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Greg Hibbard

2005 Championship team and WAR....

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I think it's very interesting to look back on the 2005 team with a mind towards value and advanced stats. I'd never done it before, but in thinking about how much "value" we need to contend, I think it's an interesting exercise...

https://www.fangraphs.com/leaders.aspx?pos=all&stats=bat&lg=all&qual=0&type=6&season=2005&month=0&season1=2005&ind=0&team=4&rost=0&age=0&filter=&players=0&startdate=2005-01-01&enddate=2005-12-31&page=1_30

Offensively, we had a total of 18.6 WAR. The things that stand out the most:

1) our DH absolutely SUCKED that year. Crazy Carl had a negative WAR of -0.2. Frank obviously did everything he could in limited time to gain a 0.4. We got basically nothing out of DH.

2) we didn't have an offensive player above 3.8 WAR. That's kind of shocking to me, considering how many I felt had "all star" type years in retrospect.

3) Many of our starters/everyday players - including fan favorites like Joe Crede, AJ and Pods - had WARs below 2, a value that I think most question whether the player should retain the job.

4) Timo Perez's WAR is truly fascinating :)

https://www.fangraphs.com/leaders.aspx?pos=all&stats=pit&lg=all&qual=0&type=8&season=2005&month=0&season1=2005&ind=0&team=4&rost=0&age=0&filter=&players=0&startdate=&enddate=

Pitching-wise, unsurprisingly, we had an amazing year. 4 pitchers above 3 WAR, with Buehrle having a career year. 23 WAR total for the staff (I know this is a dubious metric to evaluate relief on).

With all this said, and with seeing a core of Moncada, Anderson, and Giolito emerge as legitimate potential 4-6 WAR players, and with Eloy having the power and hitting potential to hopefully get to a similar level too, it makes me feel better that we don't necessarily need 9 3+ WAR starters offensively and 5 can't miss studs for our pitching staff. Even our amazing 2005 team had huge holes in some positions, and that's just the way it is on a baseball team, I think.

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I loved that 2005 team but what a weak bench! Widger, Timo Perez, Geoff Blum, Willie Harris and Pablo Ozuna,

I don't think you could win a championship now with such a weak bench. We did have a great bullpen with some career years- Cotts, Politte, Hermanson, etc.

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If you get nearly 1000 innings from 5 starters and around an ERA+ of 110-115 you're going to be good.  Throw in an elite bullpen and average position player talent and you can win 90+ games and a WS.

Don't think the Sox will be able to get that level of pitching during this rebuild but they can get much better position player output.  Just need a couple really good starters to win a short series or two.  Looks like Gio could be one of those guys.

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3 minutes ago, chitownsportsfan said:

If you get nearly 1000 innings from 5 starters and around an ERA+ of 110-115 you're going to be good.  Throw in an elite bullpen and average position player talent and you can win 90+ games and a WS.

Don't think the Sox will be able to get that level of pitching during this rebuild but they can get much better position player output.  Just need a couple really good starters to win a short series or two.  Looks like Gio could be one of those guys.

They have a comparable offense right now lol. 95 to 91 OPS+. Replace Yonder Alonso with someone remotely competent and you probably already have a more productive lineup. 

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1 hour ago, palehose1 said:

I loved that 2005 team but what a weak bench! Widger, Timo Perez, Geoff Blum, Willie Harris and Pablo Ozuna,

I don't think you could win a championship now with such a weak bench. We did have a great bullpen with some career years- Cotts, Politte, Hermanson, etc.

Yet every single one of those bench guys could play and did make significant contributions at various times on the field winning games for the Sox.

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2 hours ago, Greg Hibbard said:

2) we didn't have an offensive player above 3.8 WAR. That's kind of shocking to me, considering how many I felt had "all star" type years in retrospect.

3) Many of our starters/everyday players - including fan favorites like Joe Crede, AJ and Pods - had WARs below 2, a value that I think most question whether the player should retain the job.

One thought I'd add about the raw comparison - that team was excellent defensively, and it's entirely possible that we are looking at defensive stats that are being calculated before modern position tracking measurements were done, giving lower numbers than what we'd see if a team played comparable ball today. There's certainly no framing data in there, and I'd bet you our catchers were pretty good at that.

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5 minutes ago, Balta1701 said:

One thought I'd add about the raw comparison - that team was excellent defensively, and it's entirely possible that we are looking at defensive stats that are being calculated before modern position tracking measurements were done, giving lower numbers than what we'd see if a team played comparable ball today. There's certainly no framing data in there, and I'd bet you our catchers were pretty good at that.

That was an outstanding defense club. We rode strong starting pitching and a veteran bullpen to a championship with a middling offense. 

