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ondafarm
06-23-2005, 08:45 AM
http://baseballsavant.blogspot.com/

Since he re-posts daily you may have to search down to his June 22 musings.

Meanwhile, this Savant character keeps standing by almost all of his start of thr year predictions. Except he picked the White Sox to finish as low as 5th in the ALCD. Here's his season preview.

http://baseballsavant.blogspot.com/2005/02/chicago-white-sox-2005-season-preview_12.html (http://baseballsavant.blogspot.com/2005/02/chicago-white-sox-2005-season-preview_12.html)

Among his choice comments:

When thinking about the Sox, itís hard not to think about Ozzie Guillen their manager. Heís in the Larry Bowa category of managers and for this reason alone you canít pick the White Sox to win the division.

. . . trading one of your bonafide power hitters for a no-hit speedy CF in Podsednik borders on lunacy especially after witnessing Podsednikís 2004 season in Milwaukee.

Pierzynski:Heís also got a reputation of not working well with pitchers, which could be problematic with this staff.

Iguchi: in the middle of the pack for starting second basemen in the American League.

Podsednik: Why there is an infatuation with this guy Iíll never know. . . Heís playing for the wrong manager though. Guillen will have him swinging at every pitch thrown to him and the White Sox will take a MAJOR hit offensively with him at the top of the order.

Rowand: Heís not a CF . . .

Dye: The guy has more accidents than a baby being potty trained, but even if he stays healthy, itís not a good investment.



Bench: . . . Harris will be the backup middle infielder, again interesting because heís the third member of the Sox (along with Konerko and Thomas) who actually have less than one walk per ten at-bats. Everett will have a bigger role than 4th outfielder to start the season because the Big Hurt will be injured so Everett will fill in at DH. Itís not exactly a great move . . .


Posting note: Frank Thomas actually has walked 21% of his at bats (1457W/6889AB career) Konerko has 40 walks and 252 ABs (15.9%) this year and Harris 8 walks and 63 ABs this year (12.7%). In contrast, two first ballot HOF, Eddie Murray and Ryne Sandberg have 11.8% and 9.1% career walks vs AB numbers.


Sox offense: To be honest, Iím not overly impressed with it. The big problem for this team probably lies in its manager. The White Sox donít have any power in their lineup and they will strikeout a lot. That isnít a recipe for success and the Sox are going to pay for it.


His prediction: I think third place is the best they can do, and it wouldnít be all together surprising if they finished in last place in the division

That's correct, he's placed the Sox likely to be last in a five team division.

I sent him an email saying he should change his blog's name to the Baseball Idiot. Of course, being a die hard Cubs fan he's ignored me.

MIgrenade
06-23-2005, 09:10 AM
The first line of the playoff section says he can't imagine the playoffs without the Sox and that the Twins probably can't catch up. I don't know why I should still be mad.

fquaye149
06-23-2005, 09:36 AM
The first line of the playoff section says he can't imagine the playoffs without the Sox and that the Twins probably can't catch up. I don't know why I should still be mad.

accountability.

just like the selfsame knuckleheads on this site who predicted 75 wins.

right, no one expected a .700 pace, but to have picked 5th place or 75 wins is to ignore the improvements we made, and even worse: to look at the improvements as detriments.

ACCOUNTABILITY

white sox bill
06-23-2005, 11:13 AM
http://baseballsavant.blogspot.com/ (http://baseballsavant.blogspot.com/)

Since he re-posts daily you may have to search down to his June 22 musings.

Meanwhile, this Savant character keeps standing by almost all of his start of thr year predictions. Except he picked the White Sox to finish as low as 5th in the ALCD. Here's his season preview.

http://baseballsavant.blogspot.com/2005/02/chicago-white-sox-2005-season-preview_12.html (http://baseballsavant.blogspot.com/2005/02/chicago-white-sox-2005-season-preview_12.html)

Among his choice comments:

















Posting note: Frank Thomas actually has walked 21% of hit at bats (1457W/6889AB career) Konerko has 40 walks and 252 ABs (15.9%) this year and Harris 8 walks and 63 ABs this year (12.7%). In contrast, two first ballot HOF, Eddie Murray and Ryne Sandberg have 11.8% and 9.1% career walks vs AB numbers.





That's correct, he's placed the Sox likely to be last in a five team division.

I sent him an email saying he should change his blog's name to the Baseball Idiot. Of course, being a die hard Cubs fan he's ignored me.


I think this guy must be my stockbroker in disguise--he's been wrong more times than not too!

bludupree
06-23-2005, 11:24 AM
I think this guy must be my stockbroker in disguise--he's been wrong more times than not too!

What are the odds of someone actually being that far off on that many aspects of our team?

white sox bill
06-23-2005, 11:39 AM
What are the odds of someone actually being that far off on that many aspects of our team?

He also told me buy Arthur Anderson while its low! LOL!

The Racehorse
06-23-2005, 11:48 AM
http://baseballsavant.blogspot.com (http://baseballsavant.blogspot.com/)

Since he re-posts daily you may have to search down to his June 22 musings.

Meanwhile, this Savant character keeps standing by almost all of his start of thr year predictions. Except he picked the White Sox to finish as low as 5th in the ALCD. Here's his season preview.

http://baseballsavant.blogspot.com/2005/02/chicago-white-sox-2005-season-preview_12.html

Among his choice comments:

Posting note: Frank Thomas actually has walked 21% of hit at bats (1457W/6889AB career) Konerko has 40 walks and 252 ABs (15.9%) this year and Harris 8 walks and 63 ABs this year (12.7%). In contrast, two first ballot HOF, Eddie Murray and Ryne Sandberg have 11.8% and 9.1% career walks vs AB numbers.

That's correct, he's placed the Sox likely to be last in a five team division.

I sent him an email saying he should change his blog's name to the Baseball Idiot. Of course, being a die hard Cubs fan he's ignored me.

skobabe8
06-23-2005, 11:56 AM
The first line of the playoff section says he can't imagine the playoffs without the Sox and that the Twins probably can't catch up. I don't know why I should still be mad.

That makes me more :angry: .

Its just like everyone else on espn who will completely, and conveniently, forget that they picked us to finish 2nd, 3rd, or 4th in the pre-season, and now all of a sudden tell everyone why we are so great. Completely spineless.

StepsInSC
06-23-2005, 12:04 PM
To play devil's advocate...the guy didn't really "pick" them to finish last:

According to my projections, I have the White Sox winning 86.9 games for the year 2005. That is a good number and not one I was expecting when looking over the White Sox offense. If you round the number of wins for the three AL Central teams Iíve previewed, then you have both the Twins and Indians with 90 wins each and the White Sox with 87. That is an extremely tight race and the Central might shape up to be one of the more intriguing divisions along with the NL East and the AL West in watching who comes out at the end of the season.

The great thing about projecting the Sox is that they donít have a lot of first time players so I feel a lot more comfortable with their projection than what I do with the Indians and Twins. I donít like the Sox offense very much at all and this should put quite a bit of pressure on the rotation, but if health prevails, the Pale Hose should at least make it interesting. I have no confidence in either Ozzie Guillen or Ken Williams so there is no way I can foresee the Sox winning the AL Central, but Dye, Hernandez, and Contreras will have to log healthy productive seasons for the White Sox to even keep it close. I want to believe in them, but I think 3rd place is about as good as the Sox can expect in 2005.

This season is all going to come down to health and I donít think itís going to happen. This will be one of the most fun rotations to watch when everyone is healthy, but Contreras and Hernandez have shown they are injury prone and unless proven otherwise, you have to go with past history as the best predictor of future events. This could turn out to be the best rotation in the AL, but itís more likely to wind up in 4th or 5th place. Iím rooting for the Sox and the more I think about these 5 guys, the more I like them, but sanity has to place some role in my analysis and my head says this season is doomed with the amount of responsibility Contreras and Hernandez have.


Yes he was wrong, but it's not like he was mindlessly dubbing the Sox a 5th place team.... He was skeptical of the team, something many people were. It is, afterall, the Sox.

StepsInSC
06-23-2005, 12:06 PM
That makes me more :angry: .

Its just like everyone else on espn who will completely, and conveniently, forget that they picked us to finish 2nd, 3rd, or 4th in the pre-season, and now all of a sudden tell everyone why we are so great. Completely spineless.

I also don't understand how this is spineless? Should they stick by their predictions when they were obviously wrong? Or should they preface every statement with "I, John Doe, am an idiot because I didn't pick the Sox to be in first place"?

Don't get me wrong, I love seeing Brantley eat his words. But I just don't see how it's spineless or even something to really be upset about.

