A reader, dimitrios, suggested that Jeter is more "clutch" than ARod. I countered by saying I thought the perception of clutch-ness by Cap'n Jetes was overstated with the reality. I also thought, conversely, that ARod's lack of clutch-ness was also probably overstated.
What better to do during lunch than go find out?
Using CBS Sportsline's stats called "Late Inning Pressure", "LIP-Runners On", ">= 7th Inning" and "Sept/Oct", here are the tallies, year by year:
So what does this tell us?
Here are a few things that jumped out at me:
- ARod, during odd-numbered years, is vastly better than during even-numbered years in these areas. Quite odd. (I'll tell ya, you will get ARod at a bargain in your fantasy draft next year.)
- 2008 YTD: ARod has been abysmal in "clutch" spots this year. Jeter has been outperforming him in this area in 2008. Confirms the perceptions this year. Jeter's been converting more RBI opportunities (RBI in LIP+Runners/AB) than ARod has this year, too. They are similar in the 7th inning or later, but in pressure situations, Jeter has a clear advantage this year.
- 2007: ARod was the MVP this year and his numbers are incredible. Across the board, by any measure, better than Jeter. I can clearly remember watching games saying, "if we can get ARod to the plate, we have a chance" last year. Remember when....? Jeter struggled. ARod had 31 RBI down the stretch; that's amazing.
- 2006: Even year = down year for ARod. They both had a solid Sept/Oct and ARod did a great job converting RBI opportunities (31%). However, Jeter was da man in converting RBI opprotunities late with runners on (45%) thanks to an incredible .545 OBP.
- 2005: Not surprising, ARod had a solid year, out-clutch-ing Cap'n Jetes across the board.
- I did not include power stats (HR, OPS, etc.) since they are clearly two different types of players with vastly different roles and approaches.
- The number of RBI chances for each is impacted by the preceding lineup, obviously. Jeter has to rely on the bottom third to get on for him to do anything. ARod can rely on Damon, Jeter and Abreu's high OBP to put ducks on the pond for him to drive in. Except when he GIDP with the bases loaded last night.
- I could have included many other stats but in the interest of space and time, I thought the sample above was fairly representative.
So, there you have it. Or not.