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A New York Yankees blog by Chad Jennings and the staff of The Journal News


Pinch hitting: Chris and Trevor Kaftan

Posted by: Chad Jennings - Posted in Misc on Feb 02, 2010 Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

(Obviously that was a joke before about another guest post on instant replay. Here’s the real one …)

Now up in the Pinch Hitters series are brothers Chris and Trevor Kaftan, who wrote about Derek Jeter’s place in Yankees history.

Chris and Trevor are third-generation Yankee fans. Their grandfather immigrated to the Bronx from Ireland in the 1930s and followed DiMaggio on his radio. Their mother grew up idolizing The Mick. Chris and Trevor started blogging in February 2008.

Chris, 31, is the director of curriculum & instruction at a private school in Maryland and frequents games at Camden Yards or Yankee Stadium. His daughter is now the fourth generation Yankee fan in the family. Trevor, 26, is a project consultant for Sears in upstate New York.

———

Derek Jeter is the best Yankee that ever lived.

Yes. Better than Ruth or Gehrig. Better than DiMaggio or Mantle. Not to trivialize their stats or their abilities, despite the records that Ruth, Gehrig and DiMaggio set, Jeter has had to deal with things that the Babe and the Iron Horse didn’t. Jeter has cemented himself in pinstripe history.

There’s no argument that today’s game is a much more difficult game than the one that Yankee legends played in. It features stronger and faster athletes and power pitchers who can prevent hitters from numbers that we don’t see as often such as .400 averages.

Jeter has had to contend with a 24/7 media, with paparazzi following him and his girlfriends and reporting about his personal life in addition to his play on the field. Yes, DiMaggio and Mantle had to deal with reporters writing about their personal lives but it stopped there. Today’s players have had to deal with the internet and the speed in which it provides information. If DiMaggio went out on the town with Marilyn, the world read about it the next evening in the newspaper. If Jeter goes out with Minka, we hear about it on Twitter or TMZ within seconds.

Jeter has already won more world championships for the Yankees than the Babe, and sits only one World Series win behind Gehrig and two behind Mantle. He will most likely not match DiMaggio’s nine titles.

In 2009, he passed Lou Gehrig as the Yankees hit leader and Mickey Mantle as the leader in at-bats. He also leads in hits for singles, is second in stolen bases, third in games played and fourth in runs scored. Jeter will lead all those categories by the end of his career. By the end of his career, there’s a good chance Jeter will be the third player on the 4,000 hits club, and will have amassed over 300 home runs, 1,500 RBIs, 350 stolen bases, and over 2,000 runs. He has four career Silver Sluggers, four Gold Gloves, two Hank Aaron Awards, a Babe Ruth Award and is a 10-time All Star. He has won a World Series MVP, All-Star Game MVP and the 1996 Rookie of the Year award.

His heart and passion for the game can be found in his spectacular defensive plays and clutch hits. Derek Jeter is the most clutch player ever to put on the pinstripes. There are no specific statistics for clutch situations but his play when the game on the line is incomparable that he has earned the nickname “Captain Clutch.” Jeter also gets credit for one thing that Gehrig, Ruth, DiMaggio or Mantle had to deal with: playing for George Steinbrenner.

There are a couple of arguments against him being the all-time best Yankee. The first might be his lack of AL MVP awards. DiMaggio and Mantle captured three awards each, Gehrig two and Ruth one. While he lacks a regular season MVP award, he has finished in the top three in voting at least three times. Jeter also hasn’t accomplished a big single season record, like Ruth’s 60 home runs, Gehrig’s 2,130 consecutive games or his 184 RBI in one season, or DiMaggio’s 56-game hitting streak but he has provided something extremely valuable for the Yankees: consistency at the plate and on the field.

Finally, the icing on the cake would be the character of Derek Jeter. Through his actions, words and charity, he has been the role model that every parent wants for their child, even the child of a Red Sox fan. Jeter is humble and constantly lauds the performance of his teammates and always avoids controversy.

Just this year, he was awarded with the Roberto Clemente Award, given out annually to the player that “best exemplifies the game of baseball, sportsmanship, community involvement and the individual’s contribution to his team.” Through his Turn 2 Foundation, Jeter has raised over $8 Million to help disadvantaged kids stay off drugs and make good life decisions.

By the end of his illustrious career, Jeter will have been the greatest player to wear the pinstripes.

Comments

comments

 

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257 Responses to “Pinch hitting: Chris and Trevor Kaftan”

  1. teddy February 2nd, 2010 at 10:18 am

    sorry, but this post is an epic fail

  2. DaSaint007 February 2nd, 2010 at 10:22 am

    Derek Jeter is indeed a great Yankee, and shall live in Yankee lore, but I’m not about to go out and say he’s the greatest Yankee who ever lived.

  3. Bodhisattva - Destiny Wears Pinstripes February 2nd, 2010 at 10:22 am

    Sign DePaula!

  4. Vrsce February 2nd, 2010 at 10:29 am

    two words:

    Babe Ruth

  5. Irabu's Son February 2nd, 2010 at 10:30 am

    Wow.. I have a man crush on Jeter just as much as the next guy.. but wow. I’d place Jeter exactly 5th on the all-time Yankee list. Gehrig. Ruth. DiMaggio. Mantle. Jeter.

    He’s the DiMaggio of our time, no doubt, but not the greatest ever.

  6. Frank February 2nd, 2010 at 10:31 am

    “Jeter has already won more world championships for the Yankees than the Babe”

    Jeter has won ZERO championships for the Yankees. He’s been a contributing member to 5 championships that the YANKEES won.

    “Finally, the icing on the cake would be the character of Derek Jeter.”

    Seriously doubt any Yankees ever possessed more strength of character than Lou Gehrig.

  7. GreenBeret7 February 2nd, 2010 at 10:31 am

    This post is going to get hammered. This will be my last comment on this subject.

  8. blake February 2nd, 2010 at 10:33 am

    Jeter is my favorite baseball player of all time. My dad had Mantle and I have Jeter. If there were a Mt. Rushmore of Yankees, Jeter would be on it, but as biased as I am toward him I don’t think he’s the greatest Yankee of all time (yet anyway). Its impossible to compare players of different eras, Babe Ruth hit more homers than entire teams and totally changed the game the way no other single athlete has ever changed a sport. I don’t see anything Jeter has done to this point trumping that.

