Friday, August 15, 2008

Logical Fallacy of the Week: Sox Sweep Texas

How can the Sox whooping Texas be a logical fallacy, you ask? (You do ask.)

Suppose someone props up a straw man, stabs and burns it, and declares victory in battle. If this ersatz man is an idea that nobody actually believes, you have what's called a "straw man" argument. So if someone argues "I hate them thar moneyball teams, always sayin' weez shud never bunt and never steel and never swing and allways walk. Well, I seen a guy take three right over the plate, just lookin' for the walk, but he struck out, and theyze lost, so airgo moneyball duzn’t work."

That’s a "straw man" argument. It’s not a good argument, of course.

And Texas is not a good pitching team. They're last in the majors with a 5.41 ERA, and they have allowed- but allowed isn't the right word; encouraged, perhaps?- 62 runs over their last six games.

In the last three games, the Sox slapped around Rangers "pitching" for 37 runs, 42 hits- 20 of which were for extra bases- and worked 19 walks.

That’s a straw man rotation if you ask me (you do ask), a fake pitching staff I tell you, existing simply for the purpose of having the shit beat out of them. That's not really a staff that anyone believes in, but a misconception of a general manager.

Sure, like any straw man, it might be decent practice for the real thing, sparring with one's logic muscle and all, and it goes without saying it's fun to beat stuff up, straw or not. (And a win's a win, as the poets say.)

But Roy Halladay is next up. The Sox will need to rub up the bats with extra sticky validity for this one.


Barry said...

David Ortiz is not a human being. He is a 3-run homerun robit.

Rooster said...

Texas, year in and year out, puts together a decent team with a fearful offense, but always forgets to get any good pitchers! When will they learn?

I fully expect a little offensive letdown from the Sox tonight. Too bad for Paul Byrd's debut.

Eric said...

Not necessarily: it's Halladay. At Fenway (with 112 IP, second highest in his career after the Rogers Centre), he's got an ERA of 4.66 and a WHIP of 1.31. Boston's one of the few places where Halladay has a high ERA with a significant number (45+) of innings pitched, and it's by far his highest ERA for the total number of innings. I'm not saying we've got a guaranteed win, but Byrd's debut definitely isn't in doubt just yet.

Soxlosophy said...

barry- ha.

rooster, it's amazing how texas teams have this same character every year, despite complete turnover in players.

i just glanced at their 1999 team stats, when they won the division, of all things, and aaron sele lead the staff with a 4.79 ERA. he and rick helling (4.84) were the only 2 starters with ERAs under 5.62!

eric- that's f'in interesting, man. i guess my memory of all those dominating halladay outings where in toronto. huh.

Fenway West said...

This series will be a little more telling about what the Sox offense can do than the Texas series...but a win is a win and a sweep is a sweep.

Soxlosophy said...

definately, fenway; the games count, and losing to texas would be quite disappointing. and don't get me wrong- i love seeing the sox clobber lesser teams. i'm just stunned by how terrible texas pitchers are.