Unregistered
06-23-2005, 12:10 PM
Yes he was wrong, but it's not like he was mindlessly dubbing the Sox a 5th place team.... He was skeptical of the team, something many people were. It is, afterall, the Sox.Skeptical? He said, EXACTLY as you quoted:
I have no confidence in either Ozzie Guillen or Ken Williams so there is no way I can foresee the Sox winning the AL Central.

That's not "skeptical," it's dismissive. F this clown.

mweflen
06-23-2005, 12:13 PM
Or should they preface every statement with "I, John Doe, am an idiot because I didn't pick the Sox to be in first place"?

I prefer this option. But Baseball Tonight would have to be expanded to a 2 hour show if every mediot who predicted the Sox would win 70 had to preface their statements like this.

StepsInSC
06-23-2005, 12:17 PM
Skeptical? He said, EXACTLY as you quoted:


That's not "skeptical," it's dismissive. F this clown.

LOL. Okay, he was dismissive of the White Sox, and seriously doubted the club enough that he felt they had no chance of winning the division...Therefore, he is a clown who should be "F"'d.

:?:

Unregistered
06-23-2005, 12:23 PM
LOL. Okay, he was dismissive of the White Sox, and seriously doubted the club enough that he felt they had no chance of winning the division...Therefore, he is a clown who should be "F"'d.

:?:Steps, you're saying that he is just like a lot of other people on this Board, and that he was merely "skeptical" of the White Sox' chances, when in the selections you quoted, it shows that he is not merely and innocently skeptical, he is completely dismissing Ozzie and KW from the start, mainly because they're Ozzie and KW. His stats don't back up what he says (e.g. Frank THomas rarely walks, Podsednik can't hit) and he seems to be down on the team for absolutely no reason.

I hope this guy is your brother or something, cause your defense of him is confusing... :?:

ondafarm
06-23-2005, 12:41 PM
I read this guy's blog to laugh at him. He mindlessly predicts the Cubs to be a good team and doesn't seem to believe the Sox ever could be. On the other hand, most of his other analyses are fairly good and he does more digging than most other bloggers.

And truth be told, I have something of a reverse blind spot. I thought the Cubs had made a terrible deal of Hee Sop Choi for Derek Lee. But it hasn't turned out that way.

I think he thought that Guillen would turn the team into a bunch of Guillen (as player) clones; never walk, a few homers and lots of cutting and slashing. Happily, Guillen has let Greg Walker handle the hitting conversions and he has done a fine job. Pods seems to not swing for the fences at all, which is good for a leadoff man. And Guillen learnt the value of a good leadoff man watching Pierre in Florida. Iguchi is the player I knew he'd be, highly disciplined, great fundamentals. Everyone else is playing their roles, not being All-Stars. We all knew AJ was solid, we saw him with the Twins. The Savant, watching mostly NL games saw him not fit with the Giants, so our opinions differ.

Also, Ozzie and KW have solidified the defense. That always pays dividends.
I just don't think the Savant is as smart as he thinks he is.

StepsInSC
06-23-2005, 12:42 PM
Your right Unregistered, he did say some stuff that was downright assinine. But I felt he said some stuff that wasn't that far off, and even some other things that impressed me. I don't know the guy, or why he hates Ozzie and KW, but after reading his article maybe I felt it wasn't quite the POS this thread made it out to be.

He was dead on, I felt, with the Sox starting rotation, esp with Garland and Buehrle. He said the pitching rotation could be tops in the AL if Hernandez and Contreras were healthy, and most would agree that they were the staff's biggest question marks.

The statement about Thomas baffles me, but earlier he had said:
[Konerko], along with Frank Thomas, are the two odd men out in Chicago in that they actually know how to take pitches that they should be taking and hammer pitches that come into their wheelhouse.

He was "skeptical" of Podsednik, but it seemed to be based on his stats from last year.
Still, heíll have to hit .320 to make himself useful, which I suppose is possible since he hit .314 in Milwaukee in 2003

Of course he then went onto more Ozzie bashing, for whatever reason, and I don't know where that came from.

I don't have a point, but if I did, I guess it would be that I felt that it wasn't a terrible preview of the Sox at the time, at least of the players. I can't explain why he never once provided the motive behind his OG and KW bashing.

Like I said in my first post, I was just playing devil's advocate.

ondafarm
06-23-2005, 12:43 PM
He also told me buy Arthur Anderson while its low! LOL!

I guess you must think I'm crazed then; I just bought several thousand dollars worth of Ford stock, today.

Jerome
06-23-2005, 12:46 PM
I think the only people he was overly critical of were Ozzie, Podsednik, and maybe Dye. I didn't think he was harsh on Rowand at all, and he was cautiosly optimistic about the starting staff. He picked 87 wins at the beginning of the year.

It is kinda nice though to see the Sox prove nearly EVERY baseball pundit wrong though.

Huisj
06-23-2005, 12:46 PM
Here's a juicy little nugget of how he evaluates pitchers. He backs it up with nothing at all.


Mclaren203 (Chicago): Are strikeouts for pitchers overrated? Not for prospects, but for starters in the Big Leagues?

Baseball Savant: Not at all. In fact, strikeouts are probably the single most important statistic when looking at a pitcher's stats. When I evaluate a pitcher I place extra emphasis on K/9 and K:BB.




Must be a Prior/Wood worshiper.

I guess in his defense, he says shortly after this in a different question that Wood and Beckett have been possibly the two more disappointing pitchers of this generation.

Jerome
06-23-2005, 12:49 PM
I just don't think the Savant is as smart as he thinks he is.

Ha I don't think anyone is when talking about the sport of baseball.

ondafarm
06-23-2005, 02:09 PM
He was "skeptical" of Podsednik, but it seemed to be based on his stats from last year. . .
I don't have a point, but if I did, I guess it would be that I felt that it wasn't a terrible preview of the Sox at the time, at least of the players. I can't explain why he never once provided the motive behind his OG and KW bashing. . .

The problem with a lot of stat heads is that they've never played the game. That seems to be this guys big problem.

A well-used leadoff man can drive the opposition nuts, which is consistently under evaluated. A bunch of sources are saying the Sox are incredibly lucky this year. The Pythagorean predictions are for much fewer wins. But the Sox are winning many games because they disrupt the other team. Scratching out a run can be the most disruptive thing to the opposition's concentration and baseball is all about concentration. I played on a team thatwe learnt all kinds of wacky moves. We had the butcher boy, we had the falling first baseman trick we had the falling down basestealer trick we had the center fielder pick off play, every time we did something it drove the opposition crazy and they typically coughed up a few more runs. Destroy a team's concentration and you win games that most people think you shouldn't.

fquaye149
06-23-2005, 04:47 PM
The problem with a lot of stat heads is that they've never played the game. That seems to be this guys big problem.

A well-used leadoff man can drive the opposition nuts, which is consistently under evaluated. A bunch of sources are saying the Sox are incredibly lucky this year. The Pythagorean predictions are for much fewer wins. But the Sox are winning many games because they disrupt the other team. Scratching out a run can be the most disruptive thing to the opposition's concentration and baseball is all about concentration. I played on a team thatwe learnt all kinds of wacky moves. We had the butcher boy, we had the falling first baseman trick we had the falling down basestealer trick we had the center fielder pick off play, every time we did something it drove the opposition crazy and they typically coughed up a few more runs. Destroy a team's concentration and you win games that most people think you shouldn't.

Ex-ACT-ly. This is 100% absolutely dead on. Just look at the pitchouts that they try on Scottie. That is one ball, in the books. Period. And yet, that doesn't show up. Neither did how much Minnesota scratched and clawed us the last three years.

Stat heads don't understand how they kept beating us despite what the pythagorean said. Well the fact is, as counterintuitive as it sounds, there's more to a team than runs scored and runs allowed.

ma-gaga
06-23-2005, 05:06 PM
The problem with a lot of stat heads is that they've never played the game. That seems to be this guys big problem.

99.9% of us have never "played the game".

Yeah, the stat guys get a little too into trying to 'explain' everything with numbers. But the W.Sox are playing better as a unit than they've ever played before. No one could have ever predicted that. Even on this board, I'd be hard pressed to find anyone in the pre-season thread that predicted 100+ wins. Hell, might as well blast anyone that predicted less than 100 for being delusional... Why not?

The problem with a lot of non-stat heads is that they never admit that a stat head could be right, because "they've never played the game"...

Erik The Red
06-23-2005, 05:39 PM
Haha, gotta love today's post:

Continuing with the theme from yesterday, I turn my attention to the National League to see how the races are shaping up and what teams have the best chances at post season glory. Unlike the parody-ridden American League, the National League looks to have one or two good teams and the rest look dead even according to their Pythagorean records. If you want parody among teams that haven't done much to distinguish themselves, then you've come to the right league!
I didn't know there was so much satire in the AL!

fquaye149
06-23-2005, 06:25 PM
99.9% of us have never "played the game".

