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Thread: Jay Bruce looks like he has become a professional hitter overnight!!!!!!!

  1. #211
    Member 757690's Avatar
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    Re: Jay Bruce looks like he has become a professional hitter overnight!!!!!!!

    Concerning clutch:

    Bill James came up with a new definition of clutch a few years back, and when applied to MLB hitters, he found that there truely are players that are clutch.

    He claims we have the whole concept of clutch wrong. He claimed that clutch has to do with two things, the leverage if the situation in the game, and the importance of the game in the standings.

    Basically, he argued that the goal isn't to score runs, the goal is to make the playoffs, and the way to do that is to win games. So, a homer run with the bases loaded of a 7-0 Royals/Astros game in July isn't as clutch as a walk to lead off a tie game between the Reds and Pirates in September.

    He weighted every plate appearance based on how clutch it was according to his new definition, and compared how papers did in the highly clutch situations vs regular situations. He found that there were hitters, like David Ortiz, who did much better in James' clutch situations than they did in non-clutch situations. And there were players, like A-Rod, who did much worse in his clutch situations than they did in non-clutch situations. If you saw the list, it came pretty close to matching what people intuitively thought were the clutch hitters.

    I think the most intersting part of his new definition of clutch is that he didn't tie it to run production, but instead to importance of the situation. So anyone who did well in those high pressure situations were clutch, even if they didn't drive in any runs.
    "Man, the pitch looks fast, even in slow motion." Thom Brennaman on Chapman's fastball.

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  3. #212
    No half measures, Walter RedEye's Avatar
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    Re: Jay Bruce looks like he has become a professional hitter overnight!!!!!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by 757690 View Post
    Concerning clutch:

    Bill James came up with a new definition of clutch a few years back, and when applied to MLB hitters, he found that there truely are players that are clutch.

    He claims we have the whole concept of clutch wrong. He claimed that clutch has to do with two things, the leverage if the situation in the game, and the importance of the game in the standings.

    Basically, he argued that the goal isn't to score runs, the goal is to make the playoffs, and the way to do that is to win games. So, a homer run with the bases loaded of a 7-0 Royals/Astros game in July isn't as clutch as a walk to lead off a tie game between the Reds and Pirates in September.

    He weighted every plate appearance based on how clutch it was according to his new definition, and compared how papers did in the highly clutch situations vs regular situations. He found that there were hitters, like David Ortiz, who did much better in James' clutch situations than they did in non-clutch situations. And there were players, like A-Rod, who did much worse in his clutch situations than they did in non-clutch situations. If you saw the list, it came pretty close to matching what people intuitively thought were the clutch hitters.

    I think the most intersting part of his new definition of clutch is that he didn't tie it to run production, but instead to importance of the situation. So anyone who did well in those high pressure situations were clutch, even if they didn't drive in any runs.
    Saw this. Wasn't his conclusion, though, basically that clutch sort of exists more than originally theorized? (Emphasis on the "sort of")
    "Iíll kind of have a foot on the back of my own butt. Thatís just how I do things.Ē -- Bryan Price, 10/22/2013

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    Re: Jay Bruce looks like he has become a professional hitter overnight!!!!!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by RedEye View Post
    Saw this. Wasn't his conclusion, though, basically that clutch sort of exists more than originally theorized? (Emphasis on the "sort of")
    Yeah, lots of issues with his final "conclusion." The biggest one for me was that he never revealed exactly how he figured which situations were high leverage and which weren't.

    It still was at the very least interesting by coming up with a new concept of what clutch is. Right or wrong, it helped further the discussion.

    I never bought the notion that just because we haven't found "clutch" yet in the stats, that we can conclude that it doesn't exist. At one point we couldn't find a vaccine for polio, but that didn't mean that it didn't exist, it just meant that we needed to keep looking. And at that point, the medical world knew more about medicine than the saber world currently knows about baseball stats.
    "Man, the pitch looks fast, even in slow motion." Thom Brennaman on Chapman's fastball.

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  6. #214
    No half measures, Walter RedEye's Avatar
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    Re: Jay Bruce looks like he has become a professional hitter overnight!!!!!!!

    I wanted to put these two quotes next to one another, just because I find both convincing in a different way:

    First, scott91575, a clutch skeptic:

    Quote Originally Posted by scott91575
    The simple fact is if clutch was a legitimate thing, we should see it in the things we can measure. It's like saying we don't know if the garbage man shows up on Friday mornings. I say the garbage man shows up every Friday morning that is not a holiday week while having data to show that, and you are saying "well, we don't know that because he didn't show up any Friday at 7:14AM while Mars is directly lined up with the sun." Just because there is not enough data in very specific, rather unusual circumstance does not mean we cannot make a reasonable conclusion based on the data we have.
    Then 757690, who seems to be pro-clutch -- or at least agnostic on the issue:

    Quote Originally Posted by 757690
    I never bought the notion that just because we haven't found "clutch" yet in the stats, that we can conclude that it doesn't exist. At one point we couldn't find a vaccine for polio, but that didn't mean that it didn't exist, it just meant that we needed to keep looking. And at that point, the medical world knew more about medicine than the saber world currently knows about baseball stats.
    Pretty profound philosophical questions raised in both posts. Wondering if others have anything to add -- or if these two want to bounce some more ideas around about it.

    Thanks for all the great discussion already!
    Last edited by RedEye; 06-20-2013 at 09:21 PM.

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    Re: Jay Bruce looks like he has become a professional hitter overnight!!!!!!!

    The problem is that everyone has his or her own definition of what clutch is. It's an impossible conversation.
    "But I do know Joey's sister indirectly (or foster sister) and I have heard stories of Joey being into shopping, designer wear, fancy coffees, and pedicures."

