Monday, September 11, 2006

First Scud Launched From Red Sox Nation

"They're talking about Jeter a lot, right? He's done a great job, he's having a great season, but Jeter is not a 40-homer hitter or an RBI guy. It doesn't matter how much you've done for your ball club, the bottom line is, the guy who hits 40 home runs and knocks in 100, that's the guy you know helped your team win games. Don't get me wrong -- he's a great player, having a great season, but he's got a lot of guys in that lineup. Top to bottom, you've got a guy who can hurt you. Come hit in this lineup, see how good you can be."

Red Sox DH David Ortiz, on Derek Jeter's candidacy as an MVP candidate.

Wow....Big Papi uncensored. Now we know who one of the players who voted Jeter as the most overrated player in the game was a while back.

As harsh as it might be, it's a legitimate argument that Jeter's had to deal with since he's come into the spotlight. It's essentially the same thing A-Rod said several years ago. We'll see if he gets the same grief that Alex has gotten over the years.

It comes off as sour grapes from Ortiz but is there some validity to it? How good would the Yankees be if we didn't have Jeter? I don't know, nor do I want to. Jeter has been a very important piece to the Yankees continued success. But the team was already on the rise when he began his first full year in 1996. There's a good chance that the Yankees win that year without Jeter. But the bottom line is, he was there and there's no way of saying that wouldn't have won.

Is Jeter a franchise player? Yes, but what he brings to a team is much harder to quantiify than OPS numbers. The best way to describe his talents is that's he's the guy you want when your team is on the cusp of being great. He's not the sort of talent that you build a new team around. You'd want a big bat or a front-line starter for that. But he is the guy you'd want if your team is like that 1996 team. Make sense?

And by the way, Papi isn't a franchise guy. Manny is. It's funny how noone ever calls him on the fact that he hits in front of Manny. Manny's always going to get his 35-120. Let's see what young David would do without that protection. I understand he's angry that his team has gone into toilet and that he's going to lose the MVP award again. But get mad at Epstein, not Jeter.

To the victors go the spoils. It's always been this way. If your team wins, the players on that team are always going to get better press. Has Jeter benefitted from this? Yep. Has his stock become inflated because he plays with the Yankees? Yep.

But when your team falls apart in August and you miss two weeks with a heart murmur, you lose the right to complain about MVP. Your team went from 1 1/2 back to 6 1/2 back in a weekend. With you on the team. They could have gotten their ass kicked without you.

But I doubt the Yankees could have survived this year without Jeter. Without A-Rod's struggles, Matsui and Sheff's injuries; Jeter carried that team along with Giambi. Now with the team getting healthy and the Abreu acquisition, the Yankees have run away with the division. None of that happens without Jeter having the year that he's had.

Are his numbers typical MVP numbers? Nope, but you can't give me a player in the American League that has been more valuable to his team than Jeter has this year. Combine his leadership and his all-around baseball ability, and you have to give him serious consideration for the award. As valuable? Yes. More? Hell to the no.

There's more to winning ballgames than offense. Papi should know better considering what his team has gone through this year.

Speaking of victors and spoils, take a look at the standings....

NY Yankees 85 56 .603
Detroit 86 58 .597

I'm not going to sit here and say that I didn't think it was possible back in June. It's a long season and stranger things have happened. But it's nice to know that the Yankees now control their own destiny. I know Torre wants to rest the regulars, but I hope he doesn't blow off the opportunity for homefield like he did last year.

This news makes me sad.

Kitty has been by far my favorite announcer/analyst in any sport. In my opinion, he's the best baseball analyst in the game. He has the ability to be critical of a player or a situation without scolding anyone. He also can play the nostalgia card in a way that pays tribute to the past but doesn't belittle today's game or player.
And he hasn't fallen in love with his voice unlike some analysts who can't allow a moment to breath.

The Yankees fans who watch the games on TV will feel the void that his retirement creates next year. I like Kenny, Leiter and Flaherty, but I'm gonna miss Kitty.


Blogger Don Ballgame said...

You forgot to mention that sux fans are just big fucking babies!

7:43 PM  
Blogger Darth Marc said...

True dat, True dat...

3:48 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home