Yeah, the stat guys get a little too into trying to 'explain' everything with numbers. But the W.Sox are playing better as a unit than they've ever played before. No one could have ever predicted that. Even on this board, I'd be hard pressed to find anyone in the pre-season thread that predicted 100+ wins. Hell, might as well blast anyone that predicted less than 100 for being delusional... Why not?

The problem with a lot of non-stat heads is that they never admit that a stat head could be right, because "they've never played the game"...

come on - how many times has Neyer gaped at his pyth. numbers and said "how can this be?"

I'll give you a hint - every single year the twins won the central.

You're a twins fan - how can you justify the twins success with stats? Pitching perhaps, and yet, that's not a factor in the Pyth (runs allowed comes close). The point is, you know as well as anyone it doesn't matter how much you outscore your opponents. You could be outscored and still win 100 games. Period.

It's not that stats are useless. No one here is saying that. Stats are part of what makes baseball the greatest sport of all time. You can look at a scorecard and almost relive a game. The key word is ALMOST. It gets even less like a real game when it's a box score and almost nothing like a game when it's a stat line at the end of the year.

Even you must admit that. That's why they actually PLAY the games.

ondafarm
06-23-2005, 11:16 PM
As both a past player and an admitted stat-head, I may have a unique perspective on the situation.

Stats can be incredibly useful. But just looking at the numbers of a situation can also leave you with an awful lot of uncertainty.

At more than one Sabre meeting, a few people have recognized my name as playing for my Japanese AA team quite a few years ago. We were kind of famous because we were third in the regular season in spite of being badly outscored (by more than 75 runs in a 122 game season) and then we went on to win the championship, taking 4 outta 5 in both playoff series. It may have had something to do with my hitting .732 in the playoffs (30 for 41.) I hit in the .240s during the regular season.There were a bunch of future major leaguers (Japanese) stuck on the team that year and the manager was a total nut job often pulling double or even triple steals and every conceivable defensive trickery. I was the only foreigner in the league.

Every stat head I meet always asks me why we didn't steal home more often, as the stats show it's almost always a success. They always seem amazed when I tell them that on every triple steal, the runner on third called the play, not the manager. That runner was the only one who could tell if the pitcher and catcher were adequately ignorant of him. And only then would he break. But that amount of concentration and tenacity is rare in baseball situations and cannot be statistically replicated. It's a human factor which limits the numbers.

Norberto7
06-24-2005, 12:00 AM
Harris 8 walks and 63 ABs this year (12.7%). In contrast, two first ballot HOF, Eddie Murray and Ryne Sandberg have 11.8% and 9.1% career walks vs AB numbers.

So what you're saying is.....
:weewillie
"Cooperstown? When did Don get his own city?"

ondafarm
06-24-2005, 07:52 AM
So what you're saying is.....
:weewillie
"Cooperstown? When did Don get his own city?"

No, just that walking once per ten at bats is not an uncommon occurance.

Norberto7
06-24-2005, 10:50 AM
No, just that walking once per ten at bats is not an uncommon occurance.

Haha, yeah, I know, maybe I should turn myself in to the Teal Police. I just thought that was a fun bit of totally out of context reading.

I agree with you, Willie is not a first ballot Hall of Famer...it'll probably take the Veteran's Commission to get him in.

Flight #24
06-24-2005, 11:13 AM
On Jermaine Dye:

Giving him a 3-year deal at about $10 million per season is folly.



Right there tells you this guy is more "idiot" than "savant".

Then there's the old standby "The White Sox donít have any power in their lineup " - Yeah, 7 guys who've hit 20HR and 4 who've hit 30 qualifies as "no power".
:dtroll:

scottjanssens
06-24-2005, 11:36 AM
The trouble with a lot of stat heads, and admittedly I am one, is that they don't understand the limitations of the stats they use and will try to use stats to prove points that the particular stat they're using doesn't actually prove.

When I do quick and dirty evaluation of pitchers, I like to use WHIP (Walks + Hits / Innings Pitched). I've always thought strikeouts were overrated as an indicator of pitching effectiveness. WHIP measures how many people get on base (although not precisely, it's good enough for a quick estimate). A good pitcher prevents that from happening. He can do it with Ks or he can do it by preventing the hitters from making good contact. Either works for me, but it takes fewer pitches to do the latter. Fewer pitches means less opportunity to get used to a pitcher.

A strikeout pitcher and a non-strikeout pitcher with equal WHIPS are being equally effective (generally speaking), and I wouldn't mind having either on my team. But between pitcher A: 1.10 WHIP 5 K/9 and B: 1.30 WHIP 15 K/9, I'll take A every time.

Using this year's stats:

Garland: WHIP 1.09 K/9 4.29
Buehrle: WHIP 1.03 K/9 5.66
Wood: WHIP 1.59 K/9 11.28
Prior: WHIP 1.03 K/9 9.57
Randy Johnson WHIP 1.19 K/9 8.21


WHIP tells us that Garland, Buehrle and Prior have performed well on the mound this season. Shocking, but true! Going by K/9 someone might conclude that Wood pitched best and Johnson threw better than Garland and Buehrle. Who would take Johnson this year over Garland or Buerhle?

Note that with Prior, whom I consider an excellent pitcher, I wouldn't consider his performance to be better than Buehrle's or Garland's despite his better strikeout ratio. Hitters who strikeout aren't more out than those that ground out. Without further analysis I'd take Garland and Buerhle over Prior simply because they're less likely to see the DL.

Of course this is just a very quick a dirty evaluation of past performance this season. This is not a predictor. The stats used show trends and liklihoods. Any pitcher can get lit up on any particular day. Stats just tell us who it's more likely to happen to.

WHIP is affected by large factors such as the defense behind the pitcher and the ballpark he plays half his games in as well as lesser factors such as league hitting (is he pitching to pitchers or not). To get a much more accurate pitcher evaluation those factors must be taken into account. But since this started with a quick and dirty stat, K/9, I feel it's fine to keep it within that realm. The purpose here was to illustrate that WHIP is a better indicator of pitching effectiveness than Ks. If you wanted to evaluate which of the listed pitchers was having the best year... well, first you'd have to define what "best year" meant.

scottjanssens
06-24-2005, 11:42 AM
I should mention I chose Johnson as he's known for being a strikeout pitcher. Looking at Pedro Martinez, also known for strikeouts, I see he has a WHIP of 0.78(!) and K/9 of 10.6. I mention this as an example of a pitcher with a good K/9 and a good WHIP. If he wasn't such a prick, I'd love to have Pedro on the Sox.

fquaye149
06-24-2005, 11:42 AM
The trouble with a lot of stat heads, and admittedly I am one, is that they don't understand the limitations of the stats they use and will try to use stats to prove points that the particular stat they're using doesn't actually prove.

When I do quick and dirty evaluation of pitchers, I like to use WHIP (Walks + Hits / Innings Pitched). I've always thought strikeouts were overrated as an indicator of pitching effectiveness. WHIP measures how many people get on base (although not precisely, it's good enough for a quick estimate). A good pitcher prevents that from happening. He can do it with Ks or he can do it by preventing the hitters from making good contact. Either works for me, but it takes fewer pitches to do the latter. Fewer pitches means less opportunity to get used to a pitcher.

A strikeout pitcher and a non-strikeout pitcher with equal WHIPS are being equally effective (generally speaking), and I wouldn't mind having either on my team. But between pitcher A: 1.10 WHIP 5 K/9 and B: 1.30 WHIP 15 K/9, I'll take A every time.

Using this year's stats:

Garland: WHIP 1.09 K/9 4.29
Buehrle: WHIP 1.03 K/9 5.66
Wood: WHIP 1.59 K/9 11.28
Prior: WHIP 1.03 K/9 9.57
Randy Johnson WHIP 1.19 K/9 8.21


WHIP tells us that Garland, Buehrle and Prior have performed well on the mound this season. Shocking, but true! Going by K/9 someone might conclude that Wood pitched best and Johnson threw better than Garland and Buehrle. Who would take Johnson this year over Garland or Buerhle?

Note that with Prior, whom I consider an excellent pitcher, I wouldn't consider his performance to be better than Buehrle's or Garland's despite his better strikeout ratio. Hitters who strikeout aren't more out than those that ground out. Without further analysis I'd take Garland and Buerhle over Prior simply because they're less likely to see the DL.

Of course this is just a very quick a dirty evaluation of past performance this season. This is not a predictor. The stats used show trends and liklihoods. Any pitcher can get lit up on any particular day. Stats just tell us who it's more likely to happen to.

