Baseball Prospectus released its highly anticipated annual season predictions on Monday. It's the time of year where Baseball Prospectus uses its inside knowledge of baseball to predict the records of every team in the league for the upcoming season. It's also the time of the year where Baseball Prospectus embarrasses itself with its annual White Sox prediction.
This year they've predicted the White Sox to win 77 games. This should be great news for White Sox fans because Baseball Prospectus has consistently predicted the Sox to be worse than they eventually end up.
Chicago Tribune's White Sox reporter Mark Gonzales did a great job analyzing the last eight years of Baseball Prospectus' predictions.
In the last eight years, the White Sox have been worse than predicted only twice and have averaged over seven more wins a season.
What really stands out in that chart as totally absurd is the 2006 season projection. 2006 was the year the Sox were coming off their first World Series championship in 88 years. As spring training began that year, the Sox fielded virtually the same team, plus the additions of Jim Thome and inserting Javier Vasquez as their fifth starter. Yet, Baseball Prospectus looked at that team and declared they were average at best. Yeah, right.
To be fair, it's easy for someone like me to criticize isolated projections because no one really knows what's going to happen. You can't factor in injuries or the talent level of a team's opponents, or what trades a team will make during the season to improve.
However, when it comes to the White Sox, Baseball Prospectus' methodology not only undervalues the Sox's potential, but they consistently predict the Sox to be .500 or worse. What can be easily dismissed as isolated projection misses, has become a consistent pattern.
What is it about the White Sox's rosters and farm system that Baseball Prospectus doesn't like?
To answer that question, I decided to do research on who writes these inaccuracies year after year. What I found shocked and disturbed me.
It's Nate Silver.
My whole world of reality collapsed at that moment.
How could it be the guy I religiously read for pinpoint accuracy in politics? How could it be that Silver is an accuracy genius in politics, but yet when it comes to the White Sox he transforms into the accuracy of a Republican pollster?
After composing myself, I discovered a possible reason. Silver lived in Chicago for many years near Wrigleyville and is rumored to be a Cubs fan.
Maybe being a Cubs fan is a weighted bias even Silver's methodology can't overcome.
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