Jeter's down year, not down career

I also know Jeter’s range is bad. This isn’t new and I’ve commented on it many, many times, even wondering how soon Jeter will be forced from SS. I just wonder how that transition will go, but we can table that for another day. Even Gammons noted Jeter’s poor defensive ratings yesterday (emphasis mine).

One NL team’s defensive statistics, scouting and ratings have John McDonald of the Blue Jays as the best defensive shortstop in the majors. No surprise. They have Boston’s Jed Lowrie at No. 5 among the 62 ranked shortstops, even if his sample is small. Derek Jeter and Jose Reyes, who is still working out mechanical start issues, are in the 40s, among the 62 shortstops. Edgar Renteria and Jeff Keppinger are among the bottom 5.

Feinsand (and I) understand the criticisms lobbed at Jeter this year. I understand the criticisms lobbed on him every year (no real power, bad D, over-rated overall game). But Feinsand adds this:

The fact that fans have started to turn on Jeter makes me question if they are actually Yankees fans. I have no problem with people criticizing his performance this season, but to use that to question how good or valuable he’s been over the years is ridiculous. You don’t hit .315 over 12+ years and score more than 1400 runs by accident. Jeter will become the first Yankee ever to reach 3,000 hits, and he could very well get to 3,500 before it’s all said and done.

The bottom line is that Jeter is one of the greatest players of our generation, he’s one of the greatest Yankees of all-time and he’s going to be a first-ballot Hall of Famer. He’s also the face of the franchise, and seeing him finish his career anyplace else will be a disgrace.

Feinsand goes on to list many of Jeter’s awards and details his hitting/run scoring prowess. I know nothing’s going to make the Jeter bashers change their mind. But the “overrated” stuff is and always will be silly to me.

Since 1996, only one player – Alex Rodriguez – has scored more runs than Jeter. A-Rod has 1,552 runs scored to Jeter’s 1,437, and when you consider that Rodriguez has hit 336 more homers than Jeter in that time – scoring a run on each of those homers, obviously – it makes Jeter’s run total even more impressive.

Jeter’s 2,463 hits since 1996 are the most of any player in the majors, 150 more than A-Rod, who is second. And while Jeter doesn’t hit a ton of home runs (201), his 405 doubles are 13th, making him much more than a singles hitter.

He has won Rookie of the Year, All-Star MVP, World Series MVP, the Hank Aaron Award (for being the league’s best overall hitter), three Gold Gloves and two Silver Sluggers. You could also make a case that he should have won the AL MVP award in 2006, which he narrowly lost to Justin Morneau.

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