Baseball for the Thinking Fan

Login | Register | Feedback

btf_logo
You are here > Home > Sox Therapy > Discussion
Sox Therapy
— Where Thinking Red Sox Fans Obsess about the Sox

Reader Comments and Retorts

Go to end of page

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. PayRod Posted: September 26, 2004 at 01:57 PM (#878612)
Who's we?
   2. GGC Posted: September 26, 2004 at 03:24 PM (#878643)
Who's we?

My late father used to refer to the Red Sox and Giants as "we." I never felt comfortable about referring to sports teams that way, but I guess alot of people do.

I was going to retrosheet that Baltimore game to fact check, CHB. Alas, it was a spring training game. (I think Shaughnesssy worked for a Washington paper in those days.)
   3. Pingu Posted: September 26, 2004 at 03:28 PM (#878647)
.........Shaughnessy says Earl Weaver was still babbling about it "deep into the night" at the hotel bar. (Ah, the good old days, before managers started using PCs and drinking bottled water instead of scotch).

Is this supposed to be a joke?
   4. GGC Posted: September 26, 2004 at 03:34 PM (#878651)
I don't think so, Curt. From a sportswriter's standpoint, it's easier to get info after a manager had a few cocktails.
   5. Pingu Posted: September 26, 2004 at 03:36 PM (#878653)
Of course, maybe I should rephrase.

Does Ryan have an editor? Worthless.
   6. GGC Posted: September 26, 2004 at 03:46 PM (#878657)
Is Mirabelli the best backup catcher out there? I would guess he ranks up there. Here is BPro's offensive stats for catchers this year. But you'd probably have to look at at least three seasons of data to get a clearer picture, and I have no clue how to rate catcher defense.

He definitely isn't a Bob Montgomery or Moe Berg ;).

One day, I should try and rank the best backup catchers of all time.
   7. GGC Posted: September 26, 2004 at 04:44 PM (#878699)
Of course, maybe I should rephrase.

Does Ryan have an editor? Worthless.


Why? Because that part in parens wasn't a complete sentence? So what? I understood what Ryan was saying. I'm guessing that the Globe was probably under a tight deadline, since it was a night game. If you don't like it, start your own newspaper.

I don't mean to pick on Curt, but this is the type of smugness which I've noticed on this site that ticks me off. From 6-4-3 castigating someone about range factors, to Repoz lamenting the fact that Lenny Harris wants to play next year, and (the most egregious example, IMO) one Primate slandering another Primate's father because he didn't use correct speech.

I know that there are alot of smart cookies here at BTF, but I have yet to come across one that is omniscient. I just wish that there were more humble ones. It's far easier to criticize how someone else is doing their job than doing a good job yourself.

[/rant]
   8. The Ghost of Sox Fans Past Posted: September 26, 2004 at 09:37 PM (#879346)
It doesn't show on his Bref page, but I'm pretty sure that Mirabelli was released by the Giants before the Rangers got him. Maybe he was DFA'ed and the Rangers got him during the 10-day period before he became a free agent.

Doug also has been honored in Strange and Unusual Injury discussions for going on the DL after getting drain cleaner into his eyes while playing home handyman in SF.
   9. Pingu Posted: September 26, 2004 at 10:07 PM (#879388)
GGC,
I suppose I ought to respond just for the sake of completeness, but I have say that in general I agree with your disdain for what you call "smugness". I also apologize if you thought I stepped over that arbitrary line.

Had nothing to do with complete sentences. Where you hate the "smugness" shown on this site, a lot of other people might hate the "remember the good ol' days" that permeates every sector of the baseball world, especially the media. The part in parentheses wasn't relevant to the column, and that is exactly all it contributed.

Now whether or not it was appropriate for me to say what I did, who knows, likely it wasn't. I realize your rant wasn't directed entirely at me, but I apologize for the comment anyways.
   10. Miko Supports Shane's Spam Habit Posted: September 26, 2004 at 11:05 PM (#879483)
Curt--that's one reason why I love the "Old Ballplayers Never Die" sections in the Historical Abstracts. It's pretty funny to see such a statement in 1916.
   11. Miko Supports Shane's Spam Habit Posted: September 26, 2004 at 11:24 PM (#879505)
Mirabelli will be 34 next year, but should the Sox not re-sign Varitek, would it be nuts to make him the primary catcher in 2005 while waiting to see whether Shoppach can cut it? (Esp. given the Sox budget contraints.)