WHIP is affected by large factors such as the defense behind the pitcher and the ballpark he plays half his games in as well as lesser factors such as league hitting (is he pitching to pitchers or not). To get a much more accurate pitcher evaluation those factors must be taken into account. But since this started with a quick and dirty stat, K/9, I feel it's fine to keep it within that realm. The purpose here was to illustrate that WHIP is a better indicator of pitching effectiveness than Ks. If you wanted to evaluate which of the listed pitchers was having the best year... well, first you'd have to define what "best year" meant.

Of course the argument is: a pitcher can't control what happens to a ball when it's put in play. Therefore K's are the only way a pitcher can be sure to get outs. Of course this completely ignores the value of jamming a hitter, etc.

and walks...well since stat-heads will tell you that drawing a walk is a skill, aren't walks up to the HITTER and not the PITCHER...I mean, a pitcher can't help it that he has to play the A's who are going to MAKE him walk them.

scottjanssens
06-24-2005, 11:46 AM
Of course the argument is: a pitcher can't control what happens to a ball when it's put in play. Therefore K's are the only way a pitcher can be sure to get outs. Of course this completely ignores the value of jamming a hitter, etc.

and walks...well since stat-heads will tell you that drawing a walk is a skill, aren't walks up to the HITTER and not the PITCHER...I mean, a pitcher can't help it that he has to play the A's who are going to MAKE him walk them.

Did you read the whole post? I said quick and dirty.

I don't understand the point in the teal bit. You seem to be making the mistake I mentioned about not understanding the scope of the stats I'm talking about. We're discussing broad general pitching effectiveness. Walks play into that sure, but an effective pitcher will walk fewer hitters than a less effective pitcher. I would expect that to be part of the definition of effectiveness. In other words keeping runners of base, or in even simpler terms, getting outs.

fquaye149
06-24-2005, 11:51 AM
Did you read the whole post? I said quick and dirty.

I don't understand the point in the teal bit. You seem to be making the mistake I mentioned about not understanding the scope of the stats I'm talking about. We're discussing broad general pitching effectiveness. Walks play into that sure, but an effective pitcher will walk fewer hitters than a less effective pitcher. I would expect that to be part of the definition of effectiveness. In other words keeping runners of base, or in even simpler terms, getting outs.

I wasn't criticizing your post. I was playing fobb's advocate about k/9 innings,

in effect, agreeing with your post.

scottjanssens
06-24-2005, 11:55 AM
I wasn't criticizing your post. I was playing fobb's advocate about k/9 innings,

in effect, agreeing with your post.

Ah, ok. I see what you meant now.

S.S. Lumber Yard
06-24-2005, 12:18 PM
I sent the BaseballIdiot an e-mail too. ;)

S.S. Lumber Yard
06-24-2005, 12:22 PM
What makes the BaseballFool so spineless is he didn't make any predictions! He covered all of his basis by claiming everything under the moon. He BSed us to death with comments out of left and right field. Saying one thing and in the next sentence saying the complete opposite. He's the very definition of spineless.

S.S. Lumber Yard
06-24-2005, 12:23 PM
The ozzie bashing comes in because he is a lovable loser!

:dtroll:

He got tired of seeing Ozzie smiling at 3B as Bartman was making catches in leftfield. The Marlins chewed up the lovable losers and spit them out! You can be damn sure Flub fans everywhere grew tired of seeing Ozzie smiling at 3B as he went on to win a Ring.

Hendu
06-24-2005, 12:35 PM
The trouble with a lot of stat heads, and admittedly I am one, is that they don't understand the limitations of the stats they use and will try to use stats to prove points that the particular stat they're using doesn't actually prove.

When I do quick and dirty evaluation of pitchers, I like to use WHIP (Walks + Hits / Innings Pitched). I've always thought strikeouts were overrated as an indicator of pitching effectiveness. WHIP measures how many people get on base (although not precisely, it's good enough for a quick estimate). A good pitcher prevents that from happening. He can do it with Ks or he can do it by preventing the hitters from making good contact. Either works for me, but it takes fewer pitches to do the latter. Fewer pitches means less opportunity to get used to a pitcher.

A strikeout pitcher and a non-strikeout pitcher with equal WHIPS are being equally effective (generally speaking), and I wouldn't mind having either on my team. But between pitcher A: 1.10 WHIP 5 K/9 and B: 1.30 WHIP 15 K/9, I'll take A every time.


K/BB is also a much better indicator of effectiveness over K/9. It shows that a pitcher has good control and throws strikes.

ondafarm
06-24-2005, 05:14 PM
If I may, most pitchers depend on their power and their control to get batters out (knuckleballers being the only major exception I can think of.) Most pitchers depend on one or the other more. For power pitchers, K/9 is a good measure and WHIP is not a bad measure. For control pitchers K/9 is not a good measure, but AO/GO is. Some of the best pitchers I caught would give up a few runs and definately put runners on but you just couldn't get their ball in the air. Honestly, the biggest stat for an SP is W. Guys who win are worth having. Guys who don't aren't.

scottjanssens
06-24-2005, 06:35 PM
If I may, most pitchers depend on their power and their control to get batters out (knuckleballers being the only major exception I can think of.) Most pitchers depend on one or the other more. For power pitchers, K/9 is a good measure and WHIP is not a bad measure. For control pitchers K/9 is not a good measure, but AO/GO is. Some of the best pitchers I caught would give up a few runs and definately put runners on but you just couldn't get their ball in the air. Honestly, the biggest stat for an SP is W. Guys who win are worth having. Guys who don't aren't.

We're running into a scope problem again. If you're comparing pitchers from different teams than Ws are not a good stat to use especially mid season. Far too much depends on the offense and the bullpen. Garland wouldn't have 12 wins right now if he pitched on just about any other team. There's probably a lot of 5 or 6 game winners right now who would have more Ws if they played on better teams.

There's no doubt that a pitcher can have a poor WHIP and still be an excellent pitcher. But I think that's the exception and for our quick comparison it doesn't matter so much. If we wanted to go nitty gritty we'd look at things like defense independant ERA.

I don't mean to beat a dead horse, but in my first post I railed about the proper use of stats and I'd be a hypocrate if I let that go.

Baseball Savant
06-24-2005, 08:48 PM
Instead of replying the e-mails I figured I'd be a man and enter into Sox Nation and try to at least defend myself! Before I get to my actual player comments, you have to at least remember that my preview was written back in February and to be completely honest, it is VERY EASY to go back after the Sox start the year 50-22 and pile on baseball analysts world wide for not predicting the complete dominance the Sox have shown so far in 2005. NOBODY predicted that. Not even Ozzie Guillen's wife, or Aaron Rowand's mom. If you really believed before the season started the Sox would be 50-22 then you are obviously lyinig to yourself. Let's start with some comments from my preview:

Concerning AJ Pierzynski:

A.J. was a solid player for the Twins until Mauer was healthy and then he was expendable. He had a string of good years from 01-03, but when he was shipped off to the Giants, he struggled all season long to hit. That looks to be a little bit of an aberration and now that Pierzynski’s back in the A.L. he looks to rebound with the Sox. Pierzynski represents something that, in my opinion, is going to plague the Sox all year and that is power hitting. A.J. might hit 10 HR and he might hit 7. He’s only 28 this season so he’s only got 2-3 more years before the inevitable slide associated with catchers over the age of 30. He’s also got a reputation of not working well with pitchers, which could be problematic with this staff. He’s a solid catcher and when the alternative is Ben Davis or Sandy Alomar Jr., well, you get the idea.

What have I said there that was so wrong? Pierzynski was solid for the Twins. Nothing wrong there. His 2004 with the Giants was an aberration. Seems to be about right so far. He had a bad repuations with pitchers in San Francisco. Nothing I've read says otherwise. Low power number? Yep. Pierzynski's career HR high was 11 bombs. He's got 10 this year before the All-Star break. Geez, you gotta be kidding me if you think me saying Pierzynski had no pop was wrong. Get over it.

On Konerko:

According to Bill James, a season in which a player puts up 20 win shares is an all-star type of season. A player who puts up 30 win shares had an MVP type of season. Konerko had the best season of his career in 2004 with 20 win shares. That puts him at all-star level, but I think he can go 2-4 win shares higher. Konerko might have peaked, but I think he’s got one year that is better than 2004 left in him. Of all the White Sox players, I like him the best.

For crying out loud, I'm slurping Konerko.

On Iguchi:

I’m completely in the dark about Iguchi. I know he had a couple of monster years over in Japan in 2003 and 2004 before making the switch to major league baseball this season. The guys over at Baseball Prospectus have him coming in with a 770OPS this season.

Give me a break on this one. Every Sox fan knew exactly how Iguchi would play in America? You guys really are on crack. Admittedly I said I was in the dark about Iguchi. I took BP's PECOTA's word for his 770OPS which probably did make him middle of the pack. Let's take a look though. BP predicted 770OPS which I agreed with. His current OPS stands at 783. Big difference there guys. I also said his OBP-AVG would be in the 40-50 range and the difference between those numbes is 61. He's a little better than I thought he'd be but dude, how can you say I was off in left field on that one?

