Monday, November 30, 2009

Ugh, Jeter

So apparently Jeter won the SI "Sportsman of the Year Award. It could be worse. I mean, he did have an excellent year playing baseball. But the worst part of it is the rationales given by SI Group Editor Terry McDonnell. Here are a few of the highlights:

"This verifies my idea that he is on the level of Ruth and Gehrig," McDonell said. "He's the greatest shortstop in the history of the game."

No, the greatest shortstop in the history of the game currently plays third base for the Yankees.

Jeter is not on the level of Ruth and Gehrig. He's just not. You can't just SAY that.

"He's so classy," McDonell said. "He brings a dignity and elegance to the game."


"It's about the manner of the striving and the quality of the effort, too," McDonell said. "Off the field he has grown so much as a member of the community."

If this award was really about the manner of the striving and the quality of the effort, they'd have to give it to Eckstein every year.

McDonell was impressed by Jeter's leadership, how he "stepped in and molded a team" this spring with the arrival of three expensive free agents, and Alex Rodriguez's admission to using steroids from 2001-03 and then having hip surgery that kept him out until May.

Jeter molded the team! Why didn't he mold any of the 2002-2008 Yankees into World Series Champs?

I like how A-Rod's hip surgery somehow becomes a reason for Jeter winning an award.


Tonus said...

"Off the field he has grown so much as a member of the community."

Apparently, making auto commercials is the way you bond with the locals.

Adam said...

Well Jeter does have more SI "Sportsman of the Year" awards than Ruth or Gehrig.

Elliot said...

I thought Minka Kelley was the only one allowed to blow Jeter like that.

Jacob said...

I think Adam's comment pretty much says it all.

Martin said...

Well, at least it will up thier sales in the NYC area of the country. I can't think of any reason other then boosting sales that they made this choice. Talk about editorial ignorance....

"He's teh greatest shortstop in the history of the game."

Thank you Terry McDonnell, President of the Teens for Jeter Fan Club

Larry B said...

I thought it was funny in 2007 (or 2008?) when Jeter completely threw A-Rod under the bus when reporters asked him what he thought about fans booing A-Rod. It was something like "They have a right to boo." This wouldn't be THAT bad, except that when asked the same question back in 2005 about Jason Giambi's horrible start, Jeter said something like "They need to stop booing. They need to support him." I'd link if I had more time, but trust me, both quotes are basically legit.

Such leadership!

Biggus Rickus said...

Look how calmly he faces the pressure in this commercial. His calm-eyed walk down the street while drinking a G4 in the face of the enormous Super Bowl commercial pressure, and performing the public service of educating people that they should be hydrated when playing sports (at the same time!) epitomizes the SI Sportsman of the Year.

Venezuelan Beaver Cheese said...

Greatest shortstop in the history of the game? That may be the dumbest sports quote of the year. Of course, Jeter is the greatest shortstop in Yankees history, so I can see how a member of the national media might've extrapolated something like that. Honus Wagner played in too small a market.

Adam said...

Also there is this guy named Cal Ripkin or something. I hear he was pretty good.

John Foley said...

I'd like to take this opportunity to apologize on behalf of all Yankee fans. Some of us are sensible enough to realize this is a farce.

Elliot said...

Cal Ripken didn't have nearly as high of a butt as Jeter does.

Jack M said...

Yeah, when Jeter makes 18 straight All-Star games like Ripken, call me.

dan-bob said...

Instant quiz:

Who has a higher career SLG - Jeter or Ripken?

Derek Jeter . 457
Cal Ripken .447

Biggus Rickus said...

Jeter has him beat in career OPS+ by 9, 121 to 112. Even factoring in the likelihood of decline over the next few seasons it seems unlikely he'll relinquish the lead. However, the fact that Ripken was a solid to good fielding shortstop and Jeter is average to bad probably gives Ripken the overall advantage.

Chris W said...

cal's got two MVP's

jeter, despite the media constantly having their hands cupping his balls, has never found a way to convince the BBWAA that he was the best player in the AL (which, given the Jeter love, would probably mean he would only have to be the 3rd or 4th best to win the award)

dan-bob said...

True, CW.

While looking at some stats on this, I noticed that Ripken's MVP year in 1991 (in which he OPS+'d 162 and played 162 games!) was sick... his 1992 was equally sickly - OPS+'d a measly 92 and slugged a paltry .366.

What the heck happened?

Chris W said...

92 was a big hitting boom iirc. That would fuck with the context. But that wouldn't explain the SLG

Chris W said...

Me and Jack have been crunching numbers all day.

Cal Ripken through age 35: warp3 of 96.6

Jeter's through age 35: 61.4

That's a significant number of wins above replacement if your'e going to try to argue that Jeter is better....

dan-bob said...

I ain't got no dog in this fight, I was only surprised to see that Ripken's career SLG was lower than Jeet's.

