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How many teams have a ninth-inning opening?

Posted by: Chad Jennings - Posted in Misc on Jan 08, 2011 Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

The Yankees might be out on Rafael Soriano, but Brian Fuentes, Jon Rauch and Chad Qualls are also available, all with closing experience and none requiring a draft pick for the Yankees to sign them. At the very least, we know that Fuentes would like to close again in 2011. How many teams could offer him — or any reliever, for that matter — an opportunity to pitch the ninth inning?

Definite opening

Rays – Not sure you heard, but Soriano is a free agent, leaving the ninth inning up for grabs at the Trop. The Rays have a lot of good young arms, but they could certainly offer a closing opportunity to an interested free agent.

Braves — Billy Wagner made good on his promise to retire at the end of the 2010 season, and for now it seems the Braves might turn the ninth inning to rookie Craig Kimbrell who has exactly one big league save.

Nationals – Drew Storen seems to be the closer of the future, but the closer of the present is still unknown. It could be Storen, or it could be someone else for the suddenly free-spending Nats.

Pirates – There are least 16 or 17 save opportunities up for grabs in Pittsburgh.

Probable opening

Angels – Right now the job seems to belong to Fernando Rodney, but it’s hard to imagine the Angels would turn down the chance to upgrade. They could certainly offer the ninth inning to someone like Soriano.

White Sox — With Bobby Jenks in Boston, the White Sox best internal ninth-inning candidate might be lefty Matt Thornton. He’s not a bad option, but the White Sox could easily slide him back into the setup role.

Possible opening

Orioles – Baltimore is full of potential closers, but there’s not a sure thing in the bunch. Koji Uehara had the job at the end of last season, but Mike Gonzalez is healthy again and Kevin Gregg just agreed to a two-year deal. It’s a full house, but no face cards.

Blue Jays – With Kevin Gregg gone, the ninth inning in Toronto could be a fight between Octavio Dotel and Jason Frasor. In theory, the Blue Jays could add a third arm to that competition. Ken Davidoff says the Blue Jays are among the suitors for Fuentes.

Rangers – The ninth inning in Texas is either completely locked down or completely wide open depending on the team’s decision on a role for Neftali Feliz.

Mariners – After offseason hip surgery, David Aardsma is expected to be healthy in time for Opening Day, but you never know.

Brewers – John Axford stepped into the role last season, and he pitched well enough to return to the ninth inning this season. That said, Axford was never particularly highly touted and his grasp on the role could be fairly loose.

Mets – Whether they like it or not, the Mets have Francisco Rodriguez as their closer for 2011. But the situation is crazy enough to list as a possible opening. At this point, would anyone be shocked to find someone else pitching the ninth inning at Citi Field by mid-June?

No opening

Yankees – You know this story.

Red Sox – Even if Jonathan Papelbon falls apart, the Red Sox still have Daniel Bard and Bobby Jenks waiting to take over.

Athletics — Andrew Bailey seems to have a pretty firm grasp on the ninth inning in Oakland. Doubt the A’s are in the market for relievers anyway.

Indians – Chris Perez couldn’t hold down the ninth-inning job in St. Louis, but last season suggested Perez might be better prepared this time around.

Royals – This job is very clearly taken unless the Royals actually decide to deal Joakim Soria.

Tigers – Detroit made its move for a closer one year ago. It’s still Jose Valverde’s job.

Twins – The Twins still have Matt Capps after last year’s mid-season addition, plus Joe Nathan is set to come back from the disabled list.

Cardinals – Last season was a step back for Ryan Franklin, but he still converted 27 of 29 save opportunities and the Cardinals are ready to stick with him for one more season.

Cubs — The ninth inning belongs to Carlos Marmol, and the Cubs already have Kerry Wood waiting in the wings should Marmol lose his grip on the job.

Reds — Francisco Cordero blew eight saves last season but still finished with 40 of them. For better or worse, he’s their guy in the ninth. You could bump this one up to a possible opening if you’d like.

Astros — Brandon Lyon didn’t have a bad debut season as the Astros closer, and clearly the job belongs to him heading into spring training. The Astros have bigger concerns than the ninth inning.

Diamondbacks – Arizona just committed $10 million to J.J. Putz. He seems to be their guy in the ninth.

Dodgers – Despite the Yankees comeback against him last season, Jonathan Broxton has a pretty firm hold on the ninth inning at Dodger Stadium.

Giants – Fear the beard!

Rockies – Huston Street took a bit of a step back last season, but the ninth inning is still his in Colorado.

Marlins — He hasn’t been the most dominant closer in baseball, but the Marlins seem committed to Leo Nunez.

Padres — Heath Bell is handling the ninth inning for an impressive group of relatively unknown relievers.

Phillies – Brad Lidge seems perpetually on the verge of losing the job, but he rebounded from a rocky 2009 and seems to once again have the job locked down.

Comments

comments

 

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141 Responses to “How many teams have a ninth-inning opening?”

  1. joeman January 8th, 2011 at 12:54 pm

    Pirates – There are least 16 or 17 save opportunities up for grabs in Pittsburgh.
    —————————–
    LOL!!!!!!!why bother

  2. Crawdaddy January 8th, 2011 at 1:00 pm

    “Would you agree that, at present, Cashman has his minor league pitching prospects in order, in fact, better than they have ever looked ?”

    no”

    That says it all as to why Randy can’t fairly evaluate anything Cashman does on the job.

