There’s an old trick that’s used to examine the flaw of the mean. It goes something like, “Cultural geography majors at the University of North Carolina in 1984 make an average of $800,000 a year.” And then you think, “How is cultural geography such a lucrative field?” until realizing, lo! Michael Jordan majored in cultural geography.
Ha ha! I got you good!
Anyway, the same crazy twist can be used to talk about White Sox hitters. As a team, the Sox have a .696 OPS and a .311 wOBA.
Yet the Sox don’t have one average hitter in the lineup. Not by league standards, not even by their own subpar standards.
Carlos Quentin is as close as it gets, which isn’t good. Fortunately, he’s on the wrong side. He’s the only player within 30 points of the average wOBA (28 points below), and he’s the only regular with an OPS in the .600s OR the .700s.
Another fun way to illustrate it is by looking at the OPS+ column on the 2010 team’s Baseball-Reference page. Here’s how it’s arranged by default:
-3 196 61 41 137 38 121 69 193 17 -9 195 63
That’s pretty awesome, but neither unprecedented nor predictive. The 2006 season started in the same way, and that turned out to be a terrific offense.
The key is for Ozzie Guillen to try to get his hot bats off islands, and it seems like he’s made a positive step by dropping Quentin from third to sixth, and moving Andruw Jones ahead of Paul Konerko. Besides dropping A.J. Pierzynski down to eighth — may he never bat fifth again — there’s not a whole lot more he can do until the Quentins and Gordon Beckhams start hitting.
My kingdom for average players.
I always thought it would be hard to make the Crosstown Classic any dumber than it already is, but the White Sox and Cubs have gone and done it.
They’re playing for a trophy now, and it’s called the BP Crosstown Cup.
Enter your choice in the completely fair and valid poll below.
Christian Marrero Reading Room:
*The Cheat piles on A.J. Pierzynski, noting that he’s dead-last in wOBA and second-to-last in Win Probability Added (which measures clutch hitting). What’s more: When I covered Pierzynski last week, his OPS+ was 15. He now owns the -3 noted above.
*The Sun-Times follows up on the New York Times’ Sergio Santos story.
*Even with a new roster, there’s still plenty of self-loathing over the amount of home runs hit.
*Phil Rogers, having learned nothing from Pierzynski’s faceplant, says the Sox should extend Paul Konerko now. Erik gives it some thought before saying, “What’s the rush?”
*J.J. messes around with the batting order.
Minor league roundup:
- Charlotte 9, Norfolk 7
- Dayan Viciedo went 3-for-3 with two homers and a walk, without a doubt his finest game of the year.
- Tyler Flowers tripled, walked, struck out and drove in two.
- Jordan Danks went 0-for-3 with a walk and two strikeouts.
- Tennessee 9, Birmingham 5
- Rough going for Jhonny Nunez, who allowed six runs on nine hits and a walk over 5 1/3 innings. He struck out two.
- Christian Marrero doubled, walked and struck out in four plate appearances.
- Brent Morel went 0-for-3 with a strikeout, but hit a sac fly and drew a walk.
- John Shelby went 0-for-4 with a walk and two strikeouts.
- West Virginia 8, Kannapolis 1
- Trayce Thompson went 1-for-3 (double) with a walk and two K’s.
- Kyle Colligan and Nick Ciolli went 1-for-4; Miguel Gonzalez went 0-for-4.
- Cameron Bayne allowed five runs (three earned) on eight hits and two walks over four innings, striking out three.
- Winston-Salem OFF