"A New York Treasure" --Village Voice

Top Billin’

World Series GM4 X

Here’s a dumb spring training story and a dumb rebuttal.

Now, that we’ve got that out of the way, check out Steven Goldman’s ranking of Derek Jeter against the greatest shortstops of all time:

Sixteen shortstops rated, Jeter wins 13-3, with only Banks, Smith and Ripken coming out ahead. Given Jeter’s extraordinary consistency at bat and career accomplishments, that seems fair. While a few shortstops exceeded him at their peak moment, and many were fairly rated as superior on defense, the totality of his contributions, combined with when he made them, at a time when baseball was at its most cosmopolitan and competitive, means he cleared a higher bar than most of his predecessors. He might not have been the best shortstop ever, but he wasn’t far off.

[Photo Credit: Al Bello/Getty Images]

Categories:  1: Featured  Spring Training  Yankees

Tags:  Derek Jeter  Steven Goldman

Share: Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share via email %PRINT_TEXT


1 RagingTartabull   ~  Feb 18, 2014 1:27 pm

HustleGATE is going to only be a thing for another 24 hours, until Jeter's press conference. Then it shall go the way of Ruben Rivera, David Wells' book, Steve Swindal, and all the rest of the great scandals of Spring Trainings past.

2 Alex Belth   ~  Feb 18, 2014 1:43 pm

Or until Cano doesn't hustle down to first on National TV or something dumb like that.

3 monkeypants   ~  Feb 18, 2014 1:46 pm

Everyone will have his quibbles with this or that list, but downgrading Honus Wagner basically because he played a long time ago strikes me as fairly bogus.

4 rbj   ~  Feb 18, 2014 2:00 pm

[3] Yeah. Bill James has Wagner well far out as the best short stop of all time. I'm going with Bill on this one.

5 Greg G   ~  Feb 18, 2014 2:15 pm

Cano should have run harder to first. Especially until he signed this monster contract. Just imagine if he gave it 100% heading to first every at bat? He might be looking at a $750 mil contract for 10 years. He probably left 15 singles out there. Imagine what that would have done for his average? Also he would have inspired all the Yanks to run it out, and they would be the 2014 WS champs. Thank God we got rid of that slow poke. Just wait until Roberts hustles out a single. The fans will be giving him a standing O until the cows come home.

6 Jon DeRosa   ~  Feb 18, 2014 2:46 pm

In the 2001 Bill James Historical Abstract, he didn't yet think the Jeter/Nomar/Arod trio could be assessed, so he lumped them together somewhere in the teens and said he'd check in later.

Using the formula he provided in the book, my brother ran the guys through and found....

1) Honus Wagner
2) A-Rod
3) Arky Vaughan
4) Derek Jeter
5) Robin Yount
6) Cal Ripken
7) Barry Larkin
8) Joe Cronin
9) Ernie Banks
10) Pee Wee Reese
11) Luke Appling
12) Alan Trammell
13) Lou Bourdeau
14) Ozzie Smith

(James uses an input called the "subjective factor" which runs 1-50 and was set at 25 for all these players. If you start tinkering with it, I think you can safely bump Jeter up a spot or 2. Ripken too.)

7 Alex Belth   ~  Feb 18, 2014 2:51 pm

Welp, he's top 5, perhaps top 3. That's pretty damn good company.

8 RagingTartabull   ~  Feb 18, 2014 2:52 pm

does Bill still think David Wright is the best player in baseball?

I kid, I kid.

But not really.

9 Chyll Will   ~  Feb 18, 2014 3:16 pm

[2] Oy, I'm waiting on pins and needles for that.

[5] How about throwing a half a million a year to each fan for cheering on the players when they bust it down first base or dive for grounders and pop flies and inspiring them to play better since we're asking? Cuz I could use a few ducats and another excuse to come to the new stadium >;)

10 RagingTartabull   ~  Feb 18, 2014 3:21 pm

I am sure of two things:

1. The Yankees will win more games than the Mariners.

2. On April 29th Robbie will hit a 500 foot home run his first time up at Yankee Stadium.

11 Fuller R   ~  Feb 18, 2014 3:30 pm

I agree that the Cano thing is a BS story, and totally unnecessary (Long should keep his thoughts inside the clubhouse.)

