Baseball for the Thinking Fan

Login | Register | Feedback

btf_logo
You are here > Home > Baseball Newsstand > Baseball Primer Newsblog > Discussion
Baseball Primer Newsblog
— The Best News Links from the Baseball Newsstand

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Allen Barra: A-Rod’s Not The Yankees’ Only Playoff Goat

Clearing the Baseless: The Greatest Baseball Debate of the Last New York Minute

I pretty much agree with Bill James’s early assessment on the topic, which was that what a batter hits in so-called “clutch” situations is close to what he hits in all other situations - and that if this wasn’t obvious, it’s merely because there hadn’t been enough of a sampling. In other words, if Willie Mays never hit a home run in 21 World Series games it was simply luck of the draw. Given, say, another two World Series and another 10 or 12 games, if he batted another 40 times and hit, say, 6 home runs, then he’d have 7 home runs in 114 at-bats, which would be almost the same ratio as his regular season average.

It’s unsettling to watch baseball as long as I have and suddenly have to entertain an entirely new concept, but after watching the Yankees play like deer caught in the headlights in game after game, I’m beginning to think I was wrong about clutch hitting. Or at least wrong about clutch hitting as it manifests itself in the postseason, which is about as clutch as I can think of.

...Here’s the kicker: the best of the bunch turns out to be Alex Rodriguez. I was surprised, as I expected him to be much worse than the others. But after Sunday’s 3-0 loss to the Tigers, he had played in 74 postseason games and come to bat 272 times with 72 hits for a batting average of .266 - modest, but way above that of Cano (.226), Granderson (.242), Swisher (.167) or Teixeira (.227). A-Rod had, by the way, just 13 home runs and 41 RBIs. Projected over the same 618 postseason at-bats as the other four had combined, he would probably have come up with 30 home runs and 93 RBIs. It’s not great, but it’s not terrible, and his numbers were made a whole lot worse by his dreadful hitting in the last two weeks.

I’m still not sure I believe in clutch hitting or that the postseasons of all five of the Yankees’ regular season big boppers really reflects that they can’t hit in the clutch. But it certainly doesn’t provide any evidence that they are clutch hitters. At the least, though, it suggests that the dreadful batting performances we’ve endured over the last seven games aren’t that much different than what the five of them have done over their entire postseason careers. Think about that.

Repoz Posted: October 16, 2012 at 05:22 AM | 0 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: sabermetrics, yankees

Reader Comments and Retorts

Go to end of page

Statements posted here are those of our readers and do not represent the BaseballThinkFactory. Names are provided by the poster and are not verified. We ask that posters follow our submission policy. Please report any inappropriate comments.

You must be Registered and Logged In to post comments.

 

 

<< Back to main

BBTF Partner

Support BBTF

donate

Thanks to
BDC
for his generous support.

Bookmarks

You must be logged in to view your Bookmarks.

Hot Topics

NewsblogOTP - September 2015: Making Sense Of The Republican Presidential Race: It's Like Major League Baseball In August
(97 - 4:33pm, Sep 01)
Last: Ray (RDP)

NewsblogMike Mussina's Hall of Fame case is strong, so why aren't voters buying it?
(19 - 4:33pm, Sep 01)
Last: Ithaca2323

NewsblogDon’t let Bird’s bad night jump-start terrible A-Rod experiment | New York Post
(13 - 4:32pm, Sep 01)
Last: Chicago Joe

NewsblogForbes: Maury Brown: MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred Rejects Reinstatement Of 'Shoeless' Joe Jackson
(16 - 4:31pm, Sep 01)
Last: SoSHially Unacceptable

NewsblogOT - September 2015 College Football thread
(9 - 4:28pm, Sep 01)
Last: Bug Selig

NewsblogFan dies in fall from upper deck at Turner Field | www.ajc.com
(255 - 4:27pm, Sep 01)
Last: Random Transaction Generator

NewsblogOT: Soccer August 2015
(631 - 4:25pm, Sep 01)
Last: Howling John Shade

NewsblogThe Atlantic: The Many Problems With 'Moneyball'
(78 - 4:25pm, Sep 01)
Last: AROM

Hall of MeritMost Meritorious Player: 1908 Ballot
(4 - 4:08pm, Sep 01)
Last: Chris Fluit

NewsblogBabe Ruth’s Former New York Apartment Can Be Bought For Just $1.6M (Photos) | MLB | NESN.com
(6 - 4:07pm, Sep 01)
Last: AROM

NewsblogPrimer Dugout (and link of the day) 9-1-2015
(18 - 4:01pm, Sep 01)
Last: Canker Soriano

NewsblogSNY Kidcaster calls play-by-play for the Mets
(3 - 3:52pm, Sep 01)
Last: Lance Reddick! Lance him!

NewsblogOMNICHATTER 9-1-2015
(17 - 3:45pm, Sep 01)
Last: Moses Taylor world tour 2015: Tel Aviv

NewsblogSchoenfield: Williams' time running short with Nationals after loss - SweetSpot - ESPN
(19 - 3:19pm, Sep 01)
Last: boteman asks Where's My Ring?

NewsblogBBTF 2015 Shooty Memorial Softball Meet-up!
(612 - 2:24pm, Sep 01)
Last: Rickey! something like a pipe-bomb ready to blow

Page rendered in 0.1651 seconds
42 querie(s) executed