging percentage with a guy like Podsednik. SLUGGING PERCENTAGE??????????????????? That's saying how many bases a guy got from hits in each at bat. It does nothing to analyze the fact that Pods gets doubles (and sometimes triples) out of walks or base hits.

I think some people get so blinded by stats that they forget what baseball is.

Stat geeks absolutely have a place in baseball, if they're being objective in their analysis. Cases such as using slugging percentage as a barometer for the usefulness of a given leadoff hitter, however, give them a bad name.

Statistics can tell any story you want them to tell. BP is notorious for assuming that players on lesser teams will "regress towards the mean" after a good season, while claiming that players in similar situations for winning clubs will "continue to improve." Little things like that transform a potentially useful source of information such as BP into a roundabout way of explaining what a third grader could tell you after looking at last year's standings for a couple minutes.

If he wanted to paste a positive-sounding conclusion, he could have done so using statistics just as easily. But he doesn't, because he's got an axe to grind.

Daver
06-07-2005, 10:25 PM
I would like to take a moment to mention that I have talked to many baseball propellerheads in person, including Rob Neyer.

I have yet to meet one that did not give me the urge to beat them to death with a fungo bat five minutes into the discussion.

The game is played by nine guys on the field, not a group of geeks with pie charts and and a list of numbers.

A. Cavatica
06-07-2005, 10:35 PM
Look!! Up in the sky!! It's a bird, it's a plane!! No!!! It's SuperFOBB!!!! :bandance:

For someone who posts from Silicon Valley, you sure don't seem to get math.

JRIG
06-07-2005, 10:35 PM
Stat geeks have no purpose in baseball. They just do NOT get it. They should be measuring triangles.

For instance, you talk about slugging percentage with a guy like Podsednik. SLUGGING PERCENTAGE??????????????????? That's saying how many bases a guy got from hits in each at bat. It does nothing to analyze the fact that Pods gets doubles (and sometimes triples) out of walks or base hits.

I think some people get so blinded by stats that they forget what baseball is.

Biased stats geeks don't have a place anywhere.

There are more than enough numbers to support a case that the Sox will continue to play at least .500 baseball the rest of the way. That would stilll leave them in great shape for a possible playoff spot.

It's difficult to admit you are wrong, especially for a national internet baseball writer. But basically 1/3 of the way through the season, this team is much better than I thought it would be. Barring total collapse the Sox will be at least 10 games better than I predicted. I was wrong.

But my being wrong doesn't negate the fact that stats-based analysis is a very valuable and important aspect of baseball in this day and age. Most national media, including ESPN guys are not stats geeks but still also thought the Sox would disappoint. They were wrong too.

Jurr
06-07-2005, 10:46 PM
I think you are so blinded by your ideal of a "leadoff hitter" that you forget that the leadoff hitter is only guaranteed to lead off the first inning. If Pods comes up in the third with a runner on first, there's a considerable difference between a double and a single or a walk.

So hell yes, slugging percentage is a valid measure for a leadoff hitter. It's just that you have to weight it less.
I know what you're saying, and it's very valid, but I think that you look at Podsednik's value by stolen bases, OBP, and runs scored.

When he's on base, he's getting other guys a chance to see good pitches. Those intangible things are what makes Scott P. so great.

FarWestChicago
06-07-2005, 10:53 PM
For someone who posts from Silicon Valley, you sure don't seem to get math.Oh, I assure you I get math just fine. Drop your hero worship and develop some real analytic skills. :D:

santo=dorf
06-07-2005, 11:42 PM
So hell yes, slugging percentage is a valid measure for a leadoff hitter. It's just that you have to weight it less.
Let's bat Frank lead off!!!

I bet a walk to Frank is no different than a walk to Pods to you FOBBs. :rolleyes:

ilsox7
06-07-2005, 11:47 PM
Let's bat Frank lead off!!!

I bet a walk to Frank is no different than a walk to Pods to you FOBBs. :rolleyes:

It isn't. That's why some of the logic is inherently flawed. A walk is a walk, no matter what. There is no context of the game or anything taken into consideration.

voodoochile
06-08-2005, 12:13 AM
It isn't. That's why some of the logic is inherently flawed. A walk is a walk, no matter what. There is no context of the game or anything taken into consideration.