  3. West Coast Yankee Fan January 8th, 2011 at 1:01 pm

    OK Cashman, fair enough, I understand you don’t want to get gouged by Kansas City for Soria and Soriano is out because you covet your first round draft pick.

    So what are you doing? Waiting for Fuentes and Rauch to sign elsewhere?

  4. Rich in NJ January 8th, 2011 at 1:04 pm

    G Love

    The young pitchers couldn’t provide any length early on, and it did hurt the offense (as well as the pen). But if they hadn’t gotten hurt, the short-term pain may have been rewarded over the course of the season.

    I think that’s a better way to go than to overpay the AJs and Vazquez’s of the MLB world to put up historically bas seasons.

    I hope Cashman sees the big picture as well.

  5. Crawdaddy January 8th, 2011 at 1:05 pm

    WCYF,

    Cashman isn’t going to give Fuentes a 3 year contract and if he did I would start acting like Randy towards him.

  6. LGY January 8th, 2011 at 1:07 pm

    “so the new problem is restated that the yankees pitching is not as bad as it looks but the hitting is worse than it looks. what does that leave us with?”

    ————————–

    randy,

    The offense was very strange in 2010. Away OPS:

    Tex
    09: .882
    10: .728 (.968 at home)

    Jeter
    09: .836
    10: .633 (.790 home)

    Alex
    09: .938
    10: .790 (.920 home)

    Swisher
    09: .945
    10: .885 (.854 home)

    Posada
    09: .760
    10: .694 (.922 home)

    Cano
    09: .832
    10: .947 (.881 home)

    Granderson
    Home: .847
    Away: .738

    Gardner
    Home: .785
    Away: .740

    The only player who did better on the road in 2010 than in 2009 was Cano. The only players who performed better on the road in 2010 were Swisher and Cano. The biggest culprits were Tex and Jeter. Tex in particular. His home OPS was 240 friggin points higher.

  7. Rich in NJ January 8th, 2011 at 1:08 pm

    A while back we had a discussion about preventing DUI.

    I’m not looking to discuss it now, but in case anyone is interested:

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/.....id=topnews

  8. filthy slider January 8th, 2011 at 1:09 pm

    Here’s an example of the #1 draft picks Brian “Spiderman” Ca$hman is protecting by passing on Soriano. Since being named G.M in 1998 here is the list of #1 picks under his leadership. 1998 Andrew Brown, 1999 David Walling, 2000 David Parrish, 2001 John-Ford Griffin, 2002 no pick, 2003 Eric Duncan ( after this pick Cashman proclaimed The future of 3rd base is secure ) 2004 Phiip Hughes, 2005 Carl Henry, Hey doesn’t he own the Red Sux, 2006 Ian Kennedy, 2007Andrew Brackman, 2008 Gerrit Cole, 2009 Slade Heathcott, & finally Cito Culver Gee now I see why he wouldn’t want to lose a pick he’s batting .080 over the last 12 years. Hey Brian go repel down a building you have more skill at that then playing G.M.

  9. mick January 8th, 2011 at 1:09 pm

    The more important stat is not how you hit but when you hit.
    It seemed that last year they didn’t hit well in key situations except for Cano who hit all year long.

  10. GreenBeret7 January 8th, 2011 at 1:11 pm

    The Yanks must have hit in a few “key situations”. They won 95 games.

  11. mick January 8th, 2011 at 1:12 pm

    Give me a .250 hitter who hits .300 when it counts, over a .300 hitter who can’t get a clutch hit if his life depended on it.

  12. Crawdaddy January 8th, 2011 at 1:13 pm

    You can’t judge Cashman’s 1st round picks fairly until the 2006 selection of Kennedy going forward.

  13. mick January 8th, 2011 at 1:13 pm

    The Yanks must have hit in a few “key situations”.
    ================================
    Not necessarily. They won a lot of games with big innings.

  14. LGY January 8th, 2011 at 1:14 pm

    “Give me a .250 hitter who hits .300 when it counts, over a .300 hitter who can’t get a clutch hit if his life depended on it.”

    ————————

    The problem with that is that over the course of his career the .250 hitter will likely end up hitting .250 in clutch situations and the .300 hitter will hit .300.

    The .250 hitter hitting .300 when it counts is likely not a repeatable skill.

  15. LGY January 8th, 2011 at 1:16 pm

    mick,

    Without looking, where do you think the 2009 team ranked in BA with RISP in the AL?

  16. Bo knows January 8th, 2011 at 1:18 pm

    Hey Brian go repel down a building you have more skill at that then playing G.M

    ——————————————————————————
    Repel down a building. Take an awfully big can of Raid.

    (The dictionary is your friend).

    Loud squeaks from the Shoelace Academy Graduate.

  17. UpState January 8th, 2011 at 1:18 pm

    mick January 8th, 2011 at 1:12 pm
    Give me a .250 hitter who hits .300 when it counts, over a .300 hitter who can’t get a clutch hit if his life depended on it.
    —————————————-

    …anyone have good examples of these types of .250 Hitters who are then .300 in the clutch/RISP (or whatever SABR stats there are) ???