Given the stereotypes:
"Cal the first 'big' shortstop with power"
"Jeter the inside-out doubles hitter",
I expected the opposite to be true.

Tonus said...

That's due in part to Jeter's higher batting average.

Jeter's career ISO: .142
Ripken's career ISO: .171

Alex said...

I must have been sleeping, but when did Jeter pass Wagner exactly?

I think the Bilderberg Group had something to do with this. The bastards.

Biggus Rickus said...

Ooh, I didn't think of Wagner. OPS+ of 150 for his career. Here's his Baseball Reference page Dude hit 252 runs in the dead ball era. Of course, there are other arguments about overall quality of the league, then and now, but whatever. He was awesome.

CitizenX said...

Chris, WARP is kind of outdated. Using FRAA for anything now is kind of pointless. That being said, Cal Ripken during his shortstop days was probably slightly better than Jeter. Though if Jeter staves off his decline phase like he's been doing, he will probably overtake Ripken.

A-Rod is way better than both.

Honus Wagner is better than A-Rod. Seriously, Honus Wagner is, in my opinion, a top 5 player of all time. His numbers are ridiculous for the era and the position he played.

As I'm typing this, I see the two people DIRECTLY ABOVE ME mentioned Wagner.

Well I'm going to regress, I believe I've made myself perfectly redundant. Back to studying Bird Law.

Adam said...

FRAA is still pretty cool to compare modern players to ones who played before electronic computers were invented.

Alex said...

I agree. Wagner is easily one of the all-time great players.

To put Jeter next to Gehrig, Ruth, Wagner and even Rodriguez is weak.

St. Jeter (cue Handel's Messiah) is a great, great player but not on their level.

John Foley said...

MVP awards are a very flawed metric for determining true greatness. Juan Gonzales has two of them collecting dust on his mantle. George Bell has one. Ichiro has one. More often than not they are the result of mushy-headed writers who put too much emphasis on homers and RBIs. Jeter's never won one (and most likely never will) but he should have won in 1999 and probably 2006. I'm not saying this makes him better than Ripken and Wagner; just that his lack of MVPs says more about idiot writers than anything else.

Adam said...

It actually is somewhat fascinating that Jeter doesn't have any MVP awards considering how much baseball writers fawn over him. The ironic thing is that stat heads are blasted for hating Jeter, but we are the ones saying he should have at least one MVP.

Its definitely true that writers were swayed, especially in the late 90s early 2000s, by gaudy HR and RBI totals rather than real value. The good news is that seems to be changing.

1999 is a particularly interesting case. Look at these numbers:

Ivan Rodriguez 35HR 113RBI .356OBP .558SLG
Roberto Alomar 24HR 120RBI .422OBP .533SLG
Derek Jeter 24HR 102RBI .438OBP

Rodriguez and Alomar finished higher in MVP voting than Jeter.

Biggus Rickus said...


Interesting, though Alomar and Pudge were both better defensively at their respective positions and Ol' Calm Eyes. Both also played traditionally light-hitting positions. I was trying to find VORPs for the three of them. The best I could find was a couple of posts about how Pedro should have won the MVP that year. It's a solid case. His VORP was nearly 50 points higher than Rodriguez's, meaning it probably would have been higher than Jeter's or Alomar's by some relatively large number. He struck out 13 per 9 and had an ERA nearly three full runs below league average. Damn that guy was phenomenal in his prime. But, if you don't like giving MVPs to pitchers, an argumetn to which I'm sympathetic, then Jeter probably was more deserving. I did find a mention that Bill James called his '99 season among the top 10 ever for a shortstop.

Biggus Rickus said...

...than Ol' Calm Eyes... Fuck.

Adam said...

Pedro was rediculous in '99. His ERA+ was 9th best of any season ever. There is a good case for Pedro winning the MVP but Rodriguez definitely was not even close to deserving it. I would argue that Pedro was 50 points higher because I-Rod's season was not worthy of being in MVP consideration:

1999 VORP (MLB Rank)

Derek Jeter - 103.9 (1st for hitters)
Pedro Martinez - 101.8 (1st for pitchers)
Roberto Alomar - 77.3 (7th)
Ivan Rodriguez - 57.9 (24th)

VORP does not take into account defense, but I don't think any defensive season by a catcher could make up for 46 points. Jeter was not as bad back in 1999 as he is now either.

FWIW, 1999 WARP1:

Derek Jeter 8.0
Pedro Martinez 8.7
Roberto Alomar 7.6
Ivan Rodriguez 6.6
Mike Hampton 9.3 (??? - Probably mostly due to his 239IP compared to Pedro's 213.1, but still)

Biggus Rickus said...

So I think what you're saying is that Hampton and Pedro should have been the NL/AL MVPs.

Seriously though, has any player turned a career year into more money than Hampton?