Ever wonder why no one has been unanimously elected into the Hall of Fame. Does it confuse you when 26 people leave Greg Maddux off the ballot? Things like that happen because the world is full of assholes.
Last week noted asshole Keith Olberman decided to share his opinions of Derek Jeter. But before he spoke he collaborated with some writers, editors and producers. He put on a nice suit, fixed his hair and got his make up done. Then a group of professionals made sure his lighting and audio was perfect. Once all that was in place he began lambasting a close to perfect athlete for not being perfect.
Apparently Olberman was sick of the farewell tour, to which I would say, “ Why the hell are you watching the Yankees? Didn’t anyone tell you the Royals were good? Poetically all the Jeter truther’s missed out when he provided us with the best theatre MLB has seen this season.
After blathering on for a few minutes Olberman signed off his rant with something that sounded like “Yeeh Jetes.” I’m not sure if he improvised this or if the teleprompter malfunctioned. Either way it was awkward and makes me cringe just thinking about it.
It’s too bad Olbermans career wasn’t as consistent as Jeter’s maybe I’d give a shit what he has to say. Let’s all hope he raps up the “pretending to be mad as hell “ portion of his career as soon as possible.
It’s interesting how Olberman got praise for his rant while fellow ESPN’er Bill Simmons got suspended for his comments. Simmons called Roger Goodell a liar during a spontaneous and completely honest rant.
On the other hand Olberman calculatingly built a case, twisted some statistics and spent 7 minutes dissecting one of the best and classiest athletes alive for no particular reason. Olberman also has a similar Goodell rant which went unpunished. If you were to put all three men to trial (Goodell, Simmons, Olberman) and presented all the evidence to an impartial judge, which of the three would you say deserved the suspension?
The man that tried to sweep another domestic violence incident under the rug.
The media member that tried to expose this.
The media member that made fun of and discredited a baseball player because the other media talks about him too much.
Who’s the bad guy in this group?
Lies, Damned Lies, and Statistics
Even after watching another classic Jeter moment people will still remind you that he hasn’t actually had that many big moments, just more opportunities on the big stage. It’s sort of like saying the only reason Alec Baldwin has so many great SNL moments is because he’s been on it so many times. A replacement level actor would have been able to produce almost as many laughs.
Last week’s walk off hit reminded me of another recent Jeter highlight. The game in which he had his 3,000th hit. A national game on a summer Saturday afternoon. He was 5 for 5 on the day with number 3000 being a HR off David Price.
Speaking of replacement players, WAR is one the stats brought up by Olberman. According to b-ref.com Jeter is 88th all time in WAR. Amongst position players (because it doesn’t make sense to compare pitchers), Jeter sits at 58th. If we take defence out Jeter climbs to 20th all time. That’s a SS who’s the 20th best all time hitter according to WAR.
Using WAR as your argument makes him a more valuable hitter than all time greats such as Reggie Jackson, Mike Schmidt, George Brett, Rod Carew, Joe DiMaggio, Pete Rose, Carl Yastrzemski and about 17,000 other people who have played the game.
What about his glove? Well if Jeter was as bad everyone says then I guess defence isn’t so important. Jeter finished with a .592 winning pct and took the Yankees to the playoffs in 16 of his 18 full seasons.
The Honus Wagner Defense
Apparently Honus Wagner is the greatest SS of all time. Keep in mind though that Wagner played at a time when Jeter would have been banned. Since Wagner retired there has been an alcohol ban, a depression, a world war, black integration, the Beatles, Latino integration, spaceflight, steroids, Japanese guys with 8 pitches and relievers throwing 100 mph.
As far I’m concerned everything that happened before WWII and Jackie Robinson is in a separate category. It’s impossible to deny that the talent pool from Wagners first year 1897 (Klondike gold rush) to his last 1917 (U.S. enters WWI) is considerably drier than it is now.
We’re told Wagner was a great defender but since he played before video cameras were invented we’ll never truly know. What we do know is that no one in 1900 was a great defender by today’s standards. Gloves were terrible, playing surfaces were uneven and it would have been impossible to field with the efficiency of a modern baseball player.
Seventy error seasons were commonplace in Wagner’s day. That’s not a total indictment on the skills of those players, just a statement about how much different the game was. Wagner was undoubtedly one the greatest players ever but he happened to be born 140 years ago. If that’s how far back you need to go to win a Jeter argument then you’ve lost the Jeter argument.
The Lord of the Rings
Championships. Jeter has 5. You cannot take these away from a player. Jeter was an enormous part of 7 teams that went to the World Series with 5 of those teams being victorious. Like it or not, great players are judged by championships and their level of play in those games. 5 rings cannot be fucked with.
Jeter is 1 ring behind Jordan. Tied with Magic. 1 ahead of Gretzky, Montana. 2 ahead of Brady, Bird.
Total combined championships between other great middle infielders Ernie Banks, Jeff Kent, Roger Hornsby, Wagner, Cal Ripken, A-Rod, Barry Larkin- 5
The GOAT Honus Wagner played in two World Series winning one.
He hit .275 with a .766 OPS in 15 playoff games(all World Series). Far below the .328 and .858 he put up in his career.
Jeter .310/.817 career, .308/.817 in 158 playoff games
98 World Series .353/.803
99 World Series .353/.801
00 World Series .409/1.344
09 World Series .407/.947
One of them performed better in the most important games of the year against elite competition. Either Jeter is clutch or Wagner is a choke artist.
I guess we could assume that if we gave them both 1000 playoff AB that Wagner would prove to be the better statistical player. And I’ll assume that I would have produced classic SNL moments if I were only given ample stage time.