  18. mick January 8th, 2011 at 1:19 pm

    The Yanks have trouble playing small ball. They don’t move runners. They just don’t subscribe to that way of playing ball. On a team where everybody is a star what can you expect. It’s all or nothing with them. They don’t know how to bunt or even try to hit behind the runner.

  19. mick January 8th, 2011 at 1:21 pm

    …anyone have good examples of these types of .250 Hitters who are then .300 in the clutch/RISP (or whatever SABR stats there are) ???
    =================================================
    Brooks Robinson was a great clutch hitter.

  20. mick January 8th, 2011 at 1:23 pm

    Without looking, where do you think the 2009 team ranked in BA with RISP in the AL?
    ==================
    LGY

    I’m sure they were right up there but doesn’t it depend on the score?
    I mean getting a hit w/ risp up or down by 3-4 runs isn’t the same as doing it down by a run or 2.

  21. LGY January 8th, 2011 at 1:26 pm

    mick,

    They were tied for 5th in the AL. Just thought that was funny because of how clutch that team was perceived to be.

  22. Rich in NJ January 8th, 2011 at 1:27 pm

    “Brooks Robinson was a great clutch hitter”

    Career with RISP: .267 .343 .401 .744
    Career overall: .267 .322 .401 .723

    Virtually the same.

  23. LGY January 8th, 2011 at 1:29 pm

    Brooks Robinson:

    Career: .267
    RISP: .267

    2 outs RISP: .250
    Late and Close: .270
    High Leverage: .275

    Tie Game: .267
    Within 1 run: .270
    Within 2 runs: .271

  24. West Coast Yankee Fan January 8th, 2011 at 1:29 pm

    Crawdaddy January 8th, 2011 at 1:05 pm

    WCYF, Cashman isn’t going to give Fuentes a 3 year contract and if he did I would start acting like Randy towards him.

    *******************

    Why not? So what if the Yankees get 2 good years out of him and have to eat the third year. Do you have any idea how many tens of millions of dollars the Yankees eat every year? Do you not think that is factored in as a cost of doing business in baseball? It’s as much a legitimate G&A expenditure to them as printer cartridges are to an accounting business.

  25. mick January 8th, 2011 at 1:29 pm

    But what was it in playoffs and WS games?
    My exposure to Brooks was during postseason and when he played the Yankees.

  26. GreenBeret7 January 8th, 2011 at 1:31 pm

    For your information, Brooks Robinson hit exactly 3 points above his career average. ,270 to .267. So much for that.

  27. J. Alfred Prufrock January 8th, 2011 at 1:31 pm

    NEwtonian physics and the Cartesian timeline,both now revealed as only narrowly applicable by quantum physics and in some cases completed misguided,will never die in the imaginations (lack of) of some.how unfortunate for those hackneyed souls & for the rest of us forced to endure their smug and comically out of touch pronouncements.

  28. Bo knows January 8th, 2011 at 1:32 pm

    Wish there were records of Yankee hitting last year of innings 2 through 6. They feasted on other teams’ mid inning relievers.

  29. Rich in NJ January 8th, 2011 at 1:36 pm

    “Wish there were records of Yankee hitting last year of innings 2 through 6. They feasted on other teams’ mid inning relievers.”

    http://www.baseball-reference......2010#innng::none

  30. mick January 8th, 2011 at 1:38 pm

    For your information, Brooks Robinson hit exactly 3 points above his career average. ,270 to .267. So much for that.
    =====================
    If I recall, the question was if a player hits better in the clutch than his career average which he evidently did.

    Not bad for naked eye observation.

  31. Rich in NJ January 8th, 2011 at 1:38 pm

    “If I recall, the question was if a player hits better in the clutch than his career average which he evidently did.”

    Not in any meaningful way.

  32. Crawdaddy January 8th, 2011 at 1:39 pm

    “Why not? So what if the Yankees get 2 good years out of him and have to eat the third year. Do you have any idea how many tens of millions of dollars the Yankees eat every year? Do you not think that is factored in as a cost of doing business in baseball? It’s as much a legitimate G&A expenditure to them as printer cartridges are to an accounting business.”

    WCYF,

    If you want to seriously discuss this issue with me then stop being condescending with silly questions.

  33. mick January 8th, 2011 at 1:43 pm

    A better way to calculate might be to follow a hitter all year and track if indeed he comes up with “clutch” hits. Not just his avg w/ risp but taking the score into account.

    Getting a hit w/ risp in a losing battle or up big vs. in a close game.

  34. West Coast Yankee Fan January 8th, 2011 at 1:46 pm

    Crawdaddy – My questions were legitimate. You should read intonation into words on a screen.

  35. GreenBeret7 January 8th, 2011 at 1:47 pm

    No….you’re the one that set the .250/.300. Then you threw out the name of Robinson. Let’s keep it straight. He did nothing more than he did any other time. He was a numbers accumulator. 1350 RBI with 10600 at bats. Not that great for a middle of the order hitter.

  36. mick January 8th, 2011 at 1:52 pm

    Not that great for a middle of the order hitter.
    —————————————————-
    Brooks was at best a #6 hitter. He didn’t hit for a high avg but, to my eye, he performed great under pressure. Again, I saw him mostly in postseason play.

