Should the White Sox violate one of the Ten Commandments more often???

Get your goddamn mind outta the gutter, I am not talking about Instagram rumors. No, I am talking about our White Sox!! For a team that has been pretty abysmal on the offensive side of the ledger this season they are doing something pretty historical with one specific aspect of their run producing unit.

Thou Shalt Not Steal

It’s #7 on the Commandment top 10, I think, catholic school is like 25 years in my rearview…..

This is an exclusive list, below are ALL of the teams since 1978 (the year I was born, so that’s why it is the lower bound), that have stolen bases at an 85% or higher clip for the entire year. That’s only 9 teams in total, 2 of which are from the shortened 2020 COVID season, so let’s remove those and look and raw Stolen Base % by team.

Dats right, the 2022 White Sox….that team that is disappointing you at every fucking turn, is #1 with a bullet when it comes to Stolen Base %. This team is stealing bases at the same clip that Larry Legend shot free throws for a career.

This picture of Larry Bird is from Bleacher Report. Bird shot 88.6% from the Free throw line for his career, same % as the White Sox are stealing bases in the Lord’s Year of 2022.

Now, stolen bases are a bit out of favor these last couple two decades, ever since Billy Beane convinced every nerd with an excel spreadsheet that stolen bases stink and nobody should engage in that uncouth behavior. However, channeling other stat forward (I think that’s the PC term) thinkers, generally the break-even rate for stealing bases is roughly 75% with some variance around specific situations and hitters at the plate.

I’ll let you read up individually on the topics, but in general, the bigger the home run threat at the plate, the higher your break-even percentage is for stealing. Good thing for the 2022 White Sox is, they ain’t be threatening much of anyone with the dong piece.

This reminds me of an old poker axiom, that if you don’t get caught bluffing very often, well, you ain’t bluffing enough. The 2022 White Sox appear to be really good at this one thing that is out of favor, but fits perfectly with their offense and would help them score more runs, BUT, they NEVER do it. In fact, the White Sox as a team, are 3rd from last in MLB in Stolen Base attempts with 44, only Minnesota (43) and Colorado (35) have less attempts.

Let’s RUN!!

Looking a little deeper at the distribution of steals across the team. See if anything pops out to us.

This is basically a 3 man operation, Tim Anderson, Luis Robert and Adam Engel are producing the majority of the haul. Otherwise, I’d be lead to believe the rest of the team isn’t allowed to run, unless for some extreme circumstances. I wonder if the Front Office is in SABR 2.0 mode and thinks stealing is bad? I haven’t the slightest clue. Even guys that aren’t running much should have the green light imo.

As bad as Leury Garcia getting picked off of 3rd base in Colorado on a walk was, he’s a career 79% base stealer, if by some miracle he gets on base, he should be in motion. AJ Pollock is an 81% base stealer for a career and stole 9 out of 10 in 2021. He should have more than 2 attempts. Even the guys crushing it, like Tim Anderson, who has 81 singles this season but only 13 stolen base attempts, should be running A LOT MORE. Let’s get MOVING!!!

I’m not much of a yell at Tony La Russa guy, but if he really has the total autonomy that your friendly neighborhood #Hahnbot would lead you to believe, I’d like for him to start giving these fellas the green light. This offense is dying do to lack of home run and this could be their lifeline. There’s 55 games to go…..

-BeefLoaf

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