Non-park adjusted stats for Belli for 2002-2004 (not incl. Sunday's game):

 AB  H  2B HR BB HBP  SO  AVG  OBP  SLG  OPS
455 115 29 21 46  5  113 .253 .326 .455 .781


BPro has the avg. AL catcher at .324/.419/.743; I think that *is* park adjusted.

Mirabelli could decline given his age, but then again, it's probably not easy to hit near the league avg. when you're only getting 170 AB's a year.

I have no idea how to rate Mirabelli against Tek as far as their catching goes.
   12. Toby Posted: September 26, 2004 at 11:25 PM (#879506)
GGC,

is there any particular reason you posted that in Sox Therapy? I don't think we are the primary offenders, here.
   13. GGC Posted: September 27, 2004 at 12:21 AM (#879605)
a lot of other people might hate the "remember the good ol' days" that permeates every sector of the baseball world, especially the media. The part in parentheses wasn't relevant to the column, and that is exactly all it contributed.

Curt, I see what you mean now. Although I neither hate it nor like it, I can see that nostalgic attitude turning people off.

Toby, it was mainly those other posts that I mentioned (and some others which I forget) which ticked me off. I misread what Curt was trying to say and that was the one that broke the camel's back.

That's why I don't rant to often. It usually winds up coming out misdirected.

Nice win today, huh?
   14. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: September 27, 2004 at 03:22 AM (#880008)
Here's my Yankee loving take after today's game:

Both AL East teams should pray they don't play Minny in the first round.

If Schilling can start 3 games, Boston should be a slight favorite. He's the only starter on either team with both stuff and stamina. The joker in this is what it does to the rest of the Red Sox rotation.

In games when Pedro pitches, Boston needs early runs and a quick hook.

The Yanks have an edge in any game which is tied in the 8th. Boston's bullpen isn't as sharp as it was in last year's ALCS.

Lieber right now has an edge over Boston's #3 starter, be that Arroyo or Lowe. He's much improved over the past month.

Any game with Vasquez starting is an automatic Boston win. (Duh.)

Forget Brown.

Most likely matchups:

Hernandez - Schilling
Mussina - Pedro
Lieber - Arroyo
Yanks forfeit to Lowe
Hernandez - Schilling
Mussina - Pedro
Lieber - Arroyo

Schilling can pitch three games, but then who starts game 5 for Boston? No way Pedro pitches on 3 days rest.

Mussina and El Duque are about even right now. I personally trust Hernandez more in a tight game, but Torre might well go the other way on the strength of Mussina's recent starts.

Francona should wake up, maybe by first getting out of his pajamas and into a uniform, and then by setting an alarm clock which rings after Pedro's 95th pitch. Sweatshirt Man's the Yanks' not-so-secret weapon, as have been all Boston managers with the exception of Dick Williams.

Bottom line: Don't you pity the fans of all those other teams?

And a Black Cat prediction: If they both survive the DS, Boston in seven. New York's pitching is just too thin to keep the Sox down this time.
   15. RobertMachemer Posted: September 27, 2004 at 03:37 AM (#880020)
Do you guys remember the Bill James Playoff Prediction System?

<u>Red Sox vs Twins</u>
Won-Lost record:    RED SOX, 7 POINTS (*)
More runs scored:   RED SOX, 3 POINTS
Fewer doubles hit:  Twins, 14 POINTS
More triples hit:   Twins, 12 POINTS (*)
More homeruns hit:  RED SOX, 10 POINTS
Lower team AVG:     Twins, 8 POINTS
Fewer errors:       Twins, 8 POINTS
More double-plays:  Twins, 7 POINTS
More walks allowed: RED SOX, 7 POINTS
More shutouts:      RED SOX, 19 POINTS
Better ERA:         Twins, 15 POINTS
Playoff experience: RED SOX, 12 POINTS
Head to head:       Twins, 12 POINTS
-----
Red Sox 58 - Twins 76.
The system predicts a Twins victory.

