Sunday in June

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Today’s Lineup

OC, SS; AJ, C; Q, LF; PK, 1B; Thome, DH; Dye, RF; Swish, CF; Crede, 3B; Ramirez, 2B.  Floyd pitching.

Hmmm …

So after decisively winning our fifth straight game to improve to nine games over .500 and build a 4 1/2-game lead over our nearest pursuer (Minnesota), what does today’s Chicago Tribune report as the lede to the story about our 11-2 victory:

“They may have the worst winning percentage of any team leading a division, but the White Sox have a bigger lead than the best, the Cubs.”

OK, allow me to go FireJoeMorgan on this for a second.

“They may have the worst winning percentage of any team leading a division …”

This is just factually untrue.  We don’t.  The White Sox are 35-26 (.574), while Arizona, the division leader in the National League West, is 34-28 (.548).

” … but the White Sox have a bigger lead than the best, the Cubs.”

Well, we actually have bigger leads than five other division leaders:  Boston (1/2), Philadelphia (3 1/2), the Cubs (2 1/2) and Arizona (4), but it’s the Cubs reference that gets me.  What makes them the best?  Is it subjective or objective, because if you read today’s standings objectively, you’d see that the Angels and Cubs enter today’s game with the exact same record, 39-24 (.619), and LA tops its division by 5 1/2 games.

In the end, not really that big a deal, but where o’ where are the fact checkers?

Three Runs or Less

Given some of the exchanges on the site over the past month, I asked our stand-out interns to pull together information on how teams perform when allowing three runs or less in games.

First, I always think you need to be careful when analyzing statistics with a very limited sample size or when you look at one team and try to extrapolate for the league or for a season.

So here is what we found to date:

All 14 American League teams win 78 percent of their games when allowing three or fewer runs (292-82, .781).

The White Sox are 25-9 in these games, for a .735 winning percentage.  That is the lowest of the three AL division leaders, Boston is 26-5 (.829) and the Angels are 25-5 (.833), but just two more wins or losses in these games would bring the Sox back to the league average. 

While you hate to lose well-pitched games, the fact is the Sox have played more of these than any team in AL except Toronto (26-10, .722) and have won more than all except Boston, Toronto and Tampa Bay (26 each).

Finally, if you compare the Sox to the other top two pitching staffs in the AL, you could argue more instances mean a little lower winning percentage (examples:  Toronto and Oakland, which is 24-9, .727).

My take:  We’ve underperformed by a victory or two in this area (based on the league average), but my sense is that 1. this is something that will move toward the league mean over the course of the season for all teams (is it called the Stein Principle?), and 2. the more instances (which is something you want), the tougher it is to have a high, high win percentage in these games.

I’m no statistician, so feel free to offer your own thoughts, criticisms and challenges.

Catching Up

One poster, jdevereaux, wrote at one point recently something like: once a month a sporting figure actually speaks his mind …

Once a month?  HA!

I guess I need to introduce them to Ozzie …

 

 

 

39 Comments

Lets get this victory today. Let’s get one tomorrow too. Then lets go into the motor city and win there. Lets put this division out of reach by mid june.

I’ll second that kenwo!!

Scott:

The story in question was composed by Dave Van Dyck, the Tribune’s answer to Jay Mariotti.

And no I’m not saying that to be glib.

I’ve noticed that in print and when he appears on Chicago Tribune Live! his style has never been one to be overly optimistic. I’m assuming his remark about the Cubs is because of their record…don’t they have the most wins or best win percentage in baseball?

Either way the remark seemed out of place in a Sox story to me. Sounds like something the Chicago Cubune web site can make some hay with.

My only thought on the “three runs or less” issue is basically that when you hold an opponent to three runs or less, you win the game…period.

You can not afford to waste a brilliant pitching performance under any circumstances unless you happen to be facing an acknowledged “ace”, an All Star caliber pitcher… think Johan Santana for example. And if memory serves, there were a few games this year where the Sox held an opponent to three runs or less yet lost the game because a mediocre pitcher or a re-tred was able to shut them down.

That is the issue to me…getting offensively crippled by bad pitchers.

Mark Liptak

found your stats interesting, scott. one thing stuck out, though.

league average.
we dont have a league average roster or payroll. and average teams dont win championships, let alone divisions. average is not the goal. with this roster, you can forgive close game losses to the likes of kazmir or johan, but too many times it’s just because we scored only 1 run on a solo homer while stranding 479 baserunners.

