"A New York Treasure" --Village Voice

Here and Now


Tyler Kepner has a nice piece in the Times today about Derek Jeter appreciating the moment:

“I was talking to my parents not too long ago, and they were telling me, ‘You’ve got to learn to enjoy some of these things as they’re happening — there’s nothing wrong with that,’ ” Jeter said. “So I’m sure it’s something that I’ll enjoy if it happens.”

…The torrid month has put him close to a record Jeter will cherish, if he takes his parents’ advice. Posada, his close friend, considered their wisdom and laughed.

“It doesn’t come twice, so he could take a step back and look,” Posada said. “That’s a good way to put it, but I don’t think he will.”

One day, we’ll see Jeter give it up and let a few tears drop off his cheek. May not be for a few years still but the Iceman will melt a ‘lil bit. You watch.

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1 Raf   ~  Sep 3, 2009 11:57 am

I appreciate Jeter. Guy's got his head on right, never says or does anything stupid. He has his flaws, like everyone else, but I'm happy to see that over the years he has kept an even keel, and has gone out and handled his business, with little drama and fanfare.

2 Rich   ~  Sep 3, 2009 12:34 pm

I want Jeter to retire with as many rings as Yogi has.

3 a.O   ~  Sep 3, 2009 1:03 pm

Derek Jeter has made and kept me a MLB/Yankees' fan after (a) the strike; (b) unconscionable greed; and (c) steroids. That's really saying something, because IMHO many of the rest of the people in MLB have nearly totally destroyed their league's integrity.

4 Sliced Bread   ~  Sep 3, 2009 1:15 pm

thanks for the link, Alex. Great piece.

Didn't know Jeet leads the Majors in games played since 96.

Posada quote best sums up the case for MVP:
"He's probably having the best season in his career. He's doing a lot of things well, and he's the guy we follow. He's the guy we look up to."

I don't get worked up about the individual honors, but that sounds exactly like an MVP to me. Maybe he could share the honor with Mauer. They both deserve more recognition than a pat on the back for the seasons they're having.

5 bp1   ~  Sep 3, 2009 1:17 pm

Good advice from his parents.

I can't imagine what Jeter must be thinking, with his name alongside inner circle hall of famers. I know he'll say time for reflection is after he's done with the game (how many times has he said something along those lines), but that's really some heady stuff. Those guys are IMMORTAL. At some point it will sink in that he's going to be considered one of the immortal greats as well, UZR be damned.

Damn glad I'm alive to see Jeter play. And Rivera. And Bernie (still miss him). And Posada, too. And Pettitte. Some of the best Yankees ever.

6 SteveAmerica   ~  Sep 3, 2009 1:36 pm

I love derek jeter. that is all.

7 Rich   ~  Sep 3, 2009 2:03 pm

I think Posada is wrong. Derek's 1999 season was clearly better:


1999: .428
2009: .388


1999: 153
2009: 129

TBH, at this point, Mauer deserves the MVP.

8 Diane Firstman   ~  Sep 3, 2009 2:29 pm

I also like how he refers to his (older) superiors as Mr. Torre (used to) and Mr. Steinbrenner.

9 williamnyy23   ~  Sep 3, 2009 2:29 pm

[7] 1999 was definitely better...significantly, in fact. His 2006 offensive season is at least on the same level of this one as well.

Jeter is definitely worthy of MVP consideration. Mauer has a great case, obviously, but I do think you need to hold the 20 or so game he missed against him.

10 Diane Firstman   ~  Sep 3, 2009 2:30 pm

Tell me again why A-Rod is making 50% more than him per year?

11 a.O   ~  Sep 3, 2009 2:34 pm

I think people need to remember that the MVP award is not about who has the most homers or RBIs -- or any other statistic for that matter. It's not the "Best Player (Hitter) in the League Award." It's the award for the player who is most valuable to his team. See the difference?

12 Diane Firstman   ~  Sep 3, 2009 2:43 pm

If Jeter wanted to, he could hold a gun to the Yanks' head for his 2011 and beyond contract ...

"I've done everything you asked me to ..."
"I've never embarrassed myself or the organization ..."
"I'm still performing at a high level"
"You are paying A-Rod 50% more than me, and I'm 1/100th of the problem he is, and we're both equally superior to those at the same position as we play"

13 Raf   ~  Sep 3, 2009 2:55 pm

Tell me again why A-Rod is making 50% more than him per year?

HR's & RBI's?

14 a.O   ~  Sep 3, 2009 3:35 pm

[10] I appreciate the question, and I think the answer is that the guy the Yanks signed is not what they have now. But I'd rather talk about what a legend Jeter is.

15 bp1   ~  Sep 3, 2009 3:53 pm

[10] Coincidence that attendance jumped signifcantly in 2004? I don't think those fans showed up to watch Kevin Brown.


Chicks dig the long ball, and clearly so does anyone else considering buying a ticket. The Jeterian single to right field just isn't the same as an A-Bomb from A-Rod to the ambulance bay, so while the hard core would buy a ticket regardless, more casual fans will come out to see the freakish 3rd baseman in hopes he'll hit one to the moon. I'm sure A-Rod has a direct affect on ticket sales, merchandising, and YES network ratings - across the board financial impact beyond baseball contributions.

I'm pretty sure Hank and Hal had visions of packed stadiums filled with people waiting to catch home run 600, 700, and 800 when they re-signed him to that outrageous contract. That circus will far outpace the really great stuff that Jeter is going through right now.

(Gosh - I sound like I should be working for Scott Boras)

16 bp1   ~  Sep 3, 2009 3:54 pm

[14] Agreed. A celebration of Jeter should be A-Rod free. Mea culpa.

