It's the middle of November, which means it's time to pick up the latest edition of The Bill James Handbook. Sure, it's possible to find a lot of the information contained in it across Baseball-Reference.com, FanGraphs and Bill James Online, but that's generally more effective when you start with an idea. Sometimes you just want to flip through somebody else's work randomly and see what catches your eye. I guess I'm partial to publications -- especially printed -- that allow you to peruse independently curated information, and don't ask me why that is.
At any rate, here are five fun facts I found in the Handbook for each phase of the White Sox's game:
No. 1: In terms of bases gained, the White Sox finished +9 in baserunning in 2012. That's not that impressive in terms of the league (21st) overall, but it's their best showing since the Handbook started accumulating team stats six editions ago. They finished -41 last year; the Tigers finished -67 in 2012.
No. 2: Dayan Viciedo was the team's worst baserunner (-23); Alexei Ramirez was the team's best (+15). Paul Konerko is the league's worst baserunner over the last 10 years (-189!), but was only -7 in 2012.
No. 3: The White Sox finished ninth in the AL with 142 manufactured runs. The worst in the league? The Oakland A's, at 118. So keep that in mind.
No. 4: Robin Ventura led all managers with 64 pinch runners used. Ron Gardenhire was second ... with 45. In potentially related news, he used the fewest lineups of any manager with 75 (Ron Washington was next with 79).
No. 5: Nobody grounded into double plays less frequently than Alejandro De Aza (once in 68 chances).
No. 2: Jones did hit 100 or better on the radar gun 33 time, the fourth-highest total in the league.
No. 3: Jake Peavy only walked 29 percent of the 169 batters who worked three-ball counts. The average rate is 42 percent. On the other side, Yu Darvish went to three balls with 168 batters ... and walked 53 percent of them.
No. 1: While Alexei Ramirez finished sixth in the Fielding Bible Award voting, John Dewan, the guy behind The Fielding Bible, voted him second behind the winner, Brendan Ryan.
No. 2: Jake Peavy, the White Sox's Gold Glove pitcher, did not receive a single vote. That's not to say, it's just something people don't think of.
No. 3: Paul Konerko was baseball's worst first baseman, in terms of runs saved, at -11. That's not too difficult to believe considering his range spans his toppling distance to each side. Then again, it calls Gordon Beckham baseball's fifth-worst second baseman in 2012 at -6. So
No. 5: The White Sox saved nine runs total, an improvement over 2011 (-18).