5 wins in a row sure does make you feel better, though. let’s keep this going and build ourselves a nice cushion. go sox!

Scott, Jeff McMahon’s Cubune site was all over this too.
http://www.cubune.com/2008/06/clobberin-with-lies.html

Yeah!, Go Sox ’08…… back in a bit…..j.k.

O.K. now I’m ready. I’ve got my diet coke, my tacos for lunch. I’m wearing my day/nite Sox shirt, and I see that there is no rain coming down. Life is good. I’d like to see another ten runs, but i’ll settle for simply a W…… j.k.

What!!?? Now there’s a rain delay? What happened from the time Hawk and DJ said stay tuned for baseball the comercials ended? MLB.TV just shows our game in a delay…… GRRRRRRRR!!. j.k.

I agree, Scott. I’ve seen other teams around the league going through this as well (Cleveland, Detroit). No one wants to lose a close ball game, definitely no one tries to lose close ball games–its just a matter of who is hitting at any given time. How do you think the Royals felt about that final matchup of the 15 inning game? Paulie was hitting about .200. Did the Royals manager expect that it was time for him to connect on a long ball? Jimmy Gobble didn’t obviously, or he wouldn’t have pitched around the hot hitting Quentin, right? Probably was looking to induce a double play ball and then he would strike out Thome, like most pitchers have been doing. But as we baseball fans know (and love about the game), anyone can get hot at any moment and turn it around. Sometimes, its a matter of luck after all.

Nice that the bats are starting to pick up the pitching for a change. GO SOX!! Let’s get two more!

Mr Reifert should now know what a lot of you go through when you post something, and then see it burp out twice…
The gremlins are out there, folks… no doubt about it…

Paul Konerko gets a triple… aided, perhaps, by the winds or by the lackadaisical effort of Carlos Gomez, or both… added on to the stolen bases this season by the 4 by 400 relay team (heavy sarcasm intended) of Konerko, Pierzynski and Thome and only one thought comes to mind…actually two…

One… this just could be a return to 2005… Two… the apocalypse will be coming shortly…

I thought going into Saturday’s game the usual thoughts of White Sox fans my age… A lot of runs and hits in one game mean scuffling through the next…
But, lo and behold, in the immortal words of Ralph Kramden:
BANG,ZOOM !!!

I don’t yet know what to make of this team… I’m just going to sit back and watch before I make any snap judgments…

Question: Why doesn’t Jeff Mc Mahon, or someone else out there in cyberspace, do the same kind of site against the tabloid rag with the vendetta against all things Reinsdorf?

Or is http://www.jaythejoke.com sufficient enough as a criticism site for the Some-Times?

Know what is nice, not facing Johan every twins series.

Call me sentimental but, somewhere during the last 2 innings, it hit me, boys and girls, there is something going on, I don’t know what it is, it actually brought tears to my eyes. Call me a sentimental old fool (although not as old as TQ!). Alexei is always smiling, have you noticed that? Those bright white teeth just a shining in the sun! I’m amazed at these games on my lil computer screen. So what if I’m jumping too soon, it’s only June, blah blah blah but this is freakin fun as hell-ooo!

I don’t know, Mark,where Brother Van Dyck gets his information from, or where the fact checkers are at Trib Tower (just remember, this is the same paper who headlined “DEWEY BEATS TRUMAN” 60 years ago this coming November)… but as of 4:11 PM Sunday, here are the top percentage teams in MLB…
1) Cubs .619, T1) LAA .619, 3)BOS .606, 4)PHIL .600, 5)TB .597, 6)ST L .578, 7)WS.574…

The Cubs and Angels are 39 and 24, Boston is 40 and 26,the Phillies are 39 and 26, TB is 37 and 25, the Cardinals 37 and 27, while the boys are just a few innings away from 36 and 26…assuming they don’t blow it against the Twinkies…

But, just as the old journalism adage goes…

NEVER LET THE FACTS STAND IN THE WAY OF A GOOD STORY…

sox 1966… God will get you, Kristine, my dear, for cracking cold on the Q…

Awww, TQ, it was said with much love. Having just celebrated another, (choke) I am feeling a bit edgy about my age! :)

And there is another double digit winner!!!! Now to make all the stars align, we need to beat the twins tomorrow while scoring 13 runs…. wouldn’t that be nice? 10, 11, 12 runs scored so far…. why not 13??? stay tuned….. j.k.