Not when you remember that FOBB's don't believe in stolen bases or bunts.

ilsox7
06-08-2005, 12:23 AM
Not when you remember that FOBB's don't believe in stolen bases or bunts.

Yea, mark today's win down as a win b/c of the stolen base. Without that steal, we don't score the eventual winning run.

But what do wins mean to FOBB's?

chidonez
06-08-2005, 12:46 AM
I have yet to meet one that did not give me the urge to beat them to death with a fungo bat five minutes into the discussion.

They remind me of those kids you knew in elementary school, who collected baseball cards, and could tell you all the stats. But on the playground, they couldn't hit their way out of a paper bag.

Vince
06-08-2005, 01:47 AM
I like the idea of sabermetrics, but I think there are many areas where it falls short.

Firstly, they concentrate primarily on offensive stats and I think they give them too much weight. The reason is offense (things like OBP) are *easy* to measure and analyze statistically. Defense and to some extent pitching are much harder to analyze. Because they like to measure and analyze, and its easy to do that with offense, they concentrate on offense.

Another issue I have is they tend to treat the season as 1458+ innings rather than as 162 games with 9+ innings each. A run in a 1-1 tie is worth more than a run in a 15-1 blowout, but all the sabermetric analysis I've seen treats these runs as the same. When you look at a season like this, of course things like sacrifices look like a "waste of an out."

Of course, with any sort of statistical analysis, you make simplifying assumptions like that. But I think they get so caught up in their statistical models that they forget that it is just a simplification; it does not capture all the variables in baseball and I don't think you ever could.

When the data does not support your model, you don't throw out the data. You make a better model.

As an engineer, I have some sympathy -- when you make a simplifying model, there is some emotional attachment. This is why breakthroughs in science often go through a long period where everyone else in the field says the scientist who came up with it is "crazy."

Right now the 2005 White Sox do not fit their model, and they are freaking out because of it.

Even so, no model is going ever capture the many nuances, emotions, and thrils of baseball. This is why they play the games. Actually, I think this same reason is why sabermetricians do what they do -- they are always striving for a goal they will never be able to reach. So while I think they get caught up in their own models too often, I can respect what they are trying to do.

Tragg
06-08-2005, 01:51 AM
BP doesnt make serious predictions about the playoffs because the number of games involved is so small compared to a whole season and there is a much larger degree of unpredictability involved in the postseason.



No - they don't make predictions on the playoffs because of the IMMENSE differential between playoff results and their theories. So when the FACTS (playoff results) don't fit their THEORIES, they blame the FACTS and refuse to question their theories, in good ole Billy Beane style.

And by doing so, they achieve the opposite of what they purport to be- they completely abandon scientific principles and are trutly the anti-scientists.

The fact is that the 7 game series IS a reasonable subset of a regular season - it is a 3 game set plus a 4 game set. That's all the regular season is - a series of primarily 3 game sets with some 2s and 4s mixed in.

I don't know what the Sox are going to do - are we as good as our record? I don't think so. Will we play .500 ball the rest of the way? I think we'll do better than that. Do we have holes? Yes. BUT we also have some strengths that are considered aberrant by the theorists, but which really are not. Take Contreras - "Career year" yada yada yada. The fact is that he's always had great stuff and finally he's comfortable and has been taught how to pitch. That's called coaching and normal progression and improvement of an athlete. To prospectus, it's an aberration. Ridiculous.

And one other thing - I think BP has it completely backwards re Ozzie's strengths and weaknesses as a manager. Our pitchers are well coached but the managerial handline of said pitchers is much more dubious than is the managerial handling of the hitters, imo.

ma-gaga
06-08-2005, 02:06 AM
Wow. What a thread.

IMO BP likes to :
1. Look at career stats.
2. They figure that good minor leaguers = good major leaguers.
3. Theorize wins off of other categories, like runs scored vs runs against, VORP, Pecota, etc.,etc.
4. They run simulations, and find formula's that approximate actual results.
5. Players age matters.
6. Team ballparks matter.
7. Hitting relative to your POSITION matters.

Using that, the W.Sox should not be where they are. But that's the beauty of baseball, you just don't know who is going to have a bust out year, and who is going to fail miserably.

