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(Some Damn Yankee)   Who is the second-worst infielder of all time, going all the way back to 1871? (Hint: he's an active player)   (hardballtimes.com) divider line 147
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6713 clicks; posted to Sports » on 28 May 2009 at 2:58 PM (5 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2009-05-28 05:29:48 PM
cptjeff: Dafatone: wmichaelis: Dafatone:Did you just claim that Jeter's rings and awards are often overlooked?

That's the dumbest thing I've ever heard.

Is it? Then tell me, in the original article, where are they mentioned?

If he's not better than other shortstops, what, were they all taking 2004-2006 off? Is that why he got those Gold Gloves?

As murp0837 said, if he's so damned terrible, how has he managed to play 14 years for arguably the toughest team to play for? And not even be moved from his position when Alex Rodriguez came to town?

Okay, so the article should start something like this?

"Hey everyone, we're here to talk about Jeter's defense. But we want you all to know, before we get into some heavy statistics, that he won 3 gold gloves. Even though the readers of this sort of analysis certainly already know that, we have to mention it because if Jeter's gold gloves aren't mentioned EVERY SINGLE TIME his defense is discussed, they're "overlooked."

Jeter's in the lineup for his bat, and because his glove isn't terrible. Just worse than most of the other full-time shortstops in baseball.

Oh, and Murp0837: If you're a yankees fan, you must've seen John McDonald on the Blue Jays. He's light years ahead of Rollins. Not Vizquel, though.

According to the thread and the article, that's very wrong, he's beyond terrible. That's the position it seem like you've been taking. And that's what gets people annoyed. He's not, but everyone make it sound like he is.


He's terrible compared to OTHER FULL TIME shortstops. He beats most utility infielders of the world, and you and me.

He's probably one of the worst of all time, defensively, WHO HAS HELD DOWN THE POSITION FOR 15 SEASONS.
 
2009-05-28 05:33:54 PM
The Yankees currently have a streak of 14 games without an error.

/Just thought I'd throw that out there.
 
2009-05-28 05:40:31 PM
Wise_Guy: The Yankees currently have a streak of 14 games without an error.

/Just thought I'd throw that out there.


Yes, but knowing the Yankees, there were a fair number of chances they never got to.

;) back at ya'
 
2009-05-28 05:48:09 PM
Tulowitzki is an awesome SS on defense. Too bad after his injury, he cant get his bat straight.
 
2009-05-28 05:48:22 PM
Zulu_as_Kono: Wise_Guy: The Yankees currently have a streak of 14 games without an error.

/Just thought I'd throw that out there.

Yes, but knowing the Yankees, there were a fair number of chances they never got to.

;) back at ya'


It's good to know one's limitations.

BTW, it's really weird having a regular first baseman who can actually field. Haven't had that since Tino...
 
2009-05-28 05:51:08 PM
DeWayne Mann: bacongood: I'm not sure who I think the best full-timer is right now.

Check out the youngster in Texas, Elvis Andrus. Maybe he's not the best RIGHT NOW, but after a year or two, he seems like a pretty safe bet.


Baseball seems to be stuck in a little zone where there are some guys who used to be good, but have lost a step, and guys like Andrus who need more time. We'll see.

Most improved may be Theriot this year.
 
2009-05-28 05:57:44 PM
Brandon Inge
 
2009-05-28 06:00:39 PM
dettigersnw22: Brandon Inge

What about him?

Because he's actually a pretty good defensive 3B, if you're suggesting otherwise.
 
2009-05-28 06:15:06 PM
the biggest redneck here: /one of these makes up for an awful lot of regular-season missed grounders against Tampa from before they were good

Fine, extra points for actually being in position as the 2nd cutoff. In all seriousness, I regard failure to hit the cutoff man as one of the major reasons why scoring is up over the last 10-15 years. the fact that, when a 1-in-10,000 play happened, a below-average defensive player actually executed the play correctly has little to do with his defensive ability over all 10,000 plays. I'm sure he led the league in leadership that year too.

Jeter definitely ushered in the era of higher offensive expectations for SS. I remember when Jeter/ARod/Nomar was the ultimate barroom debate. They were all headed for Cooperstown, the record books, and a lifetime of cameo appearances on CSI. Who would have guessed that, 15 years after each debuted, Jeter would be a mummy; A-Rod would be a fraud; and Nomar would be the lesser athlete in his own marriage?
 
2009-05-28 06:29:03 PM
To any of your gramps old enugh to see him play, was Brooks Robinson really that good?