Having said that, [5] "running it out" has less to do with outcome, and more to do with respect (towards your teammates, the game itself, and all who have played, or paid to watch, etc...) The concept is also not restricted to baseball, or to sports for that matter.

Regarding the Captain being in the upper echelon of all-time SS, all I can say is this - it sure has seemed like it, watching him play all these years. What a privilege it has been...

12 Chyll Will   ~  Feb 18, 2014 4:02 pm

[11] Agreed on Long keeping his mouth shut, though honestly unless he's that much of a d-bag and literally sought out a reporter to leak or lay out this BS, I blame the media department bosses and the reporter for stirring the pot to serve their news cycle; many really don't appear to have much if any respect for fans or their subjects in general.

13 RagingTartabull   ~  Feb 18, 2014 4:36 pm

ya know what my takeaway from this whole story is?

It's February 18th. That's my takeaway.

14 Alex Belth   ~  Feb 18, 2014 4:42 pm

12) He also said that Cano was like family to him. I think this was more of a case of a columnist looking for a column as much as it was Long being in the wrong. Then again, Long's been around these parts for a while so he's not naive.

13) You're takeaway is perfect.

15 Greg G   ~  Feb 18, 2014 5:48 pm

11) I think Cano should have run out everything, but this is silly. That is not why the Yanks didn't sign him. The M's paid $65 mil more. Jeter always talks about Mattingly making an impression on him at spring training when Donnie said to Jeter when they were on an empty diamond, "Let's run in, you never know who is watching."

I also agree that Long should concentrate on helping the guys on the Yankees and not worrying about Cano now. If you haven't got anything nice to say, don't say it at all. Or if you are talking about Trout and giving him big money while he is under contract with the Angels, you might want to let other teams comment on their players and just say "No comment."

16 Greg G   ~  Feb 18, 2014 6:10 pm

I saw the interview Cano did with ESPN and it was fairly laughable. He was saying that the Yanks disrespected him. He was offered a lot of money to stay and was offered more money to leave. He said that he was not greedy, and I wouldn't say it was greed either. Greedy would have been leaving the Yanks if the M's offered 1 mil more. They offered a lot more. Cano said it was more about the length of the contract and he wanted this to be his last contract. He would have been able to get more years and money from the Yanks after this contract expired. It was a silly excuse and most would have taken the extra 65 mil. He could have been honest and said, the offer was just a lot more.

17 Mr OK Jazz Tokyo   ~  Feb 18, 2014 7:40 pm

My two cents on a boring Spring Training non-issue! Fans & Media members who pile on great players for 'not hustling out grounders'..look in the mirror and confirm you have given 110% on every column or every boring menial task in your office for your whole life. If you havn't, then STFU.

18 monkeypants   ~  Feb 18, 2014 8:29 pm

[17] I think that reasoning is slightly flawed. I have no problem holding those who are paid lots of money to a higher standard, as well public figures are (and should be) under greater scrutiny. Plus, I'm not sure running to first base means giving 110%...I mean, isn't this sort of the minimum effort we ask kids in little league to make? So for these and other reasons, I have no problem criticicizing a player for not hustling...I don't feel the need to look in the mirror or STFU.

That said, this is really a non-story. Who cares what Long thinks? Who cares about Cano's BS "I felt disrespected" interview, or any of it. It's stuff like this that makes one almost look forward to the fake games they play in March!

19 Mr OK Jazz Tokyo   ~  Feb 18, 2014 8:41 pm

[18] I cannot understand your reasoning here. As a baseball fan, I like seeing sliding sliders, slugging sluggers, speedy speedsters and looping liners. I get 0% satisfaction from watching a grown man 'hustle' up the line on a routine grounder like he's Pete Fuckin' Rose. Why is hustling up the line on routine grounders the 'higher standard'? I'm guessing Babe Ruth too his sweet damn time getting up the line on grounders. Was he worthy of criticism too?

