Defending my stance on Jeter

jeter_375_022707.jpgA COUPLE OF QUICK NOTES AS WE HEAD INTO THE WEEKEND…
First, a few reactions to the comments on retaining Derek Jeter after 2010: as I tried to explain this morning, I’m appreciative of Jeter for all he’s done, but I appreciate winning baseball teams more, and I very much doubt that the Yankees will be able to do so with a 37-year-old shortstop, particularly one who doesn’t play great defense now and has visibly slowed the last couple of years.

Baseball puts fans in a very difficult bind: do you love the team or the player? When the player is 25 and at the peak of his powers, it is very easy to love both. When they’re 35 and gimpy, you have to make a decision. The Yankees, and Yankees fans, have gone through this repeatedly: with Babe Ruth, Joe DiMaggio, Mickey Mantle and many others. At some point, it was time for them to move on so the team could make room for fresh faces that could do more to help them win. The alternative is that the team ceases to try to win and becomes a nostalgia show, perpetuating these players far beyond their usefulness just because it’s hard to let go. If that’s what you want, that’s one thing, but you’re going to see a whole lot of losing, not to mention experience a whole lot of embarrassing discomfort along the lines of what old time Willie Mays fans saw when he joined the Mets in 1972 — not the fleet ballplayer of 1954 who could do anything, but a 42-year-old who looked like a tired old guy. If you want to see Derek Jeter look like that, fine — just keep holding on too tight — and don’t

Specific comments: vrod44, the “you didn’t play the game” insult is as old as dirt and about as logical. Whether I played or not, even if I was Lou Gehrig in a previous life, Jeter is aging. That’s an unavoidable fact, but blame the messenger if you want. Yankee7777, it’s odd that you cite Lou Boudreau given that he stopped hitting after age 30, was a part-time player by 32, and retired at 34. No, he wasn’t fast — he was, in fact, legendarily slow, and as you say he was a great defender nonetheless. Unfortunately, none of that serves your point because by the time he was Jeter’s age, he wasn’t playing anymore. I don’t have time to do it now, but over the weekend I’ll try to figure out which teams won with old shortstops. My guess is it’s a short list. I also disagree with your statement, “Anyone who watches Jeter knows he makes all the plays.” He demonstrably does not. I wrote this in the Baseball Prospectus annual four years ago:

For those of us in the performance analysis biz, Jeter is a difficult problem because any realistic evaluation of his skills, no matter how flattering, seems like a slight when compared to his reputation. In the eyes of true believers, Honus Wagner and Superman combined couldn’t do half the things Jeter does. In truth, he’s terrific at going back on shallow pop-ups and executing the jump throw in the hole. Other aspects of the job — fielding grounders to his left for instance — elude him, and it doesn’t take an MS in scouting or statistics to see it. When watching a Yankees game, simply pay attention to the opposing shortstop. He will routinely get to balls that Jeter cannot. As for the Gold Glove, peel back the foil on the award and you’ll find there’s some tasty chocolate underneath. That’s about what it’s worth, though at least Jeter was better this year. On offense, Jeter walked less than ever before and doubled his previous high in sac bunts, perhaps because he lost confidence after a shockingly poor April. Jeter is a Hall of Famer to be, a key player on a great team, an inspirational leader, a fine hitter…and he gives up a lot of singles with his glove. In light of the rest, why is that last part so difficult to accept?

I stand by what I wrote back in the winter of 2004. Every day you can see balls go past Jeter on the left that most other shortstops easily field, and if he’s ever made a play behind second base it must have been back in the Clinton administration. To this point, for the reasons stated above, that deficiency hasn’t been all that important, because on balance, the combination of offense and defense worked out in the Yankees’ favor. That will be less and less the case over time, and if 2008’s reduced offensive output was not an injury-induced fluke but the beginning of an age-inspired trend (and it was the second season in a row that Jeter’s offense dropped, so arguing about said trend may be a moot point), the day of reckoning is here now.

