Jeter going to the All Star Game isn’t the problem

jeter3400Derek Jeter is going to start the All Star Game at shortstop in his final MLB season.

Many people have a problem with this. I don’t.

At 40 years old, Jeter is hitting .273 with a .323 on-base percentage, .328 slugging and .651 OPS. It’s not pretty.

Should Jeter start the All Star Game based on those numbers? If the nature of the ASG is to truly honor the best of the best (and part of it is), then no. There are more deserving short stops in the American League such as Kansas City’s Alcides Escobar.

Yet, the problem isn’t Derek Jeter or that fans get to decide the starters. The problem is – and will be – that the All Star Game is supposed to mean something more than just an exhibition for fans. Using the All Star Game to decide which league gets home field advantage for the World Series has been an awful idea. Downright terrible.

The All Star Game is meant to be an exhibition game for fans getting to watch their favorite players represent their teams.…

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Derek Jeter’s pesky defense

02.derek-jeterRecently Grantland published a large article about Derek Jeter‘s defense. Let me summarize the article for you: He’s bad at defense. This has been the sabremetric criticism of the Captain for his entire career. No one can deny that a guy who’s picked up more than 3,000 hits gets it done with the bat. Instead, the argument has always been that despite the Gold Gloves and highlight reel plays, Jeter is actually an awful defender due to a lack of range at his position.

Naturally, I’m a huge Derek Jeter fan as any good follower of the Yankees should be. It pains me to write that I agree with the criticism. While I’m not a huge fan of defensive statistics, I recognize their general value. Beyond that, Jeter looks like he has poor range at short. He fails the eye test when you compare his exploits to those of the other team’s shortstop. Sadly, all these articles criticizing Derek’s defense are true.…

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Derek Jeter, Alfonso Soriano, combine to help Yankees walk-off 6-5 versus Rays

Today was a trip in the way back machine. Derek Jeter made his second return from the DL. This time things went better than before. Jeter swung at the first pitch he saw in the first inning and put it in the people. It was a classic Derek Jeter shot to right. The Captain established that he’s back and the Yankees were up one to nothing.

The Yankees would put two more runs on the board in the first inning, on a Vernon Wells sacrifice and an Ichiro Suzuki single. Unfortunately Phil Hughes wasn’t up to the task of holding the lead. Hughes lasted just four innings, allowing five runs.

Wil Myers did the damage for the Rays. Myers had two home runs off Hughes, knocking in four of the Rays runs. The second homer, a solo shot, was the worst. The Yankees were up 5-4 at the time, after an Alfonso Soriano homer in the third. Myer’s shot tied the game.…

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Reports: Jeter To Return Today

This thing really came together quickly, huh?  Earlier in the week there were hints and suggestions that the Yankees were planning to activate Derek Jeter from the DL as early as this weekend.  The situation heated up yesterday when Craig Carton tweeted that Jeter would be in the lineup Friday and The Post reported that his stuff had been shipped out of Tampa.  Late last night, Ken Rosenthal brought things to a boil when he tweeted that Jeter would be back for today’s series finale against the Royals.  Joel Sherman reported the same about an hour ago, so all signs point to The Captain making his return this afternoon.

As someone who’s been firmly in the “don’t rush him back” camp since he had the surgery last year, it’s hard to say I’m a fan of this move.  What it boils down to is that I don’t think it’s smart for the team to basically mandate that it wanted to see its 39-year-old shortstop play 2 consecutive full games in the field before declaring him ready to return and then drastically alter that plan after the aforementioned 39-year-old shortstop has already suffered one setback this season from trying to come back too quickly.  …

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What will A-Rod and Jeter bring to the table?

This hasn’t been the most dominant Yankee season, but that’s what makes it interesting. This season may not end in October. The potential for the season to end in September is what makes it exciting. Fortunately there’s a lot to be happy about in Yankee-land right now. The team hasn’t been strong, but it remains within striking distance of a playoff berth. The Yankees also turned the corner on a five game losing streak and ran off six wins in a row before falling Sunday to the Orioles. Now, just in time for the All-Star break the Bombers are on the verge of getting back Alex Rodriguez and Derek Jeter. Five years ago that was a tantalizing prospect. Now that each player is near the end of his career, coming back from difficult injuries, how good can this be?

The answer is very. Within the context of a single team players aren’t judged relative to the league. They’re judged relative to the guys they’ll be replacing.…

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Measuring the impact of Derek Jeter’s absence

The consistent story line surrounding the Yankees so far this season has been that the team needs to tread water until the injured superstars, Mark Teixeira, Curtis Granderson and Derek Jeter, can return. Last week we found out that Jeter has suffered a set back and won’t be able to play until July. Without question, this harms the team. Much has been made of Jeter’s recent decline, specifically his sub-par 2010 and 2011 seasons, but even that weakened Jeter gave the Yankees above average offense at shortstop. Furthermore, Derek bounced back in 2012. The .347 wOBA Jeter posted in 2012 was far from his .365 career average, or the production he’s put up in his signature seasons, such as 2009, but it was a welcomed return to form, and evidence that maybe Derek had one more .340 plus wOBA season in him.

As frustrating as it is to watch the Yankees play Mariano Rivera‘s final season without Jeter in the lineup every day, Derek will come back.…

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Adjusting To Life Without Jeter

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The Yankees, their fans, and even Derek Jeter himself have known that his days as the team’s starting shortstop were numbered.  That discussion was surely had with Jeter behind closed doors during his last contract negotiation and is more than likely the reason the final year of his deal became an optional one.  That timeline got sped up some when Jeter suffered his season-ending ankle injury last October and now appears to be speeding up again after last week’s announcement that Jeter had re-injured his ankle, suffering a crack in the area of the original break that will put him on the shelf until at least the All-Star break.  That revelation fell into the “disappointing but not surprising” category for many of us who questioned Jeter’s progress after the initial setback and cortisone shot, and now we, like the Yankees, have to figure out the best way to move forward without The Captain’s familiar #2 anywhere on the lineup card.

The early approach of just riding it out until Jeter came back now gets modified to something a little more permanent.  …

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Pre-Game Evening Link Dump

Evening, all. Hope your work days weren’t too torturous. Anyway, here are a few links to help you along in your commute.

Starting with the not-so-great, there’s the news you probably already know: Jeter is going to miss more time than expected. Sigh.

Speaking of Derek Jeter, though, here’s something cool from Twitter yesterday. Baseball HOF president Jeff Idleson posted a pre-draft scouting report the Rockies did on Jeter:

Mark Feinsand talked to CC Sabathia about his velocity after last night’s game. Feinsand noted that despite CC’s diminished velocity to start 2013, the pitcher remains confident:

“I’m hoping some more velocity comes back,” Sabathia said. “If not, we’ll work with this.”

He’s also accepted the reality of pitching:

“It’s reality,” Sabathia said. “I’m not going to lose sleep over it.

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