20 Mr OK Jazz Tokyo   ~  Feb 18, 2014 8:50 pm

[19] Horribly redundant use of 'grounders' there, sorry. Written while on the phone here at ACME,Inc. Forgive, please!

21 Ara Just Fair   ~  Feb 18, 2014 10:00 pm

If every player busted his ass down the line 90 feet at least 3 times a day the games would be far more entertaining.

22 Chyll Will   ~  Feb 18, 2014 10:10 pm

[19] There is the off chance that a routine grounder becomes an error, especially if the fielder sees the runner busting it up the line and hurries his throw. I've heard numerous interviews where a player explained why he made a stronger throw than usual to get a close out or why he hurried to make a play and took his eye off the ball or threw it into the stands because he was hurrying. It could make a routine ground-out into a bang-bang play at any moment, and that's always exciting no matter what the score is.

Hustling can get into some players' minds, and that's just another edge for the batter/runner. If a player gets the rep for being an all-out hustler, it makes the other players' reflexes or decision making that much more critical; and if he's known for not hustling, it makes the fielder's job much easier and it's just not a good image for fans or your teammates. Sometimes a play goes awry and extends the inning for that critical base hit or more...

...it worked for the '86 Mets, that's for sure. >;)

23 Mr OK Jazz Tokyo   ~  Feb 19, 2014 2:15 am

[21] I find nothing entertaining about watching someone sprint down the 1B line unless it's a ball in the gap.

[22] I paritally disagree. Even if guys all-out hustle it's unlikely to make many more bang-bang plays and probably would result in more injuries. 162 game season!

'86 Mets..well perhaps their 'hustle' had a bit of 'all natural' assistance? (Sniff..wipe nose..)

24 Alex Belth   ~  Feb 19, 2014 9:24 am

And some of that sprinting to first is fake hustle too.

25 monkeypants   ~  Feb 19, 2014 10:54 am

[19] If the Babe did not hustle on grounders, yes he should have been criticized for that. It does not mean he (or Cano) are not great players, or that any team would not benefit from having them on the roster. Nevertheless, I think it's OK to criticize even those small faults---mere greatness does not exonerate one from his faults. As for deriving pleasure from watching a grown man run hard to first base: it's not so much that I derive pleasure from it, but rather satisfaction. I pay good money to watch players entertain me. Part of the entertainment of sport is that it is truly competitive, and within this is embedded the notion that the players are really trying. So it is symbolic or representative or reflective, even, of the players effort when he does small things like running hard to first base. These small gestures are important.

Plus, as Chyll Will says, there is the off chance that running hard gets you the odd base here and there when a fielder bobbles the ball or the like.

Really, what's the gripe? Is it so hard to expect a player to run hard like three or four times a game, maximum? To want to see this sort of effort is a major offence? Should we teach little kids to loaf it, too?

[24] So what if it's fake? I'd rather see fake hustle than real non-hustle, because at least the player is going through the motions of promoting the image of "trying your hardest," etc.

26 Boatzilla   ~  Feb 19, 2014 11:18 pm

[19] Jazz, please remind me not to ask you to do a "rush job" for us. If you failed to run that one out we could lose a client. ;>)

When I was in Little League I had a coach who taught us to run to first on WALKS. That way if there was a mistake when the catcher threw the ball back, we might take second. One time, due to 3 errors I ended up rounding the base after a WALK. A home run walk. And that was in the Senior Leagues...regulation baselines.

27 Mr OK Jazz Tokyo   ~  Feb 20, 2014 8:38 am

[26] I never dawdle when it's time to get paid!

[25] So you think they are not trying when they don't run hard to first? For me, the trying is in the AB. They are trying to get a hit every time up there. It's after the 'failure' of the try that they dog it to 1B.

I really wonder if many fans obsess on this because 'hustling' is the only thing a fan can do on the field, generally. None of us on this blog can hit a 90mph fastball or field grounders like Cano, but we CAN run hard..

feed Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share via email
"This ain't football. We do this every day."
--Earl Weaver