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Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Dan Agonistes: A Podsednik Nugget?

Well, I don’t know what it is, I never saw it before. It, it…looked like a great big seed Pod!

As many of you know John Dewan publishes a “Stat of the Week” on the ACTA publishing site. These are often inciteful but I’m a little perplexed by the stat for last Friday January 11th which will appear in the upcoming book from ACTA Sports, The Bill James Gold Mine, available in February 2008..

In that nugget he notes that…

“Scott Podsednik has proven quite effective as a leadoff man. Until last year. Every year prior to 2007 Pods’ teams have scored significantly more runs when he led off an inning than when others have led off.”

...Clearly a large part of the difference is due to the fact that the two and three hitters in the order are guaraneteed to bat when Podsednik leads off an inning from the leadoff spot in the order as opposed to when he’s in the 6th or 7th hole. A little follow-up would be to see whether on average when a leadoff hitter leads off an inning it typically raises scoring by at least +0.25 runs as in the case of Podsednik in previous seasons or whether his totals actually indicate that he was a hinderance in the leadoff spot (as might be guessed by his career .338 OBP). It’s also the case that lineup balance will play a role since it could be the case that the two, three, and four hitters for the White Sox were relatviely more potent than the rest of the lineup when compared with other teams.

In any case this Stat of the Week, while interesting, doesn’t really show what it purports.

Repoz Posted: January 15, 2008 at 02:12 PM | 3 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: sabermetrics

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   1. MiseryLovesCompany Posted: January 15, 2008 at 02:35 PM (#2668571)
You guys are starting to rub off on me. As soon as I read the "Stat of the Day" email, I figured of course they'll score more when their leadoff man leads off because their 3rd and 4th hitters will hit 3rd and 4th!

I've been patting myself on the back ever since.
   2. sunnyday2 Posted: January 15, 2008 at 02:47 PM (#2668574)
An inciteful stat would be one that incites a newsblog item.

I don't know what an insightful stat would be, but it wouldn't be that Pods' teams score more when he leads off an inning.
   3. stealfirstbase Posted: January 16, 2008 at 12:23 AM (#2669150)
From 2005 to 2007, the White Sox went 186-115 (.618) when Podsednik was in the lineup, and 75-110 (.405) when he was injured or on the bench. The blog Sox Machine has a whole series on this strange phenomenon.

As a White Sox fan, I'm just glad to be rid of him. Thanks for 2005, Scott! Never show your face in this town again!

The Podsednik paradox:

http://soxmachine.com/blogs/soxmachine/archive/2007/11/28/11458.aspx
http://soxmachine.com/blogs/soxmachine/archive/2007/11/28/11459.aspx
http://soxmachine.com/blogs/soxmachine/archive/2007/12/09/11516.aspx
http://soxmachine.com/blogs/soxmachine/archive/2007/12/16/11576.aspx

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