This SZR metric has him 33% better than Ozzie Smith, who was definitally the best fielder as I was growing up. My mind is having trouble fathoming that Brooks could be a that much better, but I never got to watch the man play...
 
2009-05-28 06:40:53 PM
pmmal: I remember when Jeter/ARod/Nomar was the ultimate barroom debate.

Started even before that, before Nomar's rookie season:

i11.photobucket.com

SI, 2/24/97.

BTW - I'm sure you recognize them, but that's Alex Gonzalez, Edgar Renteria, and Rey Ordonez in the second tier.
 
2009-05-28 06:49:13 PM
Kygz: To any of your gramps old enugh to see him play, was Brooks Robinson really that good?

I only saw him play on TV a few times towards the end of his career, but from what I've come to understand, he really was exceptional.
 
2009-05-28 06:52:52 PM
murp0837: You don't keep that position for 14 years if you are below average.

Um... yes, actually, you do.
How do I know this? Well, the Yankees have had a defensively GOOD shortstop on the team for years (and he's a better hitter, to boot). Yet, because of Jeter's history on the team, he's playing the position over the obviously more talented player.

It's pretty easy to see that Jeter is a SS because he's Derek Jeter, not because he's a good SS.
 
2009-05-28 06:55:12 PM
cptjeff: According to the thread and the article, that's very wrong, he's beyond terrible

Actually, it's not necessarily his "glove" that's the problem, it's the rest of him.
 
2009-05-28 06:57:02 PM
pmmal: Jeter definitely ushered in the era of higher offensive expectations for SS.

Cal Ripken Jr would like to have a word with you.

/actually, he ushered in the era of slower, bigger players (who can hit sometimes) playing the position
 
2009-05-28 06:58:16 PM
Oh, and to add...

pmmal: Who would have guessed that... Nomar would be the lesser athlete in his own marriage?

... that's good. I'm going to steal it.
 
2009-05-28 06:59:56 PM
Zulu_as_Kono: pmmal: I remember when Jeter/ARod/Nomar was the ultimate barroom debate.

Started even before that, before Nomar's rookie season:



SI, 2/24/97.

BTW - I'm sure you recognize them, but that's Alex Gonzalez, Edgar Renteria, and Rey Ordonez in the second tier.


Nothing pissed me off more than listening to people compare Renteria's glovework with Ordonez. Ordonez is the best defensive player I've ever seen. Yeah, I'm showing my age here (didn't really pay THAT much attention to Ozzie Smith when I was 7.)
 
2009-05-28 07:12:31 PM
This is why the Gold Glove Award is completely worthless.
 
2009-05-28 07:16:08 PM
Dafatone: Zulu_as_Kono: pmmal: I remember when Jeter/ARod/Nomar was the ultimate barroom debate.

Started even before that, before Nomar's rookie season:



SI, 2/24/97.

BTW - I'm sure you recognize them, but that's Alex Gonzalez, Edgar Renteria, and Rey Ordonez in the second tier.

Nothing pissed me off more than listening to people compare Renteria's glovework with Ordonez. Ordonez is the best defensive player I've ever seen. Yeah, I'm showing my age here (didn't really pay THAT much attention to Ozzie Smith when I was 7.)


Ozzie was incredible. I can't wait to see what Alcedas Escobar can do in the bigs (hopefully, still with the Brewers).
 
2009-05-28 07:36:44 PM
Yuniesky Betancourt makes Jeter look like Ozzie Smith.
 
2009-05-28 07:50:14 PM
Nabb1: good (not great) offensive stats

The guy is number #73 on the ALL TIME batting average list, he has 6 200 hit seasons (3 more with 190+), #76 on all time hits list with a chance to be in the top 50 by seasons end, He's tied for #234 on the career RBI list with 1024 RBIs (tied with Barry Bonds, a power hitter), by the end of the season he'll probably be at least 190.

Yeah, he sucks on defense, but you're just plain foolish to say he's only "good" on offense
 
2009-05-28 07:54:44 PM
hbk72777: Nabb1: good (not great) offensive stats

The guy is number #73 on the ALL TIME batting average list, he has 6 200 hit seasons (3 more with 190+), #76 on all time hits list with a chance to be in the top 50 by seasons end, He's tied for #234 on the career RBI list with 1024 RBIs (tied with Barry Bonds, a power hitter), by the end of the season he'll probably be at least 190.

Yeah, he sucks on defense, but you're just plain foolish to say he's only "good" on offense


You must LOVE Pete Rose.
 