AND FROM TODAY’S GAME…
The Yankees dropped the decision to the Twins, who came back late against some youngsters who aren’t going to be within hailing distance of this year’s staff. There was still plenty of good stuff: a solid two innings for Ian Kennedy; a 2-for-2 with a double and a stolen base for Brett Gardner (and an 0-for-3 for Melky), a 2-for-3 for Jorge Posada and an identical day for Nick Swisher. Xavier Nady went 0-for-3 with an RBI.

Also of interest was an appearance in left field by Kevin Russo. I get a lot of mail about Russo, who hit .316/.363/.416 in half a season at Double-A Trenton last year. Some out there want to see him as a prospect, but I don’t buy it — as a second baseman, he’s going to have to hit more than that to make it — those numbers don’t really translate to anything impressive — and since he doesn’t play shortstop, his chances to be a utility infielder are not good. Last year he got in an odd bit of utility work at third base and the outfield, and it’s interesting to see the Yankees carrying that forward this spring. If Russo starts the season at Scranton, he could be an injury away from a bench job… It’s not like Cody Ransom has an ironclad lock on a job.

THAT’S A WEEK
I hope to see many of you at the Yogi Berra Museum on Sunday (see below for details). I’ll catch the rest of you here on Monday, unless Brian Cashman goes insane and signs Manny Ramirez tomorrow afternoon. In that case, I’ll be posting — a lot. 

43 Comments

I think fans need to have a good mix of both love of team and love of players. But you have to know when it’s time to move on for the best of the team.

Julia
http://werbiefitz.mlblogs.com/

You’re losing it. I just know this post is going to end upbeing trashed in your blog eventually, but just because Jeet’s (Jeter’s) no longer a gold glover doesn’t mean that we should get rid of him! You’re right, he doesn’t make every single play, but he makes most, and he still has a couple catches each year that make you shake your head in awe. In his “worst” offensive year he hit 300 and drove in 96 runs! He would have been even better had he not been hit on the hand in the middle of the year and because we were struggling and needed our Captain, he refused to go on the DL. By the way, you seriously believe that Derek Jeter, one of the best hitters ever, doubled his high in sac bunts because of lost confidence after a bad April? Jeter? You have to be kidding me. Like your blog, and please don’t make me look too bad, but I just disagree.

By the way, we held on to Mattingly, and he ended up hitting over 400 in his only postseason appearance. I personally beleive that if he had stayed for one more year, he still would have done good.

As in, Yanks would still have won the Fall Classic

Steve:
I have no criticism of your analysis of Jeter, but you are shortsighted if you believe that there is no deal to be made in 2010. LF and/or RF should be wide open at that point and a 37 year old Jeter probably equals a pretty good defender as a corner outfielder. He doesn’t have the power you would like from a corner, but if he still produces as a top of the order OBP/BA type, then then he earns his keep. From there, its all about the contract.

If someone wants him to be their SS into his 40s, then I guess he won’t retire as a Yankee. I doubt that will happen, though. Jeter will have to come to grips with his own mortality and the Yankees can afford to pay a little too much for average production. I think we’ll see 2-3 years of +.800 OPS and decent outfield defense with a diminishing role.

Steven,

I can’t disagree with your assessment of the state of Jeter’s skills or the potential for further decline, especially beyond 2010. I only disagree with your timing. Even though he’s declined for two straight years as you say, I don’t think anyone would put him outside of the top 5 maybe the top 10 offensive shortstops in the game right now. He’s above average offensively, both among shortstops and among the league as a whole (though only slightly). That is often hard to come by for that position (see how David Eckstein keeps getting a job?). The question, then, is not whether Jeter will be as valuable as he has been, but whether he will be more valuable than whatever else is available. Sure, if he completely drops off a shelf, then there really isn’t even a discussion to be had. But if he holds constant or even declines only slightly over the next two years, it will be tough to find a replacement (and any discussion of the man stationed to Jeter’s right will inevitably come back to replacement concerns as well – the league isn’t exactly busting out all over with marquee third basemen). But, between here and there lies 324 games – quite enough to make the the picture much more clear. There doesn’t, then, seem much of a point to deciding on his contract status right now. I’m not sure why you keep bringing it up. Not enough hate mail from those crazy Jetevanglists? As always, thanks for the great reading.

