Thought of the day:
I do not believe that athletes are better people than us, I do not believe that athletic contests are tests of character, and I do not believe that there is any such thing as an ability to perform in clutch situations. It’s just a lot of poppycock.
Baseball men often like to attribute the success or failure of a team to clutch performances. Those of us who study baseball systematically know that this is largely untrue, that the number or runs a team scores is a predictable outcome of their hits, their walks, their home runs, and their other offensive accomplishments — and further, that the number of games the team wins is largely a predictable outcome of their runs scored and runs allowed. Clutch performance can increase or decrease a team’s wins, but clutch successes and failures generally even out over the course of a season, leaving most teams with about the won-lost record they deserve.
– Bill James, The New Bill James Historical Baseball Abstract. New York: Free Press, 2001. 349.