  9. NextYankeeDynasty February 2nd, 2010 at 10:35 am

    I love Derek Jeter as a player but to call him clutch and then not back it up with facts makes this column very shaky in my opinion….

    For his career is .308 hitter with RISP, he has hit .313 RISP, 2 outs and has hit .295 in late and close situations….

    Absolutely nothing stands out about him being any more clutch then his typical batting average…..

  10. m February 2nd, 2010 at 10:36 am

    I’m not as offended as some will be about this. Certainly an interesting perspective.

    I’d like to think that Jeter has something else in common with the Yankee greats. He played clean.

    The other day, I was talking tennis with my husband. Henin specifically. I was mentioning how she showed up 6 mths. later years ago ripped. Absolutely ripped. I told him no 5’5″ woman as petite as her should look like that. Of course after her hiatus, she doesn’t look like that anymore.

    So I moved on to baseball players, saying that players shouldn’t look like they do. And I mentioned Pujols specifically. Talking about how if he ever gets busted, then Jeter will be one of the generation’s all-time greats. Then to my dismay, he told me, “Jeter took.” and of course I half-heartedly protested. “They all took. It wasn’t illegal, it wasn’t banned.”

    At this point, I don’t want to argue for the cause because I can’t say for sure that Jeter didn’t do anything at some point in his career. And because I was too lazy to look up the timeline of when Jeter came up and the steroid craze. I’m pretty sure they almost coincide, though that doesn’t mean much. Anyway, I don’t think Jeter did (of course I thought the same thing about Alex & manny!).

    The Greatest (fill in the blank) of all time is so subjective. Just this morning that tool Skip Bayless has Shaq ranked above Kobe on his all-time Lakers list.

    Jeter is almost certainly not the greatest Yankee, but he’s certainly up there. He has access to training, dieticians, technology, equipment, and information that his predecessors didn’t have.

    Jeter has his flaws, but he’s our guy. One every other team and fanbase wish they had. Carries a lot of respect, especially from the older generations of ballplayers. That’s what’s most impressive to me. Jeter’s the man.

  11. FanSince'48 February 2nd, 2010 at 10:36 am

    “Wow.. I have a man crush on Jeter just as much as the next guy.. but wow. I’d place Jeter exactly 5th on the all-time Yankee list. Gehrig. Ruth. DiMaggio. Mantle. Jeter.”

    …and Mr. Berra?

  12. blake February 2nd, 2010 at 10:37 am

    I’d rank them
    1. Ruth
    2. Gehrig
    3. Dimaggio
    4. Mantle
    5. Jeter

    I think if Derek challenges Pete Rose and wins a couple more titles then he could move up this list but I can’t really see him getting to the top of it.

  13. vinny-b February 2nd, 2010 at 10:38 am

    Jeter is not even the greatest yankee player of this generation.

    it is Mariano Rivera

  14. vinny-b February 2nd, 2010 at 10:39 am

    “1. Ruth
    2. Gehrig
    3. Dimaggio
    4. Mantle
    5. Jeter”
    —————————-

    I would rank Yogi and Rivera ahead of him. However, that’s me

  15. Jeff NJ February 2nd, 2010 at 10:40 am

    Bold post, good for you. I almost instinctively rank Jeter below Ruth, Gehrig, Dimaggio and Mantle, but your post made me think about it. Truth is, most of us never saw any of those 4 play and their legend proceeds them. The reality is that there is no real answer to this question, but I enjoyed that this post is making us think about it. Kudos.

  16. 86w183 February 2nd, 2010 at 10:41 am

    Derek in the top ten? Absolutely!

    But number one? Under no circumstances.

    To me he’s number six among positions players behind Ruth, Gehrig, Mantle, DiMaggio and Berra. If you count pitchers he slides behind Whitey Ford and Mariano Rivera too.

  17. Shame Spencer February 2nd, 2010 at 10:41 am

    Controversial post.. I like it.

    Its sort of unfair to even go there right now though. Mick, Babe, Joe D.. they have the advantage of time. Those guys are just as much men as they are myth at this point. Jeter isn’t even retired yet (or even close to it). The legend of Derek Jeter will only grow as time goes by. Especially when we see a few other short stops try to fill the role when he’s gone, it will be even more apparent how amazing a player he was. Greatest ever? Thats tough. But the fact that we can even add him to the conversation is important.

    I’d also like to add that I always found it amazing that the “greatest Yankees of all time” are also usually in the conversation for the “greatest players of all time.” That’s always made me feel good to be a Yankee fan.

  18. FatAdam February 2nd, 2010 at 10:43 am

    one thing stuck out to me…

    “He will most likely not match DiMaggio’s nine titles.”

    I hope this is false!

  19. SJ44 February 2nd, 2010 at 10:44 am

    Derek Jeter isn’t in the same ballpark as Ruth, Gehrig, Di Maggio and Mantle.

    One could argue he isn’t as good a player as Yogi Berra was, considering Yogi played a more demanding position.

    Its a bold blog entry. However, to argue that Derek Jeter is the “Greatest Yankee of All-Time” isn’t even logical, given the histories of some of the players that preceeded him.

    No knock to Derek but, as Vinny said, Mariano Rivera, not Jeter, is greatest Yankee of this generation.

  20. blake February 2nd, 2010 at 10:44 am

    This is a separate argument but here’s my take in Jeter vs Rivera.

    I don’t think you can rank a closer ahead of a position player because as great as Rivera is he only affects 1 inning in games that the Yankees are already winning. He saves wins, he can do nothing to get the Yankees to a point where they can win in most instances. A shortstop contributes everyday, whereas a closer can only contribute n games where the team is winning after 8 innings.

    You could also make a compelling argument that Rivera did more to win the championships than Jeter did but for me I rank the everyday player higher.

  21. Paco Dooley February 2nd, 2010 at 10:45 am

    Let’s not forget that he has lost out in the MVP voting on at least one occasion to a known or suspected PED user. Jeter on PEDs would have been an MVP, but part of his outstanding performance compared to this generation of players is the fact that he is not a PED user.