2009-05-28 07:59:30 PM
Kygz: To any of your gramps old enugh to see him play, was Brooks Robinson really that good?

This SZR metric has him 33% better than Ozzie Smith, who was definitally the best fielder as I was growing up. My mind is having trouble fathoming that Brooks could be a that much better, but I never got to watch the man play...


Try to track down a highlight of the 1970 World Series. That man was a wizard and his glove pretty much demoralized the baby Big Red Machine that year. Incomparable defensively.
 
2009-05-28 08:24:07 PM
Kygz: To any of your gramps old enugh to see him play, was Brooks Robinson really that good?

This SZR metric has him 33% better than Ozzie Smith, who was definitally the best fielder as I was growing up. My mind is having trouble fathoming that Brooks could be a that much better, but I never got to watch the man play...


They didn't name him "The Human Vacuum Cleaner" for nothing. He was the best defensive 3rd baseman ever. The only reason he's not the best all around 3rd baseman ever is because Mike Schmidt was born. Schmidt was almost as good defensively, but way better offensively.

Short bio here (new window)

/got robbed of a game winning rbi is the 1969 world series by Ron Swoboda - my great uncle.
 
2009-05-28 08:41:37 PM
much as I hate the Yankees, I respectfully disagree.

www.beckett.com

Phillies fans made this guy a verb. As in, "Wow, he really Jeltzed that play."
 
2009-05-28 10:15:59 PM
wmichaelis:

If he's not better than other shortstops, what, were they all taking 2004-2006 off? Is that why he got those Gold Gloves?

As murp0837 said, if he's so damned terrible, how has he managed to play 14 years for arguably the toughest team to play for? And not even be moved from his position when Alex Rodriguez came to town?


First, Gold Gloves are a poor metric for defining defensive excellence. Rafael Palmeiro was a gold glove first baseman in 1999 even though he played all of 28 games at that position.

Second, A-Rod moved to third because his offensive production was more in line with a top tier thrid baseman. Also, A-Rod the superior athlete, was a better choice to shift positions. If Jeter were to have been moved he would have gone to second becasue of his weaker arm and lack of range. However the PR would have been disastrous if the Yanks were to move the face of the franchise to make room for a mercenary.

Third, the Yankees run from 1996-2000 had everything to do with the fact they had the best pitching staff in baseball during that time. Their starters may not have been as good as Atlanta's, but they could hold their own, and their bullpen was vastly superior. They weren't an offensive juggernaut with Jeter leading the charge.
 
2009-05-28 10:18:14 PM
wmichaelis: Wow, this is ground breaking, let me tell you. Is this the same mathematician who "proved" Jeter is a terrible shortstop 3 or 4 years ago, or someone else with an axe to grind?

Actually, if you read the article, it wasn't focused on Jeter at all. He just happened to show up in the course of running the numbers.

First, let's cover the things the numbers don't talk about. Does anyone ever feel the need to mention the various amazing plays he's made?

Yes, all the time. It's tiresome.

I know you've talked about the play against Oakland...but what about the diving catch into the stands against the Red Sox?

This is like saying, "Johnny MacDonald isn't a terrible offensive player - remember the one time he hit a grand slam?"

How many grabs in shallow center have we seen from him?

Probably not significantly more or less than any other mediocre or crappy SS.

Is he the greatest shortstop ever?

No.

Probably not. But a shortstop is the total of his fielding ability, his hitting ability, and yes, his clubhouse and teamwork abilities. Here are some numbers that are often overlooked:

4 world series rings


This is somewhat impressive, but it should be noted that there are 25 dudes on a team. Also, Jeter's OPS in World Series play is 50 points less than his career average, just fyi.

9 all star appearances (most likely to become 10 this year)

All-stars are selected in part by the fans. Jeter plays in the biggest market in the country. Also, measuring a player by all-star game appearances is asinine and pointless.

3 gold gloves

Do we really have to keep pointing out how dumb GG's are? Rafael Palmeiro, etc., etc.

3 silver sluggers

He's a pretty great offensive player, but this isn't the way to prove it.

1 - total number of players to be both the All Star and World Series MVP in one year (and that would be none other than Derek Jeter)


You're really scraping the bottom of the barrel here. So let me get this straight - he was the best player in a meaningless exhibition game, and then also the best player in a 7 game series 3 months later???? OMG!

So take your second rate shortstop, who has *either* great defense *or* great offense, and hopefully your overly complex math can help you get over your feelings of inadequacy.

If baseball statistics are "overly complex math" for you, we're certainly not the ones with "inadequacy" issues.
 