  37. 86w183 January 8th, 2011 at 2:02 pm

    It’s amusing to watch people try and define what a “clutch” hitter actually is. After oh about 5,000 games on radio, television and in person I can tell you with great confidence that there is no such thing.

    Hitters are what they are. Every “clutch” hit raises his batting average, OPS etc thus narrowing the gap between “regular” stats and “clutch” stats. In most if not all cases you will find guys who have excellent “clutch” hitting seasons and lousy “clutch” hitting seasons.

    It’s among the many reasons I strongly prefer runs and RBI to OPS as a measure of the value of a hitter. The name of the game is scoring runs and those stats are more important than your OBP.

    If you evaluate a guy who hits HR and drives in runs you quickly conclude that his OBP far less important. If you evaluate a guy who steals bases and takes the extra base his OBP IS a big deal. For example Jaosn Giambi’s OBP is a lot less important than Brett Gardner’s.

  38. Dionysius Thelxinoe January 8th, 2011 at 2:06 pm

    West Coast Yankee Fan says:
    January 8, 2011 at 1:46 pm
    Crawdaddy – My questions were legitimate. You should read intonation into words on a screen.

    ————-

    Really?

    How does one read a person’s voice pitch on a screen, Norm Crosby?

  39. 86w183 January 8th, 2011 at 2:07 pm

    Brian Fuentes is 35, had an ERA of 3.52 out of the pen last year. Why would anyone give him a 3-year contract as major $$$. He’s just not that good. He’s tough on lefties, but so are Logan and Feliciano.

    Rauch makes more sense to me, but neither is worth a huge amount of $$$

    Adding a starter is a much higher priority to me.

  40. UpState January 8th, 2011 at 2:14 pm

    Aaron .319 w/RISP and .288 without RISP
    Killebrew .273 and .253
    Mays .312 and .287.

    —————————————–

    I’m sure someone has some more sophisticated stats from somewhere….

    ….but these seem interesting.

    Any current day hitters with more than a 20 point ‘upgrade’ ???

  41. mick January 8th, 2011 at 2:16 pm

    This might sound nuts but aren’t runs scored a product of the hitters behind you?
    Sure a guy with a high obp is invaluable but the RBI is the bottom line.

  42. mick January 8th, 2011 at 2:17 pm

    Thank you Upstate.

    I threw Brooks out there because I knew he didn’t have the high ave. of those guys but Killebrew is a fine example.

  43. Dionysius Thelxinoe January 8th, 2011 at 2:18 pm

    Mick, Green Beret 7,

    I had the pleasure of seeing Brooks. Batting average aside, he was a solid #5 hitter, imo.

    Their starting 8 was built around defense, to complement a usually outstanding rotation. It wasn’t an overwhelmingly potent offensive lineup. In other words, Brooks may not have been a 5 hitter in every lineup, but iirc he fit in as their #5 just fine. Some power, didn’t strike out much.

  44. mick January 8th, 2011 at 2:20 pm

    Brooks was one of the finest fielders I have ever seen.

  45. BoJo January 8th, 2011 at 2:20 pm

    Clutch hitters

    http://www.livescience.com/str.....tters.html

  46. West Coast Yankee Fan January 8th, 2011 at 2:26 pm

    # Dionysius Thelxinoe January 8th, 2011 at 2:06 pm

    West Coast Yankee Fan says:
    January 8, 2011 at 1:46 pm
    Crawdaddy – My questions were legitimate. You should read intonation into words on a screen.

    ————-

    Really?

    How does one read a person’s voice pitch on a screen, Norm Crosby?

    *************

    That was a typo sorry. Should read “You shouldn’t read intonation into words on a screen”.

  47. Rich in NJ January 8th, 2011 at 2:29 pm

    “Brooks was one of the finest fielders I have ever seen.”

    This post is accurate.

  48. Dionysius Thelxinoe January 8th, 2011 at 2:30 pm

    Mick, Brooks had amazing reflexes, ran slow as molasses. I was always partial to Clete Boyer’s glove work myself. Graig Nettles was pretty good, too.

  49. mick January 8th, 2011 at 2:30 pm

    I guess clutch is what the #’s say they is.
    Without them, we only have the human eye to judge.
    What did we do before the #’s when all we had was what we saw?

  50. austinmac January 8th, 2011 at 2:31 pm

    I believe clutch means to perform up to one’s norms and not allow pressure to affect him. I assume major-league hitters try their best in every at-bat.

  51. mick January 8th, 2011 at 2:32 pm

    # Rich in NJ January 8th, 2011 at 2:29 pm

    “Brooks was one of the finest fielders I have ever seen.”

    This post is accurate.
    ==============================
    You mean we don’t have to check the #’s?
    I did and he made more errors than I thought.
    Must have been the inferior gloves back then.

  52. Rich in NJ January 8th, 2011 at 2:32 pm

    If a MLB player wasn’t clutch throughout his life playing baseball at all levels, he never would have made the ML.

  53. Rich in NJ January 8th, 2011 at 2:33 pm

    “I did and he made more errors than I thought.”

    Players that get to a lot of ball (range) often make more errors. That’s why Jeter doesn’t make a lot of errors.

  54. mick January 8th, 2011 at 2:34 pm

    So Jeter is smart enough to let a ball get through.

