A. The amount of hyperbole about to be thrown around about a player I consider to be one of the greatest Yankees of all-time was soon to hit incredible heights and B. the amount of writers who were going to do everything they could to diminish the level of his greatness was more than any of us could ever imagine.
When Derek Jeter announced his retirement a couple of days ago, I wrote about how amazing it is — in these times of Twitter and 24-hour sports talk and mean-old defensive statistics and smark-aleck bloggers who invent words like Jeterate — that Derek Jeter will walk away from the game almost universally admired. It is a happy fate that eluded almost every great player of his time. Derek Jeter was a fantastic player, a sure Hall of Famer, a man who played hard every day. For the next six months, people will come to dedicate a portion of baseball immortality on him. It is altogether fitting and proper that they should do this.
He was a fantastic baseball player. But you know what? Alan Trammell was just about as good.
Here are Alan Trammell’s and Derek Jeter’s neutralized offensive numbers.
Jeter was a better hitter. But it was closer than you might think. They had similar strengths offensively. At their best, they were .300 hitters with some power and some speed.
Wait, did he just try to compare the speed element of the game as if it was even close between these two?
Trammell didn’t even have a 2:1 SB-CS ratio while Jeter was nearly a 4:1 ratio.
Trammell had one season where he swiped 30 bags. Jeter had 4, and almost a 5th.
The years Jeter stole 30-35 he’d get caught 4-5 times. Trammell was caught 10 times is 30 SB season.
Me thinks the author is being disingenuous while trying to prove his own pre-determined narrative.
I think Trammell was indeed an incredible player, arguably a HoFer himself.
But 30 points difference in career AVG, OBP and OPS isn’t “close”. It’s on the outskirts of the neighborhood, but it isn’t “close”.
Neither provided a ton of pop, but then again their position isn’t one that is traditionally going to do that. That being said, the power numbers aren’t all that close either. If Jeter doesn’t hit another HR this season he’ll still have 70 more than Trammell (256-185) in the exact same number of seasons played.
Then there is the small matter of possessing over 1000 more hits…
…and the big post-season moments.
I know you can’t fault Trammell for not having been to the playoffs more than once, but you also cannot deny the fact that it’s a whole lot easier to have one great post-season run on a “hot team” than it is to maintain a .308/.374/.465/.838 slash line over 158 games, 700 PA’s in the post-season.
Let that sink in for a moment.
Against only the best pitching, the best teams for what equals an entire season’s worth of at-bats Derek Jeter put up the following line:
.308 AVG, .374 OBP, .465 SLG, .838 OPS with 20 HRs 111 R’s 61 RBI’s 200 H’s 32 Doubles 5 Triples 18 SB/5 CS and a bevy of heart-stopping moments.
That is the stuff of legend.
So sorry. Trammell was an incredible player, himself worthy of at the very least HoF discussion and maybe even a bronze plaque of his own.
But to say he is in the some rarefied air as Jeter is almost comcially incorrect.
Once Derek Jeter announced he is retiring after the 2014 MLB season, it came as no great surprise that MLB players flocked to social media like Twitter to heap high praise upon “The Captain”.
And man did they heap some praise.
Some were simple & elegant:
— Jim Henderson (@JimHenderson29) February 12, 2014
Some heaped some “heavenly” praise:
Pujols on Jeter: “On and off field, he’s the way you want your kids to grow up, Only Jesus is perfect, but he’s pretty close to that guy.”
— Mike DiGiovanna (@MikeDiGiovanna) February 13, 2014
Some were downright funny (seriously, look at the last line before the hastags lol):
Some were a brief remider of how these players we idolize are human beings, just like the rest of us:
Might cry when Jeter plays his last game favorite player growing up…did it the right way
— Christian Yelich (@ChristianYelich) February 12, 2014
Some simply reiterated what many of us have already said:
All the best to Derek in his final season. He’s been Nothing but class and I wish him health and much success this year.
— Chris Dickerson (@CDickerson_PFTP) February 12, 2014
Derek Jeter is my idol, and will always be the example that I strive to follow. It’s been an honor to share a diamond with The Captain #2
— Hanley Ramirez (@HanleyRamirez) February 12, 2014
Derek Jeter was my first wow moment on field my first year. Came up to me and patted me on the back & said “welcome and congrats” #rolemodel
— Josh Reddick (@joshreddick16) February 12, 2014
The 1st time I talked to Derek Jeter at 2b he acted like he knew me forever. I wear #2 because of the person he is on and off the field.
