Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Long live Derek "E6" Jeter!

I love baseball-reference. This is not news to any of you, but today, more than other days, I wanted to start a post with my appreciation of that particular site, rather than tucking a parenthesized citation into the middle of a stat-laden paragraph.

So why today of all days? Because if you went to www.baseball-reference.com earlier today, you were greeted with this fantastic chart listing the 2010 American League Gold Glove recipients:

The "We can't believe it either" has since been taken down, presumably so that they'll have space to list the National League Gold Glove shortstop tomorrow, but it was just too funny. The fact that a statistic-based website feels it is necessary to openly mock the AL GG selection should show how flawed the system has become.

Derek Jeter is not a good defensive shortstop, and he hasn't been for quite some time. Wanna know why he only made six errors this season? Jeter has no range, so the same hits that someone like Elvis Andrus knocked down but couldn’t get over to first in time just rolled right on by Captain Jetes. Errors are a fail-stat; they prove nothing.

Jeter's UZR is horrible: -4.7. He can't get to anything anymore, and all of the intangibles and calm eyes in the world aren't going to change that. I can't wait for the Yankees to sign him for the next four or so years for three or four times as much as he'd be worth on the open market. I can't wait for his skills to erode on the field before our eyes eighteen times a year. And I can't wait for the inevitable temper-tantrum "Mr. Team Player" will throw when the Yankees start to phase him out at shortstop.

"Past a diving Jeter." = music to my ears.

Don't kid yourself into thinking he'll move without drama - that is, if they can find somewhere to put him... first base, third base, and DH are pretty much covered in Yankee Stadium for the next five years. Despite a reputation for being a team-first type of guy, Jeter flat-out refused to shift to third base in 2004 when A*Rod came to town, despite the fact that Jeter was the inferior shortstop, even then.

So I'm sure he'll demand his "due respect" and stay at short for a few seasons longer than is wise. And I'll even support the additions of more Gold Glove awards to his trophy cabinet, so long as I get to see "E6" in the New York box scores for years to come.

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