Rich

i fully understand and respect the nate silver style statistics and metrics used by BP. The problem i have, is when they try to make predictions on A-rod who is clearly an outlier in terms of comparable projections. A-rod doesnt really compare to anyone. The rare outlier aside, the problem the stats and metric geeks have is pretty much what you said, your discounting of those that have played the game at a high level or human scouting. I played high level college baseball before succumbing to injury. I was a catcher in high school and my senior year a sophomore who was the back up catcher with a great arm used to throw bullpens on the side. I tried to get out coaches to make him a pitcher. I knew that the kid had an electric arm, and was a big kid size wise also. They refused. The next year when i was gone, the high school relieved the coach and brought in lazar collazo former u of miami pitching coach….he made the kid a pitcher…..that kid is christian garcia, now a top yankee prospect and 3rd round draft pick i believe. No stat or metric could tell you he would be a great pitching prospect, it was all in understanding the game and knowing what you see from someone. while the metrics and silver stats matter, dont discount the experience of playing at a high level and being able to see something in someone, no amount of numbers can tell you if a kid has it or not.

Folks:

Mr. Goldman is correct in that the Yanks defense has suffered because of Jeter’s lack of range, and I am certain that his offensive production – which great as a shortstop – will not be sufficient for a corner ourfielder.

The sentimentality of hanging on to older players….two examples to review. Go look at the Islander’s roster in 1986, and realize why they have been in a free-fall since then. Instead of trading Potvin, Bossy, Smith etc, they held on to these guys to the point where age or injury made them worthless both to their team or to a trading partner. Combine that with young players not reaching expectations (Flatley and every other pick) the Isles were left with LaFontaine and …..the second division.

Now look at the Patriots (and dare I say the Red Sox too…) who have let go of Vrabel, Malloy, Law etc. – all of whom were not only crucial to their success, but also to the winning attitude of the team. By letting these guys go, and getting even something in return ( cap space, another pick etc.) they ensure that the train continues to roll.

Did anyone think in June 2004 that Pedro, Nomar, Millar, Damon and Lowe would be out of the “nation” within a year? These guys were the faces of the team! But by doing that, the Sox are able to remain competitive without a crushing payroll spent on players on the downside of their careers.

Im not saying Jeter will not be a Yankee in 2011, but a beyond-a-doubt arguement can be made that his presence on the field will end up costing the Yanks more than we all want to recognize – and in an environment where their competition has no sentimentality, this could spell trouble for the Yanks down the road.

Just watching a couple of games late last year in which Cody Ransom played SS, I was like “wow, from where did Ransom come from to make that play.” And then I just realized that yes, Jeter plays very poorly to his left.
Amen.

And that argument about “you didn’t played the game” … well Joe Morgan did and I can’t think of anything nice to say about his comments and analysis.

I agree Jeter’s abilities are diminishing. I agree he will not be the player in 2011 that he was or even is now. But signing/not signing him may depend on several factors not yet apparent. What alternatives, if any, will exist at SS? What kind of contract will Jeter want? Would he accept a short-term deal featuring a lesser role with reduced compensation? Would he receive offers from other clubs or even be interested in such offers? From a marketing standpoint (he IS the Yankees to a generation of fans), would it not behoove the Yanks to keep him around for a year or two, even if it’s as a part=time starter/utility player? Both DiMaggio and Mantle declined such an offer from the Yanks at the end of their careers; and everything I’ve seen from Jeter over the years leads me to believe he could very well do the same. Unfortunately, not many players get to end their careers in a John Elway-like manner.

I think that Jeter is one of the best and defenatly GOING TO THE Hall Of Fame. He is still a great player and my favorite. He will be an All-star for sure. When Jeter goes I won’t whatch the yankees anymore. Im a big jeter fann!!!

Look everyone, do you believe Steve liked making that observation on Jeter? Jeter is one of the games besides being a Yankee all time greats. He realizes the spot he is in. Like Gehrig, Babe, Joe D, & The Mick before him, Derek will retire at the end of his contract. He wants to be known as an all star shortstop. Not some part-time player that was moved to another position just to be kept around. everyone enjoy these last 2 seasons. Players like Derek Jeter do not come along very often. He will always be a Yankee and associated with the team in one way or another.

