In response to some topics that have come up in comment threads lately, as I tinker with maybe writing the USSM FAQ to help with frequently-rehashed topics, I offer for your edification:
Tom Ruane on batting orders (“batting orders matter even less than people have believed”). As in… almost not at all. I had a good argument with Rob Neyer about this once at a Pizza Feed: he held that it wasn’t such a big deal that it was worth caring about, and you might as well bat them in traditional roles and devote your energies to assembling a better bullpen or something. I argued that every run counts, and managers should constantly optimize… but for maybe three runs a year? You really are better off spending your energy elsewhere.
Tom Ruane on clutch hitting. (“One could argue that the forces at work here, if they exist, must be awfully weak to so closely mimic random noise, and if they are really that inconsequential perhaps we could assume they don’t exist without much loss of accuracy.”)
And here’s the 2003 Tom Tippett article “Can pitchers prevent hits on balls in play?” which I highly recommend.