An Un-Clutch Clutch Rebuttal

October 4, 2009

Industrial fasteners are made worldwide; the major producer for the USA except for the military is Taiwan. Nuts from small sizes ¼” to about 1” are made on cold header machines. These machines literally punch a hole through the wire (steel). The quality is very consistent. The variation from one respect maker to another does not affect functionality.

However the start of the wire is not as consistent as the drawn wire is after the beginning of the coil.Nor is the end of the coil. The machine takes some time to start up and produce 99.5 % quality nuts, the other .04% are rejected by the machine perhaps the balance get passed QC.

The humidity in the factory, the age of the oil, the age of the machine, the speed of the machine, the type of steel wire, the skill of the mechanics who set the machine up and the shape of the dies used all are factors that reflect upon the finished product. (Note the nuts next process is threading).
What is the point of this? Whitey Ford, Billy Pierce, Sandy Koufax. And Don Newcomb, Johnny Antonelli and Roger Clemens.
Humans are not developed to produce the same results on a consistent basis as are machines. Many of the same factors that affect machines affect ball players and emotions. Yes emotions play a key role in how anyone performs and no amount of charts or graphs can dissude me of that.
We all have known peers who may have done great in law school but never could pass the bar. Doctor stories where one doctor consistently performs better under certain conditions than other doctors. The type that handles the tough cases.
Co-workers who when the tough situation arises runs and hides and kids in soccer who run from kicking the ball at goal.
I understand that the current vogue is to dispute “clutch.” And while it may not prove out over an entire career any long time student of the game knows that certain players at certain times are more apt to produce in pressure situations.

Perhaps the effort to prove statically that “clutch” does not exist is simply the inability to prove that it does.


The Applause For Jeter is Still Ringing

September 13, 2009

The applause for Jeter is still ringing as longevity rings true to the clappers.  The question this Neanderthal baseball aficionados may be asking is where does he fit into the hierarchy of Yankees.

While I was known to sport 8 column accounting paper and index cards to compile (hence the tag of Neanderthal) I am doing this from gut, memory and historical data free floating through my brain and a sneak or two into Sam’s library.

1-Ruth-Rank # 1 RF All Time            HOF               James rank #1

2-Gehrig Rank # 1 1st Base All Time HOF    James rank #1

3-DiMaggio # 3 CF All Time    HOF       James rank #5 ( placed in front of Mantle due to fact that Mantle was not best CF of his era nor the best of his home city and was often number #3  his city and undue influence of many old time fans who always said  blah blah about Jolt ‘n Joe and fact that career was interrupted by WWII

4-Berra Rank top 2 catchers All Time    HOF   James rank #1 His job was to move runners along not stare at close pitchers like his Boston rival who cared more for his averages.

5-Mantle # 5 CF  HOF             James rank #3 Loved when the Mick would limp up to plate after a night out at the Copa and hit a 500 foot HR just to make sure then game was ended and he could get a drink asap. But after Doc Gooden the greatest waste of talent I have ever seen and ranked behind Berra as the best player on Yankees many years. The Yankee fans have a proclivity to allow players to waste their talents because they were surrounded by other talent. Example, Gooden and Strawberry were bums later in their careers with the cross-town team but beloved by Yankee fans. Yup, if you beat your wife, had children scattered around the country, drink too much, took drugs and were a Yankee it was all Ok. Of course if you acted like a thug in the Bronx and were not a Yankee then lock um up and throw away the key.

5-Riveria Rank # 1 CL All Time         F-HOF The best of his era and no MVP award.

6-Ford Rank, I would rank among the best pitchers in the clutch, HOF James ranked 22 (Sam do not edit out my words) and if you saw Whitey win the opening game of series after series year after year you would get it. The bottom line is the great Yankee dynasty of the Stengel years was dominated by two over-riding facts, the Yankees had a “major” league farm team in KC after 1955 and the Yankees had great pitching. So to achieve the winning they did they needed pitching and Whitey was Chairman of the Board. He continued his importance during the next Yankee dynasty, the Houk years

7-Jeter Rank Top ????  SS All Time

8-Gomez, Ruffing, Pennock, Reynolds the Yankees of all winning era’s need a stopper to maintain the level of winning they achieved.

9-Gossage one of great RP of All Time, James rank #37 .  One of best of the genre of RP, fun to watch, when baseball was more a blood sport instead of a constant bonding experience between players.  HOF

10- Dickey, Must have been great, and he was a catcher. HOF  James ranked 7

11- Lazzeri, Williams, ect.

No Mattingly, No Rodriguez. To be on the Yankees and considered an all time great you had to have won the World Series. This is not the Cubs and we do not have to worry about Ernie Banks.

The Stage was Set

July 30, 2009

The scene was Steinbrenners  decaying Yankee Stadium, around 1999. Sam was attending his second  big league game, along with his big sister, her boy friend and his dad. Sam was 5 years old. All during the game Sam was sitting straight in his seat along the first base line, facing the scoreboard. Carrie’s friend seemed mildly upset that Sam was not always watching the play. The seats were positioned that you had to turn to face the pitcher and hitter. Finally the dude said to Sam “watch the game”, Sam wheeled and said I can learn everything I need to know about the game from the scoreboard. The path was lined and the road still traveled.