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April 13, 2006

A correction -- but not a retraction
by Larry Mahnken

When researching Derek Jeter's clutch homers, it was pointed out by a reader that I'd missed one.

I'd missed another one since 2000, too, but further research shows I'm even more on the money than I'd thought.

Since 2000, Jeter's hit eight homers that have brought the Yankees back from a deficit or broken a tie, and two of them (yeah, I was wrong on this one) eliminated a deficit and gave them the lead. Well, I went through those games one-by-one, which is how I missed some.

Last night I went through the game logs (which are available from 2000-2005) and found the seven that Jeter hit clutch homers in those years -- and every other clutch homer, too. There are more than you'd think -- 2776.

Two players have tied in that category with 24 homers, Gary Sheffield is tied for 5th with 21 of them. Other Yankees include A-Rod with 18, Bernie with 15, Giambi with 15, Posada with 11, and 7 by Hideki Matsui (just since 2003). Tino hit 9, Scott Brosius hit 7 in just two seasons.

Jeter's not even hitting them more often than you'd expect him to from his power numbers. Counting the homers this year, Jeter's clutch homers have been 7.4% of his total homers, while A-Rod's have been 6.4%. Well, that's something, but Sheff's have been 9.8%, Giambi's 7.3%, Bernie's 12.1%, Posada's 7.9%, Matsui's 10%, Tino's 7.1% and Brosius' an amazing 24.1%. Scottie Brosius, Clutch GOD.

Jeter's rate is pretty much the same as most of those guys -- but most of those guys are well below the average rate for guys who've hit clutch homers -- which is 9.21%.

A total of 106 players have hit more clutch homers than Jeter since the start of the 2000 season. Sorry guys, he's not exceptional at this.

The homer itself was GREAT. Amazing. I loved it. He just doesn't do it as much as he's hyped to.

Yes, I'm keeping the top two a secret -- I'm going to write a THT article on it. But feel free to guess.