Baseball Crank
Covering the Front and Back Pages of the Newspaper
October 17, 2005
BASEBALL: White Sox Triumphant

Well, anyone who predicted before the season that the Chicago White Sox would win the American League pennant, stand up and take a bow. My own Established Win Shares Levels system was very mildly optimistic before I adjusted for age, picking the Sox as the best of a bad lot in the AL Central, but the final age-adjusted numbers had them in second place at 78-84. More on that later. The Sox are, of course, yet another testimony to what you can accomplish in the postseason with good starting pitching.

One guy who has to be kicking himself now is Shingo Takatsu. Takatsu, himself a famously dominant postseason performer in Japan, was lights-out as the White Sox closer in 2004, and opened 2005 not only as the closer but as one of the team's strengths. By the end of the season, he was in the Mets' reclamation heap with Danny Graves, hanging on to any kind of a major league job.

As for last night's game, I have to wonder whether the umps would have upheld the original call in favor of the Angels in that disputed play at first base if Kelvim Escobar had sold it better - the fact that Escobar made a throw after tagging Pierzynski killed any chance the Angels had of claiming with a straight face that he had made the tag.

UPDATE: By the way, I'm glad to see some chatter building about my theory that the White Sox are the real cursed franchise (first suggested in 2001).

Posted by Baseball Crank at 9:03 AM | Baseball 2005 | Comments (8) | TrackBack (0)

"Selling it" did not seem to help Josh Paul any.

Posted by: DM at October 17, 2005 12:56 PM

Well, the guy who really is missing out this year is Frank Thomas, who played for 15 years and didn't win a pennant.

I hope he gets a ring...

Posted by: MikeQ at October 17, 2005 1:13 PM

And yeah, it is nice that the Sox are finally getting some exposure. I wish that could happen to all good teams not in major media markets, like Minnesota, Toronto, and to a lesser extent Milwaukee. We'll be hearing more of them in a few years, trust me. That lack of exposure killed the Expos.

But--as always happens when the news is sold, not reported--certain facts and stories get reported over others. Putting profit over journalism seems all to common in these times.

Posted by: MikeQ at October 17, 2005 1:17 PM

Maybe I'm misunderstanding this, but are you implying that the White Sox play in something other than a "major media market"? Unless the stats have changed, isn't the Chicago-Gary-Lake County metro area the nation's third largest?

Posted by: Mike at October 17, 2005 1:58 PM

This is off-topic, but since you mentioned you EWSL pre-season stuff, I remember being a little doubtful about the predictions that had all 5 NL East teams at or above .500. To quote me:

I did the math, and since the divisional games have to come out to .500, to match those records, they'd have to go 251-189 in all other games, which is a .570 winning percentage (a 92-win pace). That seems a bit high to me.

You were a little high, it came out to 235-195, which is .546 (88-win pace). But still, that was a very nice call on your part.

Posted by: Devin McCullen at October 17, 2005 6:27 PM

If the White Sox win the World Series this year, just imagine the pressure on the Cubs next year! The Red Sox don't win since 1918 but win last year, then the White Sox don't win since 1917 but win this year. How can Cub fans then avoid the certainty that next year is the Cubs' first championship since 1908? It's fate!

Posted by: Dan at October 17, 2005 7:10 PM

Those Baseball Gods residing in the Houston area seem to have taken issue with your pronouncement of the White Sox as the most cursed franchise.

1980, 1986, 2004, 2005. It's in the hands of the Great Roy Oswalt to keep the latter from taking its place in the Frying Pantheon with 86 Sox, 51 Dodgers, 86 Angels, 2003 Cubs, 1908 Giants, 12 Giants, etc. Schilling & Randy bailed out BK; hopefully Roy can do the same for poor Lidge.

Posted by: Mike at October 18, 2005 6:20 AM

MikeQ, Frank played 30-something games this season (12 HR in about 100 AB). He is part of the 2005 White Sox. If they win, he'll not only get a ring, but have earned it.

Crank, Sox aren't cursed. We don't believe in curses on the south side. Curses are excuses.

Posted by: Scott Janssens at October 18, 2005 4:38 PM
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