Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Silly Playoff "Thoughts"

DISCLAIMER: This is not an analytical post. Nothing in this post should be taken seriously. This post is a waste of your time.

If you are one of those people who likes to bet on football games, and do so based on tips from those radio hucksters, then boy, do I have a World Series tip for you. You know the clowns I’m talking about--the ones that have a super duper lock of the week that you can buy for $10 and talk fast, tossing in a bunch of ridiculous win-loss records (“The Panthers are 3-11 ATS in their last 14 November home games”) as if they are meaningful.

On that level, you should pick the Chicago White Sox to win the World Series this year. Not because of anything they have done on the field, but because they are my least preferred playoff team. The team that I would have least wanted to win of the eight has won it all in 2001, 2002, 2003, and 2005. That’s four out of the last seven years. Not only that, but the Chicago White Sox with Ozzie Guillen as their manager and Nick Swisher relegated to the bench for Ken Griffey and DeWayne Wise are my least favorite playoff team of my time as a baseball fan.

Not only that, but I picked the White Sox to finish fourth in the AL Central this year. My pick of fourth in the AL Central has been a springboard to greatness for the 2005 White Sox and the 2006 Tigers. Not only that, but my fourth place NL Central pick from 2005 won their pennant. It’s getting bad enough that I think I am going to pick the Indians fourth next year just for the heck of it.

My personal preference for this year would go something like this:

1) Brewers
2) Phillies
3) Red Sox
4) Dodgers
5) Rays
6) Cubs
7) Angels
700,000,000,000) White Sox

I really have nothing against the city of Chicago (seriously!), but the Cubs get no sympathy for me because of the fact that they haven’t won since 1908. I just happen to like the other teams better than I like them. I will not be upset if any of those seven teams win.

The doomsday scenario: Cubs and White Sox play for all the marbles as Chicago is awarded the 2016 Olympics and the worse of the two fools wins the presidency. Chicago Uber Alles!

You have just wasted a few minutes of your life if you made it this far; don’t feel too bad, I wasted a few more of mine writing it. Really, though, I am trying to make a point in a roundabout way. I think that a lot of the playoff analysis that you see out there, even from analytical sites, is kind of silly and overwrought.

It’s pretty hard to pick the outcome of five and seven games series contested between two good teams with a great deal of accuracy. That’s not to say that you shouldn’t try to do it, or that it can’t be a fun activity, but I’m not going to join you this time (I have before and reserve the right to do so again). So what you have here is the ultimate anti-analytical approach--who do I want to win? And if you use irrelevant coincidence as the basis for your predictions, the Calcetines Blancas may be your guys.


  1. The White Sox also strike me as being the least interesting of the playoff teams. The Brewers (now eliminated) would have been second. Both teams have good pitching, average defense, and one-dimensional offenses. By one-dimensional, I mean, that if they aren't hitting HR and XBH, they can't put runs on the board. So I guess this combination of factors would constitute a "boring team." You could even throw the Phillies in this category.

  2. "... and the worse of the two fools wins the presidency." I'm assuming your are referring to Obama as the worse of the 2 fools. I don't see how you can say this. Obama/Biden have come across as being more serious, respectable, and credible than McCain/Palin. Of course my perception of the canidates is probably biased by the fact that I'm about as liberal as one can be. And Obama is probably the most liberal canidate who has ever ran for presidency.

  3. My antipathy for the White Sox is centered around my dislike of Ozzie Guillen, both as a player and a manger. Their acquisition of my favorite player (Nick Swisher; only to shun him in favor of Ken Griffey and DeWayne friggin Wise), and the addition of Clayton Richard to their team, has added fuel to the fire.

    I hear what you're saying about "boring" offense though. I like (as a fan, independently of whatever my sabermetric-based conclusions might be) homer and walk players, and so I don't dislike HR-heavy offenses, but the White Sox don't walk a lot, and they are pretty average in doubles. So I agree that they are pretty one-dimensional.

    An added annoyance about CHA's one dimension is that it is largely park-aided, as Comiskey is the best home run park in the majors. Over the last five years, the Sox and their opponents 2.85 HR/G there and 2.14 on the road, a 114 PF. One dimension, perfectly tailored for the home park = boring.

  4. Yes, and mine by the fact that I'm about as libertarian economically as one can be. I usually try to avoid politics because there's always someone out there who disagrees with you (even people who agree with me on many issues would dislike my characterization of McCain as a "fool"). And nobody comes to a baseball blog to read what someone has to say about politics.

    However, in this case, with the focus on Chicago, it was a hanging curveball and I couldn't help myself.

  5. It's hard to get the impression for which candiate you are for after the hilarious quote you made referring to Palin in your End of Season statistics article:

    "...it is putting lipstick on a pig (this is a much more exciting way of putting it in the 2008 context, don’t you think?)."

    So I will assume that you don't care for either canidate. And I can respect that.

  6. Yeah, that post was basically just a reprint of the same post from last year, and I wrote that just as it was. But rereading the post, I saw that in a different light of course, and had to reference that silliness.

    Not that anyone should care, but I am for Bob Barr.

  7. Barr certainly has a fascinating past. I read his biography on wikipedia a few months ago after watching him on the Colbert Report. One thing that stood out was his willingness to change his views on controversial topics.


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