FIRE JOE MORGAN: Please, People, Just Learn What Sample Size Is


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Thursday, February 02, 2006


Please, People, Just Learn What Sample Size Is

Why do writers like this even have jobs? Mike Fine of the Patriot Ledger has a lot to say about the Red Sox' acquisition of David Riske. Unfortunately, most of it is along the lines of analysis like this:

Hard to imagine what Red Sox general manager Theo Epstein was thinking when he agreed to take on Riske, who had an 8.10 ERA against Boston, 18.00 against its left-handers.

What?? You're going to base your assessment of a reliever with 317.1 career innings pitched on 3.1 innings cherry-picked from a series against a very good offensive team? What the hell are you doing? How about this, Mike Fine: did you know that against Baltimore, Kansas City, the Yankees, Texas, Toronto, San Diego, and Colorado, David Riske posted an ERA of 0.00? Did you know that if you flip a coin a hundred times, sometimes it will come up heads as many as two or three times? Or four?

He was up and down all season: 1-0 in April, 0-2 in May, 1-0 in June, 0-1 in July, 1-0 in August, and 0-1 in September and October when he worked only seven games as the Indians chased a playoff spot.

Yes, Mike Fine just analyzed a relief pitcher's performance using wins and losses month by month. This reminds me of the time Jacques Cousteau analyzed a humpback whale's speed by counting the number of barnacles on its stomach and then I posted about it on

I sure hope the season starts soon.

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posted by Junior  # 6:05 PM
That is truly insane. I wonder whether he bothered to look at, say, Eric Gagne's W/L per month, which probably looks similar. Seriously, that's nuts. Does he know what relief pitchers do? Wow. Am I still typing? I'm still typing. Don't have anything else to add, but still typing. Man. I sure hope the season starts soon.
For the record, I'd also like to add that two nights ago I had a dream that I was playing in the Masters, and I parred the first three holes. Someone congratulated me, and I responded by saying, "Small sample size."
Man, was Eric Gagne up and down all season in 2003: 0-0 in April, 0-1 in May, 1-1 in June, 0-1 in July, 0-1 in August, and 0-0 in September. He was so up and down that year, they gave him the Cy Young. His WHIP was 0.69.

David Riske's WHIP last year, by the way, was an excellent 0.96.
See? I didn't even look that shizz up. That's why they call me "The Mike Fine of FJM."
I just read the article, and this statement caught my eye:

He gave up three homers in 3 1/3 innings to the of his 11 homers allowed were hit by just the Sox and Reds.

Two teams he will not face next year. Against the teams he will face, thus, he gave up 4 HR in like 67 IP or something. So, why wasn't the point of the article: "Sox make good move by picking up Riske?"
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