    But he is not the greatest Yankee of all time. I agree with vinny-b’s list.

  22. D57 February 2nd, 2010 at 10:45 am

    We all know Jeter IS great — but as the comments are suggesting, NOT the greatest Yankee ever. And no one mentioned that despite the blogger saying how much tougher things are today — he didn’t point out the difference in money between making millions PER YEAR versus even DiMag being denied a raise after he had a great year or fighting for what now are small amounts. It might be easier to not feel pressure when one makes millions than when one knows an injury could wipe out their career and savings as in the old days….

  23. William Buckner February 2nd, 2010 at 10:46 am

    I won’t knock the hustle, but is he better then these four.

    Mantle
    Berra
    Rivera
    Arod.

    That’s if like me, you don’t count pre-integration. Otherwise you add Ruth, Gherig, and Joe D.

  24. rodg12 February 2nd, 2010 at 10:46 am

    1. Ruth
    2. Gehrig
    3. Mantle
    4. DiMaggio
    5. Berra
    6. Jeter

    …And Jeter is my favorite player of all-time. It’s possible he moves ahead of Berra with a few more good years. Maybe jumps DiMaggio if he ends up with like 8-10 titles. Don’t see any way he cracks that top 3 though…

  25. ArtieA February 2nd, 2010 at 10:47 am

    Interesting post. Babe Ruth is still considered the greatest ballplayer in the history of the game. He changed the game and his overall records are hard to beat. Yankee of all time? Jete is in the top five Yankees all time no doubt which says plenty.We are looking at the greatest Yankee of the past 40 years, no doubt.

  26. Scott Baio February 2nd, 2010 at 10:48 am

    This post is a perfect example of why non-Yankees fans will never take Yankees fans’ opinions of Jeter seriously.

  27. Erin February 2nd, 2010 at 10:50 am

    While I don’t agree that Jeter is the greatest Yankee of all time, he’s definitely one of the greats. We can all agree on that much, right???? ;)

  28. m1kew February 2nd, 2010 at 10:50 am

    This post tries to do what so many have tried (and failed) to do over many years in many sports. That is to compare, using stats, players from different eras. I appreciate the enthusiasm of the poster(s) but you have never seen Ruth, Gehrig, DiMaggio or Mantle play or how they compared to players of their own eras.

    Jeter has had an incredible career and certainly deserves such consideration but I think you will find you did not make a strong enough case to convince many readers here.

    But do not dismay, you are entitled to your opinion and you chose a great Yankee to write about. If you erred it was not in your choice of player but in trying to do what just cannot be done – compare players in any sport from different eras. (Just as you say players today are stronger, faster etc but players of past eras had to work at other jobs when the season ended. Decades ago players actually came to spring training to get into shape. Today most of them report in playing shape because they have the time and wealth to become stronger, more flexible etc.)

    I look forward to visiting your blog over this coming season.

  29. Carl February 2nd, 2010 at 10:51 am

    Makes me sad to see that most fans don’t even mention Rivera when talking about the greatest Yankees.

  30. m February 2nd, 2010 at 10:51 am

    It’s much more difficult to win championships now than it was back in the day. Fewer teams, fewer rounds, no draft trump integration.

    But there’ve been better players tool-wise.

  31. blake February 2nd, 2010 at 10:53 am

    I can’t argue with those that out Yogi ahead of Jeter to this point.

  32. 86w183 February 2nd, 2010 at 10:54 am

    There’s no reason to inject PED use into this discussion (pun intended). The truth is that we have no idea who took what or when and who didn’t. It’s inane to claim anyone is completely clean or completely dirty.

  33. SJ44 February 2nd, 2010 at 10:54 am

    The one inning argument doesn’t hold water re: Rivera for one major reason.

    Rivera has no margin for error when he comes into a game.

    Jeter gets 4 chances a game to deliver a hit or 9 innings to make a play in the field to help his team win.

    Mariano has one chance to save a game.

    He is in the most important innings of the most important games and his success rate is unlike any other player’s in baseball history.

    That’s why Mariano is in the conversation as one of the Top 5-6 All-Time Yankees.

    When you look at his post-season numbers, no player in Yankee or baseball history can come close to them.

    Its really an amazing feat for a guy that nobody had pegged as a “can’t miss” propsect.

  34. Paco Dooley February 2nd, 2010 at 10:55 am

    Great point about Berra being ahead of Jeter. He was a pure winner playing the toughest position on the field defensively.

    Jeter belongs on the list, just not at the top of the list.

  35. Scott Baio February 2nd, 2010 at 10:56 am

    “He is in the most important innings of the most important games and his success rate is unlike any other player’s in baseball history.”

    Except for blowing the 97, 01, and 04 postseasons, right?

  36. William Buckner February 2nd, 2010 at 10:57 am

    “Makes me sad to see that most fans don’t even mention Rivera when talking about the greatest Yankees.”

    So true Carl. Rivera is the Keyser Soze of closers. Some day he’ll be talked about almost mythically.

    We, as Yankee fans, have been sooo spoiled. Just think, during the post season, when he came in, did you even doubt for a second?

  37. John in Ohio February 2nd, 2010 at 10:57 am

    Mr. Berra. Casey’s manager on the field.

    Ruth and Gehrig are on top. DiMag, Berra, Mantle are on the next shelf (and perhaps Mo). Jeets may be there eventually.

    Then we can discuss the rest.

  38. charlestonchew February 2nd, 2010 at 10:57 am

    1. Jeter
    2. Jeter
    3. Jeter
    4. Jeter
    5. Ruth
    6. Gehrig
    7. Jeter
    8. Dimaggio
    9. Jeter
    10. Mantle
    11. Jeter
    12. Rivera
    13. Berra

  39. RayVT February 2nd, 2010 at 10:58 am

    1. B. Ruth
    2. L. Gehrig
    3. M. Mantle
    4. J. DiMaggio
    5. Y. Berra
    6. M. Rivera
    7. W. Ford
    8. D. Jeter
    9. ARod

    Berra -During his 18-year career, the Yankees played in 14 World Series and won 10 of them. He also finished in the Top 3 in MVP voting seven years in a row from 1950 through 1956. No one else has ever done that. Few have even come close.

