On A-Rod, Jeter and the Yankees

I’ve been specifically asked (nay, instructed) to write a post today about A-Rod.

The problem is, there’s not much to say.  Yes, A-Rod is having a fantastic start to this season.  This isn’t surprising (nor should it be).  He’s an amazing baseball player, he always has been.  I’ve never contended otherwise (except to suggest that despite his statistics, in instances when there is increased pressure, he does not perform as well).

So let me re-iterate: A-Rod is great.  He’s a great baseball player with fantastic stats.

What changes?  Nothing.  I still know that Jeter deserved the MVP last season (despite the flawed voting process).  I still believe A-Rod is somehow more psycholigically attuned than some others and isn’t as able as others to put everything out of this head.  This results in slumps during times of increased pressure (whether because of fan boo-ing, a mechanics slump or the playoffs) and until he learns to tune it out and just let his natural ability take over, he will slump at those times.

Sure, his playoff sample size is small.  I know, psychology and feel are not statistically relevant.  It’s just what I think.  (Maybe linking confidence to performance may draw the ire of pure Sabermetricians, but i’m willing to chance it).

Anyhow, for those that think any A-Rod bashing is hooey, you may find this link to firejoemorgan.com entertaining.  In fact, you may find the entire site entertaining (I think it’s laugh-out-loud funny).  Take a look.

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One response to “On A-Rod, Jeter and the Yankees

  1. Ha. I love that site, and I’ve learned a lot from it. They are no fans of Jeter but they believed he was much more deserving than Morneau last season (as did anyone who actually follows baseball).

    I’m not sure your comment on Sabermetricians opposing the link between confidence and performance is necessarily accurate. Billy Bean is the quintessential Sabermetrician, but he was also the classic example of someone who was a superior athlete but couldn’t hack it mentally in the majors. What Sabermetricians try to do is use stats to evaluate a player’s talent, rather than anecdote or feel. So they wouldn’t deny that A-Rod might consistently fail in the clutch if you could, A: prove that his numbers are poor in “clutch situations”, and B: provide a significant sample size on which to base that argument.

    That said, A-Rod’s career playoff numbers aren’t bad (he also slugged well over .500 against Boston in 04), and people base their opinions on a statistically insignificant number of games. Sabermetricians don’t like people saying A-Rod sucks in the clutch because of 30 at-bats or so.

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