Friends, Cincinnatians, countrymen, lend me your ears. Too often, lately, have we fought amongst ourselves. We are brothers and sisters. Mothers and fathers and children. We should be friends and not fight amongst ourselves.
Still, there is a rift within the community and it is centered upon none other than Joey Votto, the Prodigal Son. It pits us against one another and must be dealt with. This, fair countrymen, is my modest attempt…
The arguments we have been having are statistical arguments. I know many of you don’t think of yourselves as “stats” people, but you are. What I mean by that is that you have stats that you trust (like average with RISP and RBI) and you think they are better than the stats some of the rest of us trust (OBP, WAR, etc.). The argument we are having is over which of these stats better tells us how good a player is. I hope we can agree on that. If not, then I don’t know how this discussion can move forward.
The argument many, including myself, would make is that RISP and RBI aren’t good stats because though they might tell you what has happened, they don’t tell you how likely something is to happen in the future or how much control a player really had over that.
Now, before I start my real argument, I want everyone to pause and ask yourselves a question: Can you be persuaded? That is, is there anything that can convince you that how someone has hit this season with RISP or how many RBI a player has are not numbers that really tell you much of value about that player. If not, then you aren’t really willing to engage in a debate. You are taking these stats as articles of faith and we can’t have a constructive conversation about it. You should probably leave now. (For the record: Yes, I can be persuaded and am willing to change my mind. Doing so requires statistically significant data.)
Okay, let’s get started…
Clutch Hitting Is Real
If you’ve been paying close attention to what I’ve had to say about clutching hitting lately, you’ll have noticed a lot of qualifiers, “most,” “nearly all,” that kind of thing. This is because clutch hitting does exist. At least, a little.
Continue reading One Million Pairs of Eyes, Part One: Riding the Clutch