    Ford – Most World Series wins, with 10, and the most strikeouts in Fall Classic History. In 22 World Series games, Ford posted a 2.71 ERA, and at one point, he pitched 33 2/3 consecutive innings without giving up an earned run. That is the best ever.

    ARod, perhaps will pass Jeter perhaps not. Both are still writing their history.

  40. pat February 2nd, 2010 at 10:58 am

    Jeter was a member of some great Yankee teams and made some great plays and got some big hits but best Yankee ever is overkill.

  41. Rich in NJ February 2nd, 2010 at 11:00 am

    Is this post a joke?

  42. SJ44 February 2nd, 2010 at 11:01 am

    Are you really stupid enough to want to get into a debate on Mariano Rivera’s success rate?

    You can’t be that dumb.

    Go back and look into baseball history and tell me how many guys have had Mariano’s success rate in the post-season.

    Look at his numbers and craft an argument against it.

  43. blake February 2nd, 2010 at 11:01 am

    Its not that people don’t think Rivera is great..he is one of the greatest Yankees ever and has probably been More responsible for these most recent 5 titles than anyone else. However, pitchers don’t affect every game like position players do..its why you very rarely see a pitcher win an MVP award. They don’t impact 162 games.

    I can’t put a player that only participates in 50 games a year higher than one that plays ev

  44. blake February 2nd, 2010 at 11:01 am

    Its not that people don’t think Rivera is great..he is one of the greatest Yankees ever and has probably been More responsible for these most recent 5 titles than anyone else. However, pitchers don’t affect every game like position players do..its why you very rarely see a pitcher win an MVP award. They don’t impact 162 games.

    I can’t put a player that only participates in 50 games a year higher than one that plays ev

  45. Carl February 2nd, 2010 at 11:01 am

    William Buckner February 2nd, 2010 at 10:57 am

    “Makes me sad to see that most fans don’t even mention Rivera when talking about the greatest Yankees.”

    So true Carl. Rivera is the Keyser Soze of closers. Some day he’ll be talked about almost mythically.

    We, as Yankee fans, have been sooo spoiled. Just think, during the post season, when he came in, did you even doubt for a second?

    Amen to that.

  46. Carl February 2nd, 2010 at 11:03 am

    http://mlb.mlb.com/stats/indiv.....statType=2

    Have a look at Mo’s postseason stats.

  47. 86w183 February 2nd, 2010 at 11:05 am

    It might be harder to win a World Series now, but it was a helluvalot harder to make the playoffs back then.

    One of eight teams in each league used to make post-season play. That’s 12.5 %. In the American League four of 14 teams advance. That’s 28.6 %.

    Let me ask this, which of these guys has the best career post-season numbers? I am using BA//OBP/SLG

    Player A — .313/.383/.479 (138 games)

    Player B — .302/.409/.568 (54 games)

    Player C — .278/.358/.527 (77 games)

    Player A is Derek Jeter
    Player B is Alex Rodriguez
    Player C is Reggie Jackson

  48. roundabout February 2nd, 2010 at 11:05 am

    The Idea Derek Jeter is the Greatest Yankee of all time does a diservice to Jeter. It feeds the premise that he’s over-rated. He’s an excellent player. He can’t match Mantle, Ruth, Gehrig, DiMaggio, Berra in homeruns, slugging, on-base percentage. Jeter is essentially a singles hitter, with a good OBA, scores lots of runs and has those intangibles. He lacks much power, isn’t a big doubles guy or even a stolen base guy.
    This guy is comparing him four of the top 12-15 hitters-fielders of all time. Ruth is on a plateau all his own, as is the Iron Horse. And When you talk Mantle, you are talking Mays. Bill James ranks Mantle as the 6th greatest player of all time, a few spots behind Mays and Ruth, who is number one. Most stat-meisters agree.
    And there are so many non-Yankees superior to Jeter in the higher echelon.
    I love Derek Jeter, but lets be real.

  49. Nick in SF in NC February 2nd, 2010 at 11:06 am

    Just a sidebar, but I think DiMaggio’s relationship with Marilyn Monroe came after the end of his playing career.

  50. Patrick February 2nd, 2010 at 11:06 am

    There are actually specific stats for “clutch” and they show that Jeter isn’t particularly clutch or unclutch. His numbers in “clutch” situations are pretty much the same as his career numbers.

    Jeter is a great all-time Yankee but nowhere near the best. I’d probably put him 5, 6 or 7th all time. Top 4 are easily Ruth, Mantle, Gehrig, DiMaggio in that order then some combination of Jeter, Berra, Rivera.

  51. John in Ohio February 2nd, 2010 at 11:08 am

    Whitey DOES belong on the level of DiMaggio, Berra, and Mantle. For sure.

    It’s said that Earle Combs was on his way to Yankee immortality until a serious injury in 1934.

  52. Patrick February 2nd, 2010 at 11:10 am

    If we are discussing Mo and how he fits into the top Yankees of all time list he’s got to be up there with Jeter, maybe even better.

    CB had a couple great posts about Rivera last year and how he fits in with all-time pitching greats. The gist of it was that now Rivera has more than 1000 innings pitched in his career he can be put up against the great all-time pitchers (not just relievers). Mo is one of the greatest pitchers of all time. Starters, relievers, closers, I don’t care, he’s one of the best.

    That’s pretty legendary if you ask me.

  53. blake February 2nd, 2010 at 11:12 am

    Sj,
    Good point about Rivera’s margin for error. I would argue though that in many instances a closer when given a 3 run lead can still make mistakes and succeed. Of course there are times when that’s not the case and the margin for error is razor thin and that’s where Mo has excelled.

    The difference is that Rivera can only finish what the other players have started, he can’t get the team to the point of victory on his own or even contribute in those first 8 innings. This is why when we are talking all time, Rivera hasn’t impacted as many games or as many innings as Jeter has IMO.