  55. mick January 8th, 2011 at 2:36 pm

    Mick, Brooks had amazing reflexes, ran slow as molasses. I was always partial to Clete Boyer’s glove work myself. Graig Nettles was pretty good, too.
    =====================================
    They all made the diving play over 3rd better than anyone.

  56. 108 stitches January 8th, 2011 at 2:37 pm

    It’s possible that Hal Steinbrenner has issues with the luxury tax. To keep it from going higher, the Yankees could wait until just after opening day to announce a deal involving (for example) Zambrano. The tax is based on the opening day roster.
    Boston has circumvented some luxury tax by not announcing a long term deal with Adrian Gonzalez. He’s signed through 2011 at his San Diego salary. Boston would hope to keep it low by not having the contracts of Ortiz, Cameron and Papelbon in 2012 to help pay for any deal reached with Gonzalez beyond 2011.

  57. UpState January 8th, 2011 at 2:37 pm

    Good find, BoJo !

    Seems that EDDIE MURRAY was the “King of Clutch” from the years 1974-1992.

    Too bad that study didn’t list all of their findings….

    1992 thru today ???

  58. BoJo January 8th, 2011 at 2:38 pm

    http://www.baseballprospectus......cleid=2724

  59. YsGuy January 8th, 2011 at 2:38 pm

    edgar renteria is clutch

  60. LGY January 8th, 2011 at 2:40 pm

    Is a sac fly clutch?

  61. UpState January 8th, 2011 at 2:41 pm

    BoJo can find the stuff !!!

    Great job !!!

    Thank you !!!

  62. BoJo January 8th, 2011 at 2:41 pm

    NP-You’re welcome

  63. Rich in NJ January 8th, 2011 at 2:41 pm

    “So Jeter is smart enough to let a ball get through.”

    He has no choice.

  64. BoJo January 8th, 2011 at 2:42 pm

    LGY-yes

  65. mick January 8th, 2011 at 2:43 pm

    sac fly is clutch….that article points out that hits gotten in losing games are not clutch, that can’t be right.

  66. Dionysius Thelxinoe January 8th, 2011 at 2:43 pm

    Mick, Rich,

    Plus, I don’t rhink Boog Powell was at 1st for his glove. I would guess there were more than a few great stops and hurried throws.

  67. Dionysius Thelxinoe January 8th, 2011 at 2:43 pm

    Typo, think

  68. austinmac January 8th, 2011 at 2:43 pm

    108 Stitches,

    It seems unlikely the Yankees would want “their” pitcher’s spring training under the Cubs regimen in Arizona so I don’t think that’s practical.

  69. mick January 8th, 2011 at 2:44 pm

    edgar renteria is clutch
    ==============
    as they say “small sample size”

  70. BoJo January 8th, 2011 at 2:45 pm

    Some of the best I remember of the top of my head–

    George Brett
    David Ortiz
    Johnny Damon
    Hidecki Matsui
    Thurman Munson

    But here is someone who gave great thought to it

    http://www.theportlandbeavers.com/?page_id=209

  71. mick January 8th, 2011 at 2:46 pm

    Reggie and Yaz were clutch

  72. LGY January 8th, 2011 at 2:47 pm

    Eh, I don’t know if a sac fly is clutch. Making an out is clutch!?!

    Maybe we need to look at intent. Did the hitter intend to go for a sac fly or did he flail away and just ended up flying out? ;)

    Also, someone go to the UPenn library and find that study. Hard to talk about it without actually knowing the methodology and such.

    mick,

    You heading out to UPenn for us???

  73. mick January 8th, 2011 at 2:47 pm

    Bernie was clutch

  74. YsGuy January 8th, 2011 at 2:47 pm

    “edgar renteria is clutch
    ==============
    as they say “small sample size”

    is there ever a large sample size when a guy has a chance to outright win 2 WS with the bat?

  75. West Coast Yankee Fan January 8th, 2011 at 2:49 pm

    Dionysius Thelxinoe January 8th, 2011 at 2:43 pm

    Typo, think

    *********

    No one was talking to you apache.

  76. mick January 8th, 2011 at 2:49 pm

    Jeter was clutch.

    Most of these clutch guys are based on postseason observations when the pressure is at its height.

  77. BoJo January 8th, 2011 at 2:50 pm

    I forgot about Yaz–very clutch, especially in 1967

    Matsui was clutch and would use sacrifice flies as a way to get the RBI. Sac flies are a weapon.

  78. mick January 8th, 2011 at 2:51 pm

    Brooks was 35-99 , 34-80 a .425 clip, if you throw out the 69 Mets WS, in playoffs and WS.

  79. Keith--FL January 8th, 2011 at 2:52 pm

    Only a few will want to hear it and understand it and everyone else will just say we led the league in runs scored our offense was fine and not a problem……but our offense was a problem last year, too many bad games vs. mediocre and unfamiliar pitchers, not enough clutch hitting, our runs scored was so high because we would have alot of 8-10 run games….this problem was so evident in the ALCS vs. Texas as even Cashman has acknowledged it….we need to add to the offense, hopefully Montero helps as well as Granderson more consistent, Gardner healthy, Tex not so streaky….. and I would still like to see Damon as the DH with Posada and occasional left fielder….Jeter, Posada, ARod are all another year older so it could get worse with basically the same cast…..starting to think this is Cashman’s bridge year….which means they better lower those ticket prices, yeah right :)

  80. Dionysius Thelxinoe January 8th, 2011 at 2:52 pm

    West Coast Yankee Fan says:
    January 8, 2011 at 2:49 pm
    Dionysius Thelxinoe January 8th, 2011 at 2:43 pm

    Typo, think

    *********

    No one was talking to you apache.

