Wednesday, October 08, 2008
When you think of "clutch" what do you think?
I think 41 saves in 41 opportunities. I think 92 strike outs in just over 69 innings pitched with only 35 walks issued. I think of a 1.95 ERA. Who did that?
So when I received an e-mail from Major League Baseball asking me to vote for the 2008 Pepsi Cluth Performer I was ready to certify my pledge to Brad Lidge. The only problem was Lidge is not a finalist. Somehow six players were nominated for the award given to the most "clutch" player in baseball this season. Are you trying to convince me that Lidge isn't one of the six most clutch players this season?
Where do I begin with this rant? How about with the fact that four players nominated were not in the playoffs (Albert Pujols, Lance Berkman, Cliff Lee, Justin Morneau) and the other two players both failed to perform in the "clutch" as recently as within the last week!
CC Sabathia should be nominated for his valiant efforts coming down the stretch, pitching on short rest start after start and doing so again in the NLDS. But did anybody see his outing in game two against the Phillies? I sure did.
Yes, Francisco Rodriguez was amazing this year, setting a new record for saves in a season, but he also blew a number of saves. If you are going to laud him for his successes then you must point out his short comings. Lidge did not blow one single save. Ask the New York Mets if a "clutch" player like Lidge would have made a difference in their season.
How can Morneau, in his team's one game playoff for the AL Central Division title go 0-3 and be considered "clutch"?
Albert Pujols is not "clutch." He is just the best player in the game. Clutch performers carry their team to big wins into the post season. The Cardinals were an after-thought as the calender turned to September, if not before.
Lance Berkman? Please! He and the Astros imploded down the stretch in so many ways it is not even funny. Carlos Delgado would be more appropriate than Berkman.
Cliff Lee? He is a Cy Young worthy pitcher but none of his performances can be considered "clutch".
Look, I'm going to vote because I want a chance to win those tickets to next year's all star game, but I wish there was a write-in option. This is also another reason why I prefer Coke over Pepsi.