Poker Words - A Poker Blog

Mostly a recount of my poker exploits along with a bunch of random other stuff just for fun.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Yay White Sox?

So the White Sox won the World Series. I guess congratulations are in order. That team has confused me all year. I still don’t really see how they are that good. They have no superstars on their team, they are made up of just a bunch of slightly above average players, yet the continually find ways to win.

As they were collapsing in the second half of the season I just figured it was just the law of averages evening things out. They were an 80 win team that just happened to get 60 of their wins in the first half of the season. And just when I thought they were about to pull a ‘69 Cubs they finish the year winning 17 of their last 18 games, the last 6 games of the season and then 11/12 in the post season.

The one thing they are is clutch. They don’t have any great hitters but somehow they manage to score runs. If they only get three hits in a game, you can almost bet that they are all going to be in a row, and that they’ll get two runs out of it and win the game 2-1. If the game is tied and some fluke drop third strike call puts a guy on first with two outs in the ninth, you know they are going to steal second, and then follow it with base hit to win. They’ve done it all year and it was really annoying. The Cubs could have the bases loaded with nobody out, down a run, and nine times out of ten they, and apparently the Astros too, will not score. In the same situation, I think the Sox win at least eight of those times. You have to give a lot of the credit to their manager and his approach. I think if you put Dusty Baker, manager of the Cubs, in Ozzie Guillen’s spot the Sox would have finished in third place this year.


Just in case you are ever tempted to take my advice on some sort of wager, let me review the Cubs/Sox bets that I made this year and how they turned out.

The local ESPN radio afternoon guys have a yearly series of 9 Cubs/Sox bets. I of course took the Cubs side at $5 a piece vs my Sox loving friend. Here’s how that turned out:

For some reason their site has the stats as of mid-June so I don’t have the final numbers. You can look them up for yourself if you really care.

Will Maddox win 15 games? - I didn’t actually expect him to win this one, although that was more base on the Cubs not scoring for him and/or blowing his leads, than Maddox’s ability. Still I had to take the Cubs side and vote yes. -$5

Who will have more wins. Buehrle & Garcia vs Zambrano & Prior. – This one was closer than you would think. If Prior hadn’t taken a line drive off his elbow then I might have won this one. -$10

Triple Crown Stats Best of 3: (Avg/RBI/HR) Jermaine Dye vs. Jeromy Burnitz) – A battle of new right fielders started out well as Dye struggled early in the season, but didn’t end up how I would have preferred. -$15

Runs Scored: Podsednik and Rowand vs Patterson and Garciaparra. This might have been close if Patterson didn’t suck and Garciaparra wasn’t so brittle. -$20

Home Runs: Konerko and Rowand vs Lee and Ramirez – Hey look! I won one. The Cubs are good at something. -$15

Head to Head (tiebreaker is total runs scored) - Sox win the tie breaker thanks to a blowout in the first game at US Cellular. -$20

Bullpen Stats (best of three) Saves / Blown Saves / ERA: If there is one thing the Cubs are good at it is blowing saves. Too bad the object was to accumulate as few blown saves as possible. The only thing working for them here was that they didn’t have nearly as many save opportunities. Not that it mattered. -$25

Fewest Infield Errors. Another thing the Cubs are good at is botching easy plays. -$30

Total Wins White Sox (+8.5) vs Cubs The Sox got +8.5 because I think that is how much better the Cubs were the previous year. I did think the Cubs would end up with more wins, but 9 more was pushing it. So that prediction was off by a little bit so what. -$35

So far I’m 1/9.

We also through in a $5/game bet on the Cubs/Sox series at the Cell which amazingly the Cubs took 2/3. -$30

And then I put the over under on Sox post season wins at 1.5. If I had it to do over again I would probably take it. Make it 2.5 and I would certainly do it. -$35

And then the killer is that a few years ago we made a $100 bet on which team would win the world series first. I figured neither one would do it in our lifetime so why not. I was half right. -$135

So what have we learned? Either don’t take my gambling advice or always bet against the Cubs. Or do both just to be on the safe side.


So anyway, despite the fact that I am not a Sox fan I still say Congratulations to them. They were undeniably the best team in baseball this year and at the very least you have to repect them for that. I can’t believe what I just wrote.

So, Red Sox last year, White Sox this year, must be the Cubs turn next year. Right? Anyone.? Please?



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