Pressure and Personality

Clutch matters?

So my brother DM’d me: “Judge is pressing.” I agreed.

And so we have to factor that into Greatest Home Run Hitter Ever. Yes?

Mr. October

was/is Reggie Jackson. So where does that factor into the GOAT (greatest of all time) of home run hitters?

Jackson only hit .300 once in his career. However he was a winner, his teams won!

Reggie famously fought with his managers and teammates. He was, personality wise, the opposite of Judge. Judge defers to his teammates and never claimed that he was, “The straw that stirs the drink.”

And yet, Reggie won, five World Series.

My Point Is

What determines greatness?

Judge, albeit a great person and teammate, might come up short when it comes to winning in baseball.

To be The Greatest Home Run Hitter Ever – you’ve got to produce when the pressure is on. So far, Judge comes up short.

It might be true that: Nice guys finish last. [Another baseball saying.]

Batter up


8 thoughts on “Pressure and Personality

  1. Mark, I keep getting an “Invalid security token.” error when I try to submit a comment directly to your blog. I’m trying the WP Reader, but I don’t trust it for multiline replies. It removes paragraph breaks.

    1. And now that this post shows up in WP Reader Conversations, which does seem to respect blank lines between paragraphs, maybe I can post my original comment…

    2. I struggle with all this stuff. Each device I have does things differently; and they all keep changing, almost daily.
      I should be taken out behind the barn and shot.

  2. On the MLB channel, which back when I had cable was my default TV background, Brian Kenny was “Mr. Stats” — really into ranking players by “the shredder”, his stats analysis system. The thing that always struck me was that rankings disguise how close or far players might be in performance. Are #2 and #3 right on the heels of #1, or is there separation? I also question the fragility of stats rankings. How much is due to single data points? I wanted Brian to, for example, remove, say, the five best games for each player and see what that does to the rankings. And remove the five worst games and see that. Finally, remove five random games as a robustness check. If a player were to stay ranked #1 through all that, that would be solid.

    Brian’s shredder did poorly with things like performance in the clutch, character, and team presence and leadership. Exactly as you’re saying here, those things matter too, if you wanna talk about the “greatest” player.

    And some of it surely is subjective, based on who we grew up with. That’s why Killebrew ranks so high on my list.

  3. Yes, it’s almost like baseball invented statistics. Which when I showed my stats professor in college my “Bill James Abstract” – she was just mildly impressed. And didn’t buy my argument that she should throw out my lowest test score because it was an anomaly. I was upset due to a convo with another professor prior to the test.
    For sure, all home runs are not the same – they SHOULD be weighted!
    Reggie was definitely “The straw that stirs the drink.” Mantle was just a “good ol’ country boy”. Maris was neurotic. And the Babe was well, the one and only.
    The era matters, too. The culture changes.
    But I think Durocher had a point, “Nice” doesn’t count for beans when playing to win.
    But yeah, “performance in the clutch, character, and team presence and leadership”, those things do matter and are hard to measure. “Game of inches” for sure – inside and out.

    1. Indeed! I’ve come to appreciate how finely tuned to perfection that 90′ to first base is. And it still never ceases to amaze me how much faster a thrown baseball is than the fastest runner. It’s an amazing game in so many ways.

      (You might not have seen, it’s been a few years, but I used to post about the Twins from time to time. But the last few years, I’ve been distracted from it. I never really came back after the COVID shutdown.)

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