Results tagged ‘ Derek Jeter ’
Get a load of this. Buster Olney tells us:
The Yankees considered trading Mariano Rivera twice in the span of one calendar year. First, in May 1995 — as former GM Gene Michael told the story many years ago — the Yankees were involved in talks with the Tigers about David Wells, and the Tigers were interested in Rivera. One day, Michael got a report from the team’s Triple-A affiliate in Columbus, in which there was word that Rivera’s fastball had been clocked at a consistent 95 mph the night before, and he had touched 96 mph.
There was a major split between the New York and Tampa branches of the Yankees‘ front office at the time, and Michael’s initial thought was that Rivera’s velocity reading was an artificial production of the Tampa group, in an effort to pump up the team’s prospects. Michael called to Columbus and asked them to double-check their radar readings; the word came back that the radar gun was fine.
Then Michael called a scout from the Tigers, Jerry Walker, who he knew had been trailing Rivera, and in the midst of talking about other players, Michael asked Walker about Rivera’s velocity — and Walker confirmed that Rivera’s fastball had been in the mid-90s. Michael ended all consideration of trading Rivera that summer, convinced there was more in the young right-hander that he hadn’t yet shown.
But in the spring of 1996, the Yankees were again talking about trading Rivera. Veteran shortstopTony Fernandez had gotten hurt and, early in spring training, Yankees officials — including owner George Steinbrenner — decided to commit the position to Derek Jeter, the organization’s top prospect. After Jeter struggled in spring training, however, one of Steinbrenner’s advisors, Clyde King, told Steinbrenner that he didn’t think Jeter was ready.
The Yankees needed another infielder, King believed, to start the year. Under orders from Steinbrenner, the Yankees‘ front office reached out to the Seattle Mariners about veteran shortstop Felix Fermin, and in return, the Mariners asked for either Rivera or Bob Wickman.
With spring training coming to an end, the Yankees‘ staff met and there was a spirited discussion about why the trade shouldn’t be made — but it wasn’t because anybody was lobbying for Rivera, as one participant recalled. The debate focused on Jeter. “We had all said we would stick with Jeter, no matter what,” Michael argued. “That’s what we should do.”
Steinbrenner, typically anxious about spring training failure, was talked off the ledge, and almost accidentally, Rivera remained with the Yankees. Fermin had 16 more plate appearances in the big leagues before he retired.
Oh, the humanity. One trade could have possibly re-railed Jeter’s career AND dealt the greatest closer of all-time away before he had established himself.
After dating for three years, Minka Kelly and Derek Jeter have broken up, her rep confirms to PEOPLE. ”They care about each other and it was amicable,” says a source. “They’re still friends.”
It’s admirable that Jeter has been able to soldier through this difficult time. I mean, now that the woman who has been the love of his life these past three years is gone, he is left with nothing but his immense wealth, incomparable fame, unblemished reputation and his power to have anything he wants in the world short of having someone killed to fall back on.
And I’m not 100% certain about the not-being-able-to-have-someone-killed part.
There’s a bit of a gray area there when it comes to mega-celebrities.
But this is not just Derek Jeter’s loss. It’s ours too, and this should be a reflective time for all of us. I mean, if a big time professional athlete and a gorgeous Hollywood starlet can’t make a go of it, what possible hope do the rest of us have?
Source: Hardbalk Talk
I guess none of us should be surprised that the Boston Red Sox hype machine/cheerleading squad out of Bristol has published yet another piece claiming that Derek Jeter is about as useful as a screen door on a submarine.
That group of tools lost any sense of objectivity on the matter many, many years ago.
Once the Red Sox captured the title in 2004, it was like any and all sense of a need to be impartial was ripped away, and they have done nothing but sit there in the background screaming, “Get him a body bag Johnny!!” ever since.
So today’s latest salvo on that front finds Mark Simon of ESPN New York lamenting on the future Hall of Famer’s “penchant for making outs” and his lack of a respectable offensive winning percentage.
First, let me deal with the former before I touch on the latter.
Undoubtedly, Derek Jeter is having an off-year by his standards. That cannot be denied. But to paint a picture like all he does is “make outs” is laughable, if not borderline criminal from someone that claims to be a sportswriter.
A .260 average, over 100 runs scored, 15-plus steals and 70ish RBI is nothing to sneeze at out of the leadoff spot. The man has contributed and contributed greatly to his team’s record, which is, by the way, the best in baseball.
I would strongly suspect that his prolific pace for recording outs has more to do with the fact that he shows up every day, plays in a lineup that turns over at a far greater rate than any other lineup in baseball (leading to Jeter having almost 100 more ABs than your average MLB leadoff hitter) and has seen his average/OBP decline from the norm.
Throw in the fact that Major League Baseball is having somewhat of a pitching renaissence and, my friends, you have yourself a recipe for racking up a large number of outs in a season.
Because of his age, we should all be realistic and understand that he is not the player he once was. But does that mean he is a bum that has no place on a team, let alone a winning one?
The second “layer” to this thinly veiled, pathetic attempt at a hatchet piece involves yet another Bill James “stat du jour,” known as offensive winning percentage (OWP).
That stat estimates what the win percentage of a player’s team would be if that player occupied every spot in the lineup, and the team had league-average pitching and defensive skill.
Now, in an effort to be as impartial and objective as I can possibly be (something Mr. Simon failed at miserably), I must first declare that I am a stat geek through and through. Always have been, always will be.
But statistics can at times be inaccurate and, more often, be misconstrued.
The only offensive winning percentages that should be deemed important when looking at Mr. Jeter’s should be those of his peers. More specifically those who play his position.
Since Mr. Simon was either too lazy or too stupid to provide that information, I figured I would take a stab at it.
I chased down the OWP of the shortstops for every American League team (and a couple National League teams, to boot) in playoff contention:
Derek Jeter, NYY, .460
Jason Bartlett, TB, .418
Marco Scutaro, Bos, .450
Alexei Ramirez, CHW, .467
Elvis Andrus, Tex, ..443
J.J. Hardy, Min, .427
Jimmy Rollins, Phi, .449
Orlando Cabrera, Cin, .372
Miguel Tejada, SD, .432
Juan Uribe, SF, .448
Akex Gonzalez, Atl, .503
One quick look shows that his numbers have been far from out of line for his position. In fact, the only SS that even remotely pulled away from the pack was Mr. Gonzalez, thanks in large part to the 17 home runs he mashed prior to the All-Star break.
He has since fallen back to earth and only hit four dingers, as his OWP has plummeted in the second half by some forty points already.
I won’t argue that Jeter is the player he once was. I would be a fool to do so. But he is STILL in the top five in every major category for shortstops across the league. Average, on-base-percentage, homeruns, runs, runs-batted-in, stolen bases.
Every other one of his peers is deficient in at least one of these categories, failing to join him in that “top five” club.
I won’t get dragged into a debate over how much money he is worth in his new contract, because it is a moot point. The Yankees will pay him, and that will be that.
They can afford to, and he is the face of the franchise. Unlike with other organizations, that means something to the Yankees, and they are willing to open the checkbook for it. They won’t give him a deal like his last one, and they may even play hardball along the way. But in the end this deal will get done.
But I will sit here and tell you that the man is still a viable alternative at SS on a winning team.
One day that will change.
But that day is not today.