A Bad Dream
On a quiet Saturday afternoon I was doing some paperwork while alternating between The Masters and the White Sox/Twins game. At one point it got really tricky since Stuart Appleby, for the second week in a row, used that word that is Australian for "That was a really bad shot!" Just as Appleby was heading for a triple-bogey, the Sox had the bases loaded with Crede at the plate. He popped up and Appleby three-putted.
It was time for a little nap…..
I am picking up the Trib and reading the account of the game. The line score is as follows:
|Chi. White Sox «||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||2||x||3||8||0|
That seemed OK — a solid win — but then I turned to the story, written by Alan Abelson and Barry Ritholtz.
The White Sox escaped with a narrow win today at "The Cell" but fans should not read too much into this result. The Sox put up an anemic 3-run scoring effort. That will not win many games in a league that has a designated hitter. Turning to our knowledgeable data analysts from the Liscio Report (moving in on the territory formerly held by Stats Inc.) we can see that production from the heart of the order, slots 3 through 8 was terrible! Those hitters had only two hits in 22 plate appearances. The Southsiders cannot possibly win that way. The run production relied upon bunting and base-running by Posednik and a throwing error by the normally solid Twins. Don’t expect this kind of scoring again. With the big boppers not connecting, it is only a matter of time before the Sox fade.
|Chicago White Sox|
|Scott Podsednik, LF||4||1||2||0||0||1||1||.364|
|Darin Erstad, CF||3||1||2||0||0||0||1||.385|
|Jim Thome, DH||2||0||0||0||2||0||2||.143|
|Pablo Ozuna, PR-DH||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.333|
|Paul Konerko, 1B||4||0||2||1||0||0||2||.286|
|Jermaine Dye, RF||2||0||0||0||1||0||1||.154|
|Joe Crede, 3B||4||0||0||0||0||0||4||.214|
|A.J. Pierzynski, C||4||0||0||0||0||0||4||.143|
|Tadahito Iguchi, 2B||3||0||0||0||0||0||0||.167|
|Juan Uribe, SS||3||1||2||1||0||0||0||.333|
As to the pitching, it might seem like the Sox did well to shut out the powerful Twins.
|Chicago White Sox|
|Javier Vazquez (W,1-0)||6.2||1||0||0||4||5||0||0.00|
|Andrew Sisco (H,2)||0.2||0||0||0||0||1||0||3.00|
|Mike MacDougal (H,2)||0.1||1||0||0||0||0||0||3.86|
|Matt Thornton (H,1)||0.1||0||0||0||0||1||0||13.50|
|Bobby Jenks (S,1)||1||1||0||0||0||2||0||0.00|
Astute readers will note that Vazquez only had a SO/BB ratio of 5-4, hardly a high domination factor. It took the Sox four more pitchers to finish the game after Vazquez had to be pulled. Vazquez lucked out when a Twins player made an uncharacteristic mental error with the bases loaded, getting doubled off of third base.
Closer Jenks got a cheap save with a three-run lead and actually allowed a hit in the final inning.
But the real story was the weather. The Twins, a dome team, were not accustomed to the cold. Everyone agreed that it was one of the coldest games they had every played, searching their memories for any comparison. Had it not been for the weather, this game would have been very different.
Sox fans should not be hopeful about a repeat of the 2005 World Championship season. We have shown in our past articles that this accomplishment did not match the standard Series Victories by great teams, and therefore should be disregarded.
Furthermore, today’s win is likely to give the team a sense of overconfidence leading to poor performance in the future.
And then I awakened, and realized that this was all a bad dream. The story had been written by a couple of Yankee fans! It was just like the standard stuff they write about the monthly employment report. If the number is bad, it stands as reported. If it seems to be OK, it is time to look at the "internals" to find something that seems out of line. And worst of all, since the Fed and their 350 economists are too stupid to see the truth, they will look at the erroneous data and make the wrong decisions about interest rates.
A bad number is bad — and so is a good number.
Friday’s solid report of the March labor environment showed more
Americans working more hours at higher wages than ever before.
Unemployment fell to 4.4%, instead of rising as many expected. The
average hourly wage rose to $17.22. The strong jobs report, along with
the January-February surge in spending, personal income and core
inflation points to sturdy growth and an inflation problem — not the
recession and interest-rate cuts many predicted in early March.
Despite his performance and a superior grasp of the data underlying the economy, Malpass is accused of looking only at "recent" data.
Investors (and sports fans) should look carefully to find the real experts when making their decisions.
Reader Challenge: Find and report the last time that Abelson or Ritholtz took an employment report that seemed "weak" on the surface, but explored the internals to show hidden strength.