Re: Putting together the 2012 Red Sox Roster: Let's help Ben Cherington!
posted at 10/19/2011 8:30 PM EDT
In Response to Re: Putting together the 2012 Red Sox Roster: Let's help Ben Cherington!
[QUOTE]As for the subject of clutch hitting..... isn't it odd that the same players manager to knock in 100 runs, regardless of what team they're playing for? It means their sphincters don't pucker when men are on base. They hit and drive those people in. Of course, the bloodless, souless stat geeks will tell us RBIs are an accident. Again, why do the same people knock in 100 runs year after year? Just luck, right?
Posted by GhostofTito[/QUOTE]
1) Not all RBIs are "clutch", so equating the two is pointless.
2) Not many players get 100 RBIs year after year. Papi has done it once in the last 4 seasons, and he's considered very clutch and had high OBP guys up ahead of him. He batted .309 with 29 HRs (29 RBIs right there), but only ended up with 96 RBIs.
3) RBIs are not luck. If someone consistently has a better BA and Slg% with men on base year after year, let me know who he is. I am not saying there aren't any out there, but I have checked many of the players I considered clutch and found some surprising data.
4) Clutch to me is someone who does better than his normal or average performance when it counts (Late and Close is a good stat, but is not perfect. High Leverage is another stat some use). Doing better in the playoffs is another sign. To me, a guy who hits .250, but hits .300 in clutch situations is clutch. I just don't know many players that do it very often.
5) I'm not saying "clutch" is not real. I'm just saying it is hard for a player or team to stay clutch over a large sample size. A player that is a great hitter who ends up with over 100 RBIs most years may not really be clutch, in my opinion, if he does worse in clutch situations than otherwise. Maybe you have a different idea of what clutch means. That's fine with me.
I do think RBIs totals are in large part helped by opportunity. Some players get way more than others. Some do better than others with those opportunites, but it's hard to prove that a guy with way more opportunities is "more clutch" than one with way less.
I didn't mean to imply Papi is not clutch. He might not have been very clutch recently, but he will always go down in my book as one of the most clutch (if not the number one) players in Sox history. I don't care what his career numbers say. He was clutch when we needed it in 2004, and then again in 2007. That's enough for me.