well, so much for the not scoring runs department. good to the see “old” bats coming alive.

i used to think that quentin was the pick of the off-season, but this ramirez is unbelieveable. KW looks like some kind of genius with these two……

its amazing what 33 runs in three games and a six game streak will do to quell the gloom and doom….a lot of games to play, but things are looking better for now….

oh and scam, keep wearing the hat……

Having a 5.5 game lead on June 8 feels so good!! I’m getting that same old feeling from a few years ago….a few weeks ago on the ledge, but lovin’ life on the south side right now!! I’m sure the roller coaster will take me down soon but I’m enjoying the high now!! I bet those Alexei man crushes are blazing hot about now!! Can’t beat summer on the south side!! Keep that stinky old hat on scam!!

what an outstanding weekend this was. lets extend it into monday. Swishy boy is heating up. I am a big Uribe guy, but man it is impossible to take Ramirez out of the line up. Gavin was outstanding as usual. Go get em tomorrow Danks. Lets go into detroit up 6.5. Then take 2 of 3 (at least) from the tigers. then come home for the rockies and the pirates. April and May were tough months and we survived them.

Not sure who said it up a bit, but there’s one word that comes to mind the last few days. FUN! This is fun! Fun for me and most importantly fun for the team. The smiles on their faces..whether they are standing on base, waiting at home plate for the guy who hit the home run, or sitting in the dug out. THIS is what it’s all about! Let’s keep the streak alive and get the broom out again tomorrow! -Dawn

This is really fun!!! Winning by big margins is a habit the Sox should keep up for a long time :-)

I don’t know if it’s the weather, or Scam’s hat, or Greg Walker’s great coaching, or Ozzie’s rant, but whatever it is, it’s working! What a fun series of games – let’s get into a rut of winning, and then winning again, and…

Aaaaa….ya can’t beat fun at the old ballpark friends…(Harry Caray – 1972)

Ramirez in my mind has been a key to the offensive resurgence the past week.

They are playing extremely well right now…don’t stop…keep it going.

Mark Liptak

Unbelievable.

When Liptak made his post today, responding to Scott’s post and continuing to gripe about old news about the three runs or less, the Sox were on a 5-game winning streak and had just scored 10 and 11 runs in back-to-back wins. Since that post, the first-place club added 12 more runs and another rout of the second-place Twins.

You’d think that instead of complaining about bad numbers from the past, he would be upbeat and positive about a week that has been absolutely delightful on the Southside.

He even took a shot at Van Dyck for not being “overly optimistic.” I repeat, Mark Liptak thought that someone else was not “optimistic.”

Mark, for the sake of your sanity and for the sake of your wife and family —- lighten up and have some fun.

I’ve been to Idaho many times and I know it is not a depressing place to live. Sure, the pizza and Italian sausage aren’t nearly as good as on the Southside, but it still can’t be bringing you down this much!!

The baseball season is always a roller-coaster ride. We gotta enjoy the ups before the downs hit us again.

Don’t take this wrong Mark. I’m not putting you down. I’m just trying to help save the psyche of another long-time Sox fan. One, who like me, remembers listening to Bob Elson and Milo Hamilton call Sox games on WCFL.

While composing my long post (still shorter than most of Quaid’s but long nontheless), the subject of my post slipped in another comment.

And he must have been reading my mind.

We’ll (the rest of the bloggers on this first-place board) get you thinking more positive thoughts this summer if it kills us Mark.

Wow! I haven’t been on here in quite a while…

But I just thought I’d pop in to let you know, Scott, how much everyone appreciated today’s effort… and the whole game. You know that old joke that Chicago only has two seasons (winter and construction)? Well, I think we can add monsoon season into the mix. And many of us stood (I was outside the park…) and waited. But you could tell it was a Sox-fan crowd- there was no complaining, no whining, and definitely no possibility of getting back on the Red Line and going home. There were just a lot of “Hey I think it’s letting up”s, even when it CLEARLY was NOT.

Anyway, we were all optimistic the whole time, and we were well-rewarded by the 12-2 win.
Please extend some soggy but happy ‘thank-you’s to everyone.

