Clutch hitting exists? Next you’ll be telling us The Valiant Brothers were actually brothers!
As a child, your heart is broken when you learn that your grandfather really can’t pull real quarters out of your ear. And if you’re a baseball fan that disillusionment happens once more to you in life, when you first hear the numbers mavens tell you that there is no such thing as a clutch hitter - none, no such thing. Oh my.
But if you have any romance in your soul, you do so want to believe that there are people in all walks of life whom we can count on to rise to the occasion. Don’t you want that?
But at least since 1977, when a statistics scholar named Dick Cramer came up with figures which showed that no batter in baseball did consistently better in a pressure situation than he did in his everyday at-bats, no other study has disputed that conclusion. So, if you don’t go along with the raw figures you’re left with: faith, Benjamin Disraeli, and Derek Jeter.
Faith says: I still believe that some of us are more valiant than the rest.
Benjamin Disraeli once said, There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies and statistics.
Derek Jeter said: You can take those stats guys and throw them out the window.
But stats guys are hard-hearted brutes, they are. And especially now at World Series time, far from going out the window, they come out of the woodwork to make sure that we silly dreamers understand that numbers don’t lie, that the clutch is all a random crap shoot. You can’t count on nobody no how.
...It’s always hard to refute the numbers, especially when those zealots who swear by them are so dismissive of the old stick-in-the-muds, who can’t see that numerical equations are sacraments. But I’m sorry. I want to believe in old-fashioned human nature, too.
It’s revealing that when somebody gets a big hit, we invariably say: He delivered. Fool that I am, I still think some of us can deliver better than ever when the chips are down, the count is full, and the game is on the line.
Posted: October 25, 2013 at 05:20 AM | 36 comment(s)
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