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He Might Not be Sabermetrical, but Podsednik Equals Wins for White Sox
2007-07-26 22:14
by Scott Long

In one of those "I've never seen that before", during the bottom of the ninth, Scott Podsednik led off the inning with a single. Josh Fields attempting to move him into scoring position bunted to the right side, which Tigers pitcher Zach Miner tried to throw to first base. The ball sailed away from the covering Placido Polanco, going into right field. Podsednik's speed enabled him to come all the way from first to home, just beating the throw and giving the White Sox a 4-3 victory. Yes, the old walk-off sacrifice bunt.

I'm not the biggest Scott Podsednik fan, as he is a one-dimensional player, but he was the key to the 2005 championship year. His ability to score in the first inning of so many games seemed to mean the team would win the game an amazing amount of times. I know this isn't very sabermetrical, but after doing some research on it, just look at the White Sox record when Podsednik played and when he didn't.

Year record in lineup record not in lineup
2005 92-49 18-30
2006 81-59 9-13
2007 13-9 32-47
Overall 186-117 59-90

Sure I know this type of win/loss differential couldn't even be the work of just one leadoff man, even if it was Rickey Henderson during his prime. Having said that, it is really amazing to consider the remarkable record the White Sox have when he plays. Hey, I'm not sure I would even re-sign him, but considering the rabbit's foot he brings to the park, I guess I would have to offer him a contract. Scott Podsednik is a guy who has blessed with a lot of luck.

Note: My math might be off a bit on this one, but even if I'm off by 20 percent, the win/loss differential is still amazing . 


2007-07-26 23:29:49
1.   Greg Brock
Birth rates are down in Europe
The stork population in Europe is also declining.

Therefore, storks bring babies.

2007-07-26 23:32:59
2.   Greg Brock
I'm just breaking balls a little. This stuff is always interesting to me as well.

Have you looked at the W/L differentials for all of the 2005 regulars? What do they look like?

2007-07-27 07:55:45
3.   Scott Long
I agree to a certain point with you Greg. I need an assistant to do the heavy lifting on the statistics of this one. I really doubt anyone is within range of Podsednik's winning percentage since 2005, though.

No storks turned a sacrifice bunt, a wild throw into a 1st to home game winning run. Obviously this is a unique event, but from someone who has watched the team over most of these games, the team just plays differently when he is healthy and on the field. Not to the extent of the record above, but it is worth more than I believe sabermetrical analysts would give him credit for.

2007-07-27 08:33:40
4.   Ali Nagib
You also can't ignore the fact that, by all accounts, the other 24 guys on the 2007 team aren't playing up to the level that their '05 and '06 counterparts did, and after playing in 75% and 86% of the Sox games his first two years, he's only played in 28% this year. So even if he is "worth more than sabermetrical analysts would give him credit for" he's obviously racking up a lot of extra "out of the lineup losses" this season, which skew the counting numbers.
2007-07-27 08:59:27
5.   Josh Wilker
I seem to remember his teammates and manager giving Podsednik a lot of credit for being the catalyst for the offense in '05. I'd guess statistical analysis would show they were overemphasizing his importance, but maybe there's something to be said for the importance of their belief in his importance, if that makes any sense. Maybe they felt more confident and loose as a team when he got them started with some exciting, aggressive early-inning basepath mayhem.
2007-07-27 09:07:17
6.   Scott Long
Josh that is completely the case. In 2005, it was remarkable how often he would score the first run of the game. The White Sox set a record for consecutive games scoring the first run of the game. The starting pitching was so good that the team won a lot of games with this formula. A person who likes to do a lot of research and mess with statistics could make a pretty interesting piece on the subject. I'm just not one of those guys.
2007-07-27 15:44:31
7.   das411
Pssh and who needs that bum Carlos Lee and his 80 RsBI anyways? Or Magglio who is dominating, um, that same division...

Thanks for Iguchi though Scott!

2007-07-27 16:32:17
8.   Scott Long
Dye has been as good of an all-around player as Lee and Ordonez and at half the price.

Podsednik made less than a million during 2005 and not a very high salary the other 2 years. Sure I'd like to have 2007 Ordonez, but I would have never taken the risk the Tigers did back in 2005.

2007-07-27 17:13:13
9.   Scott Long
Ok, it is curious that this post came up a few hours after mine, but it is a more detailed version of what I offered on Podsednik, so if you are interested, take a look.

I don't check it a lot, but the Sox Machine blog is really well done and with, has become the 2 best all-white sox blogs. I do miss, though, as it mixed white sox talk with erotic pics and stories. Talk about filling a niche!

2007-07-28 20:10:57
10.   Akhilleus13
Tell that to Guillen, who has been giving Podsednik crap all season for not being able to "count on him," as if he were the first fast guy to be injury-prone. Here's more on Pods scoring the winning run:
- Brad from The US News Desk at

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