Now, you tell me why he is still a favorite olayer and The shortstop for the USA baseball classic team. You are nuts!!

Hey steven get your head out of your *** ok. Get over the stats alright same could be said about Michael Young’s defense and we all know he is still a good short stop same with jeter. If you have to write about a player aging you must be a loser with nothing to do. Everyone knows about aging you notice it everyday when you wake up and find more and more hair on your pillow. So lay off let jeter be jeter and have the organization and jeter handle his future, they certainly don’t need your help.

I can’t believe that this is such a controversial topic. Either Jeter puts up a 120ish OPS+ in the next two years and plays LF, or it’s thanks for the memories. It’s really not that complicated.

LetsgoYankees:
Jeter was never much of what you would call a Gold Glover. Those awards don?t really mean much?the same guys that vote for Gold Gloves are the same guys who voted Edinson Volquez ROY when he wasn?t even a rookie.
I love Derek Jeter very much and have been spoiled to see him, but the fact of the matter is that the shortstop position is continuing to add demands to performance at the plate as well as performance in the field. Gone are the days where **** could be a light hitter with slick defense or vice versa. He had an improved year at short, but he is still not up to par with the rest of the shortstops in the league. His defense is a negative, and if there is a ball that requires extensive range or a more quick reaction to get to, Jeter probably won?t get to it. Those few plays a year that make you shake your head are worth more to you than another player possibly doing that and providing at least league-average defense?
Players do sometimes lose confidence in their abilities and will do anything to get a hit or to simply get on base, or in some other way contribute to a team. That argument is weak. Same with a team needing their captain: you put too much stock in sentiment. He is a team leader and players doubtlessly turn to him, but that?s not the same as production on the field, which is usually how you win ballgames.
The Yankees tend to hold onto players too long for nostalgia?s sake, and that?s where the Red Sox have proven better than the Yankees. They are willing to let go of players when their time is up because they want to put out a winning ballclub. I?d love to see Jeter be a Yankee forever. However, if he does not have league-average production at the plate and cannot keep up in the field, why trot him out there? Even Cal Ripken Jr. conceded that he could not keep up in the field at short and had to move to third. The Yanks will doubtlessly sign Jeter to a new contract, but where will he play? No big SS on the brink of the majors coming up through the farm, so he?s either going to play there and not live up to what other SS in the majors are doing, or he?s going to move to a position that he has not played and has to try to hold a bat to his new position?and that?ll probably be the outfield, where he only has a bat to potentially carry center. Jeter?s aging and his bat is declining. It happens to everyone. He won?t get any faster, he won?t gain more range, and he is passing his prime as a hitter. I think Steve was simply pointing out that his bat won?t justify his keep?and neither will his defensive deficiencies.

Not sure where those astericks came from. I meant shortstop.
The Yankees have no players at even AA that are capable of producing league average at short, so when Jeter’s contract is up, he’s either going be playing there again or the Yankees will be looking at free agents or trades. I think JJ Hardy will be available… But if Jeter is going to go and demand anywhere near his current contract rate vs. his actual value, it’ll come down a difficult decision for the Yankees. It will certainly be a question of whether or not he is willing to be flexible…and what he knows is best for the team. A captain should be able to understand that. I’m not sure about the suggestion of Jeter being a utility player…he’s either going to have to move positions entirely or we’ll see Jeter at short in an even more diminished fashion.

Stevie me Boy, I have to agree with you once again. Jeter is on the downhill slide(no dis-respect) and we need to find a replacement soon. You watch how Hudson plays at LAD, and we’ll be wishing that we picked him up. As much as I hate to say it, if Cano gets straight he could go to SS and Hudson could have went to 2nd. Cano has the range(all he needs is BOWA to chew his A– out) and hope fully his bat comes back.
I have to agree with richinnj, the Yanks hold on to some players past their worth. Jeter is not worth the money he’s getting now. Next year put Jeter in LF to replace Damon, at least he can throw the ball more than 10 feet on the fly. I hate to say it but The RedSox did the right thing with Vertiek, who is their captain!!!!! The Yanks need to do the same with Jeter when his contract is up………….PS sounds like marv23 is P.O.ed at your thought on Jeet….