On Crede:

He wasn’t supposed to be this bad. After a stellar 2002 season at AAA Charlotte where Crede hit 312/359/571 with 24 homers in just 95 games, Crede was called up to the South Side where he did well in his first stint as a starter hitting 285/311/515 with 12 homers in just 200AB and 53 games. His OBP% was a little low but you couldn’t argue with the power he was flashing as a 24-year old. He was handed the starting job in 2003 and while he wasn’t terrible, he didn’t have the patience or the pop you’d want in a player manning the Hot Corner. The 2004 season brought the same story although Crede was actually worse than his 2003 laugher. I see nothing redeeming about Crede with the bat. He gets by on his great defensive play at 3B, but this is a position that the Sox need to address immediately. Most division winning teams don’t have gaping offensive holes at 3B.

What so you guys were happy with Crede's performance in 2003 and 2004? You completely missed the Sox taking Josh Fields in the draft as a quick fix for Crede's shortcomings at 3B? Crede's career OPS coming in 2005 was an abominable .738 from a position teams need power from. His OPS in 2005 stands at .724 and by all accounts he sucks. I said that he doesn't have the patience or the pop to play 3B and I'm EXACTLY right. Are you guys even reading the previews?

On Uribe:

Where did that power come from? Uribe had the reputation of being a no-hit, all-field shortstop in the Neifi Perez mode, but Neifi never posted an 833OPS, nor did Neifi even have dreams about getting close to an 833OPS. Uribe did all of this while essentially filling in at 4 different positions. He will settle into his first full time gig and if never having to worry about where you might be in today’s lineup translates into better batting statistics, then Uribe might be talking about an All-Star game appearance in July. There are holes in Uribe’s game no question. He’s pretty much a hacker with no speed. He can bunt but a leadoff hitter he isn’t and the White Sox would do well to him in the lower 3rd of the lineup rather than the upper third. With the signing of Scott Podsednik, Guillen might be wise enough to drop Uribe, but with Guillen you never know. Outside of Colorado, Uribe has never shown anywhere near the kind of juice he had in his bat in 2004. It’s a lot like what I was saying with Jake Westbrook and the Indians. It was a great season and all, but he’ll have to do it again before he makes a believer out of me. At 25, he just might.

So I was skeptical of Uribe's 2004 season. What a surprise! He's hitting .242 with an OPS of 648 compared to 2004 when he hit .283 with an OPS of .833! He's on pace to hit 11HR in compared to the 23 he hit in 2004. Is he a hacker? Yes, just 12BB in 207AB with 35K. Does he have any speed? Nope, just 2SB this year. Where was I off again in this preview?

On Podsednick:

Sure Podsednik can steal some bases, but the guy’s OBP% is abysmal and you have to get on base before you can steal 2nd. It’s not all bad. Podsednik’s AB/BB isn’t great, but it’s better than most other White Sox. Still, he’ll have to hit .320 to make himself useful, which I suppose is possible since he hit .314 in Milwaukee in 2003. He’s playing for the wrong manager though. Guillen will have him swinging at every pitch thrown to him and the White Sox will take a MAJOR hit offensively with him at the top of the order.

Podsednick has been better than what I thought and his plate discipline is a lot better than what his career numbers indicate. However, his plate discipline is waning over the past few weeks. He's now with just 27 walks in 232AB which is off the pace he was setting earlier in the season. His OBP% is just .363 which is still low if you ask me for a great leadoff hitter in the Johnny Damon/Ricky Henderson/Tim Raines mold but it's still adequate. I'd be very surprised if Podsednick finishes with an OPB% above .350. He stole a lot of bases for Milwaukee in 2003 and 2004 and that didn't do them any good. I wouldnt' be so quick to say Podsednick is getting it done with an OPS of just 695.

I'll by pass Rowand because I was fairly complimentary of him except for saying he's not a CF. That is true by conventional means and if you go back to past Baseball Prospectus annuals, Baseball America Prospect Books, and John Sickels Minor League books, you will find this is true from a scouting perspective. Rowand streteches himself defensively in CF. Maybe he's made adjustments to be a very good one. It's entirely possible with the way the Sox defense has played, but from past scouting reports, Rowand doesn't have the great tools to play CF.

Baseball Savant
06-24-2005, 08:50 PM
On Dye:

Here is what you need to know about Dye. He’ll be 31-years old this year and has had 4 seasons in which he’s played in over 131 games and two of those seasons, Dye played below 140 games. To say he’s an injury risk is an understatement, but he’s the guy the Sox dubbed the successor to Magglio Ordonez in RF. Dye is supposed to give the White Sox some power in the middle of the lineup and he’ll do that to a certain degree if he’s healthy and plays everyday. If he’s not then you have either Timo Perez or Joe Borchard trying to fill in for him. Giving him a 3-year deal at about $10 million per season is folly. The guy has more accidents than a baby being potty trained, but even if he stays healthy, it’s not a good investment. Dye is one helluva an athlete though and because of the injuries, there isn’t a tremendous amount of wear and tear on his body. The era of Brian Anderson and Ryan Sweeney can’t get here soon enough.

Everything I said here is true. He's an injury risk and even in his most recent seasons when he was healthy, Dye posted OPS in 2002 and 2004 of 792 and 793 respectively for Oakland. That isn't the kind of production you want from a corner outfielder, I don't care how many games you are winning at the moment. Dye was supposed to bring in power and I SAID HE WOULD TO A CERTAIN DEGREE IF HE PLAYS AND ISN"T INJURED! He hasn't been injured and he's on pace to hit 32HR this season. Dye has only missed 5 games so far this seaosn meaning he's on pace to miss just 11 games. That equates to playing a season of 151 games. That is something Dye has only done twice back in 1999-2000. Given his track record of injury and sub standard performance at a power position, investing 10 million a year in him was folly. Again, where am I wrong in this one? Dye is playing better than he has, but if you look at his recent healthy years in which his OPS has been around 792, his current OPS of 822 isn't that far off. Good night. Do you guys even read? Dye is an injury risk and the season isn't over yet. If Dye winds up missing 30+ games, don't say I didn't warn you.

I said I wasn't impressed with the White Sox offense before the seaosn began and how could you not be? Just look at the outfield. You are replacing Magglio Ordonez and Carlos Lee with Scott Podsednick and Jermaine Dye. Dye had serious injury risks associated with him when he was signed and Podsednick was coming of a season in which his OPS was 677! Konerko was coming off of a career year and analysts ALWAYS will look for a little regression when a player has played above everything his career has said up to that point. Heck and it's true. Konerko's OPS was 894 in 2004 and so far his year his OPS has been just 875 which is a dropoff, and even despite that I wrote that I thought Konerko could be a tick better than he was in 2004 so how can you scream at me on Konerko? YOU KNEW there was no way Uribe was going to do what he did in 2004 and Crede just sucks, lets face it. Pierzynski has been a low-power catcher and Frank Thomas won the DL to start the year.

With all that in mind, how could you POSSIBLE even imagine the Sox offense would be nearly as good as it was in 2004? There is not a sane person who would argue that. Given the way the team looked before the season, it just didn't look good if you go by past stats.

On Garcia:

: I’m one of the few people out there who thought the trade the White Sox made to acquire Garcia was fantastic. Sure Miguel Olivo looked to be a decent catcher and Jeremy Reed has superstar written all over him, but we don’t really know all that much about Reed and Olivo simply because they haven’t produced in the majors whereas Garcia has. A lot of “stats” guys have been down on Garcia for quite awhile and have labeled him more an innings eater type of a guy with a #2 starter ceiling, but I completely disagree with that. His problems stem from his head not being in the game rather than having limited abilities. Garcia might have just needed a change in scenery away from Seattle. At Seattle last season, Garcia’s K/9 was 6.9 but jumped to 8.9 when moving to the windy city. One of the peripheral good things about having Guillen as your manager is his relationship with Garcia. Garcia is a horse at 6’4” and 240lbs. He has the propensity to gain weight and argue with umpires. Those seem to be maturity issues and as Garcia turns 30-years old this season, they should be well behind him. I don’t think Garcia’s 2001 was as good as it gets. He can be better if he puts all of his complete trust in his overpowering stuff. I’m a big fan and believe he’s a #1. He’ll be the 2nd best ace in the AL Central. Nowhere near Santana, but better than Sabathia. He’s one of the few reasons to get excited about Chicago.

How much more can I slurp this guy!

On Buehrle:

I spent my entire time on Buehrle talking about how I think he's the most likely pitcher to reach 300 wins of the pitchers now and that if he were playing for the Yankees or the Mets, he'd be a SUPERSTAR! Good night. I'm a REDS fan for crying out loud and I'd cut off my left hand to have a pitcher mentioned by an analyst that might be a 300 game winner!