(*) indicates a criterion that may yet change in the final week of the season.

<u>Red Sox vs. A's</u>
Won-Lost record:    RED SOX, 10 POINTS (*)
More runs scored:   RED SOX, 3 POINTS
Fewer doubles hit:  A's, 14 POINTS
More triples hit:   RED SOX, 12 POINTS
More homeruns hit:  RED SOX, 10 POINTS
Lower team AVG:     A's, 8 POINTS
Fewer errors:       A's, 8 POINTS
More double-plays:  A's, 7 POINTS
More walks allowed: A's, 7 POINTS
More shutouts:      RED SOX, 19 POINTS
Better ERA:         A's, 15 POINTS (*)
Playoff experience: RED SOX, 12 POINTS
Head to head:       RED SOX, 12 POINTS
-----
Red Sox 78 - A's 59.
The system predicts a Red Sox victory.

<u>Red Sox vs. Angels</u>
Won-Lost record:    RED SOX, 12 POINTS (*)
More runs scored:   RED SOX, 3 POINTS
Fewer doubles hit:  Angels, 14 POINTS
More triples hit:   Angels, 12 POINTS
More homeruns hit:  RED SOX, 10 POINTS
Lower team AVG:     RED SOX, 8 POINTS (*)
Fewer errors:       Angels, 8 POINTS
More double-plays:  Tie??? (*)
More walks allowed: Angels, 7 POINTS
More shutouts:      RED SOX, 19 POINTS
Better ERA:         RED SOX, 15 POINTS
Playoff experience: RED SOX, 12 POINTS
Head to head:       RED SOX, 12 POINTS
-----
Red Sox 91 - Angels 41
The system predicts a Red Sox victory.

I'm estimating double-plays by using each ESPN team fielding page and comparing each team's first basemen's DP numbers. By that crude measure, the Angels and Red Sox are tied.

<u>Red Sox vs. Rangers</u>
Won-Lost record:    RED SOX, 14 POINTS (*)
More runs scored:   RED SOX, 3 POINTS
Fewer doubles hit:  Rangers, 14 POINTS
More triples hit:   Rangers, 12 POINTS
More homeruns hit:  Rangers, 10 POINTS
Lower team AVG:     Rangers, 8 POINTS
Fewer errors:       Rangers, 8 POINTS (*)
More double-plays:  Rangers, 7 POINTS
More walks allowed: Rangers, 7 POINTS
More shutouts:      RED SOX, 19 POINTS
Better ERA:         RED SOX, 15 POINTS
Playoff experience: RED SOX, 12 POINTS
Head to head:       Rangers, 12 POINTS
-----
Red Sox 63 - Rangers 78
The system predicts a Rangers victory.

<u>Red Sox vs. Yankees</u>
Red Sox vs. A's
Won-Lost record:    Yankees, 7 POINTS (*)
More runs scored:   RED SOX, 3 POINTS
Fewer doubles hit:  Yankees, 14 POINTS
More triples hit:   RED SOX, 12 POINTS
More homeruns hit:  Yankees, 10 POINTS
Lower team AVG:     Yankees, 8 POINTS
Fewer errors:       Yankees, 8 POINTS
More double-plays:  Yankees, 7 POINTS
More walks allowed: RED SOX, 7 POINTS
More shutouts:      RED SOX, 19 POINTS
Better ERA:         RED SOX, 15 POINTS
Playoff experience: Yankees, 12 POINTS
Head to head:       RED SOX, 12 POINTS
-----
Red Sox 68 - Yankees 66
The system predicts a Red Sox victory.

Make of all this what you will.
   16. Biff, highly-regarded young guy Posted: September 27, 2004 at 08:10 AM (#880195)
That system makes no sense. Why are you rewarded for fewer doubles, lower batting average, and more walks allowed? And how is "playoff experience" measured? And why the hell are triples so important?
   17. RobertMachemer Posted: September 27, 2004 at 08:51 AM (#880215)
From <u>The Bill James Baseball Abstract 1984</u>:


What I decided to do was to compare categories of accomplishment. In each World Series, one team has hit more triples than the other team. What is the record of the teams which have hit more triples? What is the record of the teams which have hit for a higher average? What is the record of the teams which have turned more double plays?

