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What might have been . . .The Black Sox

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  • Buzzaldrin
    replied
    You mean Red Faber and his 83 ERA+ during the regular season? The Reds must have been terrified.

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  • Ubiquitous
    replied
    Not to get this thread off the intended track but Cicotte's third game and the 7th game of the series was supposedly played on the level. The Sox were trying to win that game because by that point they had supposedly called off the fix since they were not getting paid. Which is why Williams was supposedly approached before game 8 and threatened that if he didn't take a dive there would be repercussions.

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  • yanks0714
    replied
    Originally posted by Ubiquitous View Post
    They lost the series 5-3 with Dickie Kerr who nobody expected anything out of winning 2 games. Cicotte wins his third game. That leaves the White Sox needing to win 2 games out of the 5 games they lost with at least 4 of them fixed games. Is it really unreasonable to assume that had the White Sox not thrown all those gamese they would have picked up those two games?
    Let us not forget that the WSox were without Red Faber for the Series as well. Faber may well have strengthened an already good pitching staff. maybe not have to with Lefty Williams in what turned out to be the final game.
    I've long felt Cicotte pitched well in his 3rd start to offset suspicions, knowing that would have left Williams holding the bag to throw the last game.

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  • Ubiquitous
    replied
    Obviously we cannot say with 100% certainty that the White Sox would win a series had they played honestly, but I do believe what actually did happen significantly strengthens the chances that they would win the series if played honestly. The White Sox were able to win 3 games despite the fact that they were throwing games and were able to keep several games close in thrown games.

    But really the Sox winning or losing the 1919 series is besides the point of this thread. It doesn't matter whether or not they win that series.

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  • Buzzaldrin
    replied
    Originally posted by Victory Faust View Post
    I don't think it's an absolute slam dunk that they'd have beaten the Reds if the Series hadn't been fixed.
    That was my point.

    Sure the Sox may have beaten them, they may even have had better odds of winning, but this thread began with posts that just assumed they could have taken the Reds with ease- and I don't think you should assume that a team with a nearly .700 winning percentage is just going to be a walk over....





    ...then again, look at the '54 Indians.

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  • Victory Faust
    replied
    Let's see how they stack up:

    1B: Gandil/Daubert: Reds
    2B: Collins/Rath: Sox
    SS: Risberg/Kopf: push
    3B: Weaver/Groh: Reds
    LF: Jackson/Duncan: Sox
    CF: Roush/Felsch: Reds
    RF: Liebold/Neale: Sox
    C: Schalk/Wingo: Sox

    Pitching:

    Chicago had a better one-two punch with Cicotte and Williams over the Reds' Eller and Reuther, but the Reds' third-best pitcher, Salee, was better in 1919 than Chicago's counterpart, Red Faber. Overall, it looks like the Reds may have had a deeper staff.


    I'd say the Reds stack up okay against the Sox. That doesn't mean Chicago wasn't the more talented team, but I don't think it's an absolute slam dunk that they'd have beaten the Reds if the Series hadn't been fixed.

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  • nerfan
    replied
    Originally posted by Iron Jaw View Post
    Ed Roush always said the 1919 Reds were better than the White Sox and the "fix" took all the attention off their team. He believes the Sox would have lost, fix or no fix.
    Ed Roush is certainly an unbiased source.

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  • EdTarbusz
    replied
    Originally posted by Iron Jaw View Post
    Ed Roush always said the 1919 Reds were better than the White Sox and the "fix" took all the attention off their team. He believes the Sox would have lost, fix or no fix.
    I don't think the Roush opinion says much. What was he supposed to say? 'It's a good thing the White Sox weren't trying or they would have wiped the field with us?'

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  • Iron Jaw
    replied
    Ed Roush always said the 1919 Reds were better than the White Sox and the "fix" took all the attention off their team. He believes the Sox would have lost, fix or no fix.

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  • Ubiquitous
    replied
    The Reds won the first game by 9-1 because the Sox were throwing the game, all of them.

    GAme two is a game that could have definitely gone the Sox way, so that is one win right there. So now the series goes 9 at least and the Sox either have to win that 9th game or pick up one more win elsewhere before that.

    Game 4 the Sox lose and the Sox get their cash, they lose 2-0. Is this a game the Sox could have won? Sure.

    Game 5 the Sox get blanked and Williams is pitching. They just got paid after the last game we really shouldn't expect anything out of the crooked players for this game and they don't do anything.

    Final game: Yes the relievers gave up more runs then the Sox scored but the relievers wouldn't have been in there if Williams wasn't throwing the game. Do the Reds score 10 runs if Williams isn't throwing the game? Do they score 6 if Williams isn't throwing the game? In Williams' two other games, games in which he was throwing it he only allowed 8 runs over 17 innings. It certainly doesn't look likely that Williams playing it on the level would suddenly give up 6 runs to the Reds in that final game if he wanted to actually play to win.

    Obviously nothing is an absolute certainty but it certainly looks to me like the Sox could have won that series if they had wanted to.

    Leave a comment:


  • Buzzaldrin
    replied
    Originally posted by Ubiquitous View Post
    They lost the series 5-3 with Dickie Kerr who nobody expected anything out of winning 2 games. Cicotte wins his third game. That leaves the White Sox needing to win 2 games out of the 5 games they lost with at least 4 of them fixed games. Is it really unreasonable to assume that had the White Sox not thrown all those gamese they would have picked up those two games?
    I don't think it's reasonable to assume anything. The Reds won the first game 9-1 by rocking Cicotte. If Eddie bore down would the Sox necessarily have won? I don't think so. Even without the 6 Cicotte gave up, the Reds scored more. And were the Sox hitters throwing it? Hard to tell- Shoeless Joe scored the Sox only run, and Gandil, Weaver, and McMullin (all in on the fix) had four of the Sox 6 hits with Gandil driving in Jackson.