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    No half measures, Walter RedEye's Avatar
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    Re: Jay Bruce looks like he has become a professional hitter overnight!!!!!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Raisor View Post
    The problem is that everyone has his or her own definition of what clutch is. It's an impossible conversation.
    Yeah, that is a problem. To my mind, In some sense "clutch" is about narrative. People want to be able to tell stories -- to ascribe causality to the events they watch -- which is only human at some level, since it is how we understand the world around us in many cases. For a long time, some degree of "clutch" has been used as a way to explain things that happen in this game. It's a basic building block of how parents talk to their kids about the rules and about what it is to be a good baseball player, and in many cases what it is to be a successful person in the world at large. Naturally, when quantitative research threatens the existence of one of the game's main measures of value judgment, some don't react too well to it. It seems to sap the romance out of the story when a guy's walkoff HR is more due to chance than it is to his steely resolve and clenched jaw.

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    Re: Jay Bruce looks like he has become a professional hitter overnight!!!!!!!

    In the end, if I have two hitters: one who has an OPS of 900 but isn't considered "clutch" and another guy at 750 but is considered clutch. I'll take the 900 guy every time.

    The 750 has to be clutch more often.
    "But I do know Joey's sister indirectly (or foster sister) and I have heard stories of Joey being into shopping, designer wear, fancy coffees, and pedicures."

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    Re: Jay Bruce looks like he has become a professional hitter overnight!!!!!!!

    I will put emphasis on something I mentioned before just to make it clear that I do think there are some clutch hitters. There are some outliers, as with pretty much anything. So yes, some clutch hitters do exist and some poor clutch hitters do exist. Yet my major issue is the idea of a clutch hitter is way overused (Brandon Phillips is a perfect example of someone people suddenly think of as a clutch hitter when it's really just a blip).

    As with pretty much most rules, there will be exceptions. Ortiz is always going to be used as an example because he is one of the very few that actually does have consistent clutch stats. It always boils down to a handful of guys in a whole generation of players. Too many times people see someone who is hitting well in clutch situations for part of a year and declare that he suddenly is a clutch hitter. They also think that will continue and therefore declare that hitter now has more value. Yet unless he is one of the very few players that actually are truly clutch hitters, history has shown us he will return to norm.

    It's about putting value on a player, not only now but into the future. IMO, clutch stats are pretty much useless since in 97 to 99 out of every 100 examples will prove to have no prediction on future success in clutch situations. The vast majority of the time clutch is just luck, and that is why clutch stats are poor.
    Last edited by scott91575; 06-20-2013 at 11:16 PM.

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  14. #219
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    Re: Jay Bruce looks like he has become a professional hitter overnight!!!!!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Raisor View Post
    The problem is that everyone has his or her own definition of what clutch is. It's an impossible conversation.
    Yes. It's extremely difficult to define. Is a solo home run in the 1st inning of a game that finishes 1-0 clutch? At the time, it doesn't appear like it was but after the game it certainly does. Let's say in that same 1-0 game in the 9th inning, the team that is behind gets a runner on 2nd and the batter gets a hit. It looks like the runner will score but he trips and falls rounding 3rd and is thrown out. Was it a clutch hit? It certainly seems like it but the runner didn't score so was it really clutch? If that batter was really clutch he would have hit a home run.
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    OCS Prez Cant Touch This's Avatar
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    Re: Jay Bruce looks like he has become a professional hitter overnight!!!!!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Chip R View Post
    Yes. It's extremely difficult to define. Is a solo home run in the 1st inning of a game that finishes 1-0 clutch? At the time, it doesn't appear like it was but after the game it certainly does. Let's say in that same 1-0 game in the 9th inning, the team that is behind gets a runner on 2nd and the batter gets a hit. It looks like the runner will score but he trips and falls rounding 3rd and is thrown out. Was it a clutch hit? It certainly seems like it but the runner didn't score so was it really clutch? If that batter was really clutch he would have hit a home run.
    This is yet another prime example of how many variables, out of the control of the player being evaluated, factor into his statistics.

    I concede that given a large enough sample size, stats offer a generally accurate impression of a player's skills. Call me old school, but I still believe the eye test -- actually watching him play the game -- trumps all other evaluation methods.

    Regarding "clutch" - I concur with the principle that it's too loosely defined to argue it statistically, for the very same reasons stated above. Too circumstantial.
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    Re: Jay Bruce looks like he has become a professional hitter overnight!!!!!!!

    I think I'm going to throw up.

  18. #222
    RaisorZone Raisor's Avatar
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    Re: Jay Bruce looks like he has become a professional hitter overnight!!!!!!!

    A good vomit cures the humors
    "But I do know Joey's sister indirectly (or foster sister) and I have heard stories of Joey being into shopping, designer wear, fancy coffees, and pedicures."

  19. #223
    The Future is Now Ghosts of 1990's Avatar
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    Re: Jay Bruce looks like he has become a professional hitter overnight!!!!!!!

    He's fun to watch right now. He's had about five or six of these other-worldly hot streaks in his career. They are power binges. They are amazing. I hope it goes one more week.
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    Re: Jay Bruce looks like he has become a professional hitter overnight!!!!!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Ghosts of 1990 View Post
    He's fun to watch right now. He's had about five or six of these other-worldly hot streaks in his career. They are power binges. They are amazing. I hope it goes one more week.
    Be selfish. Hope it goes on for the next ten years.

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  23. #225
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    Re: Jay Bruce looks like he has become a professional hitter overnight!!!!!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by smixsell View Post
    I think I'm going to throw up.
    Nervous about the Pirates again?
    "Iíll kind of have a foot on the back of my own butt. Thatís just how I do things.Ē -- Bryan Price, 10/22/2013


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