Thursday, July 27, 2006
Because i'm such a frigging geek (and because i'm in a fantasy league... not that those are mutually exclusive, come to think of it) I decided I would subscribe to ESPN "Insider" and did so tonight. Well, baseball guru Jayson Stark (by the way Jayson, I love your baseball acumen but you've got to lose the "y", dude) offers a series of stats indicating the leaders in various categories using the All-Star games in '05 and '06 as signposts. While there were a couple of Sox entries (Papi having the most HRs and RBIs and Papelbon with the lowest ERA for a reliever, both in the entire major league over that time period), one stat stood out for me: the Sox have the most wins with the least losses. Between the two summer classics, the Sox have been 99-62 - the best in the majors. The White Sox - the only team in the neighborhood - also had 99 wins but logged three more losses, with 65. (He only listed the top couple of teams so I don't know where the Yankees stand but i'll bet they're not too far in the rearview. They do have a knack for always being closer than they appear, no?) Anyway, I didn't expect that they had topped the crowd but I suppose it makes sense. They had a great second half last year, almost unbeatable for a stretch until the late season (and playoff) doldrums. This year... well, we all know about the general excellence tempered by some rare but significant stretches of sloppy baseball. Nonetheless, they find themselves still in the driver's seat. Therefore I think the most important aspect of this stat is that although they drastically altered their roster and game strategy this year, it hasn't hampered their success in the least. It's amazing that with the huge differences in the lineup and staff between this year and last there hasn't been some sort of alteration to their win ratio in one direction or the other. On the contrary. With the consistency, one would never know that there was such wholesale change over the winter. Has the whole offseason soap opera paid off?
Posted by AA at 11:20 PM