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Monday, February 18, 2013

Tomaso: Baseball Prospectus’ Annual White Sox Prediction Hatchet Job Continues

Just because the White Sox have never had a .538 W-L% season…is no reason to hold that against them.

This year they’ve predicted the White Sox to win 77 games. This should be great news for White Sox fans because Baseball Prospectus has consistently predicted the Sox to be worse than they eventually end up.

...What is it about the White Sox’s rosters and farm system that Baseball Prospectus doesn’t like?

To answer that question, I decided to do research on who writes these inaccuracies year after year. What I found shocked and disturbed me.

It’s Nate Silver.

My whole world of reality collapsed at that moment.

How could it be the guy I religiously read for pinpoint accuracy in politics? How could it be that Silver is an accuracy genius in politics, but yet when it comes to the White Sox he transforms into the accuracy of a Republican pollster?

After composing myself, I discovered a possible reason. Silver lived in Chicago for many years near Wrigleyville and is rumored to be a Cubs fan.

Maybe being a Cubs fan is a weighted bias even Silver’s methodology can’t overcome.

Repoz Posted: February 18, 2013 at 07:10 AM | 25 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: history, white sox

Reader Comments and Retorts

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Statements posted here are those of our readers and do not represent the BaseballThinkFactory. Names are provided by the poster and are not verified. We ask that posters follow our submission policy. Please report any inappropriate comments.

   1. Hack Wilson Posted: February 18, 2013 at 09:16 AM (#4371257)
I thought Nate was a Tiger fan?
   2. Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: February 18, 2013 at 09:29 AM (#4371260)
He is a Tigers fan. And he hasn't written for BPro in, what, four years? And they've completely overhauled PECOTA since he left.

But apart from that, yeah, totally, Cubs Fan Nate Silver's PECOTA system is totally biased against the 2013 White Sox.
   3. I Am Not a Number Posted: February 18, 2013 at 09:30 AM (#4371262)
Maybe being a Cubs fan is a weighted bias even Silver’s methodology can’t overcome.

Egad. This is the analysis of a "business news producer"? Is that what they call the guy who gets the donuts?
   4. Rally Posted: February 18, 2013 at 09:34 AM (#4371263)
Even if this was Nate Silver doing it intentionally, "research" should give you more than that.

Did they outperform pythag?

If not that, is PECOTA under projecting the hitters? The pitchers?

Once you know that, any specific player types?
   5. Fancy Crazy Town Banana Pants Handle Posted: February 18, 2013 at 09:37 AM (#4371264)
He is a Tigers fan. And he hasn't written for BPro in, what, four years? And they've completely overhauled PECOTA since he left.

His departure also coincided with PECOTA going from best projection system available to worst.
   6. Crispix Attacksel Rios Posted: February 18, 2013 at 09:37 AM (#4371265)
Didn't we discuss this a week ago? The White Sox many years ago made a pact with the devil under which none of their players would ever get injured, and in exchange they had to employ Ozzie Guillen as manager for ten years.
   7. shoewizard Posted: February 18, 2013 at 09:48 AM (#4371266)
Did they outperform pythag?



Actually, yes, almost all the time under Guillen

Ventura
2012 -3

Ozzie
2011 +4
2010 +2
2009 -1
2008 0
2007 +5
2006 +2
2005 +8

+20 wins over Pytahg from 2005-2011. Only one season under pythag, and that was just -1.

Thats actually pretty impressive. Kevin Towers/Kirk Gibson, eat your heart out.



   8. vivaelpujols Posted: February 18, 2013 at 10:12 AM (#4371283)
As we all know, Nate Silver hasn't been involved in PECOTA for several years. Some ####### research this guy did. Colin Wyers, however, is a Cubs fan.
   9. Endless Trash Posted: February 18, 2013 at 10:20 AM (#4371289)
Remember in 2007,when PECOTA guessed 72 wins for the white Sox, prompting about a billion articles like this one, and then the white Sox went on to win exactly 72 games? That was funny.
   10. DJ Endless Grudge Is Lucky, Good And Ruthless Posted: February 18, 2013 at 10:26 AM (#4371294)
Colin Wyers, however, is a Cubs fan.


