Wednesday, April 26, 2006


Friend of Black Betsy Aaron S. wrote on the White Sox e-mail list:
Is it me, Or have we already been on the upside of more laughers this season than all of last season?
An interesting question. One that requires a definition - what is a laugher? I guess you could define it by win probability - one that you have a less than 5% chance losing if the eventual winning margin was held in the 7th inning. In other words, if you had a 4% chance of losing a game you were up by 5 runs in the 7th inning, that's a laugher.

As it turns out, a "laugher" as defined above on the road is any game where the visiting team is up by 5 or more runs in the beginning of the 7th inning. Visiting teams win 97% of the time when they are up 5 or more runs in the 7th. At home, a "laugher" as defined above would be any game where the home team is up by 4 runs or more at the beginning of the 7th. Home teams win 96.2% of the time with such a lead.

With that definition in mind, the Sox have won 7 "laughers" already this year (vs. Cleveland April 2 (10-4), vs. Kansas City April 17 (9-0), vs. Kansas City April 9 (4-0), vs. Minnesota April 21 (7-1), vs. Minnesota April 22 (9-2), vs. Minnesota April 23 (7-3), at Seattle, April 25 (13-3)). Note that 6 of the Sox's last 7 victories have been laughers, as such.

Last year, it took until June 8th against Colorado for the Sox to get their seventh "laugher" victory of the year. Note that the Sox did have a bunch last year - 13 before the All Star Break alone - but only had 4 laughers in their red-hot 28-12 start to the season.

Good teams get a lot of laughers in a season. They are both a demonstration of a good team and helpful to a good team at once. If you have a laugher, you can rest your starters, your key closers, and give guys like Boone Logan a shot a major league experience. That makes you more competitive in close games.

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