Categorized | Mark Timmons

Heimlich Anyone?

Heimlich Anyone?

Choke, choke, choke that next at bat

Ozzie giving the universal choke sign

Stress, stress, stress and if you choke your next at bat

Tell St. Torre at the Dugout Gate

That you hate to make him wait

But you just gotta choke during another at bat

Choking is the emotional obstruction of the flow of ability from the brain to the body. Choking prevents RBIs, and can be partial or complete, with partial choking allowing some, although inadequate, flow of base runners to home plate. Prolonged or complete choking results in shutouts which lead to losses and is potentially season ending.

Choking can be caused by:

  • Psychological/emotional problems that involve obstruction of the mind/body interface.
  • Compression of the player’s ability to focus in late innings.

Symptoms and Clinical Signs:

  • The person cannot move the runner over, or has great difficulty and limited ability to do so.
  • Run producing, if possible, is labored, producing fan gasping or booing.
  • The player’s bat has a violent and largely uncontrollable movement and or swishing noise, though more serious choking victims will have a limited (if any) ability to produce these symptoms since they require at least some bat movement.
  • The player desperately clutches his or her throat or bat, and fans attempt to induce vomiting by putting their fingers down their own throat.
  • If run producing does not occur, the player’s face turns Dodger blue from embarrassment and resulting lack of fan support.
  • If the player does any or all of the above, and if run producing is not restored, then they becomes expendable.

The type of choking most commonly recognized as such by fans is the inability to produce a run with a runner in scoring position. This type of choking is often suffered by unprepared players, who are unable to appreciate the hazard inherent in allowing small negative thoughts to fester in their brain. In adult players, it mostly occurs while the player is batting.

The majority of protocols now advocate the use of hard blows with the heel of the hand on the upper back of the player. The number to be used varies by baseball organization, but is usually between five and 20.

Preliminary 2010 season RISP stats:

3-0 Giants 3-8; 2-6; 5-19 = 10-33 = .303 (11 chances per game)

2-1 Arizona 1-4; 2-7; 0-1 = 3-12 = .250 (4 chances per game)

1-2 San Diego 1-4; 2-9; 1-6   = 4-19 = .211 (6 chances per game)

1-2 Colorado 1-8; 2-10; 1-12 = 4-30 = .133 (10 chances per game)

0-2 Dodgers 2-13; 2-15 = 4–28 = .143 (14 chances per game)

Not only have the Dodgers been terrible in their batting average with runners in scoring position but the consternation surrounding that fact is multiplied by the high number of chances per game compared to other teams in the NL West.

The Hardball Times has one definition of Clutch – “”Clutch” is the name we’ve given to the portion of Bill James’s Runs Created formula that includes the impact of a batter’s batting average with runners in scoring position and the number of home runs with runners on. The specific formula is Hits with RISP minus overall BA times at bats with RISP, plus HR with runners on minus (all HR/AB) times at bats with runners on. This stat is not a definitive description of “clutch hitting,” just one way of looking at it.”

There is not an exact correlation between BARISP and wins but if your BARISP sucks, is below the Mendoza line, you probably will not make the playoffs.  - Written by Ken

About Ken

Ken is a professional working in multiple disciplines who has participated in various sports from elementary school through post intercollegiate level. He may be the only athlete in intercollegiate sports history to have started as both a middle blocker on an intercollegiate volleyball team and as a hook on an intercollegiate rugby team during the same season. He has been a Dodger fan since youth and now regularly watches over 150 Dodger games per season.

4 Responses to “Heimlich Anyone?”

  1. Scoop says:

    It’s only two games.

    Granted, it is two games against one of the weakest teams in either league (and the least valuable team in either league) but it is only two games. Granted also that after only two games the Dodgers are 2 1/2 games behind the division leader. You have to admit that’s impressive. Isn’t it true that there is no where to go but up from here?

    OK, maybe not.

    We are a west coast team starting the season off on a 6 game east coast road trip. What that has to do with this I don’t really know, but, Ken is a stat guy so maybe he can offer something that will help.

    I am looking forward to a Dodger starting pitcher going 7 strong innings and I am hoping that starting pitcher is Billingsley today.

    As for that BARISP thing, haven’t the Dodgers been weak in that stat for a few years now? I remember a stretch a few years ago where they were like 12 for 114 or something like that. Seems we have been talking about this for a while anyway.

    Anyway, we aren’t this bad and the Giants aren’t that good. Any day now we will close that gap by a game.

  2. Roger Dodger says:

    I believe that the Dodgers and Tiger are “teeing it up” at about the same time today.

    The fans in Pittsburgh have a nice young team to root for this year. Jones in right field right now “owns” the Dodgers. 3 HRs, all real blasts.

    The Giants — better check what is being served in the clubhouse after the game. They want to win. They have the pitching. I would not be surprised if they throw some total shut-out three game series wins this year. Like the Dodgers might have done 40 years ago.

  3. Scoop says:

    This could be a tough month for the Dogs. I just checked the schedule and we play 13 games on the road and only 8 at home. All 13 road games are in the eastern time zone.

    Does Joe have this team ready for this?

  4. Bill Russell says:

    Wow what I terrrrrible disappointment last night. I thought we had a better team and relief staff then the Pirates, so when we tied them at 3 yesterday, I thought the victory was in hand. I would have loved to see some sort of disappointment on Manny’s face when he weakly made the three out, or on Kemp’s face when he struck out with Xmas Carrol on third but it looked like they were content with their accomplishments. I think Bowa should have sent Carrol on the weak grounder off of Ethier’s bat that the pitcher had to field over towards first, but that’s conservative base running I guess. Lets turn the page and move on my Dodger brothers. Lets just hope we get a chance to read some of the book this year before all the pages are turned.


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