Yankees Suck postsTuesday May 06, 2014
Ol' Man Jeter
Ol' Man Jeter (to the tune of 'Ol' Man River')
Ol' man Jeter
That ol' man Jeter
He must see something
But he don't hit nothing
He just keeps whiffin'
He keeps on whiffin' along
He don't hit triples
And he don't hit homers
And most of his games now
End in oh-fers
And ol' man Jeter,
He keeps on whiffin' along
He gets weary
And misplays grounders
And all around him
The Yankees flounder
But ol' man Jeter
He just keeps whiffin' along
With apologies to Oscar Hammerstein and Jerome Kern, not to mention Derek Jeter, who deserves a better end—as we all do. He's currently hitting .250 with a .290 slugging percentage. (Lifetime: .312/.445; although he did go 2-4 yesterday with a double in another Yankees loss.) The Yankees are 11-14 when he plays, 5-1 when he doesn't. Joe Girardi's thoughts here. If Jeter's history is indicative, he'll turn it around. If the last years of great ballplayers are indicative, he won't.
UPDATE (5/8): I need to shut my mouth. A day after I posted this, Jeter went deep for the first time this year, and for only the second time in the last two years. He's now at .262/.336/.327. A .663 OPS. Plus he's got a new surfboard. So Cal agrees with him, apparently.
He don't hit triples/ And he don't hit homers ...
Your Red Sox/Yankees Quote/Quiz of the Day
About which trade/signing was the following said by Yankees owner George Steinbrenner?
We understand that John Henry must be embarrassed, frustrated, and disappointed by his failure in this transaction. Unlike the Yankees, he chose not to go the extra distance for his fans in Boston.
- A) Roger Clemens
- B) Johnny Damon
- C) Jacoby Ellsbury
- D) Alex Rodriguez
Answer in the Comments field.
Current Yankees Batting Leaders
This is how the current Yankees batting leaders look on ESPN.com after three games:
I know, three games, but it cracked me up. Not sure how Brian Roberts gets the HR title with “0.” Alphabetical by first name? Why not Alfonso Soriano? He has zero, too! They all have zero!
Meanwhile, over at SB Nation, Grant Brisbee writes the following about the apparent loss of strength in the Yankees' shortstop and current RBI leader:
That's the same thing our own Steven Goldman saw all spring, as Jeter grounded into double plays at what would be a historic pace in the regular season.
And there's no way the Yankees are going to bench him. He's the kid in the Twilight Zone episode “It's a Good Life” with the god powers. Everyone's going to tell him nice things. Eventually someone's turning into a jack-in-the-box. Which would still have more range than Jeter.
Yankees Suck Reason #38: Keeping Vic Power in the Minors
Vic Power had his best years with the Athletics in 1955, when he hit .319 and slugged .505, with 34 doubles, 10 triples and 19 homers.
John Rosengren, who has written two previous books on baseball, has now published a third: “The Fight of Their Lives: How Juan Marichal and John Roseboro Turned Baseball's Ugliest Brawl into a Story of Forgiveness and Redemption.” It's worth checking out. (Disclosure: Rosengren's a friend.)
Most baseball fans know about the incident. In the midst of a tight pennant race in August 1965, Juan Marichal, a future Hall of Fame pitcher, who was at the plate, took a baseball bat to the head of catcher John Roseboro. Rosengren's book is the story behind those 10 seconds of infamy.
The most interesting aspect of the book, though, may be the sections on the history of dark-skinned Latinos integrating the Majors after Jackie. It includes yet another stellar moment in Yankees history:
Vic Power (né Victor Pellot Pove), a dark-skinned infielder from Puerto Rico, had married a light-skinned Hispanic woman, but when he drove her around Kansas City—where he played for the Athletics in 1955—police regularly stopped him to question him about the white woman in the passenger seat. Another time, after Power bought a Coke at a gas station in Florida, the attendant boarded the team bus and demanded that Power return the bottle. Power complied with some choice words. A patrol car soon pulled over the bus, and the officer arrested Power for profanity. Power’s teammates posted bail of $500 but warned him not to go back for the trial. “What kind of country is this?” Power asked.
America’s team gave him his answer. Power batted .330 and drove in 109 runs for the New York Yankees’ AAA team in 1952, but the parent club did not promote him. The next year, Power won the American Association batting title with his .349 average but still didn’t get called up. Knowing that Power’s stylish play and his relationship with a white woman (whom he would soon marry) might ruffle the team’s staid fan base, Yankees general manager George Weiss said Power wasn’t the “right kind” of black man to integrate the Yankees. The team’s traveling secretary Bill McCorry was more blunt: “No nigger will have a berth on any train I’m running.” Yankee president Dan Topping tried to justify the team’s decision by labeling Power a “poor fielder.”
