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Thread: The Color of Clutch

  1. #46
    2009: Fail Ltlabner's Avatar
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    Re: The Color of Clutch

    To me the eternal search for clutch is a colossal waste of time.

    If hitters are clutch, so are pitchers. For that matter, so are managers who can rise to the occasion and effect outcomes with better in-game decisions. Heck, even umps can be clutch, I suppose. All of that effects the mystical clutch equation and the outcomes clutch allegedly produces.

    Then you have to factor in outside factors like weather. Was that clutch home run the result of steely batter's skill or lucky wind drafts through the stadium? What that clutch shot up the middle the result of highly tuned reflexes or the short stop misjudging the ball because of glare? Was that clutch strike out the result of a veteran nerves, or a batter who had the stomach flu the week before and hadn't gotten his timing back yet?

    So once you wade through that swamp of factors you have to ask yourself, "who cares?". Are you really going to turn down the services of Alex Rodriguez all season because of some goofy notion that he isn't clutch? Are you really going to pencil in Mr. .245 hitter all year because he might come through in a clutch moment in the last game of the season?

    Clutch does nothing, or at least very little, to effect decision making regarding baseball games. Therefore, who cares?

    I don't doubt that some people preform well under stress while others crumble. I've espoused that here before. I just think it's so murky, so undefined, and so minor to the outcome of baseball games that it's not worth the time to attempt to ferret out the information.
    Last edited by Ltlabner; 02-23-2009 at 12:39 PM.
    a super volcano of ridonkulous suckitude.

    I simply don't have access to a "cares about RBI" place in my psyche. There is a "mildly curious about OBI%" alcove just before the acid filled lake guarded by robot snipers with lasers which leads to the "cares about RBI" antechamber though. - Nate

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  3. #47
    Waitin til next year bucksfan2's Avatar
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    Re: The Color of Clutch

    Quote Originally Posted by Chip R View Post
    That's important to remember. We all remember Eric Davis' 1st inning HR in Game 1 of the 1990 World Series. According to every definition of clutch, that wasn't clutch because it happened in the 1st inning without any runners on.
    I would argue that was about as clutch as you get. Hitting a HR in your first at bat of a WS is clutch. Putting nerves and pressure aside to give your team the lead (IIRC) is very important.

    IMO it is very difficult to define clutch by looking at numbers. I guess when you are watching a game you can identify with clutch instances in each game. You can identify game changing events in a game. If the final score is 8-4 that gives you no indication of the game. The game could have been much closer that the final score dictates. It could also have been much less competitive with the losing team tacking on 4 runs in their last at bat.

  4. #48
    The rest is drama. marcshoe's Avatar
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    Re: The Color of Clutch

    Quote Originally Posted by RANDY IN CHAR NC View Post
    I think there are big moments in nearly every game, regardless of the existence of a clock or not. To say that big things, in sports with clocks, only happen when time is running out is just not right. In baseball, the biggest hit, catch, or strikeout could happen in nearly any given inning, not just the ninth. While things done at the ends of games are dramatic, there are big situations that demand excellence at nearly any time. Stepping up at those moments, while not as dramatic, to me, are every bit as important and demand the same type of effort and "intestinal fortitude." Coaches love those two words.
    That's true, but it also goes back to what "clutch" is, and whether it's even possible to measure it. Clutch has more to do with personal emotions and stressors than with any situation that can be uniformly recorded. And our memory of what is and isn't clutch has to do with our emotions and perceptions more than it does with reality. I'm more likely to consider a missed shot in the last second a failure than an out made in any particular situation, in part because of the clock, and in part because of an awareness of the percentage of usual success.

    We end up frustrated when we try to measure clutch, because, in the end, we try to fit it into an ill-constructed template. It's hard for us to admit, but there are some things that can't be measured or even adequately explained.

    ___________

    On another note, someone mentioned that we didn't consider the pitching side of clutch, but it would seem that the one stat that's commonly used that attempts to measure clutch is saves.
    Last edited by tixe; 02-23-2009 at 01:13 PM.
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  5. #49
    WOOOOO!!! *BaseClogger*'s Avatar
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    Re: The Color of Clutch

    So... if a batter hits a home run off of a pitcher in a clutch situation, then actually the pitcher... choked?

    :
    "On-base percentage is great if you can score runs and do something with that on-base percentage," Baker said. "Clogging up the bases isn't that great to me."

  6. #50
    The rest is drama. marcshoe's Avatar
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    Re: The Color of Clutch

    Quote Originally Posted by *BaseClogger* View Post
    So... if a batter hits a home run off of a pitcher in a clutch situation, then actually the pitcher... choked?

    :
    The way we measure saves implies that. In truth, maybe, maybe not. No way to know without being inside the person's skin.
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  7. #51
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    Re: The Color of Clutch

    Quote Originally Posted by *BaseClogger* View Post
    So... if a batter hits a home run off of a pitcher in a clutch situation, then actually the pitcher... choked?

    :
    Seems that clutch and choke cancel each other out maybe?

  8. #52
    breath westofyou's Avatar
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    Re: The Color of Clutch

    Clutch is the color of black at midnight during the new moon.

  9. #53
    2009: Fail Ltlabner's Avatar
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    Re: The Color of Clutch

    So is it merely the ability to control one's nerves under stress that makes one clutch? Or is it the successful outcome that makes one clutch?

    If it's the ability to control one's nerves then you could have a pitcher and batter both be clutch but obviously someone's going to win that battle. I guess the one that succeeded was just "clutchier" ?