— BJ Upton (@BJUPTON2) February 12, 2014
The game wont be the same without him. I wish him nothing but the best.
— BJ Upton (@BJUPTON2) February 12, 2014
Some of them represented MLB’s new guard paying homage to a man they strive to be:
Grew up watching Jeter play. Always aspired to be the player he was on and off the field. #TheCaptain
— Mike Trout (@Trouty20) February 13, 2014
— Bryce Harper (@Bharper3407) February 13, 2014
Some of them came from young players who knew Jeter on a very personal level:
Derek Jeter is my hero. Always has been, and always will be. He is the reason I wanted to play baseball. pic.twitter.com/Tumplbq12Q
— Preston Mattingly (@Pmattingly30) February 12, 2014
Derek Jeter caught my first Major league out, then came up to me in the dugout and gave me some words of confidence that I’ll never forget..
— George Kontos (@G_Kontos) February 12, 2014
… Jete, thanks for being the leader that this game needed for a long time. It’s a pleasure to have shared the field with you.. #Legend
— George Kontos (@G_Kontos) February 12, 2014
Derek Jeter announced on his Facebook page that the 2014 season will indeed be his last and in typical Jeter fashion, he did it will grace and class by thanking the fans for everything they have done for him over the years.
To that I say…
As honored as you feel to have worn the pinstripes it goes the same for me when it comes to having watched you, Mo, Jorge, Bernie, Andy and others along the years.
I know Yankee fans get a bad rap for being “spoiled”, but in some regard we truly have been the last 20 years.
No team, no group of players will ever bring any organization the same amount of joy that you and your teammates did to us. What we saw in the late 90’s, early oughts will never happen again.
So once again, from the bottom of my heart, thank you for everything.
Ah, the best laid plans of mice & men.
For the past two seasons anyone who either follows Major League Baseball closely or is a fan of the New York Yankees heard countless reports of the teams plan to work its way under the magical “luxury tax threshold”, undoubtedly rolling their eyes each time they heard it.
But alas, with the recent signing of Japanese phenom Masahiro Tanaka to a 7 year/155M dollar deal said plan went right out the proverbial window.
That isn’t to say the team won’t revisit the strategy at some point down the road, doing so certainly has its merits, but for the here & now the Bronx Bombers have decided that protecting the brand by putting a better product on the field was the way to go.
The team also surprised a good deal of people by selling a large chunk of its stake in the Yes Network to 21st Century Fox recently, a move that will yield a reported $150M per year, before they even get around to negotiating their new deal with Time Warner Cable.
In the big scheme of things, what exactly does this mean?
Well, for starters it means the team that is usually flush with cash will have even more chips to play with moving forward.
While that certainly doesn’t guarantee much, it is in all likelihood a fairly safe bet to say that barring another season with a record level of injuries they’ll score quite a few more runs because of the return of Jeter and Teixeira, coupled with recent acquisitions Jacoby Ellsbury, Carlos Beltran & Brian McCann.
But beyond that not much is certain.
No, winning the off-season doesn’t guarantee much more than owning the headlines for a while.
More to my point, amidst all the talk, all of the yammerin’ about the Yanks newfound purchasing power there hasn’t been a whole lotta solid analysis.
It seems like most folks have just tended to go for the glossy stuff, the easy byline then moved onto the next “flavor of the moment” story.
That being said, there have been a couple of solid observations, most notably from ESPN contributor Buster Olney.
Olney recently pointed out that while the same injury bug that hit the Yankees big league roster also depleted their farm system (not even kidding, it seemed like just about every big time prospect the team had got hit with an injury lasy season) we should look for the Bombers to be big players at the trading deadline this summer.
Simply put, come mid-July you need one of two things to make some moves.
You either better have some Grade A trade chips or you best have the cash to absorb some contracts other teams are looking to unload. And now that the Yankees have both flown right by that luxury tax threshold and increased their revenue stream they fall squarely in that latter category.
An obvious area of concern for the Yankees is there infield.
