07-03-2012, 04:26 PM #221
For the record, I have played multiple sports at high levels (higher than most) competing for championships. I have also been a collegiate coach. I understand the discussion of "clutch". I have "laced em' up" and been in those positions. But I do not agree with much of what is being thrown around in this thread. People are who they are. All things being equal, people tend to perform at the level they are accustomed to. Statistical reports have shown that given enough opportunities, numbers will move to individual averages (up or down). Sure there are people that "want the ball", but that doesn't necessarily make them better at crunch time. I have also seen individuals who perform excellently in high stress situations, but will not publicly announce it (ie demand the ball). That is a personality trait. Just because you are willing to take the risk doesn't mean you should be there.
Clutch is a pipe dream. It is a word used to describe somebody who was able to get a positive result more often than not for being in the right place at the right time. Was Scott Brosius clutch? How long did he last? Jack Morris, a decent but not overly exceptional pitcher, has almost parlayed one well pitched World Series game into a nod for the Hall. He wouldn't even be in the discussion if Erickson pitched that game. Let's take it another route. If Jeter was drafted by the Royals, how would he be perceived today? Good, but not godlike. Think Craig Biggio. What if the roles were reversed and Biggio played for the Yankees? Look at the "closer" role. Matt Capps is a league average reliever, who happens to have experience coming in with a 3 run lead in the 9th inning. Last year and this year, the Twins have sent Glen Perkins out in high leverage situation after high leverage situation. He was almost always successful. Who was more clutch? Who gets the accolades and the bigger contract? Truthfully, who would you rather have up in the 9th inning: Craig Counsell or Alex Rodriguez? It's all right place/right time.
Another issue that nobody is discussing is political aspect of this. When Kevin Garnett played for the Wolves, he always got the ball at the top of the key for the last shot of a close game. Never mind that it was about the worst offensive move he had in his repertoire. He always missed. The political fallout for not doing this would have been outrageous, even though the team probably would have won more games if they went a different route. The media would destroy the coaching staff. Kobe Bryant is horrible at the end of games, but if he isn't shooting the last shot, heads will roll.
Look at the Mauer fallout. The Twins are nursing Mauer along to keep his bat in the lineup. Never mind how spectacular his offensive numbers are. People say he isn't worth the contract because he isn't hitting 50 HRs a year. It's ignorance and stupidity. People are saying that he isn't worth it because he isn't catching every day. You can usually count on one hand the number of catchers that catch more than 125 games in a year. If Mauer ends up with 90-100 games caught this year, people will complain. People aren't talking about how in the years prior to Mauer signing his contract, he was worth about $30 mil per year while getting paid $8-10 mil. Now he makes $23 mil, and is producing what? $10-12 mil? That's strictly numbers. Nobody talks about his impact on television revenue, gate receipts, memorabilia, advertising, being the face of the franchise, etc. (Oh, and we do have a new stadium by the way.) Still don't think he is worth that contract to the state of Minnesota? Ask the Angels about their Pujols contract and his impact on the Latino community out there. If you don't think Mauer is having that type of impact here, you are nuts.
07-03-2012, 04:30 PM #222
07-03-2012, 05:10 PM #223
07-03-2012, 05:24 PM #224
07-03-2012, 05:38 PM #225
This whole side discussion in my mind is a thin branch for anyone to climb on. Myself included! However, it's an interesting thin branch to be on in my opinion.
I don't think Clutch is the right word that I'm searching for. The Problem is that I'm still searching for that concise description of what I consider to be an extremely complicated thing.
My thing I guess can be stripped down to "odds of success increase with good swings and good swings can be mental in nature."
07-03-2012, 05:41 PM #226
07-03-2012, 06:42 PM #227
07-03-2012, 07:12 PM #228
07-03-2012, 07:35 PM #229
To bring this back closer to the original topic (but more closely the one that got the tangent going)...The claim is made that you could even tell in the moment how Kirby was raising his game and putting the team on his back and doing all that tough guy stuff that he did in '91. There's also a story I've heard many times that before he went up to the plate in what became probably the most iconic plate appearance in Twins history, that he told Chili Davis he was going to go up and bunt to get aboard for the Chili Dog to drive him in and win Game 6. Davis basically told him not to. Regardless if the story is true or not, what if that story had been told about Joe Mauer? Try to be honest when you think about your reactions...