Once Power finally did get a crack at the big leagues after the Yankees traded him to the Philadelphia Athletics in 1954, the infielder went on to win seven Gold Gloves ...
For the record, the Yankees were the unlucky 13th of the original 16 teams to integrate (in 1955 with Elston Howard), behind only the Phillies ('57), Tigers ('58) and Red Sox ('59), and despite the other New York teams being the first (Dodgers in '47) and fourth (Giants in '49) to move the country, the culture, and the world forward.
Derek Jeter's Hits Parade: Where Will He Wind Up in the Record Book?
When it comes to WAR, Jeter's better on offense than defense.
So my arch-nemesis Derek Jeter is hanging up his spikes at the end of the 2014 season. I get the feeling I'll miss him. I get the feeling I'll feel about him the way I feel about former Yankee Paul O'Neill, whom I despised until he retired, then admitted he was one tough out. I still remember that 10-pitch walk O'Neill drew in the bottom of the 9th of Game 1 of the 2000 World Series when the Mets were up by a run. A lot of ones at that point: Game 1, one out, one run ahead for the Mets. But O'Neill kept fouling off pitches from Armando Benitez. He finally walked and eventually scored to tie the game on Chuck Knoblauch's sac fly. Derek Jeter, Mr. Clutch, followed with a strikeout to send the game into extras. The Yankees won in 12 and never looked back. And it all started with O'Neill.
I'm sure I'll feel this way about Jeter. Someday. Maybe.
Joe Posnanski had a good recent post on being overrated and underrated and how it applies to Derek Jeter. He suggests that while Jeter may have been overrated in getting press, and coverage, and girls, and being one of People magazine's 50 Most Beautiful People, all of this may have led to him being underrated in terms of, say, MVP honors, where he has none. An argument can be made.
An argument can also be made on where Jeter will wind up on the all-time leaderboard. That's what's most intrigued me since the retirement announcement.
Jeter is currently 10th on the all-time hits list with 3,316, and disaster would have to befall him if he didn't make ninth (Paul Molitor, 3,319). And if he went out with a bang and reached 200 hits again, as he did two years ago, he could wind up as high as fifth (Tris Speaker: 3514). But that's as high as he'll go. Stan the Man is currently fourth with 3,630. That's now unreachable.
Jeter is currently 15th in career at-bats with 10,614. Another 400 vaults him past Brooks Robinson, Paul Molitor, Craig Biggio, Willie Mays, Rickey Henderson, Stan Musial, and Dave Winfield, and all the way into seventh place (currently: Robin Yount with 11,008).
Runs scored? Currently 13th with 1,876. He needs another 74 to get into ninth place.
And that's about it in terms of top-10 possibilities. Jeter is 84th in batting average (.312), 161st in OBP (.381), 430th in slugging (.446). He's 38th in doubles (525), 190th in homeruns (256), 127th in RBIs (1,261), 112th in stolen bases (348). Hit by pitch? That's a bit higher: 17th with 164. One behind Kid Elberfeld. Maybe he should go out that way: in a blaze of glory.
And the negative stats? He's 18th in career strikeouts (1753); another 70 puts him at 13th. He's 19th in grounded into double plays (272), and had 24 in 2012. If he did something slmilar he could wind up in 12th place (Ted Simmons, 287).
His 94.1 Offensive WAR (Baseball Reference version) ranks 22nd all time, but his Defensive WAR (-9.2) isn't even in the top 1,000. Is it near the bottom? Both could go down, too. They went down last year. FWIW.
I guess the big question is whether Jeter can add to his postseason numbers. Because the extended playoffs began when Jeter began, and because he generally led off for a resurgent Yankees, he is the all-time postseason leader in games, at-bats, hits, runs, total bases and strikeouts. One hopes that's it. One hopes he's seen his last postseason game. The ankle one.
His impending retirement also means this: In 2015, we'll have new active leaders in most batting categories: games, at-bats, etc. If he's still playing, it'll be A-Rod. If he's not, it'll be Ichrio. Both are currently Yankees. Trivia: Who is the active leader in games, at-bats and hits who is not currently a Yankee? Would you believe him?
Twitter: @ErikLundegaardTweets by @ErikLundegaard