  54. David in Cal February 2nd, 2010 at 11:12 am

    To play devil’s advocate: As the post points out, “today’s game features stronger and faster athletes and power pitchers.” We almost always evaluate players from the past based on the opponents they actually faced. However, on an absolute basis, the players of today are better. If Mickey Mantle in his prime magically returned in 2010, he’d be a far worse hitter against the pitchers of 2010.

    Even that doesn’t move Jeter past Mo. By a wide margin, Mo is the best pitcher of all time based on ERA+. He’s clearly the best post-season pitcher of all time. He’s far and away the best relief pitcher of all time.

  55. Frank February 2nd, 2010 at 11:13 am

    “The gist of it was that now Rivera has more than 1000 innings pitched in his career he can be put up against the great all-time pitchers (not just relievers).”

    Saw that post by CB. Disagreed with it about as much as I’ve disagreed with anything, but he made an interesting case.

  56. Rich in NJ February 2nd, 2010 at 11:14 am

    “Sign DePaula!”

    Seconded.

  57. Irabu's Son February 2nd, 2010 at 11:14 am

    Berra was never the best player on his team.. never carried the team on his shoulders the way Mantle or Gehrig could. I give Berra the Oscar for “Best Supporting Actor”

  58. Doreen February 2nd, 2010 at 11:15 am

    Hmmm, maybe I’m wrong about Brett Gardner. Granted it was against Mets pitching, but I’m watching the 6/26 game where he got 5 hits including a triple and a very well hit HR to right. He looked very good at the plate, very confident.

    Hmmmmm.

  59. Erin February 2nd, 2010 at 11:17 am

    Doreen
    February 2nd, 2010 at 11:15 am
    Hmmm, maybe I’m wrong about Brett Gardner. Granted it was against Mets pitching, but I’m watching the 6/26 game where he got 5 hits including a triple and a very well hit HR to right. He looked very good at the plate, very confident.

    Hmmmmm.

    ***********************
    I remember that game!! Gardner was on fire that night. Was that game AJ’s one hitter, or was that another game?

  60. Frank February 2nd, 2010 at 11:18 am

    “If Mickey Mantle in his prime magically returned in 2010, he’d be a far worse hitter against the pitchers of 2010.”

    Really? If you’re bringing Mantle back to 2010, would he not be entitled to the benefits of 2010. The vastly superior medicine? Medical advances? Training regimens? The DH?

  61. RayVT February 2nd, 2010 at 11:19 am

    This kind of reminds me of the story I heard about Michael Jordan. He was playing late in his career & an opponent told him that he wasn’t as good as the new guy was. MJ asked the trash talker whose shoes he was wearing. They were MJs.

    Jeter won a Babe Ruth award. Hmm, maybe this Ruth guy was good.

    Ruth & Gehrig are 1 & 2. Mantle was awesome. Dimagio was great. Berra was one of a kind. Rivera has made closing look simple. He quite often pitches 2 innings in the playoffs too. ARod has had some great years too.

    While I admire & respect Jeter, he is perhaps the greatest team player, but not the greatest Yankee player.

  62. Doreen February 2nd, 2010 at 11:20 am

    Erin -

    It was CC’s game. 9-1 going to the bottom of the ninth. 3 hit for the Mets. Tomko in relief.

  63. Erin February 2nd, 2010 at 11:21 am

    Doreen
    February 2nd, 2010 at 11:20 am
    Erin -

    It was CC’s game. 9-1 going to the bottom of the ninth. 3 hit for the Mets. Tomko in relief.

    ********************
    Thanks Doreen. I guess I don’t remember it quite as well as I thought I did! LOL But I do remember being very pleasantly surprised by GGBG

  64. Erica - always OPPC - Is done with Brian Cashman! February 2nd, 2010 at 11:22 am

    Doreen
    February 2nd, 2010 at 11:15 am
    Hmmm, maybe I’m wrong about Brett Gardner. Granted it was against Mets pitching, but I’m watching the 6/26 game where he got 5 hits including a triple and a very well hit HR to right. He looked very good at the plate, very confident.
    **************

    I think he would have gotten the cycle that night. But he was missing the double. At one point he hit a rocket, but had a very slow runner on the base ahead of him. The slow runner limited him to the single

  65. Betsy -Romine wasn't built in a day February 2nd, 2010 at 11:23 am

    From ESPN 1050..

    “Scott Boras told me he doesn’t think the Yankees really wanted Johnny Damon to return. Boras says that Cashman told him he would call him to negotiate after the team signed Andy Pettitte. But then he didn’t hear from Cashman at all.

    “We didn’t we hear from [Cashman] for five weeks,” Boras said. “Finally I called and I found out they made an offer to another player [Nick Johnson.]” ”

    More fiction from Boras, covering his posterior. Of course, the 2 year/14 million offer is still going to be better than any offer from any team that ‘really wants Damon’.

    Shut up Boras…….and, by implication, Damon, too, since Damon seemed rather put out by his Jeter comments.

  66. Betsy -Romine wasn't built in a day February 2nd, 2010 at 11:25 am

    Too bad about this post because now we’re going to get pounded with Jeter criticism.

  67. raymagnetic February 2nd, 2010 at 11:26 am

    “By a wide margin, Mo is the best pitcher of all time based on ERA+.”

    Mo’s the greatest closer of all time, but he isn’t even close to being the greatest pitcher of all time.

    He’s not even close. I don’t care what his ERA+ is. He pitches one inning per game. It’s not fair at all to compare him against starting pitchers when it comes to ERA+

    Also, comparing what players like Ruth and Gehrig did to what modern players have done is silly because Ruth and Gehrig didn’t play against players of all races.

    Wasn’t their fault but can players really be the greatest of all time when the competition was obviously watered down?

  68. Doreen February 2nd, 2010 at 11:26 am

    And then Hughes pitched the bottom of the 9th.

  69. m February 2nd, 2010 at 11:27 am

    Comparing Jeter to Rivera’s apples and oranges.

    Jeter’s the best apple and Rivera’s the best orange.

  70. Doreen February 2nd, 2010 at 11:29 am

    Erin -

    AJ’s game that you remember was the next night, and Mo’s 500th save the night after that. It was a good series, wasn’t it? :)

  71. RayVT February 2nd, 2010 at 11:30 am

    Its funny how the youngsters always think their heroes are the greatest and older folks that their is.

