As to the commentary, contract years mean bupkus on the overall. That was proven time and time again last offseason right here at the Cafe'.
Yes doctor, I am sick. Sick of those who are spineless. Sick of those who feel self-entitled. Sick of those who are hypocrites. Yes doctor, an army is forming. Yes doctor, there will be a war. Yes doctor, there will be blood.....
I think contract year means alot. Not necessarily as much in baseball, but you look at basketball and you know when someone is aiming for that paycheck based on their one season of effort. In NBA fantasy drafts never underestimate a lazy player's knowledge of what he needs to do for a few months to get paid. Sad, but true.
I think contract year does have an effect on some players. Maybe the aggregate change in stats is nil or next best thing, but I'm sure there are some that can't handle the pressure of knowing their income relies on the season, and some get motivated and play better for the same reason*. Just because overall the aggregate effect isn't significant doesn't mean it's a myth.... I could probably argue the same thing for clutch, but I don't believe in clutch like I do in contract year players, plus there are too many anti-clutch people here
*I'm not saying it is clear who these players are, but there are surely some of them that fit both descriptions; choke under contract year pressure, and play better under contract year pressure. The incentive to play through minor injuries must also be greater for some players who are in a contract year. This might actually lower their average output (but overall output would obviously be higher if they paly mroe games, even if at a lower ability level) since they're playing injured, and in effect contribute more to the aggregate regression to the mean.
"Jack, will you call me, if you're able?"
"I've got your phone number written, in the back of my Bible."