2009-05-28 10:21:00 PM
wmichaelis: Zulu_as_Kono: wmichaelis: hopefully your overly complex math can help you get over your feelings of inadequacy.

Or, you can rant online using irrelevant numbers to help you get over your feelings of inadequacy.

Why, exactly, are my numbers irrelevant? Forget them all, if you want, except for the 3 Gold Gloves. How do you explain that one?



rofl
 
2009-05-28 10:26:45 PM
senorpogo: Every time I read about how Jeter is the worst defensive SS in baseball, I have to wonder if the person making the claim has watched the Indians at all for the past few seasons. I can't believe that Jeter has a worse range than Jhonny Peralta.

Watch a side-by-side of those two. You'll notice something.

-Almost exactly the same stance
-Both have terrible range at SS
-Both heralded for their offense, which isn't even that great
-Both holding back a better fielding SS (Arod for Jeter, Azdrubal for Jhonny)
-Both wearing #2

Also, for extra lulz, compare the stances of both #13s (Azdrubal vs. Arod).
 
2009-05-28 10:33:02 PM
Just to clarify for people who aren't reading TFA:

It's not that Jeter is the 2nd worst infielder of all time on a percentage basis. He's not the 2nd least likely person to make a play. It's a counting measurement. Over the course of his career he's missed the 2nd most plays that an average SS would have made.

Of course, to wind up there, you have to be good enough with the stick to play for a lot of years. It is kind of similar to how the career leaders in interceptions in the NFL or goalie losses in the NHL are actually pretty good players. Being at the top of such a list demands longevity, which in turn demands some sort of usefulness. Jeter, as everyone readily concedes, has been a pretty damn useful offensive SS.
 
2009-05-28 11:22:47 PM
Oh great, another "Jeter sucks on defense!" thread. Glad I wasn't around for it. What utter nonsense, everyone makes it sound like he'd stand around like the Statue of Liberty or something.
 
2009-05-28 11:26:18 PM
wmichaelis:
4 world series rings
9 all star appearances (most likely to become 10 this year)
3 gold gloves
3 silver sluggers
1 - total number of players to be both the All Star and World Series MVP in one year (and that would be none other than Derek Jeter)

Let's adjust these #s if he was hypothetically drafted by say, the Royals instead of the Yankees:
0 world series rings
3 all star appearances (most likely to stay 3 this year)
0 gold gloves
0 silver sluggers
0 - total number of players to be both the All Star and World Series MVP in one year (is this a joke?)
 
2009-05-28 11:28:30 PM
wmichaelis: Does anyone ever feel the need to mention the various amazing plays he's made?

The singular of "data" is not "anecdote."
 
2009-05-29 12:31:16 AM
boxiebrown: Just to clarify for people who aren't reading TFA:

It's not that Jeter is the 2nd worst infielder of all time on a percentage basis. He's not the 2nd least likely person to make a play. It's a counting measurement. Over the course of his career he's missed the 2nd most plays that an average SS would have made.

Of course, to wind up there, you have to be good enough with the stick to play for a lot of years. It is kind of similar to how the career leaders in interceptions in the NFL or goalie losses in the NHL are actually pretty good players. Being at the top of such a list demands longevity, which in turn demands some sort of usefulness. Jeter, as everyone readily concedes, has been a pretty damn useful offensive SS.


Which forces the question of how bad does Fresco Thompson have to be to be on that list after only 6 years when everyone else is a decade plus, especially after you'll have people claiming that Eckstein should be #1 on the list(at least of active starters with longevity, of which Eck has about a decade)
 
2009-05-29 01:32:39 AM
Broktun: raccoon2k: Brooks Robinson representin'

Brooks and Belanger.

Best left side of infield ever?


Probably.

Other damn good Orioles infielders; Mike Bordick, Cal Ripken, Luis Aparicio, Roberto Alomar, Miguel Tejada(I know, roids), Davey Johnson, Brian Roberts, Boog Powell, Palmiero(I know roids)

Pretty good for 60 years. Want to go back to the National League Orioles and the list gets longer.
 
2009-05-29 01:36:08 AM
wmichaelis: Zulu_as_Kono: wmichaelis: hopefully your overly complex math can help you get over your feelings of inadequacy.

Or, you can rant online using irrelevant numbers to help you get over your feelings of inadequacy.

Why, exactly, are my numbers irrelevant? Forget them all, if you want, except for the 3 Gold Gloves. How do you explain that one?