    If it's the outcome, you can make the case that Juan Castro is clutch because of that one game winning hit he had that one time.
    a super volcano of ridonkulous suckitude.

    I simply don't have access to a "cares about RBI" place in my psyche. There is a "mildly curious about OBI%" alcove just before the acid filled lake guarded by robot snipers with lasers which leads to the "cares about RBI" antechamber though. - Nate

  10. #54
    Next Year redsbuckeye's Avatar
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    Re: The Color of Clutch

    Quote Originally Posted by westofyou View Post
    Clutch is the color of black at midnight during the new moon.
    When did we start talking about goths?

  11. #55
    Member SMcGavin's Avatar
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    Re: The Color of Clutch

    Quote Originally Posted by Ltlabner View Post
    So is it merely the ability to control one's nerves under stress that makes one clutch? Or is it the successful outcome that makes one clutch?

    If it's the ability to control one's nerves then you could have a pitcher and batter both be clutch but obviously someone's going to win that battle. I guess the one that succeeded was just "clutchier" ?

    If it's the outcome, you can make the case that Juan Castro is clutch because of that one game winning hit he had that one time.
    Well, I think the argument is that the guy who controls his nerves will have a bunch of clutch at-bats over time, some against fellow "clutch" dudes and some against "chokers". So more often than not he'll win the battle, and his overall clutch numbers will be good. I think even those who support the idea of clutch would agree that even clutch players fail in big situations sometimes.

    FWIW, I don't buy the assertion that someone can magically raise their level of play during crunch time. It just doesn't make much sense. I do buy the idea though that someone can tense up and become less effective when they get nervous in important situations. So I am going to have to agree with what some others have said on this one: Clutch is the absence of choke.

    Also, the first guy I ever saw hit a HR at GABP was Juan Castro. The score was 0-0 at the time too. I'm sure that day Castro seemed pretty clutch to me

  12. #56
    Rally Onion! Chip R's Avatar
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    Re: The Color of Clutch

    Quote Originally Posted by bucksfan2 View Post
    I would argue that was about as clutch as you get. Hitting a HR in your first at bat of a WS is clutch. Putting nerves and pressure aside to give your team the lead (IIRC) is very important.

    Exactly but it doesn't fit any of the definitions since it was in the 1st inning and there weren't any runners in scoring position. It certainly was an important hit but that's one of the reasons why I have problems with "clutch." You can define it but there are always exceptions to it. A clutch hit may not even look clutch at the time it happens but at the end of the game it may be the most important hit in the game.
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  13. #57
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    Re: The Color of Clutch

    From Baseball-Reference:

    Post-Season Leaders
    Batting Average
    Rank Player BA PA

    1. Bobby Brown .439 46
    2. Ichiro Suzuki .421 43
    3. Pepper Martin .418 60
    4. Sean Casey .410 40
    5. Fred Lynn .407 61
    6. Billy Hatcher .404 61
    7. Jose Offerman .400 53
    8. Lou Brock .391 92
    9. Ryne Sandberg .385 47
    10. Willie Aikens .375 49

    Slugging %
    Rank Player SLG PA

    1. Troy Glaus .819 82
    2. Carlos Beltran .817 101
    3. Carlos Delgado .757 43
    4. Babe Ruth .744 167
    5. Juan Gonzalez .742 66
    6. Lou Gehrig .731 150
    7. Willie Aikens .725 49
    8. Hank Aaron .710 74
    9. Bobby Brown .707 46
    10. Sean Casey .692 40

    OPS
    Rank Player OPS PA

    1. Carlos Beltran 1.302 101
    2. Troy Glaus 1.246 82
    3. Willie Aikens 1.215 49
    4. Babe Ruth 1.211 167
    5. Lou Gehrig 1.208 150
    6. Bobby Brown 1.207 46
    7. Carlos Delgado 1.199 43
    8. Billy Hatcher 1.120 61
    9. Sean Casey 1.117 40
    10. Hank Aaron 1.115 74

    Some great players, some has-beens and never-wases. Most were good players playing above their head, it seems. Sample size? Sure. Clutch? Probably. Quantifiable? Not yet. Real? I think so.
    "You can learn little from victory. You can learn everything from defeat."
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  14. #58
    Charlie Brown All-Star IslandRed's Avatar
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    Re: The Color of Clutch

    Quote Originally Posted by Ltlabner View Post
    Clutch does nothing, or at least very little, to effect decision making regarding baseball games. Therefore, who cares?
    Since when do we have to limit ourselves to arguing about things that affect baseball decision-making? : We don't get to make any of those decisions, after all. It's fun to research things just because we're fans and we want to know.
    Not all who wander are lost

  15. #59
    Five Tool Fool jojo's Avatar
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    Re: The Color of Clutch

    Quote Originally Posted by SMcGavin View Post
    even clutch players fail in big situations most of the time.
    "This isnít stats vs scouts - this is stats and scouts working together, building an organization that blends the best of both worlds. This is the blueprint for how a baseball organization should be run. And, whether the baseball men of the 20th century like it or not, this is where baseball is going."---Dave Cameron, U.S.S. Mariner

  16. #60
    Member Sea Ray's Avatar
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    Re: The Color of Clutch

    I think clutch is an intangible that can't easily be explained. I consider Manny Ramirez, Barry Larkin and Craig Counsell all to be clutch players. Does that mean I value Counsell over ARod? No way. It does mean I'll be careful not to take Counsell for granted in a clutch situation.


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