Saturday, October 27, 2012

What Little We Know... Baseball Edition

I am generally my own contrarian indicator. By that I mean that

- the more White Sox tickets I buy
- the worse they do

In the off season this past winter I had sworn off the Sox altogether. But the fan friendly White Sox lured me in with a great 14 game package which allowed me to go to opening day, two of the Sox / Cubs games, and then a couple games a month for the rest of the season. After I gave away about half of them to friends 7 or so games was an optimal amount, and I saw a lot of good wins.

The Chicago White Sox had a mostly Cinderella season in 2012. They were expected to do nothing, with severe offseason personnel losses (including their best starting pitcher) and were counting on a lot of high priced veterans to return to form after a dismal 2011. Finally, they promoted a lot of rookies onto their pitching staff, which is usually a recipe for disaster.

Yet for all of this, the Sox miraculously had (mostly) a great summer. Right up to the day when playoff tickets went on sale, and you had to buy the one-game playoff for wild card plus three tickets for the first playoff series. I bought three of those, with the knowledge that if the White Sox didn't get into the playoffs that I wouldn't get my money back, that these funds would be credited towards 2013 tickets. I didn't mind that too much because the 4 tickets were a bit under $300 each (I bought 3 seats) and I would at least spend $1000 or so on tickets next year. Plus - it looked like a slam dunk at the time that the Sox would make the playoffs since they had a big lead late in the season.

In true Chicago style, the White Sox tanked IMMEDIATELY from the second that I bought those playoff tickets. The photo above is from one of their last gasps, a late September game with their ace on the mound (Chris Sale) and yet they were just blown out by Tampa Bay. I am too sad to even look up their record from the moment I bought those tickets but they lost virtually every game from then on and of course the hated Detroit Tigers won the division and are now onto the World Series.

Deadspin (one of our favorites) recently showed how bad the ESPN "Pundits" are with their baseball predictions here.
The pundits' collective yield over the three-year period was $0.80, meaning that betting equally on all their picks would have resulted in a 20% loss. Only three of the fourteen pundits generated positive payouts.
I guess that means that I'm not the only one who has no f'n idea how a baseball season is going to turn out.

I have to rely on the "tried and true" method that the less tickets I buy, the more successful the White Sox are. It looks like a 14 game package was a bit too much - maybe a 7 game package next year. They almost made the playoffs.

And Ozzie got fired from the Marlins! That was the best news after my gloom at the White Sox failing to make the playoffs.

1 comment:

Gerry from Valpo said...

Sox had a great season. Made some boring summer nights a bit more interesting on the tellie. Next season all those young pitchers will be even better.