17 Ft. Lauderdale Frank   ~  Sep 3, 2009 3:56 pm

What impresses me most about Jeter is not what he does on the field but how he handles himself off it. We can only dream of the lifestyle that is available to him (and well deserved) and with the media looking for anything they can report, we never hear a thing. I think he deserves an award for that alone. And for all of you out there that think the yankees should be looking for a new SS, just remember you never miss what you have until it is gone.

18 Start Spreading the News   ~  Sep 3, 2009 4:08 pm

[12] "“You are paying A-Rod 50% more than me, and I’m 1/100th of the problem he is, and we’re both equally superior to those at the same position as we play”"

Because Arod leads the team in EQA. He is the team's best hitter. And he is younger than Jeter. And even in his waning years, Arod will bring fans to the Stadium as he closes in on Bonds' home run record. Jeter will not get close to passing Rose's record.

If Jeter continues at this rate for the year, he will have the 5th highest EQA in his career. Jeter's current .303 EQA would be lower than 12 of Arod's seasons. The last time Arod had an EQA of less than .309 was when he was 23.

19 Rich   ~  Sep 3, 2009 4:19 pm

[10] A-Rod is a bigger draw because of the HRs and the controversy. The YES network ratings have been way up since A-Rod joined the team.

[9] Jeter's defense is better this season than it was in 2006. I don't think UZR data exists for 1999 but since he was 25, he was probably a lot better.

20 Start Spreading the News   ~  Sep 3, 2009 4:22 pm

[17] Jeter's ability to stay above the media fray is NOT a talent he alone possesses. Several Yankee icons have managed to not make media blunders. Tino, Paul O'Neill, Mariano, Jorge etc... Many Yankees manage to stay out of the spotlight. So I don't think Jeter is special in this regard. The NY media is voracious but to a limit. You go to the ballpark, play your game and stay out of trouble, then generally the media leaves you alone. You can party but you can't get into trouble. See David Wells. He was a man about town so we heard what clubs he went to. But it wasn't until he got into fights at 3am that it became real news.

Even the younger players like Melky and Cano seem to be able to party in this town without getting into trouble. Yet it takes a fleet of advisors to keep Arod out of the news...

21 Sliced Bread   ~  Sep 3, 2009 4:30 pm

[7] Posada's main point I think was regarding Jeter's leadership, being the guy that everyone looks up to.. not so much his advanced statistics from 10 years ago, which I'm sure he and Jeter are both unaware of.

22 monkeypants   ~  Sep 3, 2009 4:33 pm

[11] This is true, but I think that you encourage a false dichotomy between "value to the team' and "statistic[s]". Obviously statistics are tools used in and summations of a players value to his team.

It is also interesting to look at the official voting criteria, which is sent out to voter each year (according to wikipedia):

"Dear Voter:

"There is no clear-cut definition of what Most Valuable means. It is up to the individual voter to decide who was the Most Valuable Player in each league to his team. The MVP need not come from a division winner or other playoff qualifier.

"The rules of the voting remain the same as they were written on the first ballot in 1931:

"1. Actual value of a player to his team, that is, strength of offense and defense. 2. Number of games played. 3. General character, disposition, loyalty and effort. 4. Former winners are eligible. 5. Members of the committee may vote for more than one member of a team.

"You are also urged to give serious consideration to all your selections, from one to 10. A 10th-place vote can influence the outcome of an election. You must fill in all 10 places on your ballot.

"Keep in mind that all players are eligible for MVP, and that includes pitchers and designated hitters.

"Only regular-season performances are to be taken into consideration."

I find #3 interesting. It is not uncommon for voters to be accused of "liking" player X over player Y, perhaps because player Y is surly or a "bad egg" (e.g. Albert Belle). The official criteria seem to allow for voters to take such attributes (disposition) into consideration, as well as others (e.g. loyalty, character) that might make the more stat-oriented of us cringe.

23 Alex Belth   ~  Sep 3, 2009 4:40 pm

17, Yes, those players stayed out of the limelight but they weren't sex symbols either, or national corporate pitchman. The spot light was brighter on Jeter because he was young and good-looking and dated sex symbols.

24 a.O   ~  Sep 3, 2009 6:37 pm

[22] Hey, that's great stuff. Thanks!!

I take your point about a "false dichotomy" between stats and value. They are, of course, highly correlated. But they're not the same thing, as you note with your highlight of criteriia #3. Very interesting that character and effort -- the kind of thing that makes many people like a player -- is not a "bad" bias in the MVP voting. It's a legitimate basis for a choice. One of three, apparently.

In case this wasn't clear before, my view is that there has never been a better example than Jeter of a guy whose value and stats are not perfectly correlated. IMHO, he is MVP because he provides a tremendous value above a high batting average and decent speed. And that value is greater than Mauer despite the obvious disparity in HR and RBI, etc. Put differently, my view is that Jeter's #3 is above Mauer's #3 more than Mauer's #1 is above Jeter's #1.

25 a.O   ~  Sep 3, 2009 6:41 pm

[22] Joey Belle = bad egg. LOL. Love that metaphor. Used to give him a tremendous amount of shit from the Left Field Loung in Starkville when LSU came to town. That was back when he went by Joey.

26 Yankster   ~  Sep 3, 2009 6:48 pm

[22] Number of games played is also an interesting criteria. I had no idea it was that explicit.

27 Raf   ~  Sep 3, 2009 6:49 pm

The NY media is voracious but to a limit.

Does that limit include going after a player because he was sunbathing in Central Park? :)

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