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2 hours ago, Greg Hibbard said:

I think it's very interesting to look back on the 2005 team with a mind towards value and advanced stats. I'd never done it before, but in thinking about how much "value" we need to contend, I think it's an interesting exercise...

https://www.fangraphs.com/leaders.aspx?pos=all&stats=bat&lg=all&qual=0&type=6&season=2005&month=0&season1=2005&ind=0&team=4&rost=0&age=0&filter=&players=0&startdate=2005-01-01&enddate=2005-12-31&page=1_30

Offensively, we had a total of 18.6 WAR. The things that stand out the most:

1) our DH absolutely SUCKED that year. Crazy Carl had a negative WAR of -0.2. Frank obviously did everything he could in limited time to gain a 0.4. We got basically nothing out of DH.

2) we didn't have an offensive player above 3.8 WAR. That's kind of shocking to me, considering how many I felt had "all star" type years in retrospect.

3) Many of our starters/everyday players - including fan favorites like Joe Crede, AJ and Pods - had WARs below 2, a value that I think most question whether the player should retain the job.

4) Timo Perez's WAR is truly fascinating :)

https://www.fangraphs.com/leaders.aspx?pos=all&stats=pit&lg=all&qual=0&type=8&season=2005&month=0&season1=2005&ind=0&team=4&rost=0&age=0&filter=&players=0&startdate=&enddate=

Pitching-wise, unsurprisingly, we had an amazing year. 4 pitchers above 3 WAR, with Buehrle having a career year. 23 WAR total for the staff (I know this is a dubious metric to evaluate relief on).

With all this said, and with seeing a core of Moncada, Anderson, and Giolito emerge as legitimate potential 4-6 WAR players, and with Eloy having the power and hitting potential to hopefully get to a similar level too, it makes me feel better that we don't necessarily need 9 3+ WAR starters offensively and 5 can't miss studs for our pitching staff. Even our amazing 2005 team had huge holes in some positions, and that's just the way it is on a baseball team, I think.

Yes absolutely. Make them give back the trophy and give it retroactively to the Cleveland Indians who had a six game lead over the White Sox in the pythagorean standings. That team was unworthy of a championship. Bill James told me so himself. 

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16 minutes ago, SI1020 said:

Yes absolutely. Make them give back the trophy and give it retroactively to the Cleveland Indians who had a six game lead over the White Sox in the pythagorean standings. That team was unworthy of a championship. Bill James told me so himself. 

I think you missed the point

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28 minutes ago, Balta1701 said:

One thought I'd add about the raw comparison - that team was excellent defensively, and it's entirely possible that we are looking at defensive stats that are being calculated before modern position tracking measurements were done, giving lower numbers than what we'd see if a team played comparable ball today. There's certainly no framing data in there, and I'd bet you our catchers were pretty good at that.

That was my first thought as well. 

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I think we scored the first run in something like the first 20 games of the year. Our pitchers were always pitching with a lead, their confidence snowballed and they were all playing off each other. That team had a really interesting dynamic. 

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14 minutes ago, TaylorStSox said:

I think we scored the first run in something like the first 20 games of the year. Our pitchers were always pitching with a lead, their confidence snowballed and they were all playing off each other. That team had a really interesting dynamic. 

Ah yea I remember that now.  It was a team that was built on pitching and defense and the occasional home run.   Seemed like every night the club had a chance to win thanks to a quality start.  

They had a better roster on paper in 2006 and collapsed down the stretch.  The will remain one of my greatest disappointments as a Sox fan.  I thought they were primed to go back to back, at least as pennant winners.

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4 minutes ago, chitownsportsfan said:

Ah yea I remember that now.  It was a team that was built on pitching and defense and the occasional home run.   Seemed like every night the club had a chance to win thanks to a quality start.  

They had a better roster on paper in 2006 and collapsed down the stretch.  The will remain one of my greatest disappointments as a Sox fan.  I thought they were primed to go back to back, at least as pennant winners.

Me thinks that was the price we paid for 4 straight complete games. 

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8 minutes ago, mqr said:

Me thinks that was the price we paid for 4 straight complete games. 

It was a magical run and nothing can take that away.  Thank God for that.   It hasn't offset the 15 years of mostly bad baseball since then, but it has made it tolerable.

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That team was strange defensively. Had several standouts but also had very bad Konerko, Dye, and (in a small role) Timo who was brutal. Dye hadn't yet become what he'd be in the coming years, which was unplayably bad. For Konerko, his limitations weren't obvious with the eye test. We hyped up Rowand quite a bit but still might not have appreciated how well he was playing.

