FIRE JOE MORGAN: The Debate About Clutch Ends Here


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Monday, September 24, 2007


The Debate About Clutch Ends Here

For years, the debate raged. There were clutch fundamentalists, clutchocaust deniers, the skeptical but clutch-curious...

Put down your halberds, boys. The war is over. You can thank Dave Sessions of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. Clutch exists, and it can be defined by one statistic: RBI per home run. That's right. It was staring at us right in the face. What dummies we were! Dave?

The Academy Awards have the Razzies. So why doesn't baseball have a Least Valuable Player award?

To be fair, Dave, this doesn't really line up. You guys remember standardized test analogies, right? Wouldn't the correct analogy be:

Movies : Razzies :: Baseball : Least Valuable Player

Or Dave could've gone with:

Academy Awards : Razzies :: Most Valuable Player : Least Valuable Player

Who's bored already? Here's a random analogy, for fun:

Cardamom : Churlishness :: Igneous Rock : ???

Answer to come never.

Here are our candidates, who can all take solace in the fact that they'll start 2008 with a chance at winning the Comeback Player of the Year award:

Everybody take a deep breath. Dave Sessions is about to name who he thinks are the least valuable players of 2007. Least. Lessest. If you had a graduated cylinder that measured baseball value in terms of volume of perchloric acid, these players would make the cylinder nearly empty of scalding fluid. Mr. Sessions, your first name is...

Barry Bonds, Giants

Oof. Maybe that's a typo. Maybe he meant to write "Ray Durham, Giants," or "Entire Team, Pirates." Let me take a second look. Nope. Still Bonds. The same Bonds who would lead the NL in OPS and all of MLB in OBP if he had enough at bats. This motherfucker has an OBP of damn near .500!


Sure, he sold a lot of tickets in San Francisco when he hit homer No. 756* and his statistics are much too good to merit LVP selection.

Really. And yet he is the first goddamn name on your stupid list.

P.S. Very clever use of asterisk, will have to make mental note to use that in the future.

But even though he has hit 28 homers this season, he has only 66 RBI because 15 of his prodigious blasts were solo shots. A player's number of RBI per homer strikes us as a worthy measure of his ability to get the job done in clutch situations, and Bonds' average of 2.36 RBI/HR is the second-lowest among the majors' top 25 home run hitters this season.

Oh my Jesus fucking shitdick. So much to hate here. Let's start with "A player's number of RBI per homer strikes us" -- who the fuck is us? Dave Sessions and a lobster pinned to his forehead that speaks Portuguese into his ear?

Wait a minute. Could the reason that Barry Bonds doesn't have many RBI per home run be because no one fucking wants to pitch to him with runners on because he's arguably the best hitter of all time? Dave, you just nominated the best hitter of all time to be the Least Valuable Player. Because he's not clutch. In a season where he OPSed 1.401 with RISP and 2 outs.

Hey, you know what? With RISP, Barry Bonds had 76 at bats and 59 walks. No one pitched to him. Of course they didn't. At one point I believe Barry batted fourth in the Giants' lineup and a great auk batted fifth. It was amazing. The auk gave it his all but grounded out weakly to short.

Does anyone else think Dave Sessions has never seen Barry Bonds or any other human being play a baseball game? Has he not heard that the man is known to take a walk every so often because every pitcher on Earth fears him?

He's too fragile to play every day, he makes $15.5 million a year, and his team could wind up with the worst record in the National League.

There is an argument to be made that $15.5 million is too much to pay someone who doesn't play every day, especially if the franchise has a reasonable payroll. That argument has nothing to do with the ludicrous assumption that RBI/HR has anything to do with clutchitude or heart or balls or HIV-positivity.

P.S. Again: Seriously, Dave Sessions, what do you want Barry Bonds to do when guys throw the ball fifteen feet outside the strike zone? Throw his bat at the ball and hope for the best? Do what Miguel Cabrera did that one time and lean over and smack a double? (Actually, that would be pretty awesome.) You're a weird guy, Dave.

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posted by Junior  # 10:41 PM
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