    Game two the Reds beat Lefty Williams, who was in on the fix too. Game three Kerr throws a three hitter. Game four Cicotte loses again- but who's to say he would've won if he'd been straight. The Sox were shutout, but all of their hits came from Black Sox. How can we say they still wouldn't have been shutout? Game five the Sox are shutout again- the Reds had awesome pitching all year, they may quite likely have still happened with no fix. You can't win without scoring runs. Game six, Chick Gandil drives in Weaver in the top of the tenth- obviously played straight, but certainly a game that could have gone either way. Game seven, Cicotte bests Sallee. Game eight, Williams blows it in the first, but James and Wilkinson, not in on the fix, still give up more runs than the Sox score- quite likely the Reds would've won it anyhow.

    Although you can't (of course) assume anything with certainty, it seems fairly like that three or more of the Sox losses would've still been losses without the fix and that it would've been a very close series whoever won. I just don't think it correct to assume that 1) the Sox would've won, and 2) that they were a better team.

    The Reds had the best NL single season wpct between 1912 and 1942. They were a hell of a good team, and very much underrated by posterity because of the scandal.

    Leave a comment:


  • CandlestickBum
    replied
    Originally posted by Captain Cold Nose View Post
    That's been done, though, many times over.

    One thing I'd like to see around here is more historical speculation like this. It's interesting, if indeed presented in a manner such as this. It's very easy to say "Sandy Koufax would have broken every pitching record possible if he didn't have arm troubles" or throw out statistics 10 years down the line for him. There's no way to prove anything there.
    For those of you interested in these sort of discussions, there's a newsgroup out there that specializes in these and has guidelines posted that should be useful for conversations here as well.

    Obviously as it's a newsgroup there's a few things particular to it, but this addresses requirements for "good" AH (Alternative History) as well. Not a long read, hope some find it interesting.

    http://faqs.cs.uu.nl/na-dir/history/what-if.html

    Leave a comment:


  • Ubiquitous
    replied
    Originally posted by Buzzaldrin View Post
    Why does everybody assume that the Sox would have won the 1919 Series if they hadn't thrown it? It certainly seems to me that the Reds were the better team. Even though the NL was a bit weaker than the AL- the Reds had an all-time great pitching staff with a team ERA+ of 124 and incredible depth, and were also second in the NL in hitting. Heck even their pitchers could hit- four of their five starters had OPS+ over 50, and three over 80. The team was also first in the NL in OBP and second in slugging. They finished 96-44, way better than the White Sox did, won by 9 games over second place New York, and 21 games over third place Chicago. Edd Roush and Heinie Groh were nearly as good as Shoeless Joe that season, and way better than any other Chicago hitter, and the Sox had nowhere near the pitching depth the Reds had.

    I just don't think the Sox were a better team.
    They lost the series 5-3 with Dickie Kerr who nobody expected anything out of winning 2 games. Cicotte wins his third game. That leaves the White Sox needing to win 2 games out of the 5 games they lost with at least 4 of them fixed games. Is it really unreasonable to assume that had the White Sox not thrown all those gamese they would have picked up those two games?

    Leave a comment:


  • mwiggins
    replied
    Originally posted by yanks0714 View Post
    This is so true. Joe Jackson has been romaticized by being a part of the Black Sox scandal. If he had played out his career, I'm sure he would have been elected to the HOF, but we might look at him more like an Al Simmons, Jesse Burkett, Yax type player. Good, sometimes great, definite HOF'er but rarely thought of as an absolute elite. He would surely not get as much play on these boards and others as he does now.
    I don't know if he'd have been as high up as Yaz, who's in a different class than Simmons and Burkett, but through age 30 he was better than any of those three.

    Though age 30:
    Jackson: 170 OPS+, .815 OWP, 60.1 WARP3, -33 FRAA
    Yaz: 142 OPS+, .724 OWP, 52.9 WARP3, 23 FRAA
    Simmons: 148 OPS+, .762 OWP, 49.1 WARP3, 25 FRAA
    Burkett: 141 OPS+, .741 OWP, 40.4 WARP3, -6 FRAA

    And that's without giving him any credit for losing a year to WW1.


    There's no reason to assume he'd have had the longevity that Yaz had, but he certainly had the better peak. Even if Jackson would have suffered a rapid decline after age 30, he still had assured his place in the teir all-time greats right below guys like Jimmie Foxx and Frank Robinson and Johnny Bench, well above the level of guys like Simmons and Burkett. And a rapid decline starting at age 31 seems unlikely, given that he was coming off his best offensive year since he was 23.

    Leave a comment:


  • Buzzaldrin
    replied
    Why does everybody assume that the Sox would have won the 1919 Series if they hadn't thrown it? It certainly seems to me that the Reds were the better team. Even though the NL was a bit weaker than the AL- the Reds had an all-time great pitching staff with a team ERA+ of 124 and incredible depth, and were also second in the NL in hitting. Heck even their pitchers could hit- four of their five starters had OPS+ over 50, and three over 80. The team was also first in the NL in OBP and second in slugging. They finished 96-44, way better than the White Sox did, won by 9 games over second place New York, and 21 games over third place Chicago. Edd Roush and Heinie Groh were nearly as good as Shoeless Joe that season, and way better than any other Chicago hitter, and the Sox had nowhere near the pitching depth the Reds had.

    I just don't think the Sox were a better team.

    Leave a comment:

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