Originally Posted by SteelSD
And that's quite possible. But I've always wondered if "press" doesn't mean "getting dumb"- i.e. allowing the brain to overtake instinctual reaction. What I'd love to find out is if there's any objective way to determine whether or not a player- under extreme stress- does what he thinks he's supposed to do or does what he knows to do. Kind of like a baseball Wonderlic.
You know, there is one thing I've been wondering about recently. All the time, people talk about how clutch hitters are, such as the ability to get a base hit with RISP and two outs or whatever. The problem is, most statistical analysis has thus far pointed to either inconclusive results or to the notion of clutch being a myth in hitters.
However, there is a second possibility to this whole notion that I think people have not adequately addressed: the role of the pitcher. In numerous interviews with pitchers I've read, along with scouting reports and the countless number of games I've seen in my life, a good number of pitchers have had different reactions to situations where they are in a pressuer situation (bases loaded and no outs, for example). I've seen some guys reach back and add a few ticks to their fastball while other guys have seemingly collapsed under the pressure, throwing a "get me over" pitch that ends up in the bleachers.
Is this also something that would be hard to prove or that would be inconclusive? If there is something to it, perhaps this could also be applied to the college pitchers in those situations...
Terrific post above, by the way. I have some bones to pick with it, but that will require some time for me to ponder over some of what you said and also to write yet another long-winded response.