On Hernandez:

This is where the White Sox rotation starts to get dicey. If Hernandez and Contreras can pitch to form and stay healthy then the White Sox arguably have the best rotation in the American League from 1 to 4. Hernandez has injury problems but those ratios in 2004 are good and indicate that Hernandez hasn’t lost any of this “stuff”. His 7.8H/9 and his 8.9K/9 are the things of #1 starters so why shouldn’t we think of Hernandez as a possible ace? . If those two [Contreras and Hernandez] perform to the level they are capable of, it’s going to be hard to beat Chicago over 162-game season, but Hernandez and Contreras have to make 30+ starts because Garland is a #5 starter and there is no depth to this rotation. It’s a HUGE RISK to build your hopes on, but that is what Kenny Williams has done.

Good night! Let's see both Hernandez and Contreras have stayed healthy and the Sox have been hard to beat. Wait a minute! Did I just write that? Contreras is on pace to start 32 games while Hernandez is on pace to start 25 which is a little lower than what I wanted, but where exactly have I been wrong in any thing concerning the White Sox pitching? Again, you guys are absolutely insane if you didn't think there were injury questions concerning Hernadez and Contreras coming into the season.

Baseball Savant
06-24-2005, 08:51 PM
On Contreras:

In terms of “stuff” nobody on the White Sox staff has better stuff and Contreras. I’ve got to watch him pitch a few times on TV and if he’s on TV I try to make it a point to watch him throw. If Contreras is on, you have a hard time wondering how the guy doesn’t throw a no-hitter every time he takes the mound. On the other hand, he could learn a few things about control from teammate Mark Buehrle. Contreras is only going to be 33 this season so he probably has 4-5 more years left in him, and although you’d like to think he could put it all together and find his control to dominate hitters, at this advanced age it’s unlikely to happen. Unless you are talking about the Cubs or Marlins, you don’t normally say a team potentially has 4-#1 starters, but this is exactly what the White Sox have. Buehrle could be a #1 on a lot of teams but is more suited to be a #2 guy. Garcia needs to find stability, Contreras health and command, and Hernandez health, but if all of these guys were on for a span of 2 weeks, it wouldn’t be surprising to see the Sox reel off a 12-0 streak. Everything I said about Hernandez applies to Contreras in regards to how much responsibility are on these two men’s shoulders, but I’m rooting hard for them. It’d be great to see them both have great years even if it’s only once.

Did you guys just miss the entier preview I wrote for Contreras? Geez, I said the White Sox potentially have 4 #1 starters. I said nobody has better stuff than Contreras. I said that if the pitchers were healthy it wouldn't be surprising to see the Sox reel off 12 wins in a row. I said I was rooting hard for the Sox and that it'd be great to see if the entire pitching staff was healthy for an entire season to see how great they could be. I said Contreras has had control problems and he has in the past but he's doing a great job this season walking only 3.8 per 9IP. Good night. I'm like the Nostradamus of baseball analysts!

On Garland:

It’s easy to forget how young Garland is, but he’ll only be 25 this season and has quite a bit of upside if he can consolidate his pitching repertoire. Garland’s H/9 numbers are pretty good at less than 10H/9, and he’s actually improvement with his control. The book on Garland is that he has a mid-90s splitter that evokes images of Kevin Brown in his hey day. That is some lofty aspirations, but Garland also adds a great changeup to go along with that sinker. Garland’s problem is that he doesn’t have much breaking stuff. Clemens and Brown both have great sinking fastballs, but both have devastating sliders to go along with those pitches, and that is something Garland has yet to develop. Don’t get me wrong, he throws breaking pitches, but he leaves them up in the zone most of the time and they get hammered as evidenced by his HR/9. If Garland can harness a breaking pitch, those K numbers are going to go through the roof and Garland will be elevated to #2 starter status. Right now, he’s a #5 and that isn’t a knock on him. He’s one of the best #5 starters in all of baseball and if he does find that breaking pitch then the Sox will have a #2 starter in the #5 slot. He’s young enough to make me like his chances.

My Heavens! Isn't what Garland is doing exactly what I said if he could consolidate his stuff and keep the ball in the yard?

On the AL Central Race:

According to my projections, I have the White Sox winning 86.9 games for the year 2005. That is a good number and not one I was expecting when looking over the White Sox offense. If you round the number of wins for the three AL Central teams I’ve previewed, then you have both the Twins and Indians with 90 wins each and the White Sox with 87. That is an extremely tight race and the Central might shape up to be one of the more intriguing divisions along with the NL East and the AL West in watching who comes out at the end of the season.

The great thing about projecting the Sox is that they don’t have a lot of first time players so I feel a lot more comfortable with their projection than what I do with the Indians and Twins. I don’t like the Sox offense very much at all and this should put quite a bit of pressure on the rotation, but if health prevails, the Pale Hose should at least make it interesting. I have no confidence in either Ozzie Guillen or Ken Williams so there is no way I can foresee the Sox winning the AL Central, but Dye, Hernandez, and Contreras will have to log healthy productive seasons for the White Sox to even keep it close. I want to believe in them, but I think 3rd place is about as good as the Sox can expect in 2005.

No matter what you guys say this has held true. Nobody could have predicted that the Sox would be this hot, but I DID predict the Sox pitching could be this dominant. How many other pundits out there did that in February? There is no way you could predict the TOTAL collapse of the Indians offense and the Twins have struggled lately in both offense and pitching.

The season is young and I had the Twins/Indians/White Sox within 3 games of one another. Although the Sox have been WAY BETTER than anyone could have imagined, it wouldn't be hard to see them winning the Central according to my predictions based on the Twins being worse than what they are and the Indians having an offensive meltdown. I've written there is no question the White Sox are going to win the Central. I didn't believe that at the beginning of the year and I'm still not sold on the offense, but the Sox are proving me wrong.

Are they proving me so wrong that I should be called a fool or an idiot? Come on now. That is ridiculous especially when I wrote that the Sox have the potential to have 4 aces in their rotation and that I had a hard time believing anyone could beat Chicago over a full season if thier pitching was healthy.

It has been and I was proved correct in my analysis. I didn't say that "I don't care how healthy the Sox are. They suck and will come in last". Come on man that's crazy.

The offense has been a lot better than I had anticipated, but the Sox are definitely winning because of pitching and defense and I'm one of the few that I know that had as many GREAT things to say about their starting 5. I didn't cover defense in the previews or put a value on it so I absolve myself from criticism in that account.

ON TO OZZIE GUILLEN

Guillen hasn't been too forceful of implementing a lot of what he said before the season began about being aggressive and running a lot. I'm a lot more from the Earl Weaver school of strategy so I'm not going to agree with an aggressive approach.

For those of you who have accused me of not playing the game, I did play at D-1 University and also played minor league ball for a couple of years. You are dead on about the White Sox playing the type of ball that almost forces this issue on other teams, for lack of a better analogy, in that it reminds me a lot of a little league team that is always taking the extra base or always forcing the opposing defense to constantly think about what is going on causing the other team quite a bit of frustration. I love using stats, but it's not what I'm only about. I was one of the unique few who have gotten to play professionally and what the White Sox are doing isn't anything new.

On the flip side, looking at past winners like the Yankees and Red Sox show that a patient powerful offense has worked wonders in winning the World Series. I think this is the best way and I don't think the White Sox are that type of team.

Guillen has done a good job letting the hitting coach have his way with the offense, but I still think the offense isn't as good as it's letting on. The Sox offense may have been better than I had thought at the beginning of the season, but they still have 90 games to play to come around to what I thought. The Sox have had unusually good health so far this season and they'll have to keep it up.

Hopefully that addressed some questions. I did say the White Sox would win 87-games this season and I'd say the same if we could roll back the clocks to the 1st day of the 2005 season. I also think my preview was very kind to the White Sox and was actually spot on in almost everything I wrote. Did I say the Sox were a 3rd place team? Yep. Did I say the Sox could wind up in last if the Royals had a season like they did in 2003? Yep.

However, if Garland hadn't of turned the corner and Dye hadn't have been healthy and Podsednick would have continued his horrible 2004 campaign and Contreras and Hernandez wouldn't have been healthy and Pierzynski wouldn't have had a career year in power would you still say the Sox would be 50-22?

I went with historical precedent and made my prediction. Any intelligent person would, but according to my Twins readers, White Sox fans are anything but intelligent! :)

BTW: THE BASEBALL SAVANT IS A CINCINNATI REDS FAN FOR LIFE!