I cannot remember the last time I have felt this relaxed while watching a Sox game. Holy banana boots, who jump started this offense all of the sudden? Ozzie’s rant? Walker feeling threatened? The players feeling a sense of urgency? My hat? Probably not, but I’ll keep it on just in case. I’ll give the credit to the players for finally stepping up, since I gave them the credit for being terrible. It’s nice to see so many Sox fans in such good moods.

I believe it was on the post game show when they said that this was the first time since 1932 that the Sox went three games in a row with 15 or more hits. Wow! How come Joe didn’t hit a HR today tho? That was very disappointing.

Perkins v Contreras tomorrow. I actually feel a tiny bit of confidence for tomorrow. First time in a while.

-Scam

I agree with all… this was a wonderful week! Love that Paulie and Swish are hitting again. And Alexei? He’s is just amazing to watch. Can’t wait to see him reach his potential.

The cherry on the sundae? Listening to Nancy Faust on the organ at the ballpark. When she’s not there, she’s truly missed. When she’s there, it’s a delight.

Kudos to Nancy Faust!!! Someday there will be a statue of her outside US Cellular. But if we wait until she is gone, it will be a long time from now because Nancy never gets older, only better.

Think about this Sox fans. Forget about the players and the manager and the coaches for a minute.

This organization has the following:

—- The best trainer in MLB. Hermie kept us healthy in ’05 and has a ring to prove it. So far, he is waving his magic wand again.

— The best groundskeeper in all of baseball, if not all of professional sports. The field today at the end of the game looked like it never rained (at least on TV it looked that way). Roger, and his father before him, would be at the top of the class of a groundskeeper’s Hall of Fame.

— And, of course, the best organist to ever perform at a big league game. Nancy was as recognizable in the ’70s as any of the players at the park. Think about it. It was her playing the Na Na Hey Hey song that ignited the South Side Hitmen team in ’77. And she as much as anybody made Harry Caray a household name. Without her playing Take Me Out to the Ballgame in the seventh inning one day and Harry picking up on it, that tradition that made him famous would never have happened. She should get royalties from every team (especially an unnamed one on the north side) that makes money off that tradition.

Yes, win or lose, Sox fans have many off the field personnel to be thankful for and of which to be proud.

(Scott, you Roger, Herm and Nancy can donate my fee for the kind words to White Sox Charities!!!!!!!)

Because the Chicago Cubune Watch was addressed here, allow me to plug not just the piece cited by cinnamondog above but another critique of the Trib’s Sunday coverage, this one being Phil Rogers’ unseemly dis of Ken Williams and KW Jr. It’s currently the lead article at http://www.cubune.com.

i think we got danks on the hill today, not jose…….

Is anyone else as surprised as me that the first Sox pitcher to 7 wins is Gavin Floyd? I have to admit that at the beginning of the season, after Ozzie promised that Jose Contreras was going to have a great year, Floyd was the biggest worry I had about the pitching staff. Anyone remember that last year (the dreaded 07) it wasn’t until July 12th that any Sox pitcher hit that number in the W column? Huge kudos to Coop for continuing to provide the Sox with outstanding coaching. (Anyone else notice the history of the pitching trades made in the recent past–with the exception of Garland, so far–Freddy Garcia, Brandon McCarthy, etc.? Are those guys even pitching anymore?)

See you at the ballpark. GO SOX!!! Let’s get the sweep!!!

Scott, That is one of the reasons I like Ozzie because he speaks his mind, and he does it with purpose. There is usually a message behind it. I don’t always agree with him as a manager, but he is a great motivator.

Scott, That is one of the reasons I like Ozzie because he speaks his mind, and he does it with purpose. There is usually a message behind it. I don’t always agree with him as a manager, but he is a great motivator.

This homestand has been awesome so far. Hopefully we can finish it off today with a win and hit the road on fire.

TC:

I was responding to Scott since I was the one who particularly brought up the point about losing three runs or less games in the first place.

Scott was basically commenting on my post and I was returning the opportunity.

I don’t see why that’s even an issue here in the first place?

Unless you feel that Scott “automatically” gets the last word.

Oh by the way perhaps you “missed” myp00’s post which explained some things better then I did.

I “appreciate” you looking out for my best interests but if I need psychological help, I’ll go to an actual ‘real’ physician not someone who thinks they are.

Mark Liptak

Scott,
I noticed the winning percentage thing, too. One question — as the head communications person, do you point out things like that to the reporter and/or the editor? Because they really should be held accountable for it.

Thanks sws, seems whitesox.com was a little off.

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