Gold Glove is meaningless. The year Mike Bordick set the record for most games in a row without an error while also setting the record for most chances he didn't get it, they gave it to A-Rod.
 
2009-05-29 01:49:47 AM
bhcompy: Which forces the question of how bad does Fresco Thompson have to be to be on that list after only 6 years when everyone else is a decade plus, especially after you'll have people claiming that Eckstein should be #1 on the list(at least of active starters with longevity, of which Eck has about a decade)

It's unclear if David Eckstein counts as a shortstop, as he has to play within five feet of the first baseman so that he has enough time to wrap both arms around the baseball and roll it to the bag.

It's also unclear if Eckstein gets an assist or a putout if the first baseman just scoops him up into his mitt to speed things along.
 
2009-05-29 01:56:44 AM
lunchinlewis: Mark Belanger won like 10 gold gloves at short stop for Baltimore back in the 70's. He was also THE WORST offensive short stop in the history of the world over that time.

Holy crap. 6,602 PA across 18 seasons, and he slugged .280. You have to be one damn impressive defender to hit like a girl for 2,015 games and still have a manager say "We're starting Belanger today." one more time.

He may be the answer to "The player with an OBP bigger than his SLG who batted the most."
 
2009-05-29 08:24:54 AM
At the end of the day, all anyone is going to remember is how many world series rings he has. I couldnt care less about "what the numbers say". Every time the Yanks need a hit he can usually get one and that all that matters. He's average defensively, but has a knack to get to the ball quickly and get rid of it. You cant really ask for much more from a guy whos like 35 and was never a defensive wizard to begin with.
 
2009-05-29 09:16:19 AM
Jeter's hitting, value as a teammate, and number of World Series rings have absolutely nothing to do with his abilities, or lack thereof as a shortstop.

Remember back when the Red Sox and their fans liked Manny Ramirez, and had no problem casually admitting he sucked as a fielder? Guess what, Yankees fans, Jeter is great - but he sucks in the field. If you admit it like the rest of baseball, save idiots like Joe Morgan, maybe there would be less and less of a reason for so many articles explaining how terrible he is.
 
2009-05-29 09:24:14 AM
So, wait, the 2006 Detroit Tigers entire pitching staff is excluded from defense?

I watched the Cards groundball the World Series away from my Motor City Kitties.

/sigh
 
2009-05-29 09:29:17 AM
NakedDrummer: 1 - total number of players to be both the All Star and World Series MVP in one year (and that would be none other than Derek Jeter)

LOLwut?

2007 - Mike Lowell
2006 - David Eckstein (Yup)
2004 - Manny Ramirez

It's around this point I realized you meant All-Star MVP and not just a member of the All-Star Team, and then I LOL'd even more because you think that's relevant.
 
2009-05-29 09:45:34 AM
BiscuitsForSmut: At the end of the day, all anyone is going to remember is how many world series rings he has. I couldnt care less about "what the numbers say".

So if someone asks you who the greatest shortstops in Yankee history are, you'd say Phil Rizzuto (7 rings) and Frankie Crosetti (6 rings) were better than Derek Jeter?
 
2009-05-29 09:49:05 AM
BiscuitsForSmut: At the end of the day, all anyone is going to remember is how many world series rings he has.

Also better than Derek Jeter on the Biscuits scale: Luis Sojo. He has five rings, and is therefore 125% the baseball player Derek Jeter ever was.
 
2009-05-29 10:54:06 AM
BiscuitsForSmut: At the end of the day, all anyone is going to remember is how many world series rings he has.

Really? I don't even remember him for that now. At the end of the day he's going to be remembered for winning on a team that was willing to buy the World Series(regardless of the fact the pre-2000 teams had a lot of good farm players on it rather than mercenaries)
 
2009-05-29 12:41:49 PM
bhcompy: BiscuitsForSmut: At the end of the day, all anyone is going to remember is how many world series rings he has.

Really? I don't even remember him for that now. At the end of the day he's going to be remembered for winning on a team that was willing to buy the World Series(regardless of the fact the pre-2000 teams had a lot of good farm players on it rather than mercenaries)


Really? That would make you stupid.
 
2009-05-29 01:11:19 PM
bhcompy: BiscuitsForSmut: At the end of the day, all anyone is going to remember is how many world series rings he has.

Really? I don't even remember him for that now. At the end of the day he's going to be remembered for winning on a team that was willing to buy the World Series(regardless of the fact the pre-2000 teams had a lot of good farm players on it rather than mercenaries)


"A team that was willing to buy the World Series (even though they didn't.)"

2/10.
 
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