    ——————-

    Huh??????

    Uh, yeah, ok, sure.

    You are a strange fellow.

  81. mick January 8th, 2011 at 2:52 pm

    sac flies have intent, as do sac bunts, which can also be clutch

  82. BoJo January 8th, 2011 at 2:52 pm

    I recall Boog Powell as a pretty good glove at 1B…was more agile than he would appear to be. Great stretch too.

  83. mick January 8th, 2011 at 2:54 pm

    mick,

    You heading out to UPenn for us???
    =======================
    Nope, it’s out of my “range.”

  84. LGY January 8th, 2011 at 2:54 pm

    What if the guy was trying to hit a HR but is not good enough so he just has a deep fly out?

    The guy FAILED at what he was trying to do.

    Are we saying failing is clutch?

  85. UpState January 8th, 2011 at 2:55 pm

    BoJo finds the Portland Beavers !!!

    VG article…..

    Number are numbers – but George Brett is the last batter I’d want my pitcher pitching to in a critical situation…

    Damn ….. he was such a pain !!!

  86. mick January 8th, 2011 at 2:56 pm

    Willie McCovey had the greatest stretch.
    But he wasn’t clutch in the 62 WS.

  87. mick January 8th, 2011 at 2:58 pm

    Are we saying failing is clutch?
    ======================
    Failure is relative in baseball.
    There is more than one way to skin a cat.
    If the desired result is achieved for the greater good of the team then you are clutch, be it accidental or not.

  88. YsGuy January 8th, 2011 at 3:00 pm

    upstate…damn, you HAD to remind me of brett! i still lose sleep over that guy with the bat in his hand. and the fact that he’s a really nice guy just makes it worse….

    …but he should have been ejected for bumping mcclelan in the pine tar game…

  89. mick January 8th, 2011 at 3:00 pm

    Failure can be successful in baseball.

  90. mick January 8th, 2011 at 3:02 pm

    Intent cannot be measured in baseball.

  91. YsGuy January 8th, 2011 at 3:02 pm

    when you are up in a sac fly situation, you are supposed to try to drive the ball. as long as it goes deep enough to get the run in, its a success, if it goes out, there’s icing on the cake!

  92. UpState January 8th, 2011 at 3:03 pm

    YsGuy:

    RE: George Brett

    “….and the fact that he’s a really nice guy just makes it worse….”

    Bullseye !!! My exact thoughts….great guy

    (should’ve been a Yankee)

  93. Rich in NJ January 8th, 2011 at 3:03 pm

    Player A:

    Career overall: .303 .387 .571 .958
    Career RISP: .300 .401 .543 .945

    Player B:

    Career overall: .314 .385 .452 .837
    Career RISP: .305 .399 .429 .828

    A: A-Rod
    B: Jeter

    Both are either clutch or not clutch.

  94. mick January 8th, 2011 at 3:05 pm

    Clutch, is in the eye of the beholder.

  95. mick January 8th, 2011 at 3:08 pm

    Clutch is measured better during postseason games where every game and AB is crucial.

    Reggie was clutch when he stuck his hip out in ’78.

  96. Rich in NJ January 8th, 2011 at 3:09 pm

    “Clutch is measured better during postseason games where every game and AB is crucial.”

    That’s not true because the sample sizes are too small.

  97. BoJo January 8th, 2011 at 3:09 pm

    I saw Clete Boyer, Ken Boyer, Criag Nettles, Mike Schmidt, Aurelio Rodriguez, Robin Ventura, Matt Williams, Adrian Beltre, etc…and have to rank Brooks at top. His dives to either side, his barehand pick=ups of bunts, etc–all the best I have ever seen.

    I remember Clete being pretty good, but not the wow factor of Brooks–but then I started following in 64 so I may have missed his earlier exploits.

  98. Dionysius Thelxinoe January 8th, 2011 at 3:09 pm

    BoJo says:
    January 8, 2011 at 2:52 pm
    I recall Boog Powell as a pretty good glove at 1B…was more agile than he would appear to be. Great stretch too.

    ————-

    BoJo, can’t disagree with you, my memory may be a bit fuzzy on his glove work, I remember him as not being bad for his size and speed.

    I woild say he was a lot better than Giambi, but no Texeira.

  99. mick January 8th, 2011 at 3:09 pm

    BA w/RISP is not the only way to measure clutchness.

  100. mick January 8th, 2011 at 3:10 pm

    A great catch can be clutch.

  101. mick January 8th, 2011 at 3:11 pm

    “Clutch is measured better during postseason games where every game and AB is crucial.”

    That’s not true because the sample sizes are too small.
    ==========================================
    The higher the pressure the more clutch it is.

  102. DocTodd January 8th, 2011 at 3:13 pm

    heyman via Twitter says Yanks still in on Soriano…..probably schilling for Boras..