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4 hours ago, Greg Hibbard said:

I think it's very interesting to look back on the 2005 team with a mind towards value and advanced stats. I'd never done it before, but in thinking about how much "value" we need to contend, I think it's an interesting exercise...

https://www.fangraphs.com/leaders.aspx?pos=all&stats=bat&lg=all&qual=0&type=6&season=2005&month=0&season1=2005&ind=0&team=4&rost=0&age=0&filter=&players=0&startdate=2005-01-01&enddate=2005-12-31&page=1_30

Offensively, we had a total of 18.6 WAR. The things that stand out the most:

1) our DH absolutely SUCKED that year. Crazy Carl had a negative WAR of -0.2. Frank obviously did everything he could in limited time to gain a 0.4. We got basically nothing out of DH.

2) we didn't have an offensive player above 3.8 WAR. That's kind of shocking to me, considering how many I felt had "all star" type years in retrospect.

3) Many of our starters/everyday players - including fan favorites like Joe Crede, AJ and Pods - had WARs below 2, a value that I think most question whether the player should retain the job.

4) Timo Perez's WAR is truly fascinating :)

https://www.fangraphs.com/leaders.aspx?pos=all&stats=pit&lg=all&qual=0&type=8&season=2005&month=0&season1=2005&ind=0&team=4&rost=0&age=0&filter=&players=0&startdate=&enddate=

Pitching-wise, unsurprisingly, we had an amazing year. 4 pitchers above 3 WAR, with Buehrle having a career year. 23 WAR total for the staff (I know this is a dubious metric to evaluate relief on).

With all this said, and with seeing a core of Moncada, Anderson, and Giolito emerge as legitimate potential 4-6 WAR players, and with Eloy having the power and hitting potential to hopefully get to a similar level too, it makes me feel better that we don't necessarily need 9 3+ WAR starters offensively and 5 can't miss studs for our pitching staff. Even our amazing 2005 team had huge holes in some positions, and that's just the way it is on a baseball team, I think.

Just goes to show you...pitching wins championships.

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5 hours ago, TaylorStSox said:

I think we scored the first run in something like the first 20 games of the year. Our pitchers were always pitching with a lead, their confidence snowballed and they were all playing off each other. That team had a really interesting dynamic. 

It was more like the first 35 games as I recall which was (and still is) a MLB record breaking it set originally by the Brooklyn Dodgers.

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2 minutes ago, Lip Man 1 said:

It was more like the first 35 games as I recall which was (and still is) a MLB record breaking it set originally by the Brooklyn Dodgers.

The Sox had a lead at one point in the game for the first 37 games.

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4 minutes ago, flavum said:

The Sox had a lead at one point in the game for the first 37 games.

There you go. Many thanks.

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8 hours ago, mqr said:

Me thinks that was the price we paid for 4 straight complete games. 

And that is something that won't ever happen in the post season ever again.  The '05 team was the best post season team ever, but if you aren't a Sox fan, you'd have no idea they were in the post season at all.  Haha.

I can still hear Chris Berman "Oooooooooo he gets him to go...."

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If you take a look at the pitching WAR you can definitely see how the Sox won.  All top 4 starters were in the top 50 pitchers in terms of WAR that year and Buehrle lead the way at 5.9...I didn't remember he THAT great of a year in 2005.  The strikeout numbers were really low though...that wouldn't cut it in modern MLB.

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20 minutes ago, BFirebird said:

If you take a look at the pitching WAR you can definitely see how the Sox won.  All top 4 starters were in the top 50 pitchers in terms of WAR that year and Buehrle lead the way at 5.9...I didn't remember he THAT great of a year in 2005.  The strikeout numbers were really low though...that wouldn't cut it in modern MLB.

WAR doesn't cut it for the casual fan.  When a hitter goes 3 for 4 his BA goes up.  When the batter hits a home run or drives in a run the fan can calculate his new totals.  Wins and loses for a pitcher can instantly be confirmed.  WAR works for baseball executives & wonks but I don't think it will ever catch on for the average joe fan.

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8 hours ago, poppysox said:

WAR doesn't cut it for the casual fan.  When a hitter goes 3 for 4 his BA goes up.  When the batter hits a home run or drives in a run the fan can calculate his new totals.  Wins and loses for a pitcher can instantly be confirmed.  WAR works for baseball executives & wonks but I don't think it will ever catch on for the average joe fan.

It already has.  There’s a reason commentators are using advanced statistics during games.  Where have you been?

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1 hour ago, Moan4Yoan said:

It already has.  There’s a reason commentators are using advanced statistics during games.  Where have you been?

I didn't say WAR has no value.  I said the average Joe doesn't relate to it.  Nobody is admiring Jose Abreu's War.  They relate to his HR's and RBI totals.  Gio's WAR is not the talk around the water cooler...it's his won/loss record or maybe his ERA.   Just my opinion but I think pretty realistic one.  The commentators are not average Joe fans.

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