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Sox players discuss the collapse


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#101 kieckeredinthehead

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Posted 01 March 2012 - 01:37 PM

In some ways, saying Beckett got shelled his final two starts is a bit like saying Pedro got shelled in the 7th game of the '03 ALCS. If Beckett was a fat fuck on a broken ankle, part of the blame goes to Tito for leaving him in so long.

#102 Alcohol&Overcalls

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Posted 01 March 2012 - 02:44 PM

I certainly think it is, in the majority of cases at least. Or not necessarily luck in the strict sense, but factors beyond the conscious control of the athlete. I don't think it's usually a matter of who is tougher or wants it more or has better skills. It's a matter of millimeters of difference in the position of the colliding body parts (or body parts and walls, in the case of Ellsbury's non-catch). If you want to understand why one guy holds on while the other doesn't, I think you'd most often be better off consulting a chaos theoretician than a sports psychologist.

I could, of course, be wrong. But I think there's an ingrained tendency on the part of us fans to overrate the role of skill and "grit" when evaluating extreme plays like this.


You don't think there are things a catcher can do to improve his chances of holding on? And that some guys might be better at those skills than others?

I agree there are also outside factors at work - but aces lose to outside factors too, it doesn't make winning with them "lucky" in a strict sense.

#103 Rasputin


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Posted 01 March 2012 - 08:38 PM

In some ways, saying Beckett got shelled his final two starts is a bit like saying Pedro got shelled in the 7th game of the '03 ALCS. If Beckett was a fat fuck on a broken ankle, part of the blame goes to Tito for leaving him in so long.


And the fact that the bullpen was gassed as shit because we had a guy starting games who were tenth on the depth chart.

#104 Savin Hillbilly


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Posted 01 March 2012 - 09:09 PM

You don't think there are things a catcher can do to improve his chances of holding on? And that some guys might be better at those skills than others?


"Yes" to the first (I don't know this firsthand, but it certainly makes sense).

To the second, maybe. But I would think that catchers who make it to the major leagues are all pretty good at that stuff, to the point where those skill differences are not significant in comparison to the kinds of random differences I was talking about--especially given the sample size. How many home plate collisions happen to a catcher in a given year? Maybe a dozen at the most? Usually less? I think you'd need a much larger sample than that for differences in skill to show up meaningfully.

I could be wildly wrong, of course.