April 3, 2020

"The Indisputable Selfishness of Derek Jeter"

[Draft Post, September 5, 2014]

The Indisputable Selfishness of Derek Jeter
Howard Megdal, SB Nation, September 2, 2014
He entered Tuesday's action hitting .261/.308/.312, good for an OPS+ of 77. His defense is, by most metrics, is well below average. ...

We've seen various attempts to diagnose why he isn't hitting ... as if poor production by a 40-year-old shortstop who broke his ankle is some otherwise unsolvable mystery.

What we haven't seen, not for a moment, is anyone questioning the basic truth about Derek Jeter that we're supposed to accept just as readily as his defensive prowess: that Derek Jeter is a selfless leader who will do whatever it takes to win.

The problem with that one should be pretty obvious, especially given an August when Jeter's bat apparently headed into retirement a little ahead of the rest of him: He hit just .207/.226/.261 in 116 plate appearances, almost all of them compiled in the second spot in the batting order ... This gave the Yankees more of Jeter at a moment when they could have used a lot less of him and provoked the media, quite reasonably, to question Joe Girardi's lineup construction: one player's historic contribution to the team and/or ego was seemingly being put ahead of team goals. ...

If Jeter were the total team player he's portrayed as being, he'd not only have communicated to his manager that he'd be perfectly comfortable hitting anywhere in the lineup and playing only as often as he'd help the Yankees, he'd tell all of us, too. ... [A]ll we seem to be learning about Derek Jeter in 2014 is that he's willing to make any sacrifice to win, provided he remains in a position of prominence while doing so.
The sports media has fawned over Jeter to an excessive degree for nearly 20 years, but suddenly went into overdrive once Jeter announced that he would retire after the 2014 season. That statement by the allegedly selfless Jeter instigated a season-long lovefest that made him the center of attention in every game he appeared, placing him literally above the game.

Jeter may not be responsible for how sportswriters portray him, but he's no dummy: he knew what effect his announcement would have and knew it would cause the media to place him above the game all season long. And he apparently had no problem playing along with that.

Also, the Yankees have announced that, for the final month of the season, all New York players will wear a special Jeter patch:

1 comment:

Nick Sincere said...

More politics please.