2011 04 03
Small Sample Size Theater

Posted by in: Baseball, logic, Math

The baseball season has begun! Each MLB baseball team has played two games. There isn’t a lot of solid trend data to report on, yet articles must be written – and so, quoth S – “it’s time for another edition of Small Sample Size Theater”.

In baseball, of course, this means things like:
The Mariners, predicted to be terrible this season, are tied for first in the league!

(Also there are nineteen pitchers tied with an unbelievable 0.00 ERA. This season looks set to turn a lot of conventional wisdom on its head.)

We see Small Sample Size Theater in other domains as well; no surprise that most trend reporting is of this type. I wanted to post this today because I think the term is so apt. And of course, if my posting this year keeps up at this rate, I’ll post well over 300 entries, which would more than double my previous record. In year seven, anything is possible.

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2008 03 29
Two baseball videos

Posted by in: Baseball, Videos

Pop musician John Mayer does play-by-play on a Red Sox game in Japan, with an acute sense of his own inability to do play-by-play. (hosted at the funny “awful announcing” blog)

Royals outfielder Joey Gathright avoids a collision with style.

Howls of outrage (4)

2007 10 12
Papelbon is more secure than I am.

Posted by in: Baseball, Odds and ends, Videos

Oh my goofy-ass Red Sox, you never fail to entertain. Here’s Red Sox pitcher Jonathan Papelbon dancing an energetic Irish dance, possibly in his boxer briefs, before an adoring crowd at Fenway. Watch til the end when others come out to get in on the act.

A single voice crying in the wilderness (1)

2007 04 21
What you have to understand about Jeter is that he plays the game using all of his limbs.

Posted by in: Baseball, Iran

Ah baseball season. The Red Sox are playing their first series against the Yankees this weekend, and we’re getting the intolerable national/New York announcers (Joe Buck and Tim McCarver) rather than Boston’s own loveable Orsino Orsillo and Remy. Which means that the ritual refrain is upon us – from the other room, “Oh, for fuck’s sake, Tim McCarver.”

Here are two things I liked:
Remy cracking up when one fan throws a slice of pizza at another fan.

A nice non-baseball bit about the thing you have to understand about Iranians. The same point goes double, I often have reason to observe, for statements about The Difference Between Women and Men, or Why Women are Like That.

A single voice crying in the wilderness (1)

2007 02 16
NBAer comes out; other player is a bigot; also an interesting historical tidbit

Posted by in: Sports

1. An NBA player came out last week! I totally missed it at the time. John Amaechi — who is a big (6’10”) bald black dude who played in the NBA for five years and looks every bit the part. Hooray for more queer role models who look like mainstream gender-role icons — manly men, womanly women! Hooray for more queer role models who aren’t white!

2. But now another NBA player has gone on record as being agin’ it. This admirable forward-thinker, Hardaway, says:

“I don’t like it. It shouldn’t be in the world or in the United States.”… [If there were a gay player on his team, he would ask for the player to be removed from the team.]… “Something has to give… If you have 12 other ballplayers in your locker room that’s upset and can’t concentrate and always worried about him in the locker room or on the court or whatever, it’s going to be hard for your teammates to win and accept him as a teammate.”

So I got to thinking (there’s so much here to comment on, but I’ll stick with the most obvious). I know that there are quotes like this from white baseball players and managers from the 1940s and ’50s. We can’t have black players in the major leagues; all of us guys know it, but I’m brave enough to say it. I won’t play on the same field. That kind of thing. Good company to place yourself in, Hardaway.

3. Interestingly, I went looking for parallel quotes about the racial integration of basketball, and discovered that there aren’t any. Basketball integrated earlier, and with comparatively little hostility among players or from fans.

The National Basketball League, a forerunner to the NBA, became the first major professional [sports] league of the modern era to integrate, in 1942.

The reason you may not know about the NBL’s pioneering efforts is because integration in the NBL and professional basketball as a whole came with much less fanfare and fewer problems than it did in other sports. Unlike baseball, hockey, and football, basketball was largely an urban game played by a diverse population on every level but the pros.