On a lighter note, thanks a lot to you all who did e-mail with kind words and the thoughts that all White Sox fans aren't like the one's I mentioned on my blog today! I appreciate it immensely if you have become new readers of the Baseball Savant and I welcome any and all comers trying to deface my logic.Hope you guys keep coming back to the Baseball Savant!

Daver
06-24-2005, 08:56 PM
Instead of replying the e-mails I figured I'd be a man and enter into Sox Nation and try to at least defend myself!

Great, another stathead that can only be convinced by numbers, because actually watching the players is too much like work.

I'm sure your opinion on baseball is almost as valid as Jiminy Cricket's.

ondafarm
06-24-2005, 09:13 PM
Great, another stathead that can only be convinced by numbers, because actually watching the players is too much like work.

I'm sure your opinion on baseball is almost as valid as Jiminy Cricket's.

Not to pick a fight with you Daver (you are on my 5 people list) but the baseball savant is a pretty sharp guy. He was wrong on several things in February and he clearly can be a jerk with some of his comments. He has done a lot of good analysis and where he seems to have a big failing it's that he has a preference for the National League and his experience viewing games there. I think he does have an exceptional distaste for the White Sox, Ozzie and KW. Hey, his loss.

Admittedly, Ryne Sandberg seems to have the same problem.

He does a lot of good analysis, really keeps up with a lot of baseball and is right more often than not.

Besides as a Reds for life fan, I think I can spare some pathos for him.

MIgrenade
06-24-2005, 09:16 PM
I don't even get any of this anger. Isn't this guy just some fan who has a blog? Why the hell do people care? He is not a national broadcaster. People here have gone slightly mad. And watch it, it's nice to skewer these guys now, but if the Sox don't win a playoff series they win get you back. Just enjoy the season.

Baseball Savant
06-24-2005, 09:26 PM
Not to pick a fight with you Daver (you are on my 5 people list) but the baseball savant is a pretty sharp guy. He was wrong on several things in February and he clearly can be a jerk with some of his comments. He has done a lot of good analysis and where he seems to have a big failing it's that he has a preference for the National League and his experience viewing games there. I think he does have an exceptional distaste for the White Sox, Ozzie and KW. Hey, his loss.

Admittedly, Ryne Sandberg seems to have the same problem.

He does a lot of good analysis, really keeps up with a lot of baseball and is right more often than not.

Besides as a Reds for life fan, I think I can spare some pathos for him.


Finally someone who seems my true worth! I actually don't have a distaste for KW, Ozzie or the Sox. In fact, I wrote that I'm rooting for them in my preview. I think it would be great for baseball to see the Sox in the mix come playoff time, and luckily we are going to see it this season.

I'm not even that sour on Guillen other than I think eventually he's going to wear out his welcome in Chicago and probably have nothing to show for it. Who knows? Like I say, he's not exactly an Earl Weaver type manager and I'll side with those of Weaver's ilk. It's not a bad clique to be with.

Besides, I need all the pathos I can get with my Reds team. They are completely miserable.

Daver
06-24-2005, 09:27 PM
Not to pick a fight with you Daver (you are on my 5 people list) but the baseball savant is a pretty sharp guy. He was wrong on several things in February and he clearly can be a jerk with some of his comments. He has done a lot of good analysis and where he seems to have a big failing it's that he has a preference for the National League and his experience viewing games there. I think he does have an exceptional distaste for the White Sox, Ozzie and KW. Hey, his loss.

Admittedly, Ryne Sandberg seems to have the same problem.

He does a lot of good analysis, really keeps up with a lot of baseball and is right more often than not.

Besides as a Reds for life fan, I think I can spare some pathos for him.

You don't want to fight me, I cheat.

Statheads irriatate me, most of them don't know enough about how the game is played to explain the fundamentals to a little leaguer, yet they can project a player based solely on numbers, things like work ethic and attitude mean nothing when it comes to stats, but mean everything when it comes to evaluating a ballplayer. But then again, most people don't know the difference between calling pitches and calling a game, they think they are the same thing.

ondafarm
06-24-2005, 11:04 PM
You don't want to fight me, I cheat.

It was a joke, Daver.

Statheads irriatate me, most of them don't know enough about how the game is played to explain the fundamentals to a little leaguer, yet they can project a player based solely on numbers, things like work ethic and attitude mean nothing when it comes to stats, but mean everything when it comes to evaluating a ballplayer. But then again, most people don't know the difference between calling pitches and calling a game, they think they are the same thing.

I thought his remark comparing the Sox to a Little League team was inappropriate. The Savant and I both have some minor league at bats so we both should be able to help Little Leaguers with the fundamentals. I think he and I both have some knowledge of the dedication required of major league players. And yes, I think we both might have some idea of calling pitches and calling a game and why the two are very different.

I can still object to his more ergarious remarks and yet appreciate much of his analysis. "The Baseball Savant" is an awfully egotistical name don't yah think?

Tragg
06-24-2005, 11:33 PM
On Dye:

Here is what you need to know about Dye... Giving him a 3-year deal at about $10 million per season is folly.

Yes it would be. But I must ask, what team gave him $10 million a year? Certainly not the Chicago White Sox - somewhere about 35% of that.

$10 million is about what GM extraordinaire, Billy Beane, is paying Jason Kendall for his .250 average, .338 OBP and zero homer output.

Baseball Savant
06-25-2005, 01:10 AM
I knew that would kill me.

I didn't mean them as a little league team, I meant that for those of you who played Little League you remember teams like these. There is always a team out there who is so good that they force the opposition to quit making routine plays and start having to think about every single thing out there on even the most routine plays. Daver should appreciate this because it has nothing to do with stats, but it's like your little league coach telling you to steal all the bases you can or take the extra base all the time because you know the other team just gets to nervy and then the throws are off and bad decisions are made.

I've always heard it called by my college coaches and minor league coaches as "forcing the action".

Yesterday's Cubs game is a perfect example with Podsednik running the bases. You could just tell he was a complete disruption to the Cubs defense and pitching that they were making poor decisions the entire time which led to runs being scored by the Sox.

In no way did I associate the White Sox with being a Little League team talent wise. Geez, give me more credit than that.

I love watching the Sox play this style of baseball. Do I agree with it theoretically? No I don't, but that is neither here nor there. You can't really argue with a 50-22 record and how the Sox have gotten there so I won't.

I think there are some statistical indicators showing that the Sox might not be as good as the general opinion of this board believes. That doesn't mean they can't keep up the current pace, but that also doens't mean these statistical indicators aren't relevant.

FarWestChicago
06-25-2005, 01:16 AM
I think there are some statistical indicators showing that the Sox might not be as good as the general opinion of this board believes. That doesn't mean they can't keep up the current pace, but that also doens't mean these statistical indicators aren't relevant.Yes, we know. And statistically the A's should be dominating the world. Unfortunately for you, there is a large, vocal, obnoxious group that posts here that is in hiding because the horrific Kenny Williams has his team rolling and the Nobel Prize winning Billy Beane's team sucks. I'm sure you will all have your time again. This is ours. We choose to enjoy it.

:fobbgod:

That's right!! I'll be back. **** the Sox, KW and Ozzie!! They are killing baseball!!

Baseball Savant
06-25-2005, 01:16 AM
Yes it would be. But I must ask, what team gave him $10 million a year? Certainly not the Chicago White Sox - somewhere about 35% of that.

$10 million is about what GM extraordinaire, Billy Beane, is paying Jason Kendall for his .250 average, .338 OBP and zero homer output.

you are right. THe sox gave him a 2-year $10.15 contract with an option for a 3rd year at $6 million in 2007 or a $1.15 million buyout. bad note on my part and the move is a lot more defensable.

S.S. Lumber Yard
06-25-2005, 01:24 AM
you are right. THe sox gave him a 2-year $10.15 contract with an option for a 3rd year at $6 million in 2007 or a $1.15 million buyout. bad note on my part and the move is a lot more defensable.

Have you changed the name of your blog to Baseball Idiot yet?

:dtroll:

FarWestChicago
06-25-2005, 01:26 AM
Have you changed the name of your blog to Baseball Idiot yet?

:dtroll:Lighten up. He's here discussing things in a reasonably civilized manner.

S.S. Lumber Yard
06-25-2005, 01:27 AM
I'm sure many would not have a problem with him if he did not have such a big ego. :redneck

FarWestChicago
06-25-2005, 01:30 AM
I'm sure many would not have a problem with him if he did not have such a big ego. :redneckI'm not going to argue with that, but keep it civilized since he is. :D:

S.S. Lumber Yard
06-25-2005, 01:40 AM
The Savant says that the Sox would dread a Buehrle/Santana matchup in the playoffs. I don't think he realizes how underrated Mark Buehrle is. Buehrle just broke Curt Schilling's streak of 43 consecutive starts with 6+ innings pitched. Mark Buehrle and Jon Garland are untouchable at U.S. Cellular Field: 14-0 with a 2.25 ERA, 16 walks and 76 strikeouts in 16 starts. And naturally, the Cell is where Game 1 will be played.

