I wholeheartedly agree with the intangibles
argument. Anybody who has watched Bonds for the past few years knows what kind of an impact he has on the game even when he is sitting in the dugout
. I have seen pitchers start to lay balls in the middle of the plate at times before Bonds gets on deck. I think that they get scared of the possibility of facing Bonds with guys on base, so they dont want to walk anybody, but end up giving good pitches to hit. The case is so extreme that I even saw that happen on one of Bonds' days off in the late innings. There was the possibility that he could pinch-hit, so the pitcher started throwing fastballs down the middle. I dont think the Giants were able to capitalize on that (well...do they ever?
), but the meaning for this topic is the same. Intangibles matter!
The same with Jeter. I am sure everyone remembers him cutting off the errant relay throw and wheeling around in time to throw Jeremy Giambi out at the plate in the 2001 playoffs. That was pure intuition, which cannot be calculated with a stat.