From what the article says, basketball was integrated in the early ’40s because the war made good white players harder to come by. But baseball didn’t integrate then, although the first rumblings came then. It sounds — from the wiki links above — like a large part of the difficulty came because to integrate major-league baseball would require integrating the minor leagues, whose teams largely played in southern and rural areas where racism was most acute. (Purely speculation, but I wonder if basketball was also less dominated by the racism of individual star players, since at that time basketball stars would have been much less known than baseball stars.)

Howls of outrage (13)

2006 11 05

Posted by in: Sports

Anti-Machismo forces strike powerful blow against grunting:

Albert Argibay of Beacon was escorted by police officers from a gym this week for grunting – which is against Planet Fitness’ rules for maintaining a non-intimidating atmosphere.

“Perhaps I grunted, perhaps I didn’t. It’s open to interpretation,” said Argibay, 40, a corrections officer. He said he had his headset on when he was lifting 500 pounds on a squat machine at the gym in Wappingers Falls, about 80 miles north of New York City.

Planet Fitness markets itself as a place where anyone can feel comfortable in its “Judgment Free Zone.”

Its rules, posted around the gym, state members cannot wear bandanas, grunt or bang weights on the ground.


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2005 10 27

Posted by in: Baseball


Howls of outrage (4)

2005 10 19
White Sox vs. Astros!

Posted by in: Baseball

And…. it’ll be White Sox vs. Astros!

Howls of outrage (7)

2005 10 09
Bottom of the Eighteenth

Posted by in: Baseball

Brad Ausmus! Chris Burke!
The Astros announcers are shouting over each other with tears streaming out of their eyes. Awesome. Go ‘Stros!

Howls of outrage (5)

2005 09 29

Posted by in: Baseball

I’m looking for some clever way to say this, but the simple truth is: I love David Ortiz.

My love for him is pure and unconditional. Although of course, it is deepened and enriched by the fact that Ortiz has been dragging the rest of the Red Sox along behind him in a sack for a couple of months now.

Howls of outrage (6)

2005 03 15
March Madness

Posted by in: Sports

Given the Slump this blog has been in of late, I thought it would not distract too much from the contemplation of higher things if I drew your attention to my picks for the results of the uncoming NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament. I have posted my picks here. By all means, please draw my attention to your picks, if only so that I might rest all the more assured that, come April, I will be heralded as the undisputed Bracket Master of the Universe. Choose well and prosper.

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2004 11 03
Red Sox to the rescue?

Posted by in: Baseball

CNN reports that John Henry, owner of the Red Sox, has issued an order to ready his private plane in Boston in order to deploy lawyers to…wherever?

And Larry King is making his way toward the more-annoying-than-Judy-Woodruff award.

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2004 10 21
Ding Dong the Witch is Dead…

Posted by in: Baseball

Continue Reading »

Howls of outrage (4)

2004 08 06
If I were a closer, “A Simple Formality” by Komeda

Posted by in: Baseball, Music

A neat rundown of songs chosen by (and for) baseball players for their introduction at Page 3. Few shocks, except for that a few actually choose “She Bangs.” Apparently most players are either heavy metal or rap fans. It did please me to see “Misty Mountain Hop” a couple of times.

At an Elmira Pioneers game several years ago, the catcher, named Bingo Owens I think, who was about 10 years older than everyone else on the team, had “Ring of Fire” played every time he came up to bat. Best choice ever.

A single voice crying in the wilderness (1)

2004 07 28
And Voldemort as Bud Selig?

Posted by in: Baseball

A very nice story at Batgirl about last night’s Twins-White Sox game in which Corey Koskie (who is Canadian) got hit by pitches 3 times. Worth looking at even if you aren’t a baseball fan.

It helps to know that Spiderman is the nickname of the Twins’ centerfielder, Torii Hunter.

A single voice crying in the wilderness (1)