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Saturday, June 30, 2012

Miklasz: Matt Holliday critics are off base

Miklasz: Clutch/Spinner.

I like this one: I often hear that Holliday isn’t “clutch.” I’m baffled by this term, “clutch.” Is “clutch” genetic? Are you born with it? Can you call the doctor and get a prescription to increase your “clutch” flow? Is there night school where one can go to earn a Masters in “clutch?”

I heard plenty of wailing about “clutch” when Holliday got off to a slow start this season. His batting average with runners in scoring position suffered early. Did Holliday lose his “clutch” machismo and suddenly turn into a puddle of nerves?

Since May 30, Holliday is batting .450 with runners in scoring position. Well, I’m confused again. Did Holliday develop a rush of “clutch” courage? Did he go press a secret “clutch” button hidden inside Busch Stadium? Or did he go to Walgreen’s to buy “clutch” medication? I don’t know; maybe Matt is working with a “clutch” shaman.

...In the meantime, every time Holliday misses on an RBI opportunity, we’ll be in for more disoriented barking about “clutch.” Help me out here, please. I am curious. Does “clutch” come and go? Is a hitter mentally tough and oblivious to pressure one week, only to turn into a shivering wimp a few days later? When Holliday got his head shaved, did his barber remove too much of the “clutch?” (Forgive me, but I like having fun with this.)

Repoz Posted: June 30, 2012 at 09:32 AM | 15 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: cardinals, sabermetrics

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   1. The elusive Robert Denby Posted: June 30, 2012 at 01:40 PM (#4170066)
You tell those imaginary people, Bernie!
   2. Bote Man Posted: June 30, 2012 at 02:11 PM (#4170076)
In the meantime, every time Holliday misses on an RBI opportunity, we’ll be in for more disoriented barking about “clutch.”

That's disoriented braking. The brake is what you push when you don't push in the clutch. That is, if you're in neutral.
   3. danup Posted: June 30, 2012 at 03:00 PM (#4170100)
Those imaginary people have been tweeting Miklasz and Derrick Goold, the other saber-friendly P-D writer, all year calling for Holliday's head. It's a minority no doubt, but it becomes very vocal when Holliday starts slow or slumps.
   4. Forsch 10 From Navarone (Dayn) Posted: June 30, 2012 at 04:28 PM (#4170150)
Yeah, those people very much exist, unfortunately.
   5. bjhanke Posted: June 30, 2012 at 05:23 PM (#4170192)
What is great fun for me is reading the whole column Bernie wrote, which is essentially a lecture on Sabermetrics 101 for ranting fans who obsess over small sample sizes. And yes, we here in STL have a group of people who, for no good reason at all, have taken to disliking Matt Holliday. No clue why, but they rant loudly, as fans always do when they are not willing to think but only emote. Bernie deserves credit for educating himself. I was in the STL press box for 7 years in the 1990s. At the beginning of that period, Bernie didn't know Bill James from Henry James, really. But he was obviously reading every sabermetric book he could find, because he kept coming over to where I was sitting and asking me how such and such a method worked. The other STL sportswriters, except for the elderly ones like Bob Broeg, treated me like someone had invited a rabid raccoon into the house. Bernie was the only one who saw sabermetrics coming, and decided to learn about it, rather than fighting it. And, as a consequence, he is clearly now the big man on the newspaper campus. - Brock Hanke
   6. stig-tossled, hornswoggled gef the typing mongoose Posted: June 30, 2012 at 06:34 PM (#4170227)
The brake is what you push when you don't push in the clutch. That is, if you're in neutral.


Boy, do I miss having a standard. It's now been 16 1/2 months. *sigh*
   7. GregQ Posted: June 30, 2012 at 06:56 PM (#4170232)
isn't a standard now also called an anti-carjack device since so few can drive them these days?
   8. stig-tossled, hornswoggled gef the typing mongoose Posted: June 30, 2012 at 07:07 PM (#4170235)
I wonder what percentage of drivers actually can.
   9. Stormy JE Posted: June 30, 2012 at 07:09 PM (#4170236)
isn't a standard now also called an anti-carjack device since so few can drive them these days?

That was my thinking when I got a BMW with a stick eight years ago. I elected to forgo the alarm -- I don't even have the Club -- and yet my car has never been touched.
   10. xdog Posted: June 30, 2012 at 07:09 PM (#4170237)
They hate Holliday because he muffed that ball late in game 1 against the Dodgers in the playoffs 3 years ago. That, and they're dumb. Stupid bfibs.
   11. cardsfanboy Posted: June 30, 2012 at 10:12 PM (#4170285)
And yes, we here in STL have a group of people who, for no good reason at all, have taken to disliking Matt Holliday.


The faction doesn't have TLR to rant over anymore, and the miniscule brains needed something else to fret about.
   12. Steve G. Posted: June 30, 2012 at 11:21 PM (#4170311)
There's also the $120 million contract that he signed with the Cardinals during the '09 offseason, right around the time that the Pujols extension chatter was starting up. So, fair or not, there are probably some fans out there that look at his salary as one of the reasons that the Cardinals "couldn't afford" Pujols.
   13. cardsfanboy Posted: June 30, 2012 at 11:37 PM (#4170314)
So, fair or not, there are probably some fans out there that look at his salary as one of the reasons that the Cardinals "couldn't afford" Pujols.


I've not seen that attitude in St Louis. The fans believe the team offered more than a competitive offer and that Pujols went for more money. If he would have signed for less than 22-23 mil a year, then I think that is a very valid point.
   14. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: July 01, 2012 at 06:11 PM (#4170846)

Even if Pujols seems to have turned this season around, I'd have to think Cards fans are thankful they didn't sign him to whatever extension was offered.

My wife and I went on vacation in Central America a few years ago and the only cars available to rent at the airport were manual. We watched some youtube videos and my wife, who had driven a manual car once before (in an empty parking lot), to her credit, basically learned it on the fly over the next week.
   15. stig-tossled, hornswoggled gef the typing mongoose Posted: July 01, 2012 at 07:46 PM (#4170881)
If driving a standard were difficult, I couldn't do it. (I mean, my god, I never even mastered riding a bike.) Not only did I get the hang of it, I taught my future 2nd wife &, when they were old enough to drive, both her daughters to do so.

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