I found some surprising things. I found that the teams which had hit for a better average had usually lost the World Series -- that is, they had lost it more often than they had won it. Offense as a collective thing didn't seem to mean much; the good offenses had won a few more than they had lost, but not a lot. The power-hitting offenses had done very well; the high-average offenses had not done well. Teams which had hit a lot of doubles had been wiped out with demonic consistency; in every generation, almost in every decade, the teams which had hit more doubles than their opponents had lost around 60% of the time
(p. 246).


In that Abstract, he pointed out that his (obviously empirical) system worked about 70% of the time. I've been told by trustworthy sources (but feel free to confirm for yourself, if you wish) that it has continued to work about as well (actually, I'm told it's been working a little better since then).

More from James:


Why do teams with high batting averages do poorly in World Series play? A simple reason: it takes them too many hits to score. If they are legitimately a better offensive team than their opponents, then that's another story. Most of the time, they're not; everybody who gets into a World Series has got some bats. The higher batting average doesn't indicate the team which has a better offense, but the team which has more of a high-average offense, as opposed to a power offense.

High average offenses score by stringing sequences together. To get a three-run inning, it might take them five or six hits... You've got five chances to stop that inning. With the three-run home run, on the other hand, you've only got three chances to stop it
(p. 246-7).


It's all his guesswork, and I don't agree with all of it, but it's empirically true that teams which have hit more doubles have done worse than teams which have hit fewer doubles. James's guess as to why that might be true is probably no better or worse than anything with which you or I might come up.

Later:


Other interpretations of odd rules might be more speculative, but I am absolutely convinced that teams which hit a lot of doubles during the regular season are never going to do well in the aftermath because they are aggressive baserunning teams, teams which are exploiting weaknesses that will not be there when the Series starts. Shutouts are important because most shutouts are thrown by front-line starting pitchers, and front-line starters do a much larger share of the pitching in a World Series than they do during the season. Walks are not that important because they are disproportionately influenced by fourth and fifth starters who will spend the World Series in hibernation. The other rules are positive rules; all the system does is weight them according to their historic importance (p. 247).


As for your question regarding playoff experience, what I typed is my own shorthand. What James actually wrote was:


Give 12 points to the team which has been in postseason play more recently. If both last appeared in postseason play in the same year, award the points to the team that was more successful at the time (p. 246).
   18. Mikαεl Posted: September 27, 2004 at 11:32 AM (#880237)
The James thing is a fun toy. I wouldn't make too much of it. Not to say I haven't wasted quite a bit of time playing with it, but it's just a toy.

(What meaning it ever had, has been lessened by the doubling of playoff teams, which leads to a few more significantly flawed teams in the postseason. Insofar as it works as James explains it, the predictor's assumption is that all the teams lack notable flaws.)
   19. GGC Posted: September 27, 2004 at 12:40 PM (#880250)
Francona should wake up, maybe by first getting out of his pajamas and into a uniform

Why does Francona wear that top anyways?
   20. Vance Law Revue Posted: September 27, 2004 at 01:27 PM (#880280)
This probably isn't the most appropriate time for this, but the boston.com is claiming the Sox magic number is 2claiming the Sox magic number is 2.

I know I have had some trouble with this before, but I think this is wrong. I'm reasonably certain the Sox clinched a wild card tie last night.

Boston   93 62
Oakland  88 67
Anaheim  87 68
Texas    86 69


Now, Texas, clearly, need to win out to get to 93 wins. If they do so, Oakland could also win out to get 95 wins, leaving Texas and Boston tied for the wild card.

If Anaheim wins out and gets to 94 wins, however, the A's can win no more than 92 games.

Therefore, if the Sox can win 94, the wild card is theirs. Their magic number isn't 1 in the traditional sense, as they still need losses from Texas and Anaheim, but a Sox win tonight clinches it.
   21. OlePerfesser Posted: September 27, 2004 at 01:27 PM (#880282)
Thanks for all the Playoff Prediction System number-crunching, Robert. Great work--much appreciated. (And thanks also for typing in James's explanations.)

After watching Mulder last night, and in consideration of Robert's work, I'm more eager than ever to have the DS matchups shake out as Yanks-Twins, Sox-A's.

