Second Half Blues
This is not a one year fluke, it's not a two year coincidence...it's a trend...and it's killing this franchise because of how it impacts everything from off season sales, to team payroll to potential advertising and marketing opportunities...and it's been going on for the past 10 years.
It's been discussed at WSI, the "second half blues" this organization suffers on the field almost every year since 2003.
Because of the characture limitations on the message boards, I'm going to post this in three parts. I should have everything up in about 20 minutes.
If you could refrain from comment until I can post the three parts back to back to back, I'd appreciate it. Then feel free to do what you will.
Part 1 (Overview)
Once again the White Sox have found a way to snatch defeat from the jaws of post season victory. Again they collapsed down the stretch and in doing so wasted a golden opportunity to play in October.
This is something that has been occurring on a regular basis since 2003… playing worse down the stretch than earlier in the season or going through a 10 day / two week collapse and wasting postseason playoff spots.
The White Sox have wasted more chances to make the post season since the new century began, than they have actually made the postseason. That is embarrassing. It is making a fan base already upset about things even more combustible. It has got to be impacting ticket sales and ultimately team payroll.
I’ve attached some numbers for your consideration. I’m frankly shocked that no one seems to be making an issue out of this and asking the million dollar question, why is this continually happening?
I call it “the second half blues…” It is happening on a regular basis however you define ‘second half.’ Be it an equal division between 162 games or games played after the All Star Break.
I don’t have an answer for it, I wish I did, I’d send it to the Sox. JB might have hit upon the answer. I'm paraphrasing his reply.
“The Sox usually have pretty good players in the top half of the roster every year. What kill them are the bottom third, guys 16 through 25. When the regulars need a break, if they are injured seriously or to the point where they have to miss only three or four games, if they are in a slump… whatever reason when the Sox have to replace them, the guys they use to fill in simply aren’t major league caliber. At bats, innings, are going to guys who can’t cut it. That results in games lost and eventually enough games to be sitting at home in October. They have top heavy rosters with little to no depth.”
I think JB makes a valid point. Just look at this past September. On at least two occasions the Sox had either the tying or winning run at the plate in the 9th inning with two out. Who was hitting in those situations? Who was the ‘last hope?’ Orlando Hudson and Jose Lopez.
The question is why?
· If you divide up the season into equal parts, the numbers from 2003 to 2012 show that the Sox played at a worse win percentage in games 82-162 as opposed to games 1-81 in six out of the 10 years. They played better in the second half three times and had the exact same numbers in both halves one time.
· If you divide up the season into before and after the All Star break, the numbers from 2003 to 2012 show that the Sox played at a worse win percentage after the All Star break as compared to before it in eight out of the 10 years. In the crucial part of the season when games become more meaningful because there aren’t as many left the Sox can’t seem to get it done! They played better in the second half twice under these parameters, that’s it!
(Part II History is coming right up...)