Baseball Primer Newsblog
— The Best News Links from the Baseball Newsstand
Friday, October 09, 2009
What you can’t see won’t hurt you… it’ll clutch you!
Let’s begin with the null hypothesis that player performance in clutch situations is identical to performance in non-clutch situations. A type I error occurs when we reject a correct null hypothesis. Studies of clutch hitting find that performance differences in these situations are small and often not statistically meaningful. The null stands and clutch-hitting skill is seen as a myth. A type II error occurs from not rejecting an incorrect null hypothesis. When James advocates agnosticism towards clutch-hitting as a skill, it is because that despite the studies showing little evidence of clutch-hitting he wants to avoid committing type II error. The problem is, this choice between type I and II errors isn’t free. By raising the decision criterion to avoid type II error, you necessarily increase the chance of committing type I error.
Identifying clutch hitting is practical problem that requires a decision involving real costs. Should a team factor in clutch ability when choosing between free agents. Should it matter for the manager choosing among pinch hitters? Should a historically big-game pitcher start the playoff series over your regular season ace? Based on the available evidence, if I had to decide between Jeter or A-Rod it’s not even close: Alex Rodriguez is a far superior player to Derek Jeter, and that’s what is relevant. And in cases were the players’ performances are more similar, I wouldn’t consider clutch performance for even a moment. If clutch ability exists, it would show up in bunches using the empirical methods already employed by researchers seeking to study the question.
In my view, the fog is a distraction: something to bring up to keep the argument going. But arguing takes time, which is valuable. Let’s stop it with the fog, already. Of course it’s possible that something exists that just hasn’t been discovered yet (e.g.the Loch Ness Monster, Sasquatch, ergogenic effects of HGH); but the evidence we have says these things don’t exist, and hanging hopes on the possible isn’t a very persuasive argument.
Posted: October 09, 2009 at 12:29 PM | 24 comment(s)
Login to Bookmark
for his generous support.
You must be logged in to view your Bookmarks.
: [OTP-May] Politico: Congressional baseball game, May 1, 1926
(3202 - 6:14am, May 18)Last:
FancyPantsHandle glistening with foreign substanceNewsblog
: Josh Hamilton's allergies not linked to drug use, doctors say
(28 - 5:59am, May 18)
Last: Poster NutbagNewsblog
: BPro: Listen to What the Heyman Said
(179 - 5:13am, May 18)Last:
David Nieporent (now, with children)Newsblog
: Beer and Loathing: Taking Stock of the Best and Worst Ballpark Suds | Extra Mustard - SI.com
(136 - 4:36am, May 18)Last:
: Pinstriped Bible: Albin: Is Ichiro done?
(20 - 3:22am, May 18)
Last: Walks Clog Up the BasesNewsblog
: Girardi Still Believes as Injuries Mount
(2 - 3:03am, May 18)
Last: Greg (U)KNewsblog
: BBTF SOFTBALL GAME IN NEW YORK--AUG 17
(261 - 2:23am, May 18)Last:
The Yankee ClapperNewsblog
: OMNICHATTER for May 17, 2013
(162 - 1:34am, May 18)Last:
Joey B. has ignited his October #NatitudeNewsblog
: Studying the art of pitch framing by catchers such as Francisco Cervelli, Chris Stewart, Jose Molina, and others - Grantland
(22 - 12:53am, May 18)
: Dunson: The Campaign For Mariano Rivera To Start The All-Star Game Is A Backhanded Compliment
(31 - 12:31am, May 18)
: MLB: Talking past, present and future with Ryne Sandberg
(12 - 12:31am, May 18)
: OT: The Soccer Thread, May 2013
(777 - 12:05am, May 18)Last:
: MLB draft bonus pool up 8.2 percent
(6 - 11:43pm, May 17)
Last: Walt DavisNewsblog
: MLB hoping for large replay expansion in 2014
(47 - 9:33pm, May 17)
Last: Bruce MarkusenNewsblog
: TB Times: Crash victim works to forgive former Ray Bush
(41 - 9:18pm, May 17)