The A's are leaking so much oil, however, I wouldn't be surprised to see the Angels catch 'em, even without Guillen. (And how about THAT!?) These sure are interesting times...
   22. Toby Posted: September 27, 2004 at 01:53 PM (#880312)
Let's see ...

If Boston's magic number were 1 rather than 2, that would mean Boston would win the wild card outright if it won just 1 more game, i.e., finish with 94. Is that the case?

Texas can't win 94. They have only 86 wins with 7 game games left.

So assume Anaheim goes 4-0 against Texas (giving them 91 wins) and Oakland goes 4-0 against Seattle (giving them 92 wins). Anaheim could then take 2 out of 3 from Oakland to have both finish with 93. Boston would indeed win the wild card outright if it gets to 94 wins.

So 1 is the magic number.
   23. Toby Posted: September 27, 2004 at 02:08 PM (#880324)
Oh, wait. For the magic number to be 1, it would also mean that even if the Sox didn't win again, a loss by a Sox opponent would clinch the wild card.

So let's see ... if we hang one more loss on Texas, they can't match Boston's 93. Anaheim could finish 6-1 (losing to Oakland) to finish with 93, and Oakland could finish 5-2 (losing to Anaheim) to finish with 93.

If we instead hang one more loss on Anaheim, then Texas could win out to finish with 93 and Oakland could win out to finish with 94.

If we instead hang one more loss on Oakland, that doesn't do it either, because the A's and Rangers could both finish with 93.

I guess that's why the magic number is 2. There isn't any one contender who you could hang a loss on to give Boston the WC outright.
   24. Vance Law Revue Posted: September 27, 2004 at 02:10 PM (#880326)
Thank you for verifying that, Toby. mlb.com is also putting the magic number at 2, and it's starting to make me feel a little crazy.

I hope the team at least gets their facts straight, but I doubt anyone in the organization wants to be the one to stand up and say, "Actually, we only need to go 1-6."
   25. Vance Law Revue Posted: September 27, 2004 at 02:15 PM (#880329)
It's a perfectly fair point that we would need an Angel's loss and a Ranger's loss to clinch in the absence of a Red Sox win, but that doesn't make 2 any more accurate than 1. It just means that the "magic number" system is flawed.
   26. Toby Posted: September 27, 2004 at 02:28 PM (#880347)
I agree. It's not well suited to a multi-team situation.

Eureka! We've made a breakthrough with respect to magic numbers. What would Will Carroll say?
   27. Vance Law Revue Posted: September 27, 2004 at 02:38 PM (#880357)
RE: Mirabelli

The Red Sox catchers are my daddies.


RE: Will Carroll

No comment. Will Carroll has replaced CHB on the VLR no-read blacklist. I haven't read anything regarding the recent fracas.
   28. Vance Law Revue Posted: September 27, 2004 at 02:39 PM (#880360)
"Backup keeps popping up"

For some reason, this title makes me think, "Has Dusty seriously given the starting job to Neifi?"
   29. Mikαεl Posted: September 27, 2004 at 03:08 PM (#880396)
My original post sounded kinda dismissive. Sorry, Robert, and good work on the predictor.

If the Red Sox win tonight before the Tex/Ana game is completed, will they celebrate clinching the Wild Card?
   30. Vance Law Revue Posted: September 27, 2004 at 03:22 PM (#880416)
I doubt the celebration will be anything like it was last year. I would, however, expect there to be champagne involved.
   31. Mikαεl Posted: September 27, 2004 at 03:22 PM (#880417)
Unrelated minor league note.

Baseball America ranks the Sox' Luis Soto #1 in their top 20 GCL prospects. His tools compare favorably to Hanley's. He obviously needs to learn the strike zone, but between him, Lara (#9 GCL and #9 NYPL), Pedroia and Hanley that's one hell of a set of shortstops.
   32. Vance Law Revue Posted: September 27, 2004 at 03:23 PM (#880419)
If the Red Sox win tonight before the Tex/Ana game is completed

Also, the outcome of Tex/Ana is irrelevant to clinching today, as the winner will still be alive in the wild card.
   33. Vance Law Revue Posted: September 27, 2004 at 03:24 PM (#880424)
winner will still be alive in the wild card.

