C’mon! Now they are piling on

This new-found knowledge was gleaned after going to those sites to bask in the warm glow of a fine Jeter start at the plate. Who knows how many good times there will be with the Yankees’ captain. At the plate, he has looked like the Derek Jeter of old and is hitting the ball with authority and spraying it to all parts of the yard. Maybe it is a swan song. Maybe it is just a continuation of last year’s second half and Derek Jeter is not quite finished with being a good offensive player. We all know this won’t last, right? And if it does, it will seem such a surprise that we will not know how to talk about it.

But instead of being able to glow in the moment, we are hit with those defensive metrics. And we are hit squarely in the nose with them. The brain knows that the numbers are rational and compiled without bias. Whatever fielding metrics are based on, they are based on logic and not with some sort of conspiracy sect behind them. But the heart screams, “No fair!” Those of us with Jeter-love know he is not a great shortstop. Most of us know that he is not even a good one. But still. A lost win plus for the Yankees in just eight games? Ouch. That hurts. To our Jeter-hearts, a -2.3 UZR and a -1.2 dWAR just seem like piling on. He cannot be that bad, can he?

About William Tasker

William Tasker grew up in Bergenfield, New Jersey but has lived in New England since 1975 and in the far reaches of northern Maine since 1990. Tasker is the author of nine (non-baseball related) books and, besides writing here for three years, has written for his own site at www.passion4baseball.blogspot.com since 2003.

9 thoughts on “C’mon! Now they are piling on

  1. Will,

    ZR is very, very slow to stabilize. Those numbers mean roughly nothing as of now — to wit, currently Alfonso Soriano is the ML leader in ZR, having been worth a whopping 4.2 runs above replacement in left field.

    Alfonso Soriano is a bad fielder.

  2. If they hate, then let them hate, Jeet and the rest of us will sit back and watch the rings continue to pile up…

  3. These are the same statistics that denigrate Robinson Cano's defensive abilities. I enjoy playing with statistics as much as anyone, but in these cases I'll let my eyes do the work. Jeter is not the greatest defensive shortstop, but he makes the plays on the plays that need to be made. Would still rather have him than not.

  4. These are not statistics, these are opinions. The data comes from human input and is therefore coloured.

  5. I know this article is tongue in cheek…. but people seriously put too much stock in the whole negativity thing… in all sports

    it's all about how you choose to represent the facts/statistics…. many of the same people who bash jeter for this or that will turn around tell you he's one of the 5 greatest shortstops of all time…. and the greatest yankee at any position since mantle, his defense rates as below average consistently? ok… still top 5 all time (at worst, 6th or 7th).. and still the greatest yankee since mantle

    but really, we live in a sports society that completely disrespects guys like peyton manning (imo the best qb ive ever seen not named montana)…. kobe bryant (the only player since mj who could be compared to mj with a straight face). etc. etc.

    those guys are BETTER than jeter and take all sorts of heat, i didnt even mention lebron james… we shouldnt be too sensitive, because jeter has given us more joy and great moments than any other baseball player has given his fanbase over the past 16 years… thats the source of the jealousy anyways:)

  6. My opinion of UZR is only slightly higher than my opinion of American Idol and ESPN.

  7. I wouldn't take too much stock in those early numbers. Most defensive metrics take three years to normalize, and we're talking about eight games (or like 2% of the appropriate sample). Jeter's a bad defensive short stop, but it's *way* too early to judge his defense. Also, frequently UZR is readjusted during the season. This typically impacts outfielders, but sometimes infielders get adjusted as well.