:cool:

Banix12
06-08-2005, 03:13 AM
I've read BP from time to time, mostly just the team updates, just really to get a different view. I don't agree with all of them and I definitely take most of what they say with a grain of salt. Joe Sheehan to me though is another beast entirely, after seeing him on ESPNews occasionally and seeing the way he carries himself and the way he speaks he just comes off as a pretentious know-it-all and it's made it hard for me to listen to him.

Hey Daver, as far as talking to the statheads. Is it a situation where the ones you have spoken to tend to argue the too long and will never concede any point, even if they might be mistaken? Just curious, because that's how I read Sheehan.

I will say he does his job well, he creates controversy and gets thousands of message boards fired up. Also gets people to read him just so they get angry at him, want to read him more so they can see what to disagree with and increase the BP subscriber base.

As for the matter at hand...

Here it is, for your discussion purposes:

"I donšt think the Sox are a .500 team, though. I think they're a bit worse than that, although perhaps not the .440 team I expected back in March. They're hamstrung a bit by Guillen, who has been a deft manager of the pitching staff and a bumbler with the offense. They're terribly reliant on Podsednik, who's slugging .328 and is just a season removed from a .313 OBP. They have very little offensive depth, and no one is talking up Kenny Williams as a guy to be reckoned with at the trade deadline.

The Twins are still going to win the AL Central. The question for the Sox is whether they can build enough on those 38 wins in the bank to hold off the Rangers, Orioles, and Yankees--the competition, in all likelihood--for the wild card. How they integrate Thomas into the team may be the difference between baseball in October and just more excuses. "

Joe Sheehan is an author of Baseball Prospectus. You can contact Joe by clicking here or click here to see Joe's other articles.

They have eyes but still refuse to believe. Oh well...

Lip

He definitely misspoke when he said "I don't think the sox are a .500 team". He was thinking something along the lines of I don't think the talent on this team would be a .500 team or above. Instead he just says I don't think they are a .500 team. Which is true, they are 20 games above .500. And Joe Sheehan thinking doesn't change their record.

For a guy like Sheehan, who relies so much on past performance, to say KW isn't being talked about as a factor is kind of funny. Sure the chatter may say no, he's not gonna trade. But past history says Trader Kenny likes to work the trade deadline aggressively and will get something if he needs it.

As for the Podsednik Slugging Percentage knock. Saying a speedy slap hitter hasn't shown much power might be the most observant thing he has ever said. Obvious, but you can't call him a liar on that fact. Truth is the sox told Pods to stop trying to hit Homers, as it was his sudden power output last season that had him swinging for the fences too often and flying out to the warning track, thus that drop in .OBP. Again, for a guy who relies on history, why is he expecting a high slugging percentage from a guy who is essentially a singles hitter and by nature has to hit the ball on the ground to be effective. You can knock the sox for being overly effective on a singles hitter as a table setter but bringing in slugging percentage and last year's low OBP (failing to mention his good OBP this season) is just giving reasons for possible failure (some would call it hoping) instead of explainations of success (which he seems to have just narrowed down to luck, since his numbers can't lie).

Here are Sheehan's actual words:

"Obviously, the Sox are going to win more than 71 games. They're going to win more than 81, in fact. Their small edge in the division is cushioned by what is a down season in the American League, making for a softer pool of wild-card contenders and a lower standard for making the playoffs. There's virtually no way for the Sox to not be in a race come September, and even if you consider them a .500 team, and expect them to play that way from here on out, that makes them a 90-win squad, and 90 wins looks like a wild-card team in the AL."


I like how there are tight races in every division in the American league and he calls it a down season for the AL. I guess since the yankees juggernaut seems to be down, the league is down. It's been years since the competition has been this fierce between more than two teams in the AL East. The AL Central has two teams with the 1st and 3rd best record in the AL respectively. And the West has the angels battling the Rangers who are showing last year was no fluke.

Compared to the NL, the AL is great this year at least to watch for pure entertainment value, in the NL the only great race appears to be in the East, which seems to be the best race in baseball, but the NL Central stinks and none of the NL West teams are all that good.

As for the sox divisional win chances, they still have what, 14 games against the Twins? that is where the division will largely be won or lost. The sox taking 4 of 5 earlier this season is part of the reason why they, and not the twins, are in first right now. Can't wait to watch those games.

