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Tuesday, October 26, 2004
Comparin' and Contrastin'

  • There's not really to much to write about the White Sox at this time of year. All of the baseball world is focused on a sloppy World Series. (The Red Sox have committed 8 errors and left 21 runners on base in 2 games, yet lead 2-0) Both games have been won with brute force. Call me old fashioned, but I'd prefer an old-school pitchers duel to a new-school slugfest any day.

    On Saturday, the Red Sox and Cardinals combined for twice as many runs as points scored by Iowa and Penn State combined in a college football game. I happened to watch almost all of both games, and thought the football game was much better.

    In the low scoring contest, any single play can decide the final outcome of the game. In the slugfest, all you're waiting for is the final AB's; the end of the game is where all of the suspense lies. In a close game, the entire game is filled with suspense. That tension is what makes a game for me. That feeling that if I miss a single pitch, a single play, I've missed the entire game. That's my type of game.

  • The Chicago Tribune is running a weekly piece submitted by a fan. Here is the latest entry.
    The Sox may finally be on to something. It appears that Ozzie Guillen and Kenny Williams have dedicated the off-season to reconstructing the current power hitting, right-handed dominated lineup that has tortured the South Side fans for the past few seasons.

    A roster built around defense, the ability to hit singles and consistent pitching will win the Central Division in 2005. So here is how the Sox can get there.

    The Sox need a proven leadoff hitter that can get on base. Minnesota free agent Christian Guzman...
    Yeah I pretty much stopped reading there. This is classic grass-is-greener thinking. As I've stated before, Christian Guzman is terrible. But, I guess since he's on a team that finished ahead of us for the past 3 years he must be better than anything we have right?

    Time to beat a dead horse. Guzman in black, Valentin in red
    YEAR       G      AVG      OBP      SLG      OPS      GPA      EQA     VORP
    2002 148 .273 .292 .385 .677 .228 .227 11.7
    2002 135 .249 .311 .479 .790 .258 .261 25.7
    2003 143 .268 .311 .365 .676 .231 .234 12.7
    2003 144 .237 .313 .463 .776 .257 .257 30.1
    2004 145 .274 .309 .384 .693 .235 .233 14.8
    2004 125 .216 .287 .473 .760 .247 .244 17.0
    Over the past 3 years, Guzman hasn't "gotten on base" at a better rate than Jose Valentin, despite out pacing him this season. The rest of his offensive numbers, outside of average (which I've discussed as a poor measure of comparison between two players), can't hold a candle to Jose's production over the last three years. The only year that it's even close is the last. And that's when you know it's time to show Jose the door, he's starting to put up Guzman-like numbers.

    Surely Guzman is a better fielder than Jose. He makes up for his lack of offensive skill with his glove. Nope.
    YEAR     FRAA     FWS
    2002 -1 7.7
    2002 3 Unknown
    2003 -5 7.0
    2003 8 8.1
    2004 17 9.6
    2004 9 6.1
    FRAA, or Fielding Runs Above Average, is a BP stat that attempts to quantify how many runs a player has saves with his defense. Guzman tops Jose in his 2004 production, but on his career he's been a bad fielder (Career FRAA -24 compared to Jose's 9). (I couldn't find Jose's fielding Win Shares from 2002, Guzman's I stole from Gleeman's site.)

    Guzman had his best offensive season, of the last three years, while Jose was having his worst, and Jose was still more productive. Guzman posted his first ever season with a positive FRAA, while Jose has not posted a negative one since coming to the Sox in 2000.

    Jose's offensive numbers are in obvious decline. His high K totals and propensity for long slumps have made him expendable, but Christian Guzman is not the answer.

  • Haiku
    New White Sox short stop,
    Thank you, Jose Valentin.
    Jaun Uribe, you're up.