You people are forgetting about two major things: The intangibles and the fact that even the worst defender makes 9 of 10 plays. First, the intangibles. Jeter’s value is not only in his bat. Jeter is the Captain of the Yankees and face of the franchise, and he provides inspiration to the team. Although Jeet’s #’s dropped when he was hit on the hand, you can be sure the team knew and appreciated that he was gutting out an injury. As for the Red Sox not letting go of players, Varitek hit 212 last year, was an automatic out, and he was RE-SIGNED! Don’t tell me that was a good move. And anyway, I truly, honestly don’t believe his defense hinders the Yankees at short. Jeter’s the shortstop. If I see him embarrassing himself by dropping balls and throwing the ball away then I’ll consider a move to the outfield. In the meantime, Jeter’s great attitude and leadership qualities, as well as an above average bat will still help the Yankees. Not to mention he’s one of the best clutch hitters in the league.

When I make the comment that even the worst defender makes 9 out of 10 plays, what I mean is that Jeter is at least an avg. defender. I’m sorry, but I do believe when a ball is hit to short that Jeet will get it. And when you say that players “do lose confidence in their abilities and will do anything to get on base” (paraphrased) you honestly expect me to believe that Derek Jeter-one of the best avg. (as in not power) hitters ever and a future hall of famer- started bunting because he thought that, all of a sudden, he was a bad hitter? Because of one bad month? I don’t buy it. He bunted more because that happened to be year where it made sense for him to bunt at certain times. Don’t read so much into it.

And Steve, I look forward to reading your response. This type of friendly give and take debate is one of the most fun parts of baseball. I would like to point out that I am not trying to say all of this nastily, I simply disagree. (I guess I should apologize for saying that you’re losing it? Oh well.)

My whole point is that if we got rid of Jeter and he went to another team, the other team would be getting better and no matter the skills of the player coming in, because of the several factors that I’ve mentioned, I truly believe the Yankees will be missing Jeter.

Arght listen, Jeter is my favorite player. I think he is a winner, he wants to win, he’s a great player but at the same time I think he is overated. Derek Jeter can do no wrong and I think it’s ridiculous. He hits .300 every year with no more than 10 home runs and he’s a mediocre shortstop. Get off A-rod’s back about performing in the playoffs, what about Jeter in the playoffs the past 6 years? He’s done less than A-rod. Everyone adores Jeter but if you really look at it, what has Jeter done? I just think it’s a little much the way the Yankee fans treat him and how the public views him.

Even the worst players makes 9 out of 10 plays? Surely you haven’t heard of Dr. Strange Glove, then. Or shortstop Bill Dahlen. Jeter surely is not one of those with a glove, but the possibility that a ball goes up the middle and starts a rally, continues a rally, or sends the Yankees packing is higher the longer they send out an aging shortstop with declining range. The position takes its toll on the body, as does the game.
Anyway, Jeter is not a league average shortstop. Stats back that up. PECOTA projects he’s going to get worse, and that makes sense since he’s not about to gain more range or get more strength.
Inspiration to the team can only do so much. You don’t win games because you’ve got the HOF nice-guys or inspirational guys. We’d still have Andy Phillips on the team if that were the case. Jeter brings his leadership to the table, yes, but that’s not going to make you win a ballgame. Going out, producing, recording the outs, and playing the game is what makes you win. Winning can breed chemistry. Players can appreciate you all they want, but if you aren’t producing, you’re not helping the cause.
Yeah, if you had been watching that April when Jeter was 0-31, do you remember how he was doing everything in his power to get on base, regardless of how he would do it? He said he needed a hit. A hit can boost your confidence. In the meantime, he’d try to move runners over or do something productive, since he had become an automatic out. Jeter has always bunted, but there are always points when people doubt their abilities if they have not produced in a while. You hear players admit to it (well, unless you’re not reading their interviews or something).

When I say league average shortstop, I mean in terms of defense, of course. He is still better than some in the field offensively.