...assuming a Red Sox loss.
   34. nickm Posted: September 27, 2004 at 03:25 PM (#880426)
They should celebrate. I sure hope they have people able to figure out sufficiency of 94 wins.
   35. Mikαεl Posted: September 27, 2004 at 03:28 PM (#880431)
Also, the outcome of Tex/Ana is irrelevant to clinching today, as the winner will still be alive in the wild card.

Oh, I know. I just meant that the sufficiency of the win is based on (relatively) complicated stuff, so they might not be entirely aware.

And I expect the Red Sox' celebration to be as wild as always. They clearly really, really like to celebrate.
   36. Vance Law Revue Posted: September 27, 2004 at 03:49 PM (#880465)

And I expect the Red Sox' celebration to be as wild as always.


I expect it to be relatively subdued. Nowhere near Yankee style disdain for making the postseason, but not like the wild card celebration was last year, for 10 reasons:

a) They are on the road.
b) They are still in the division race.
c) They have unfinished business from last year.
...
j) whip it out.
   37. Biff, highly-regarded young guy Posted: September 27, 2004 at 04:11 PM (#880500)
By the way...as good as Mirabelli's been this year, I'd rather have Duchscherer at this point.
   38. RobertMachemer Posted: September 27, 2004 at 04:28 PM (#880529)
What meaning it ever had, has been lessened by the doubling of playoff teams, which leads to a few more significantly flawed teams in the postseason.


As I say, from what I've been told, the prediction system has been working at a better rate in recent years. Feel free to check the numbers to confirm or refute this.

It is a toy. It's also been right roughly 70% of the time (perhaps closer to 75%). It may well be wrong about the Sox vs Twins, for instance (although I do think the Twins are the classic example of a team that is obviously better suited for short series play than seasonal play). We'll know soon enough, for good or ill.
   39. The Polish Sausage Racer Posted: September 27, 2004 at 08:22 PM (#880907)
For what it's worth, Vance, RIOT agrees with your first statement. They say Boston clinched at least a tie for the wild card last night, taking into account all the other matchups.
   40. Vance Law Revue Posted: September 27, 2004 at 08:56 PM (#880963)
Yeah, Boston.com actually wrote me back and acknowledged that it is a weird situation. They said they are going with 2 as the magic number bacause that's what all the other media outlets are doing.

You must be Registered and Logged In to post comments.

 

 

<< Back to main

BBTF Partner

Dynasty League Baseball

Support BBTF

donate

Thanks to
rr
for his generous support.

Bookmarks

You must be logged in to view your Bookmarks.

Hot Topics

11 Days Later
(74 - 11:19am, Sep 20)
Last: ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick

6,036 Days
(12 - 10:50am, Sep 20)
Last: villageidiom

Finishing Up - The Sox Therapy Concernometer
(81 - 10:51am, Sep 17)
Last: Jose is an Absurd Force of Nature

11 Days To...Something
(49 - 12:28am, Sep 13)
Last: Nasty Nate

Extra Special
(43 - 1:01pm, Aug 20)
Last: villageidiom

What Do We Got?
(46 - 10:03am, Aug 15)
Last: Jose is an Absurd Force of Nature

Hope Springs Eternal (Sox Therapy Predictions)
(31 - 10:04am, Aug 06)
Last: villageidiom

Halfwayish Home
(81 - 7:00pm, Jul 31)
Last: Biff, highly-regarded young guy

Bigfoot, and Unicorns, and the Red Sox Bullpen
(31 - 8:32pm, Jul 14)
Last: dave h

It's Getting Drafty
(26 - 4:17pm, Jul 02)
Last: Jose is an Absurd Force of Nature

A Pleasant Trip So Far
(60 - 10:27am, Jul 01)
Last: John DiFool2

Where Are We?
(33 - 3:01pm, Jun 29)
Last: Jose is an Absurd Force of Nature

That Was Fun
(38 - 2:15pm, Jun 08)
Last: Darren

Lining Up The Minors
(29 - 9:53am, Jun 06)
Last: villageidiom

So That Happened
(7 - 6:53pm, May 30)
Last: Darren

Syndicate

Page rendered in 0.3918 seconds
37 querie(s) executed