Mohoney
06-08-2005, 03:58 AM
I'm going to try and play "stathead" for a minute here.

We have shown the ability to pitch our way to an 8 game win streak in a given period of time. In fact, we've done so twice. We're running a quality pitcher out there every single day.

Furthermore, we still have yet to lose more than 3 games in a row at any given time, which in my opinion is even more impressive.

We were the first team to 20 wins, we were the first team to 30 wins, we were the first team to reach 20 games over .500, and we have a 1 game lead over the Cardinals to see who reaches 40 wins first, so we might pull that off, too.

We already had a cold stretch, and we're STILL owners of the best record in baseball. We are a sparkling 20-5 vs. division opponents.

Plus, we have played this allegedly better team 5 times. We won 4 of the games.

Last time I checked, playoff spots aren't guaranteed to the division leaders in OPS or VORP. They're awarded to teams that excel in a stat that seems to escape Baseball Prospectus: Wins.

If the rest of the league (Yankees, Diamondbacks, etc.) want to just roll over and die when they play the Twins, then so be it, but until they either pull ahead in the division standings or pull ahead in the head-to-head matchup, SCREW THE TWINS! We're doing just fine taking care of our own business: knocking games off the schedule without them gaining an inch.

jabrch
06-08-2005, 06:54 AM
Let's bat Frank lead off!!!

I bet a walk to Frank is no different than a walk to Pods to you FOBBs. :rolleyes:

These people once argued that Matt Stairs was a significantly better leadoff hitter than Jonny Damon because he had a higher OBP, and that was all that mattered in a leadoff hitter.

I'm all for the use of statistics in baseball. I'm not for the misuse, the abuse, and the complete ignorance that comes with a large number of these folks who blindly follow the leaders (BB, BP, Sheehan, Carroll, etc.)

TDog
06-08-2005, 12:56 PM
People are used to the Sox underachieving. With most teams, people look a their record and figure that if they have lost more games more than they've won, they're below .500. With the Sox, they win twice as many as they lose and they're below .500. Whatever.

I'd rather the Sox win than have people talking about how much they should be winning.

Flight #24
06-08-2005, 02:12 PM
When the data does not support your model, you don't throw out the data. You make a better model.



Or in Joe Sheehan's case, you simply assume that since your model is the be-all end-all of baseball analysis, any results diverging from your model must be due to luck.

maurice
06-08-2005, 02:51 PM
I rely on stats quite a bit, particularly to get a ballpark impression of a player I haven't seen much. However, stats are easily manipulated to disprove truths. In my experience, stathead "journalists" tend to do this in two ways:
- by pretending that, if they can't measure something, it doesn't actually exist; and
- by selectively overemphasizing certain stats (like Pods SLG) and ignoring others (his SB).

MRKARNO
06-08-2005, 03:11 PM
No - they don't make predictions on the playoffs because of the IMMENSE differential between playoff results and their theories. So when the FACTS (playoff results) don't fit their THEORIES, they blame the FACTS and refuse to question their theories, in good ole Billy Beane style.

And by doing so, they achieve the opposite of what they purport to be- they completely abandon scientific principles and are trutly the anti-scientists.

The fact is that the 7 game series IS a reasonable subset of a regular season - it is a 3 game set plus a 4 game set. That's all the regular season is - a series of primarily 3 game sets with some 2s and 4s mixed in.


Sorry, but this post is ridiculous. ANY team in the majors can win four games in a period of 4-7 games and most above .500 teams can do it for three periods of 4-7 games in a row.

Were the 2001 Mariners not equiped for the playoffs? Of course they were. They had great pitching, defense and excellent hitting to go with. They failed because they played poorly at the wrong time. It's only natural that teams are going to have peaks and valleys and those can be unpredictable.

Sabermetric trends require the use of long periods of time to evaluate trends because the trends that they evaluate only appear with large enough sample sizes.

Sabermetrics aren't the best thing in the world for everything. You can throw them out the window come playoff time to some degree because 19 games (at most) aren't enough to come up with stats that really matter. The human element definitely plays a large factor a lot more in a relatively short period of games. Observational analysis would be a lot more beneficial come playoff time.

miker
06-13-2005, 03:34 PM
Joe Sheehan once again reminds us what the first four letters of "analysis" are...