Hi Steve. New to your blog and really enjoying it. Re: the future of Derek Jeter, is this idea too crazy to say out loud?: how about trying Derek in center and moving Brett Gardner to short? I’d pay money to watch those tryouts.

Keep up the good work!

lilnyygirl-I admire that you are trying to be respectful about this, but I still must disagree. If there’s a time when players doubt their abilities it’s not, as Steve implied, in their eighth year in the league, at a time when they know they’re in their prime of a hall of fame career. I compare Jeter to Gehrig. Ever watch Pride of the Yankees? Remember at the end, when Gehrig was struggling? Bill Dickey, the catcher who was Gehrig’s friend, got into a fight when someone criticized Gehrig. The team rallys around Jeter, just like they rallied around Gehrig. Andy Phillips and Jeter are two totally different animals. Jeter was always looked up to, respected an admired. And if a ball is flying toward short with the other team’s winning run on second, or if the Yank’s winning run is on second, there’s no one in the entire league-not even Manny-who I want more than Jeter. And college7-what has Jeter done? 4 world series got enough? If not, how about 2000 world series MVP?

Oh, and if you sign a new shortstop, what is that you want from him? If you’re looking for a 300 hitter who drives in 100 RBI’s, guess what-that’s Jeter at his worst. I think that, with that hand injury behind him, Jeter (despite what PECOTA or whatever says) will improve.

I’ve been busy of late and haven’t had time to your blog on Jeter. It doesn’t matter. There are better fielding and hitting shortstops out there. I can’t argue with the fact that as happens to the best of us, we’re not getting to balls that we used to, however he has something that no other present shortstops have. The intangible winning spirit. He isn’t the Captain by accident. He’s a born winner, and leader. He’s Billy Martin without the demons that come with being Billy Martin. George Steinbrenner saw it and did the right thing, by naming him the Captain. He makes the team around him better. He demands it, and they will follow. To paraphrase George Steinbrenner when he once said of Catfish Hunter, “I would pay him to sit on the bench in a tuxedo so that the rest of the team could see a true winner and professional.” That’s how us (including you) appreciative fans view him. If for some reason he doesn’t get his 3000th hit in the next couple of years, the Yankees owe him the chance to do it in a Yankees uniform. Four rings, and counting is a living testament to this guy.

I am a huge Jeter fan. That said…the writing is on the wall. The Yankees as an organization are a team that is built to contend every year. As a team in that position you need the best players you can get at every position. Shortstop is obviously a critical position and one that you need a guy at the top of his game. As Jeter’s skills decline, as much as I love him as a player, beating the Sox and winning rings is what it is all about and after 2010 it will be time to get a shortstop that will help us achieve those goals. I love Jeter and all he has done but just like Bernie Williams before him it will soon be time for Jeter to depart the Bronx.

Bombers Weekly
denveryanksfan.mlblogs.com

Of course I’ve watched Pride of the Yankees. But as I said, just because a person is inspirational and the team loves him doesn’t mean that that will make them win a ballgame. They actually have to play. Teammates stick up for each other, naturally, especially if they are close to that person. Jeter has only driven in 100 RBIs in his career, and that was in his amazing 99 season, so your argument that a .300/100 out of Jeter at his worst is completely moot. His 99 season was far and away his best year, and he hasn’t really come that close to replicating those numbers.

You’re right-I beleive his lifetime avg. iss 316, not 300. Last yr. his avg. would have been close to that he he not been hit on the hand. iamanycguy-exactly what I was trying to say, and no, inspiration and leadership alone don’t win games. However, when his teamates see Jeter go out there and give it his all every game-something that he DOES DO-and not embarrass himself like Varitek, then he is worth it. And if he only drove in 100 runs once, isn’t four less pretty consistent?

