ARod = Clutch

I find this quite amusing -- Alex Rodriguez has been declared the 2007 Major League Baseball Clutch Performer of the Year, at least according to Pepsi.

There are many people out there that claim -- probably accurately -- that there's no such thing as "clutch" hitting, and that if you take a look at a player's overall numbers versus his numbers in a given situation, they're usually not all that much different. Small sample size -- such as a four or five game series -- often comes into play here.

But what's amusing to me about all this is that ARod has a reputation as a playoff "choker" and that he can't ever get a big hit when the Yankees need him to. Which is completely ridiculous. However, those that believe that are absolutely impossible to sway. There are metrics out there that suggest -- correctly -- that the Yankees wouldn't have even been close to the postseason without Alex Rodriguez this season. But never mind that! He didn't hit .600 in the playoffs! Ship the bum out of town!

And now here comes this ridiculous award. I watched about five minutes of it last night on ESPN, in the hour leading to the World Series. It was Karl Ravech, host of Baseball Tonight, looking rather embarrassed at the whole spectacle, and on the panel with him was Jimmy Rollins, Curtis Granderson and Jose Mota. Dynamic group. They also had several gigantic Pepsi cups on the set with them. At first I thought it looked rather sloppy to have their giant, 64-ounce beverage cups within the camera's sight, but then I realize this whole debacle was sponsored by Pepsi so they had to.

It's interesting to me that in the midst of all this, while Scott Boras is trying to make a case for ARod being worth $30-$35 million a year for the next decade, that ARod ends up winning an award for being "clutch." Which was the one major knock against this guy -- that he couldn't hit when it mattered. It would surprise me not one bit if Boras strong-armed someone at Pepsi about this.

In the end, what am I saying? I'm saying that I believe ARod is the best hitter any of us will see in our lifetimes and that the Yankees will indeed be worse without him. There's no such thing as being a clutch hitter. Scott Boras is an a-hole. And Pepsi should stay out of my baseball programming.

In no particular order.

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