    Mantle did not need to work out with weights. He was built like a mac truck. His arms were bigger than probably anyone on the Yankees now. What he needed was his knees fixed. He played during an era where lack of medical advances cost him. He ran like the wind, threw canonballs, was a switch hitter with awesome power and played CF.

    Dimaggio probably would have played another few years too if his eyes were able to maintain his 20/10 eyesight. (Hmm, Boggs had surgery to correct his back to that.) Plus the strength and conditioning was more difficult back then. Dimaggio did not have Mantle’s tools. Great hitter. Heady player.

    Berra won 3 MVPs while playing with Mantle & Dimaggio. He also finished in top 3 in voting 7 yrs in a row. That is awesome too.

  72. Doreen February 2nd, 2010 at 11:32 am

    m -

    That is exactly right, regarding Jeter & Mo.

  73. blake February 2nd, 2010 at 11:32 am

    Mantle would be better if he played today because they could have fixed a lot of his injuries and all the drinking would never have been allowed. Can you imagine a healthy and sober Mantle for 15 seasons, would be closer to that if he played in the 2000s instead of the 50′s

  74. Erin February 2nd, 2010 at 11:33 am

    Doreen
    February 2nd, 2010 at 11:29 am
    Erin -

    AJ’s game that you remember was the next night, and Mo’s 500th save the night after that. It was a good series, wasn’t it?

    ***********************
    That was an awesome series!! The last game, along with Mo’s 500th, also marked Wang’s one and only win for the ’09 season.

  75. Frank February 2nd, 2010 at 11:33 am

    “He’s not even close. I don’t care what his ERA+ is. He pitches one inning per game. It’s not fair at all to compare him against starting pitchers when it comes to ERA+”

    That was my basic argument against CB’s post on supporting Mo as one of the best pitchers ever (not just best relief pitcher). Fact is, Mo couldn’t do what he’s done over his illustrious career in increments of 6+ innings every 5th day. If he could have, that’s how the Yankees would have used him.

  76. raymagnetic February 2nd, 2010 at 11:35 am

    I’m not saying Jeter is the greatest Yankee, but even players like Dimaggio and Berra had an advantage when it came to playing against players of other races.

    The US wasn’t even desegregated until the late 1950′s. People of color weren’t allowed to vote in most places in the US until the 1960′s (despite the 15th amendment), no way they had equal access to training facilities etc. that their white brethren had.

    It’s not a coincidence at all that the greatest of the Yankees played before 1970. Competition is much greater now than it was when this country was in the midst of it’s racial hatred. JMO.

  77. Bronx Born February 2nd, 2010 at 11:35 am

    Does it really matter who is the best Yankee of all time. How do you even begin to quantify something like that. We have been blessed with some great players and I appreciate each and everyone of them. We have players that play with lots of heart and pride. I don’t really care who is the best.

  78. m February 2nd, 2010 at 11:35 am

    Rivera’s incomparable, but he’s certainly replaceable.

    Jeter’s very good, but also replaceable.

    The sad part is that there will be a day when someone else will be closing. And someone else will be turning two. :cry:

  79. Tripps78 February 2nd, 2010 at 11:39 am

    Hasn’t A-Rod been on the Yankees for 6 years? He’s a better player than Jeter. A-Rod is going down as one of the top 5 Yankees of all time not Jeter.

    A-Rod is going to hit 800 HRs. He and Ruth should be noted as the greatest Yankees of all time.

  80. 86w183 February 2nd, 2010 at 11:42 am

    It is virtually impossible to fairly compare position players to pitchers just as it is virtually impossible to fairly compare starters to relievers.

    Mariano probably would not have been a dominant starter. Greg Maddux likely would have been a rather mediocre closer.

    It’s fine to downgrade players who played in all-white or mostly all-white eras. But those guys also didn’t have the luxurious travel, phenomenal compensation, training and medical advances and so on.

    Every era has some level of “taint” associated with it so we just do the best we can.

  81. RayVT February 2nd, 2010 at 11:43 am

    raymagnetic
    February 2nd, 2010 at 11:35 am
    I’m not saying Jeter is the greatest Yankee, but even players like Dimaggio and Berra had an advantage when it came to playing against players of other races.

    While this is true, today’s athletes do not have to face pitchers throwing at their heads, spitballs & really cut/sandpapered fastballs. They also don’t travel by train or bus all over the country. They have the best equipment, best facilities, & luxury amenities to stay. Drs, surgeons, food, film, videos, computers, individual coaching all have been upgraded too. (One could argue on the capability of coaches.)

    When taking these issues into account, I believe the stats apply still.

  82. raymagnetic February 2nd, 2010 at 11:47 am

    “Hasn’t A-Rod been on the Yankees for 6 years? He’s a better player than Jeter. A-Rod is going down as one of the top 5 Yankees of all time not Jeter.

    A-Rod is going to hit 800 HRs. He and Ruth should be noted as the greatest Yankees of all time.”

    You’re aware of the fact that A-Rod compiled most of his stats thus far as a member of another team(s)?

  83. Bronx Jeers February 2nd, 2010 at 11:47 am

    This post is silly, silly, silly.

    Personally, I like Gehrig. But that’s just an opinion.

    I guess we’re lucky we can debate stuff like this.

    Who was the best Red Sox player ever. Ted Williams right. No debate. No fun. 86 year championship drought. etc. etc.

  84. kd February 2nd, 2010 at 11:47 am

    my 2 cents: jeter is a great player. he’s not the best to ever play his position, even the best is his own era. alex was a better shortstop.

    rivera is by far the best closer of all time.

    in all time yankee pantheon, it’s too early to tell. those guys still have a few years left. what if we all get our wishes and the yankees rattle off three or four consecutive world series wins?

    let them retire before putting them on subjective all-time lists

  85. m February 2nd, 2010 at 11:49 am

    Not to mention A-rod’s got a huge stain on his reputation. Will take him years to even shed the reputation.