Not to mention...

Since 1990, only the New York Yankees have a better home record than the Chicago White Sox. The ChiSox are 27-10 at home this season.

Baseball Savant
06-25-2005, 07:20 AM
The Savant says that the Sox would dread a Buehrle/Santana matchup in the playoffs. I don't think he realizes how underrated Mark Buehrle is. Buehrle just broke Curt Schilling's streak of 43 consecutive starts with 6+ innings pitched. Mark Buehrle and Jon Garland are untouchable at U.S. Cellular Field: 14-0 with a 2.25 ERA, 16 walks and 76 strikeouts in 16 starts. And naturally, the Cell is where Game 1 will be played.

Not to mention...

Since 1990, only the New York Yankees have a better home record than the Chicago White Sox. The ChiSox are 27-10 at home this season.

If you read my preview, you'll know that I thought Mark Buehrle has the best shot of any young pitcher to win 300 games. I'm not sure that is underrating him.

I'm not shy about my belief that "dominance" as measured by K/9 and H/9 is the best measure of a pithcer's value. Obviously Mark Buehrle is an exception to this rule, but that doesn't mean that I will abandon the concept in general. This is why I would take Santana over Buehrle. Everything you said was right about Buehrle at home and this obviously is where Game 1 would be played if the Twins/White Sox were to play in the playoffs.

I'd still take Johan Santana. I'd bet on Johan Santana and give you Buehrle. If I lose then I'll take it, but I'd still take Santana. I'm not a Twins homer, but the things I place value in when evaluating a pitcher leads me to believe I'd take Santana. It would be the same if Clemens, Johnson, Schilling, Smoltz, Prior, Beckett, Peavy, or Martinez were facing Buehrle.

Maybe Buehrle beats all of them at US Cellular in Game 1, but that doesn't mean I'm taking Buehrle in any of those matchups. If Buehrle wins and you guys are right, then I'd tip my cap.

It hasn't happened yet though.

fquaye149
06-25-2005, 08:56 AM
If you read my preview, you'll know that I thought Mark Buehrle has the best shot of any young pitcher to win 300 games. I'm not sure that is underrating him.

I'm not shy about my belief that "dominance" as measured by K/9 and H/9 is the best measure of a pithcer's value. Obviously Mark Buehrle is an exception to this rule, but that doesn't mean that I will abandon the concept in general. This is why I would take Santana over Buehrle. Everything you said was right about Buehrle at home and this obviously is where Game 1 would be played if the Twins/White Sox were to play in the playoffs.

I'd still take Johan Santana. I'd bet on Johan Santana and give you Buehrle. If I lose then I'll take it, but I'd still take Santana. I'm not a Twins homer, but the things I place value in when evaluating a pitcher leads me to believe I'd take Santana. It would be the same if Clemens, Johnson, Schilling, Smoltz, Prior, Beckett, Peavy, or Martinez were facing Buehrle.

Maybe Buehrle beats all of them at US Cellular in Game 1, but that doesn't mean I'm taking Buehrle in any of those matchups. If Buehrle wins and you guys are right, then I'd tip my cap.

It hasn't happened yet though.

I'm surprised people actually still believe this.

k/9 is the definition of a power pitcher. Have all good pitchers throughout history been power pitchers? Not really. Buehrle sure isn't the only exception.

I know the argument is that a pitcher can't control the results of a batted ball, but that is the epitome of the stereotypical stathead forgetting that a game is actually played comment.

It sounds nice in theory but anyone playing ball right now would tell you it's not true.

Savant - you played baseball at a very high level. It's pretty ridiculous for you to say a strikeout is the only significant way for a pitcher to dominate.

The real reason statheads venerate the strikeout: unlike everything else about good pitching IT IS MEASURABLE.

There's something about good pitching. Smart pitching beats power pitching most of the time. Ask a certain 300 game winner still doing all right with absolutely no gas on the northside.

The Wall
06-25-2005, 09:10 AM
The reason K/9 and H/9 do not appear to apply to Buerhle (and to other control pitchers like Maddux, Garland et al) is because they dont rely on strike-outs. They tend to have the hitter put the ball in play and let the 7 guys behind him do some work with their gloves.

If you use K/9 and H/9 up to evaluate them, obviously you are going to trade these good pitchers for a bag of roasted peanuts.

I bet you took Roger Clemens in NLCS Game 7 last year and Oswalt in Game 1 of WS. Well, guess what? you lose HA HA!

ilsox7
06-25-2005, 09:15 AM
I'll be the first to say it. The White Sox will not win the American League and not reach the World Series. You can bank on it and when they ask, tell 'em the Savant told you!

That's from your website. And I have a serious question (not being a smart ass here). If the Sox DO win the Pennant this year, will you admit that they are a damn good team or will you call it luck?

ondafarm
06-25-2005, 09:31 AM
Lighten up. He's here discussing things in a reasonably civilized manner.

I agree. I applaud the civilized manner in which he is discussing some contenious issues. Occasionally, he can be a big mouth. ((Well, hold the "Occasionally".)) But he writes a decent blog and most of his analysis is spot on. I would take Buehrle over Santana straight up, but that's open to intepretation.

ilsox7
06-25-2005, 09:44 AM
I agree. I applaud the civilized manner in which he is discussing some contenious issues. Occasionally, he can be a big mouth. ((Well, hold the "Occasionally".)) But he writes a decent blog and most of his analysis is spot on. I would take Buehrle over Santana straight up, but that's open to intepretation.

I agree. This guy knows his stuff. Now, I don't necessarily agree with the "stuff" he knows, but that is b/c I am NOT a stat head. But I do at least understand that some people love their stats and am open to at least listening to their arguments. I generally do not agree with them, but who is to say I am right about everything in the world?

While the Savant seems to put in a great deal of time and effort into his anlyses, he could use a lesson in humility. Receiving a few bad e-mails is no reason to tell me your IQ or that you are going to med school. To me, that is on the arrogant side (as are many other things on his blog).

Anyways, I just started reading his stuff this week and while I will most likely never agree with some of his analysis (I think K's are truly overrated), I at least appreciate his perspective and the effort he puts in analyzing the game. I just happen to prefer a different type of analysis not bathed in some pretty far fetched statistics (can we say defensive stats anyone?).

santo=dorf
06-25-2005, 11:40 AM
If you read my preview, you'll know that I thought Mark Buehrle has the best shot of any young pitcher to win 300 games. I'm not sure that is underrating him.

I'm not shy about my belief that "dominance" as measured by K/9 and H/9 is the best measure of a pithcer's value. Obviously Mark Buehrle is an exception to this rule, but that doesn't mean that I will abandon the concept in general. This is why I would take Santana over Buehrle. Everything you said was right about Buehrle at home and this obviously is where Game 1 would be played if the Twins/White Sox were to play in the playoffs.

I'd still take Johan Santana. I'd bet on Johan Santana and give you Buehrle. If I lose then I'll take it, but I'd still take Santana. I'm not a Twins homer, but the things I place value in when evaluating a pitcher leads me to believe I'd take Santana. It would be the same if Clemens, Johnson, Schilling, Smoltz, Prior, Beckett, Peavy, or Martinez were facing Buehrle.

Maybe Buehrle beats all of them at US Cellular in Game 1, but that doesn't mean I'm taking Buehrle in any of those matchups. If Buehrle wins and you guys are right, then I'd tip my cap.

It hasn't happened yet though.

What about walks? Would you rather have a guy who goes 7 innings, gives up only 3 hits, strikes out 10, and walks 4+ over a guy like Buehrle? Would you take a guy who has a lower H/9, higher K/9, but a lower K/BB than Buehrle? Santana is a great dominating pitcher because he doesn't walk many either.

Under the conditions you proposed when evaluating pitchers, I guess a couple of weeks ago you would have take Jose Contreras over Mark Buehrle. I recall his BABIP ( I think I got that sabr term correct) was second only to Pedro Martinez.

ondafarm
06-25-2005, 03:01 PM
Baseball Savant, I hope you read this.

You've mentioned at your blog, at least, that many stat-heads think that victories in one-run games are a matter of chance, luck.

Now, as a former professional player, I absolutely disagree. A smarter, better coached, more confidant, better fundamentals team will often beat a more powerful team by the narrowest of margins.

I personally recall many times when in a three game series, we'd win a squeaker, then get blown out and then turn around and squeak out another one. Being outscored in the series but winning 2 outta 3. It sounds trite but if everybody gave all for the team, knew what they were doing and didn't care about the individual stats then we knew we could win.

I also always recall those hyper-aggressive Little League teams won a heck of a lot.

Do you think the Sox will regress to the mean?