FanPost

No such thing as clutch?

There has been some discussion on this site about the fact that the 2006 Tribe is not "clutch".  The discussion usually divides into those who have watched this team under-perform in tight situations and emotionally state they are not "clutch" and those that witness the same thing and say, it's bad luck since there is no statistical evidence of "clutch" performance.

So I have to ask, if there is no such thing as "clutch", why does a team need a closer?

Before the Wickman trade, there was a clamoring to let Carmona or even Davis close games to "see if they can do it".  If there is no "clutch", there is no need to see if they can close because you would theoretically already know based on previous performance levels established in earlier innings than the 9th.  You would suspect that they sustain those levels, but the need to see "if they can do it" is to test if those levels will sustain or drop.  If they drop, isn't that "anti-clutch" performance?

The last few years have shown a tremendous amount of pitchers who were tried as closers and failed from the current tribe bullpen to Atlanta's to the failed closer by committee in Boston a few years ago.

Maybe there is no such thing as "clutch", but the need for a closer would seem to indicate that there is such a thing as "anti-clutch", and after all, isn't that the same thing?

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