  86. Richie Rich February 2nd, 2010 at 11:51 am

    I don’t know if any of the other comments mentioned this yet, but he also played during the “steroid era” (presuming he was clean, unlike many many many)

  87. raymagnetic February 2nd, 2010 at 11:54 am

    ” While this is true, today’s athletes do not have to face pitchers throwing at their heads, spitballs & really cut/sandpapered fastballs. They also don’t travel by train or bus all over the country. They have the best equipment, best facilities, & luxury amenities to stay. Drs, surgeons, food, film, videos, computers, individual coaching all have been upgraded too. (One could argue on the capability of coaches.)

    When taking these issues into account, I believe the stats apply still.”

    Sorry Ray I respectfully disagree. The newer players may have more technological advances, however they play against competition from all of the world nowadays where everyone is afforded equal access to the best training available.

    The game wasn’t fair when most of the great Yankees played.

  88. Tom in NJ February 2nd, 2010 at 11:59 am

    Great point, Bronx Jeers.

    The Yankees have so many HoF’ers, that some don’t even get mentioned as ‘all time greats’

    Players like Bill Dickey, Joe Gordon, Red Ruffing, Lefty Gomez, et al, are all considered after thoughts for one reason or another.

  89. John O February 2nd, 2010 at 12:01 pm

    Ruth
    Dimaggio
    Gehrig
    Mantle
    Jeter
    Yogi
    Ford
    Rivera

    Jeter is at BEST number 5, which is an incredible accomplishment. The only question is whether gehrig or dimaggio is #2. I go with dimaggio but it is really close.

  90. espresso February 2nd, 2010 at 12:01 pm

    I love watching Jeter play, but this is kind of nuts. The Babe is the best player all time and he was a Yankee, so logically he is the greatest all time Yankee. There are a handful of players today that are comparable to the greats at the top of the list as complete hitters. Dimaggio, Gehrig, Mantle and Ruth put up ridiculous numbers. They hit for crazy averages, with high OBP% with big time slugging. Dimaggio has less strikeouts than hrs for crying out loud.

  91. GreenBeret7 February 2nd, 2010 at 12:05 pm

    I’m going to go back on my word about not getting involved in this silliness.

    The idea that all of the black leagues were filled with nothing but legendary players is BS. They had just as many inferior players and played against as many, if not more inferior talent as those claiming that the Ruths, Gehrigs and Johnsons played against.

    What the black leagues had were some great story tellers and poorly kept records that puffed up a lot of these “legendary players”.

    Neither system played against the best competion. To think that Jish Gibson was going to hit “800 homers – as quoted by some like Buck O’Neill) is ridiculous.

    Was it right or fair that it took so long? No, it was an abomination, but, it happened. Blame the politicians…blame society…blame your parents and grandparents for allowing it. They weren’t any better or any worse than white players.

  92. Sports Geek February 2nd, 2010 at 12:06 pm

    Please excuse me for standing on my soapbox for a moment…

    One thing I do not like about this blog is the tendency to have posts which say “=> New Post”, and then all readers travel like a herd of elephants to read and comment there…. while the existing post gets abandoned.

    I would rather see all posts remain active as long as anyone wants to continue posting there (or for a week anyway…) AND very importantly, comments should continue below the post that they are appropriate to.

    I have to say also that this “problem” seems to be increasing. It used to be just one or two of the readers who would make the commenting alerting the herd that there was a new post to comment on. BUt now it seems that even Chad and Sam are now doing it.

    I would like to ask everyone 2 things:..
    1. “PLEASE STOP IT!” Please stop alerting people to the “=> New Post!” Readers are going to find the new post soon enough, and they should read it when it is appropriate for them, and
    2. Please post your comments below the relevant initial post, and please continue reading the older posts. There are a lot of “late comments” which come in late because the commenter may not have had the chance to be reading and commenting on the message in the short interval before the next new post comes online.

    Thanks guys!! I appreciate you giving this your consideration.

  93. chris February 2nd, 2010 at 12:07 pm

    Incredibly ignorant post. Babe Ruth. Lou Gherig. Both are above and beyond Jeter. I love Jeter, but it’s just ignorant saying he’s the greatest Yankee ever.

  94. joe February 2nd, 2010 at 12:09 pm

    Please, get a grip. Jeter is not even CLOSE to the Babe.

  95. Sports Geek February 2nd, 2010 at 12:10 pm

    Also, I hate “double posting”, but I know my comment at the bottom of the comments on the “Instant Replay” posting might not get read very much there.. so I am reposting it here…
    = = = = = = = =
    Let’s keep black and white TV because that’s the way it’s always been…

    Let’s keep AM radio because nobody ever meant for there to be stereo radio (or HD radio, or Internet radio)…

    Let’s not let catchers use those hockey goalie type of masks. Those weren’t designed for baseball. Catchers should use the original kind- that’s the way it’s always been…

    Let’s not allow batters to use ankle guards or ear guards or elbow guards, or batting gloves. Did Babe Ruth use a batting glove?… no he didn’t, they aren’t part of baseball, never have been…

    And umpires should go back to those big bulky chest protectors they had in the 60′s, because that’s the way the sport was meant to be…

    Now, let’s talk about dugouts. They should not have those screens which protect the players from foul balls. Ahh, what a game it is when the catcher dives into the opponent’s dugout to catch a foul ball to end the game! No dugout screens! Because that’s the way the game has always been.

    Let’s not have rules against bean-balls. Let’s not have umpire warnings to the whole team. After all, bean-balls are part of the game, always have been…

    For that matter, we shouldn’t have any rules against performance enhancing drugs. There never have been such rules. We have no idea if players in the 20′s, 30′s, 40′s, 50′s, 60′s ever used any kind of substances. That’s the way the game has always been. We shouldn’t change it now…

    Now, about technology. Forget it! There should be a rule against it. No computers in the locker room or Manager’s or GM’s office. No computers for scouts either. Did Casey Stengel use one? Or Leo Durocher? What about Billy Martin? We should go back to Hits, HRs, Avg and SBs. Forget OBA and OPS and OPS+… Forget BABIP and RC and all those other advanced stats. Baseball was never played that way when I was growing up…

    Well, you get the picture.

