I'm packing all my student-apartmently possessions into my sensible midsize sedan and driving through the middle of nowhere today (next stop: Blanding, Utah, which is a real place.) Which leaves us with one more discussion-question-masquerading-as-a-VEB-Daily post before I can unpack my computer, stare at TweetDeck for an hour, and really think about the St. Louis Cardinals. My apologies.
But it's an important discussion question, a few games into the season: Which small sample sizes are getting to you?
That is: As a member of a baseball blog in good standing, you're probably talking a good game about baseball's long season and twists and turns and merciless regression to the mean, but when is it all talk? For me it's the bullpen, which is subject to two of my small-sample-enlarging neuroses:
Is it something I've been too optimistic about? I am a superstitious man, if I'm being realistic about myself, in at least this sense: If I've been particularly sunny about any given topic, I'm convinced the flighty Greek gods of that particular topic, of baseball or whatever else, are going to strike me down on it.
It's the kind of narcissism that leads you to subconsciously believe that your hubris is the central fact of Jason Motte's arm problems. I was very excited about the bullpen--specifically about Trevor Rosenthal and Joe Kelly and the rest of the Young Right-Handers, and now they've gotten hit around a little, and it's probably my fault.
Is it something that trades naturally in small samples? Some relievers never escape small-sample-sizedom; a really good lefty specialist, like Randy Choate, can go an entire season pitching about as many innings as Adam Wainwright will in a month.
There's a lot of noise in their numbers at all times, which makes it easy to become convinced that one false step is signal.