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  1. Maybe Abreu is clutch. Maybe he is 37 and after almost 10,000 ABs he only really gives full effort when it really counts. Probably a bit of both.

    Comment by Corvelay — November 29, 2011 @ 2:05 pm

  2. Your definition of clutch is flawed. A .400 wOBA guy who maintains his hitting prowess in high leverage situations, neither improving nor declining, is more clutch than a .300 wOBA guy who improves to a .330 wOBA guy.

    “Clutch” means the guy who comes through in a high leverage situation. (Irregardless of how he bats in other situations.) Let’s say that a hitter hit a home run or walked on every occasion he touched the bat. In normal situations. In clutch situations. Your definition would preclude him from being clutch and yet there’s no hitter you would rather have with the bat in his hands in such a situation. That’s only a little bit ridiculous.

    Comment by Crumpled Stiltskin — November 29, 2011 @ 2:06 pm

  3. Can also look to Abreu’s approach. He’s a more aggressive hitter in “clutch” situations. Indeed, Abreu is a guy who may be a little too patient. This is particularly true late in his career, where he probably needs to guess a bit more to speed up a slower bat.

    Comment by AA — November 29, 2011 @ 2:32 pm

  4. Just an FYI, if you want people to take you seriously don’t use the word “Irregardless”

    Comment by Santos — November 29, 2011 @ 2:35 pm

  5. Just wanted to say I liked how the article was written.
    It had a nice flow, an nice narrative and it was a pleasure to read.
    I’d say it was on par with scribatory fangraphs giants Klaassen, Woodrum and Cistulli.

    Comment by mettle — November 29, 2011 @ 2:35 pm

  6. I was going to say the exact same thing. “Regardless” is the word that you were looking for.

    Comment by TFINY — November 29, 2011 @ 2:42 pm

  7. FYI… irregardless is a word: it means the same as regardless. Look it up in the dictionary. True story.

    Comment by Carl LaFong — November 29, 2011 @ 3:53 pm

  8. Two words: sample size.

    You discovered a baseball statistical anomaly in a sample that consisted of 59 plate appearances. I don’t know how one can glean much of anything from 59 measly plate apperances. Abreu’s BABIP in high-leverage situations in 2011 was .378. Even by Bobby Abreu standards, that is an outlier. I think it’s more persuasive to argue that Abreu was just plain lucky in high-leverage situations in 2011 – luck that wasn’t with him in 2003, 2005, 2007, and 2010, when he never had a wOBA higher than .340 in high-leverage situations.

    In his career, Abreu’s high-leverage wOBA is .389. In medium leverage, it’s .389. In low leverage, .363. And he has only 650 PA in his career in high-leverage situations. So we’re talking about the equivalent of one season. To put this in perspective, Abreu has had six seasons when his aggregate wOBA was higher than .389. His career aggregate wOBA is .383.

    Abreu’s career numbers show that he has been a very productive hitter and difficult out. And as one would expect, Abreu has been a very productive hitter and difficult out in any situation. But he fails to meet the Fangraphs definition of a clutch plater.

    Comment by Greg — November 29, 2011 @ 3:59 pm

  9. Thanks. Appreciate the kind words.

    Comment by Wendy Thurm — November 29, 2011 @ 4:11 pm

  10. Irregardless is included in the dictionary. It doesn’t mean you should use it. The word has a prefix of “Ir” (implying a negative), and a suffix of “Less” (also implying a negative). If you use a word with a double negative, it doesn’t mean anything. It certainly doesn’t mean regardless. People have been using it incorrectly for decades and thus, it has become part of the lexicon. Lastly, I never said it wasn’t a word, I said if you want people to take you seriously you shouldn’t use that word. It is considered nonstandard.

    Comment by Santos — November 29, 2011 @ 4:13 pm

  11. Any clutch rating for a season is going to have a small sample size issue. That doesn’t mean it’s not worth noting. Of course clutch changes from season to season, for a variety of reasons, not the least of which is luck. Otherwise, you’d see the same players on the clutch single season leaderboard. Still interesting, IMO.

    Comment by Wendy Thurm — November 29, 2011 @ 4:13 pm

  12. As an Angels fan I read the headline and immediately thought, “Huh?” I guess I’m still stinging from Scioscia’s mid to late season decision to bat Bobby in cleanup and watch him ground into double plays like it was his job. Still, he’s had a fantastic career and I’m certainly not *too* unhappy with him continuing to wear the Halos jersey.

    Comment by Kyle — November 29, 2011 @ 4:44 pm

  13. Wendy,

    You are a very talented writer, and I enjoy your work. I agree that it is somewhat interesting, but I still don’t think it’s very relevant. And by relevant, I mean adding to the debate as to whether there is a such thing as a clutch hitter. But I’m not so dim-witted to understand that wasn’t the point of your article.

    Comment by Greg — November 29, 2011 @ 5:01 pm

  14. Morphological “negation” isn’t always logical negation. Logical negation is a characteristic of languages in which “two negatives equals a positive.”

    A lot of languages have “concord negation,” in which multiple negatives increase the intensity of the communicated content. For example, in AAVE, “You ain’t got nothing” and “You got nothing” are both utterable and grammatical sentences, but the former is stronger in intensity. Another kind of negation is “agreement negation,” as in Standard French, in which two negation particles are needed in order to ensure grammaticality (eg. Je ne said pas). Ne and pas are both negation particles.

    Irregardless is probably a good example of concord negation in Standard English occuring at the sub-word level (“ir” and “less”).

    Comment by delv — November 29, 2011 @ 5:19 pm

  15. Many languages other than English use double negatives. English, when spoken correctly, does not.

    Comment by Ian R. — November 29, 2011 @ 9:42 pm

  16. language is a matter of reality, not shoulds and idealizations

    Comment by delv — November 29, 2011 @ 9:49 pm

  17. “Language is a matter of reality” is completely non-functional. Everything speaks somewhat differently, with their own idiomatic and bastardized slang. A particular “language” is the core everyone claiming to speak that language draws from, which needs some kind of basic rules.

    I hope, by being techincal and douchey myself, you’re noting what a douche you sound like.

    Comment by ToddM — November 30, 2011 @ 12:09 am

  18. Hey guys. I come to Fangraphs everyday to correct peoples grammar on the comment section. I went to college but I have no friends and am allergic to vagina so instead I instigate arguements based on the premise that I am smarter than everyone and I alone know the intricacies of written word. I accuse other people of being a douchebag but in reality I am the huge bag of Summer’s Eve. Just thought you guys would like to know. Sincerely, Half The People That Read This Site

    Comment by I Smell Douche — November 30, 2011 @ 3:23 am

  19. ^H.I. Hayakawa is rolling in his grave.

    Comment by john — November 30, 2011 @ 5:11 am

  20. Which half?

    Comment by Drew — November 30, 2011 @ 7:01 am

  21. Not our half Drew. I’m sure the majority of readers here a sabr heads and baseball enthusiasts such as myself but I just can’t stand the “I’m Better Than You” grammar police ruining the conversations over and over again.

    Comment by I Smell Douche — November 30, 2011 @ 12:26 pm

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