  103. YsGuy January 8th, 2011 at 3:15 pm

    i met brett in royal’s stadium (used to get press passes while at mizzou) and i told him i’d have loved him but i was a yankees fan and therefore hated him and he laughed all the way down the hall as he left…

  104. mick January 8th, 2011 at 3:15 pm

    So Kirk Gibson’s HR was not clutch. Reggies 3 HR’s were not clutch as the sample size was small?

  105. BoJo January 8th, 2011 at 3:16 pm

    Keith–FL January 8th, 2011 at 2:52 pm

    Only a few will want to hear it and understand it and everyone else will just say we led the league in runs scored our offense was fine and not a problem……but our offense was a problem last year, too many bad games vs. mediocre and unfamiliar pitchers, not enough clutch hitting, our runs scored was so high because we would have alot of 8-10 run games….this problem was so evident in the ALCS vs. Texas as even Cashman has acknowledged it….we need to add to the offense, hopefully Montero helps as well as Granderson more consistent, Gardner healthy, Tex not so streaky….. and I would still like to see Damon as the DH with Posada and occasional left fielder….Jeter, Posada, ARod are all another year older so it could get worse with basically the same cast…..starting to think this is Cashman’s bridge year….which means they better lower those ticket prices, yeah right
    +++++++++++++++
    I agree with you.

    I think there were several problems with our offense last year.

    1) Girardi was too inflexible on lineups. I thought he should have moved Tex out of 3 hole and had Cano hitting there…and should have had Gardner leading off more.
    2) Not enough aggressive baserunning fo rmy taste–especially with Gardner, Jeter, Granderson, Nunez, Pena, Golson on team. That is a lot of speed, and I don’t think we took advantage of it enough.
    3) Didn’t work on making improvements–e.g., helping Gardner bunt, and getting Jeter to make adjustments earlier (Iknow he is stubborn, but you have to convince him he needs help sometimes)
    4) Not getting Tex to give up that massive uppercut and make better contact

    If there were a position in baseball called offensive coordinator (not the same as batting coach), he would be responsible for making more aggressive offensive plays. That is sort of what this team needs.

  106. UpState January 8th, 2011 at 3:17 pm

    “Clutch” seems a bit un-quantifiable.

    I guess it does come down to your individual opinion (on whom you’ve seen) on who is the….

    “last batter” you’d want to face with a runner on second and the game on the line where a hit would lose the game for you”…..

    (assume that player is in his prime)

    That player might be ???

  107. mick January 8th, 2011 at 3:19 pm

    Pete Rose.

  108. BoJo January 8th, 2011 at 3:19 pm

    Dionysius Thelxinoe January 8th, 2011 at 3:09 pm
    ++++++++++
    The top glove guys I remember from that era were George Scott, Wes Parker, Pepitone (somewhat), and Mike Hegan.

    Powell was best of the next level (Howard/Epstein, Clenndenon, etc.)

  109. Rich in NJ January 8th, 2011 at 3:19 pm

    “The higher the pressure the more clutch it is.”

    You can invent any criterion you want, but if you don’t have enough observations, then the criterion isn’t particularly meaningful.

    For example, Brian Doyle:

    Career Postseason:

    .391 417 .435 .851

    According to your definition, that makes him more clutch than Jeter (afterall his AVG is .082 higher):

    Career Postseason:

    .309 .377 .472 .850

    But that’s absurd because Doyle has 23 AB and Jeter has 599.

  110. mick January 8th, 2011 at 3:19 pm

    Vic Power was the best .

  111. BoJo January 8th, 2011 at 3:20 pm

    UpState January 8th, 2011 at 3:17 pm
    ++++++++++++
    Matsui

  112. BoJo January 8th, 2011 at 3:21 pm

    I take that back–

    In his prime?

    ARod (prime being the 2009 playoffs)

  113. mick January 8th, 2011 at 3:21 pm

    Clutch is clutch.
    Can’t put it any plainer.
    It is what it is when it is.
    You know it when you see it.

    Since we lived without measuring it long before this science was invented, it had to exist before and we knew it when we saw it as we do now.

  114. LGY January 8th, 2011 at 3:22 pm

    Manny

  115. Rich in NJ January 8th, 2011 at 3:23 pm

    “You know it when you see it.”

    So everyone is clutch and no one is clutch if one thinks that’s the case.

  116. YsGuy January 8th, 2011 at 3:24 pm

    before my time but i’ve heard alot of my dad’s generation say that yogi was clutch.

  117. mick January 8th, 2011 at 3:25 pm

    For example, Brian Doyle:

    Career Postseason:

    .391 417 .435 .851
    ===============
    Doyle was clutch in that Series as was Dent.
    Why do they have to be measured against anybody?

  118. Hopdevil January 8th, 2011 at 3:26 pm

    Arguing that an unquantifiable skill like clutch exists simply because someone “saw” a handful of events out of thousands and thousands is the same as saying that it’s probable to win the lottery because they’ve seen a few people win.

  119. mick January 8th, 2011 at 3:27 pm

    So everyone is clutch and no one is clutch if one thinks that’s the case.
    ============================================
    Now we are on the same wavelength.
    Clutch is in the eye of the beholder.

    But you know clutch when you see it.
    At least I do.

  120. BoJo January 8th, 2011 at 3:28 pm

    With the records that baseball has, they will be able to go back and better evaluate this with new analytical approaches. Such a rating may even shed light on other analytics, and who knows–even affect how WAR is calculated. I thnik they are only now beginning to study the issue.

