I've always resisted the idea that clutch hitting exists, I guess because I don't like the notion that baseball is something more than a game -- that it brings out something heroic in an athlete.
I pretty much agree with Bill James's early assessment on the topic, which was that what a batter hits in so-called "clutch" situations is close to what he hits in all other situations -- and that if this wasn't obvious, it's merely because there hadn't been enough of a sampling. In other words, if Willie Mays never hit a home run in 21 World Series games it was simply luck of the draw. Given, say, another two World Series and another 10 or 12 games, if he batted another 40 times and hit, say, six home runs, then he'd have 7 home runs in 114 at-bats, which would be almost the same ratio as his regular season average.
It's unsettling to watch baseball as long as I have and suddenly have to entertain an entirely new concept, but after watching the Yankees play like deer caught in the headlights in game after game, I'm beginning to think I was wrong about clutch hitting. Or at least wrong about clutch hitting as it manifests itself in the postseason, which is about as clutch as I can think of.
Alex Rodriguez, of course, is taking the major share of the flak for his failure to deliver against the Orioles and now the Tigers, but it has seemed to me all along that Robinson Cano, Curtis Granderson, Nick Swisher, and Mark Teixeira have been just as guilty, especially in this year's postseason.