Sunday, April 30, 2006
Public Service Announcement
Read Johnny Mostil's Razor.
Sometimes I fear that I'm one of Doug's only readers, and that is a crying shame. He's the best analyst of Sox baseball there is, period. If you are a Sox fan, you should like Doug's writing. He's a reformed stat-head, who looks much deeper that AVG/OBP/SLG lines indicate. He looks for the context that makes the statistics meaningful.
Here's an example. You might think Jhonny Peralta is a great hitting shortstop. And he is a very good hitter - he banged out 24 home runs last year. Doug wasn't satisfied with Peralta's stat line based on his own observations, so he went inside Peralta's game log to discover that, for the most part, Peralta didn't hit good pitching. The overwhelming portion of his home runs were off bottom of the rotation starters or bottom-of-the-bullpen arms.
Similarly, while Cleveland put up the league's best run differential last year, Doug went behind those numbers to determine that Eric Wedge was, for the most part, leaving in his starters in garbage time situations, who then were running up scores or making blowouts closer. Wedge was managing to his player's stats, thereby making the team's performance look better.
While not every one of Doug's posts is going to be a winner, I really enjoyed his post yesterday about the team's performance thus far. Doug put into words what a lot of Sox fans are feeling - we've got a great record thus far, but we are uneasy because the Sox aren't winning in the same way they won last year. That's been inchoate in my mind for a while, and I almost got there with this post.