  121. Rich in NJ January 8th, 2011 at 3:30 pm

    “Why do they have to be measured against anybody?”

    You set the standard when you said that:

    “Most of these clutch guys are based on postseason observations when the pressure is at its height”

    I demonstrated that using your criterion leads to some false conclusions as a result of sample size.

    So the inescapable conclusion is that sample size is a more revealing criterion than any given postseason stats.

  122. mick January 8th, 2011 at 3:30 pm

    Clutch should be measured more in the instant than the career.

  123. UpState January 8th, 2011 at 3:31 pm

    Hopdevil

    ….and your opinion is who ???

    That’s all…simple…no money involved…just something 100% better that that “Muppet-schlit” and other crapola we often read about here !!!

  124. mick January 8th, 2011 at 3:31 pm

    Rich

    Listen…I always hated science.

  125. mick January 8th, 2011 at 3:33 pm

    Arguing that an unquantifiable skill like clutch exists simply because someone “saw” a handful of events out of thousands and thousands is the same as saying that it’s probable to win the lottery
    ======================
    possible, not probable

  126. YsGuy January 8th, 2011 at 3:33 pm

    renteria, in his second season came up in the 10th inning of game 7 and drove home the WS winning run.
    thirteen years later, much less dramatically, he hit a 3 run homer to put his team over the top in game 5.
    its two at-bats, but its as good a sample size as i’ll ever need to say the guy is clutch.

    not that i needed the stats but renterira’s WS obs of .899 aint too shabby either.

  127. mick January 8th, 2011 at 3:35 pm

    its two at-bats, but its as good a sample size as i’ll ever need to say the guy is clutch.
    ================================
    As Forrest Gump would say:
    “Clutch is as clutch does.”

  128. YsGuy January 8th, 2011 at 3:37 pm

    *ops* obviously

  129. mick January 8th, 2011 at 3:38 pm

    So if someone says Mantle was clutch, we have to check the records to see if they are right?
    If his lifetime BA is .250 w/RISP then he was not clutch?
    Would hate to live that way…

  130. BoJo January 8th, 2011 at 3:39 pm

    “You never know what you’re going to find in a box of clutch.”
    –Forrest Gump

  131. BoJo January 8th, 2011 at 3:42 pm

    “Clutch is as clutch does.”
    –Forrest Gump

    “Always clutch before shifting.”
    –Forrest Pump

  132. mick January 8th, 2011 at 3:48 pm

    Brooks Robinson goes 34-80 in postseason, 34 for friggin 80, that’s almost .500 and we have to argue if he’s clutch, omg.

  133. Dionysius Thelxinoe January 8th, 2011 at 3:49 pm

    BoJo says:
    January 8, 2011 at 3:19 pm
    Dionysius Thelxinoe January 8th, 2011 at 3:09 pm
    ++++++++++
    The top glove guys I remember from that era were George Scott, Wes Parker, Pepitone (somewhat), and Mike Hegan.

    Powell was best of the next level (Howard/Epstein, Clenndenon, etc.)

    ———–

    Wes Parker was very, very good. Haven’t heard his name in ages.

  134. Rich in NJ January 8th, 2011 at 3:52 pm

    “Brooks Robinson goes 34-80 in postseason, 34 for friggin 80, that’s almost .500 and we have to argue if he’s clutch, omg.”

    Close and late (1914 AB)

    http://www.baseball-reference......;t=b#clutc::none

    .270 .326 .396 .722 758

    There is no logical way that 80 AB can be more meaningful than 1914 AB.

  135. mick January 8th, 2011 at 3:53 pm

    133 posts on what is clutch, that’s enough for me, I did my diligence, good night enjoy the NFL, Go Jets!!!

  136. Dionysius Thelxinoe January 8th, 2011 at 3:55 pm

    I think “clutch” is in the eye of the beholder.

    But I remember Earl Weaver once said about Reggie Jackson that if he would hit in every at bat like it was the 9th inning, he could hit .400.

  137. YsGuy January 8th, 2011 at 3:57 pm

    just looking…stats-wise, billy martin was pretty clutch…

    a career .257/.300/.369 guy goes .333/.371/.566 in the WS, and wins the clincher (and the series mvp) in the 53 series.

  138. Dionysius Thelxinoe January 8th, 2011 at 4:05 pm

    Al Weis – CLUTCH!!!

    :lol:

  139. 86w183 January 8th, 2011 at 4:07 pm

    This is nonsense and just about every post further proves it.

    There is no such thing as a “clutch” player. It is junk science and statistical manipulation and nothing more.

    The better the player, the more often he’ll comes through in the clutch. A sac fly down 1 in the bottom of the 9th with a runner on 3rd and one out is clutch. The same result down 3 with no one out is failure.

    The force can have a powerful effect on the weak minded

    Bojo should change his moniker to Yoda

  140. 86w183 January 8th, 2011 at 4:11 pm

    Reggie Jackson hit .278 in post-season play.

    He hit .263 in his career with RISP, .258 with two outs.

  141. GMAN January 8th, 2011 at 5:07 pm

    Bernie Williams was clutch!

    Bern, Baby… Bern!!!!

    Bernie Williams for HOF !!!

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