I enjoyed the session at the Yogi Berra museum. You were the best in your row. As a Yankee fan, I felt a Pilgrim in an unholy land as Sean Connery said to Harrison Ford in Last Crusade. I thought the panel was sponsored by the Wilpons or the Kill the Evil empire society from Beantown. There is plenty of baseball left in Derek Jeter. His paint is not peeling. He had a monster start after the last baseball classic. I expect another one. Derek will deliver. This is America. You are entitled to your opinion, but Derek Jeter will go out a Yankee. Be it as a DH or a shortstop. Nothing was better than watching Mattingly regain killer form in the 1985 playoffs. Sports are more than about statistics, It is about heart and love of the game. Jeter is the Yankees, warts and all. So he can’t go to his left, Stop the world. So he is slowing down. Start a movement. He can teach the Yankee way until they pry the bat from his hands and Joe Torre, the right man in the right place at the right time, definitely belongs in the Hall Of Fame. I thank you. The panel was informative and interesting, but I felt I was in Fenway not Yogi Berra.

Modified from the script of Any Given Sunday.. it fits right here with Derek Jeter:

“Do I need to remind you he helped build this franchise, which you benefited from? That he’s a hero to the working people of New York.. and one of the greatest pressure players to ever play the game. You don’t just cut a man like Derek Jeter.”

Hopefully some of you (and you, Steve) can appreciate that.

Kevin,

What are your thoughts on Chris Malec? It seems like all he does is hit and get on base. 4 years in the Yankees system and he’s got a line of .393 /.395 /.788. I’ve heard his defense is nothing special and he’s a little old at 25 but, why isnt he getting a chance in Spring Training? Does he have a shot to be a decent bench player?

rsiciliano@stny.rr.com-Excellent point, you’re exactly right. The Yanks owe Jeet too much not to resign him.

Bi jeter fan here. Tell me whooo is the captain and for what reason?? It jeter, not A-Rod and his steroids!!!

This is a business people. The point of this business is to win World Championships, not run a nostalgia museum, like Steve said. Look, I like Jeter too and appreciate everything he’s done for the Yanks. But, there comes a time in every players career when you have to cut the cord.

When Jeter’s contract is up, they should just let him walk. They wont, of course, but, doing so makes the most sense from a ‘doing what’s best for the team’ standpoint.

Of course, I’m sure I’ll be ripped for saying ‘TEH CAP’N!’ shouldn’t be re-signed but, the truth hurts. Guess what else too guys, Rivera isnt going to be around for ever either. Get used to things changing around the Yankees for the next could of years. The old guard is on it’s way out.

We’re getting ahead of ourselves a bit here, folks. My guess is that if Jeter does retain his skills at a high enough level over the next 2 seasons, they’ll resign him happily, and we should be pretty pleased (assuming the $20 million/season price tag drops). If he falls off to a large extent, he may be ready for retirement in his own mind. The real danger is that he falls off just enough to be a liability, but not so much that he realizes it. I think Bernie went through that situation. But that’s only one possibility, and i think we ought to keep our emotions in check until we know if it’s the one we face.

Now it’s my turn to go on the defensive. I don’t want to keep Jeter for nostalgia’s sake, I want him because I think the Yanks still need him. I could explain why, but then again I already have. If you want my reasons, see the previous posts.

By the way, why would we get rid of Mo? He had a great season last year. He’s still the best closer in the game-better than K-Rod. I’m not worried about replacing Mo, we have Melancon waiting in the wings and, if worst comes to worst, Joba.

I will take Jeter on his worst year, over any other SS at their best year. If we get rid of Jeter, who will replace his numbers in the postseason?

Jeter’s numbers have been pretty consistent in the post season. He only had an under 2 avg overall in the post season 1 time.

Avg

96- .361
97- .333
98- .235
99- .375
00- .317
01- .226
02- .500
03- .314
04- .245
05- .333
06- .500
07- .176 (His worst overall year in the post season)

97 it went down, 98 it went down, 99 it went up, 00 it went down a bit, then down a bit more in 01, then in 02 it went up, 03 it went down, 04 it went down again, in 05 it went up, in 06 it went up, then in 07 it went down.

So notice a small pattern at the beginning?

It went down twice, up once until 06 where it broke from the down twice pattern, and went up twice, then went down. That is pretty damn consistent. 12 years, one year under a 2 Avg since.

So again, I will take Jeter on his worst year, over any other SS on their best year. His hitting numbers really have not suffered except for 07. Jeter can still make great plays.

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