Jeter, as great as he has been is on his way out. If he stays healthy he’ll continue to be productive, providing a solid bat for his position, but the Yankees do need to think ahead & second base is just a mystery in the post-Robinson Cano era.
So if somehow the Rockies, Phillies, Blue Jays or Brewers find themselves out of the mix and looking to shed some money come late July then Tulo, J-Roll, Jose Reyes or Rickie Weeks could find themselves being made available.
Granted a lot would have to fall into place for one of these scenarios to take place, but as we’ve seen over the years, stranger things have happened.
Another area where both the front office and the fans are both at least mildy concerned is the bullpen.
Let’s face it. One does not simply lose the greatest closer of all time and not see some sort of a regression.
David Robertson may very well be up to the task. He’s been one of MLB‘s premier relievers for a few years now and has all the tools to handle the job.
But in the end, ya just don’t know if he’ll hold up, either physically or mentally.
So once again, this is where the fat pockets come into play.
Come trading deadline if the Phillies are scuffling or the A’s are feeling bold (as they are prone to) one could easily envision Papelbon or the recently acquired Jim Johnson being dangled on the market.
Additionally, right-handed bats like Billy Butler, Michael Cuddyer & Josh Willingham all have the kind of contracts that team could easily absorb in order to provide financial relief to the small market teams that currently hold them.
If either scenario plays itself out you can rest assured that the “Evil Empire” will, at the very least, be keeping a weather eye on things, ready to pounce if need be.
Obviously it’s all just pie in the sky stuff right now, but some times the moves you make at the trade deadline aren’t just the difference between making the playoffs or missing them, but rather play a sizable role in determining who exactly is the last team standing.
This year, more so than the last few, the Yankees seem positioned to be major players at the July 31st deadline and that always makes things a little more interesting.
Mo isn’t out the door yet and now the Derek Jeter haters are trying to push him out while insulting him along the way. I love it when they use phrases like “vastly overrated” to describe him.
Overrated? Probably. He essentially is worshipped in New York and nobody is worthy of tha, even if he is a “biracial angel” lol.
“Vastly” overrated? Lol, not even close.
I am sure that now those haters are going to tell us with an absolute level of certainty that he would barely have 2000 hits if he played in KC his entire career, rather than 3300+.
All of the Jeter haters just need to remove their heads from their collective asses.
Defensively he IS overrated as hell and his Gold Gloves are a farce. But the Gold Gloves in general are a farce so nobody gives three shits. Anybody besides me remember the year the Orioles Rafael Palmeiro won one for 1B despite the small fact he played DH in all but like 3 games?
He wasn’t carried by great teams, he was one of many who helped make teams great.
The biggest knock on him was always that “he wasn’t even the best SS of his era, derp”.
Then alll of the clowns that were named as being superior (Afraud, Tejada, Nomahhh) either came up hot for PEDs, were named by Canseco for using PEDs or just flat out fizzled out while Jete kept on chugging.
Here is “Mr. Overrated’s” resume:
— 9th on all-time hits list, will be 7th if he can just come back and collect 2 hits next season, as high as 5th if he can get 100+ hits next year. But yeah, that means a whole EIGHT guys were better so he HAS to be vastly overrated!!
— RoY 1996 (he comes out swinging, over .300 and nearly 200 hits. But of course he only hit .360 w/ an OBP well over .400 in the playoffs that led to their winning the WS so he was definitely “carried”)
— 13 All-Star appearances (first of which came in 1998 where he hit .324, amassed 200 hits for the first of 8 times in his career while helping the Yankees go an amazing 125-50 when counting their post-season run to yet another WS title in a series win over SD where he hit .353 with an OBP near .500).
— In 2000 he became the only human being ever to win World Series MVP and All-Star MVP in the same calnder year.
— Career batting average well over .300? Check.
— Career OBP near .400? Check.
— Career post-season batting average handly over .300, all done in a sample size that is over 700 ABs…or in other words, an ENTIRE SEASON’S WORTH OF AT-BATS versus ONLY the best competition? Check.
— Career filled with moments where when the lights shined brightest he stepped up and provided the “Mr. November”, “The Flip” kind of moment? Check, check and more checks.
To claim he is vastly overrated throws up the “I’m a fucking douche bag” signal faster than Ed Hardy shirts, “blowouts” & fist pumping in the club.
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