Thursday, November 20, 2008

Thanks for the Memories, Moose!

Unless you've been living under a rock (like me) these past few weeks, you've probably known--or at least guessed--that Mike Mussina was on his way to retirement.

It is now official.

The signing of Mike Mussina is perhaps one of the best free agent signings that the Yankees have ever made, at least with a pitcher.

In his seven years on the team, he had one sub-par season in 2007, but, besides that, was magnificent--270 career wins while pitching in the AL East during the "steroid era" is no easy feat, and while Moose may not have the rings, he's certainly won our admiration.

I've had the good luck to see Moose pitch in person a few times--nearly all of them wins. While, in one sense, it's sad knowing that I won't get to see him pitch again, except maybe at Old Timer's Day, it's also comforting to know that he retired on the heels of one of his best seasons, a season in which, if not for the shenanigans of some dudes named Cliff Lee and Francisco Rodriguez, he would have been considered a serious Cy Young contender.

I don't know about you, but I plan on booking my tickets to Cooperstown in 2013 early.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Something About a Small Sample Size

So I haven't posted much of late because grad school keeps whooping my behind, and, well, there's not a whole lot that medieval history and baseball do seem to have in common.

However, the other day, my professor did bring up a very interesting point:

In medieval history, statistics are often based on a small sample size (or what we baseball peoples would consider a small sample size), simply because it is the only sample available.

For example, during the Black Death of 1348-1350, the mortality rtes are got at by looking at monastic records, because they're the only such records that we can trust. The problem, obviously, is that monasteries are not representative of the population as a whole, especially given their living conditions and the proximity they would likely have had near plague victims.

It would be similar to looking at A-Rod's stats while facing pitchers like Santana and Sabathia, to the exclusion of all other pitchers.

Small sample size is the bane to stats geeks everywhere. How do you define a small sample size? When do you cross the line from small sample size to this is what a player really is? As with anything to do with statistics, sample sizes can be melded to fit whatever purpose a writer, blogger or analyst has in mind.

Yet in history--medieval history, especially--there is no choice but to use the small sample.

It will drive you crazy if you think about it too much (I know from experience), but it's still an interesting juxtaposition. In baseball, half the time we take only the stats we need to make our point...and in medieval history, we only wish there were more available.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Yankees Sell Rights to Rasner

The Yankees have sold the rights to pitcher Darrell Rasner to Japan.

Last season, Rasner was called up when Phil Hughes went down and surprised mostly everyone when his spot start ended up with him staying in the rotation for almost the entire season.

A borderline major-league American League pitcher, if one goes by the numbers, Rasner would have likely found employment in the National League easily, but maybe the money is simply better in Japan.

Anyway, the Yankees would do best gathering as much cash as they can, as they apparently need about $150 million to land CC Sabathia...

Thursday, November 13, 2008


The Yankees have acquired Nick Swisher and a pitcher, Kanekoa Texeira from the White Sox in exchange for Wilson Betemit, Jeff Marquez and Jhonny Nuñez.


1) Swisher might not be a great player, but we got him cheap.

2) The funny thing is that the pitcher we acquired in the deal is named....Texeira. So we can't complain about not getting Texeira, even if it's not the one we originally wanted.

3) I have no idea if this means we aren't going after that *other* Teixeira, but hey, you never know. At the very least it seems to say that Cashman and co., are serious about tightening up that roster...and possibly making more room for CC.

4) What the hell were the White Sox thinking/smoking? They got Betemit! Okay, so just because of that, he's going to win the AL MVP next year...

Anyway, I need 35 sources on women and work and late medieval Nottingham. Oh, this is going to be so much fun...

Monday, November 10, 2008

Your Chance to Do Some Good

In the spirit of giving and hope and change and all of that---

Tom Kackley, the equipment manager for the Trenton Thunder, is running an auction to benefit the Domestic Violence project.

You can find the auction here

I won a Phil Hughes hat last year...and I have to say, it felt like the best money I spent all year.

Domestic violence is a horrible thing, I shouldn't need to tell you, so any chance to contribute to its end is one we should take.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

The Winner of the Contest

The winner of the Ludicrous Trade Proposal Contest is....


With his entry:

Kei Igawa, Hideki Irabu, Randy Johnson, Carl Pavano


My precious time back that i spent watching them start games for the Yankees :(

So Alex, if you would as so kind as to email me at, I shall arrange for delivery of your very, very mysterious prize!


So apparently there's this offseason going on...grad school keeps whooping my ass so I am vaguely familiar with the fact that the Yankees declined Giambi's and Pavano's option and Abreu filed for free agency and Pettitte wants to come back and pitch and nothing official from the Mussina camp, and I think I got everything?


Anyway, if there's any serious breaking news, I'll have a post. Maybe. Perhaps a week or two after it breaks...

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Well, it's not like you've got a baseball game to go to...

This Tuesday, please, please, please remember to vote.

I won't use this blog to advertise any particular candidate, but I will say that there is nothing more dangerous to a country than apathy.

Vote Dem, vote GOP, vote Ind, I don't care--just vote.

You that's what Shelley Duncan wants you to do.