That would seem to insinuate that I'm not very bright, sure, but I really can't figure out what this guy thinks "Nate" (or me) would get out of cooking the books to slant the numbers against the White Sox on purpose.
   11. Dag Nabbit at ExactlyAsOld.com Posted: February 18, 2013 at 10:31 AM (#4371297)
Interesting that this guy lauds Nate Silver given this his own analysis justifies all the criticism Nate Silver has made about the pundit class.
   12. vivaelpujols Posted: February 18, 2013 at 10:35 AM (#4371299)
but I really can't figure out what this guy thinks "Nate" (or me) would get out of cooking the books to slant the numbers against the White Sox on purpose.


Do you think Vegas looks at PECOTA to inform their lines? I could see a good opportunity here for you.
   13. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: February 18, 2013 at 10:49 AM (#4371305)
Well, I guess it's better than suggesting it's because Silver is gay. But not by much.
   14. Swedish Chef Posted: February 18, 2013 at 10:53 AM (#4371311)
Well, I guess it's better than suggesting it's because Silver is gay. But not by much.

So he wanted to get back at notorious homophobe Ozzie Guillen.It almost makes sense.
   15. Mike Fast Posted: February 18, 2013 at 11:30 AM (#4371333)
   16. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: February 18, 2013 at 11:37 AM (#4371338)
So he wanted to get back at notorious homophobe Ozzie Guillen.


...so Silver engineered outrageously high expectations for the Marlins, leading inevitably to their fire sale and Ozzie's firing. Brilliant!
   17. Fernigal McGunnigle Posted: February 18, 2013 at 12:54 PM (#4371366)
+20 wins over Pytahg from 2005-2011. Only one season under pythag, and that was just -1.

Thats actually pretty impressive. Kevin Towers/Kirk Gibson, eat your heart


If you want to outperform your Pythagorean record, the best thing to do is to find a really crappy pitcher and put him in the game whenever you are down by a bunch of runs. That way you add to your runs against without changing any outcomes. The 2012 Blue Jays underperformed their Pythagorean record by one game. If they'd only given up 18 extra meaningless runs in blowouts then they'd have outperformed Pythagoras by one game. If John Farrell had managed to find more a bunch more mopup innings for Jesse Chavez, or had put Omar Vizquel on the mound a few times, then he would've outperformed Pythagoras and been a certifiable genius. Hopefully now that he is in to a more saber-aware organization he'll take such steps to improve the team's performance vis a vis Pythagoras.

EDIT: And Guillen's run, I think, was significant. That's not what I'm babbling about.
   18. Squash Posted: February 18, 2013 at 01:08 PM (#4371379)
I'm pretty sure that every fanbase thinks every major outlet has a bias against their team.
   19. Crispix Attacksel Rios Posted: February 18, 2013 at 01:14 PM (#4371383)
If you want to outperform your Pythagorean record, the best thing to do is to find a really crappy pitcher and put him in the game whenever you are down by a bunch of runs. That way you add to your runs against without changing any outcomes.


This explains why the Dbacks have Adam Eaton on the roster. But in typical wacky Dback style they hired the wrong Adam Eaton.
   20. RMc's Unenviable Situation Posted: February 18, 2013 at 01:39 PM (#4371406)
What if you eliminated blowouts (say, 6+ runs) from the Pythag projections? Would there be a significant difference?
   21. Der-K: downgraded to lurker Posted: February 18, 2013 at 01:42 PM (#4371409)
Eliminate or cap?
   22. OsunaSakata Posted: February 18, 2013 at 01:48 PM (#4371418)
This explains why the Dbacks have Adam Eaton on the roster. But in typical wacky Dback style they hired the wrong Adam Eaton.


They've already drafted the wrong Ryan Zimmerman.
   23. depletion Posted: February 18, 2013 at 08:36 PM (#4371597)
What if you eliminated blowouts (say, 6+ runs) from the Pythag projections? Would there be a significant difference?

That would make sense, as managers do throw in the towel at some inning/run-difference point. Then the guys who need work come into the game and the star players come out.
   24. This is going to be state of the art wall Posted: February 18, 2013 at 09:44 PM (#4371615)
Pretty sure Dave Cameron is trolling BTF for column ideas. Whichever way the wind blows (defense is the new OBP!) Cameron goes.

http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/index.php/the-white-sox-and-beating-projections/
   25. Walt Davis Posted: February 19, 2013 at 01:22 AM (#4371678)
I'm pretty sure that every fanbase thinks every major outlet has a bias against their team.

Nah. I don't think major media outlets are biased against the Cubs one bit. In fact, they'd all go sorta nuts in celebration if the Cubs ever pull it off.

They've already drafted the wrong Ryan Zimmerman.

They also barely missed with this guy

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