Some poet said that once, and it's the only bit of poetry that's ever stuck with me.
I couldn't agree more. Choking isn't equivalent to losing. Choking isn't equivalent to playing poorly. Every one plays poorly on occassion. Choking is reserved for the losses that can only be explained by the fact they choked.Quote:
Originally Posted by vaticanplum
If Mat Latos strikes out Buster Posey and the Reds come back to win the game, he's seen as clutch. In my mind, for the definitions to mean something, there has to be some area in between clutch and choke.
I don't exactly know what choking is. Did the Giants choke at home? To me it's more like the post season showed the Reds weaknesses, mainly the thing we saw in the late season, an inability to score runs when they needed to. One of the things I love about post season baseball is that a team can't fake their way to the World Series. If you have weak seams, the post season is where they can rip wide open. It didn't seem to me like the Reds choked as much as they just reverted back to the way they were playing in September.
I don't see it as a choke because the outstanding factor in their demise was the injury to Johnny Cueto. This was a good team with a solid rotation that stayed healthier than any I ever remember. Ironic that an injury to a starter, this year's best, in the first inning of the playoffs was what brought them down.
Just because they lost doesn't mean they choked. There is a big difference that some folks don't seem to understand.
Choking means to cave in under the pressure of a stressful situation.
The Reds didn't wilt under the pressure at all. They fought like crazy. They pitched great (even without their ace), made very few mistakes in the field (the couple they did make were key though because the games were so close), and battled hard at the plate every inning. They played well and fought like warriors and lost by the thinnest of margins to another excellent baseball team. They didn't choke at all.
If they hadn't played well you could say they choked. If they had given the games away you could say they choked. If they failed to play hard or were intimidated you could say they choked. None of those things happened so it is not fair nor accurate to say they choked. They just got beaten by a top-notch opponent in a very tight series. No shame in that.
I define a choke as failing to do something in a pressure situation that you would normally do. This was a choke...not a historic or overly dramatic one, but a choke nonetheless.
It wasn't a "very tight series" either -- they blew the Giants out in two straight games on the road. They were on their way to steamrolling through the first round until they fell asleep at the switch and allowed the Giants to make it a close contest.
Calling this anything other than a choke lets the players off the hook for their abysmal showing.
If you call it a choke it absolves you from being guilty of being a fan of the team... that's the message I hear being repeated over and over again.
Have at it if you must.
Game's too hard for me to be even swayed into that line of thinking.
The Reds didn't play abysmally at all. They played very, very well in a tough situation without their ace and with their superstar hitter at 50% health. They didn't fall asleep, they played hard all the way through. Saying they choked is way off the mark and rather spiteful.
Simple answer: Yes.Quote:
Is it OK to call it a choke and still be proud of them?