    How many incorrect calls were there during the 2009 Playoffs and World Series? Just in the Yankees games there were 10 or more. It makes a bit of a mockery of the game when all of the viewers can see the errors, yet one team is seriously harmed by the bad call. The integrity of the game is damaged. Baseball should use replays, BUT should do it in a way that minimizes disruption to the game. Put some smart baseball minds together with some smart technology minds and let them figure it out.

    Then there is the errors that occur in the calling of balls and strikes. If Roger Clemens or Randy Johnson (avoiding any comment about current pitchers) always got the benefit of the doubt, while “lesser” pitchers did not, what does that say about the game?

    Yes, I am FOR increased use of technology in assisting the umpires. But there are a lot of possibilities, I certainly do not want Instant Replay that causes a 5+ minute delay like they have in the NFL, but the technology is there, and the game looks foolish when we see mistaken call after mistaken call. Let’s not reject it out of hand.. because of tradition or history. Let’s find a way to make the game better, like they have done in tennis using the HawkEye or Cyclops System for in/out calls.

    Come one!! It’s the 21st century. Technology marches on, and baseball should too. Let’s applaud the players for their great plays. And let’s reward them for their success when the replay shows they succeeded.

  96. RayVT February 2nd, 2010 at 12:10 pm

    raymagnetic
    February 2nd, 2010 at 11:54 am

    While many MLB players played in a mostly white era in the US, most of these players competed worldwide during the winter months on teams mixed racially. My uncle who pitched for the Cardinals in the 50′s played in Brazil, Venezuela, Cuba, Mexico and other countries. Quite a few of these guys played there and were paid better to do so. (Remember pay wasn’t so great back then so most players had other jobs.) These guys competed against the worlds best. The results were still terrific. IMO, todays leagues are watered down by a glut of teams and pitching shortages.

    In the international winter leagues, blacks, whites, hispanics, all played together. Also today, football and basketball, & non-sporting jobs grab a lot of talented atheletes that could have been great MLB players as well.

  97. Sam Borden February 2nd, 2010 at 12:13 pm

    New Post on the most memorable plays of Jeter’s career (and my reaction to the morning guest post)

  98. Sam Borden February 2nd, 2010 at 12:16 pm

    Sports Geek: Just saw your comment and, in many ways, I agree with you. I’d love it if the discussions on the posts continued ad nauseum — however, I think that I (and Chad) try to do what the majority of folks on here want us to do and both of us have had numerous requests from people to alert commenters when a new post is put up. So, that’s why I do it (when I can). We’re working on some new technological updates to the blog that may help with this problem — check back later on today for more on that.

  99. Nick in SF in NC February 2nd, 2010 at 12:16 pm

    I see you’ve given this topic a lot of thought, Sports Geek.

    I’ll reply in the new post. :arrow:

  100. Bob February 2nd, 2010 at 12:23 pm

    I love Mariano Rivera, but during his era, closers most often come in to start an inning, and often with a 2 or 3 run lead. I would not call that “one chance to get a save”. When Sparky Lyle was at his peak with Ralph Houk as manager, he often came into the game in the 7th or 8th inning with runners in scoring position…now that is “one chance to get a save”….and more often than not, Lyle retired the side without giving up a run!

  101. SJ44 February 2nd, 2010 at 12:29 pm

    Rivera rarely comes into post-season games with 2 or 3 run leads. For most of his career, he rarely pitches in games with 3 run leads unless he needs work.

    He also has more 6+ inning post-season saves than anyone in history.

    He’s anything but a “one inning guy” in the post-season.

    He has also had more sustained success as a closer than anybody else in history.

    He hasn’t had a single bad year since 1996. No closer, and very few players, can say that.

  102. GreenBeret7 February 2nd, 2010 at 12:35 pm

    SJ44
    February 2nd, 2010 at 12:29 pm
    Rivera rarely comes into post-season games with 2 or 3 run leads. For most of his career, he rarely pitches in games with 3 run leads unless he needs work.

    He also has more 6+ inning post-season saves than anyone in history.

    ————————————————————

    I’m hardly anyone to correct somebody on typos, SJ, but, did you mean 6+ outs instead of innings? I agree that Rivera has been one of the three largest PS factors for Yankee success since 1996.

  103. SJ44 February 2nd, 2010 at 12:37 pm

    GB,

    Yes, I meant 6+ out saves. Sorry for the typo.

  104. GreenBeret7 February 2nd, 2010 at 12:40 pm

    SJ44
    February 2nd, 2010 at 12:37 pm
    GB,

    Yes, I meant 6+ out saves. Sorry for the typo.

    ————————————————————-

    I just can’t see how you people have so many typos. I myself am always so careful and almost perfect. My imperfections come from Randy being such a bad golfer and always bragging about how good he is.

  105. trisha - OPPC forever - (new lucky picture from last day at the old Stadium) BRING ON THE GHOSTS! February 2nd, 2010 at 1:02 pm

    SportsGeek, I too have an aversion to the “new post” and jumping like salmon upstream. It drives me crazy.

    I am going to double post because I’m late to this dance but want to say something else that drives me crazy. People are not “stupid”, “dumb”, “morons”, or any other depracating word when they happen to disagree with a premise or come up with one that someone else may not accept as valid. If you’re someone who uses these words on others because you don’t agree with their premise or they don’t agree with yours, please stop. It takes down the level of civility on the forum, a level that has gotten quite high since Sam, Chad, and Josh have taken over.

    Thank you.

  106. Wait till we do it all over Again February 2nd, 2010 at 1:06 pm

    Dude, this is just flat out wrong. Derek Jeter is not even close to any of these players. Ithought the first line was a joke, it was THAT ridiculous. Ruth was on so high a level that no player, living or dead, has ever come close except Bonds, and nobody knows how close he would have gotten w/o steroids. And even taking Bonds into account, Ruth was more dominant.

    Jeter? Best SS in Yankee history. Second best SS of all time.

    In the same breath as Ruth, Dimmaggio, Mantle? Not even remotely close. They were in another league.

  107. Sports Geek February 2nd, 2010 at 1:11 pm

    Sam- thanks for your response to my comment. If I might suggest, perhaps you could point out a new post, while also encuraging readers to continue reading and posting on the current post, like,
    “There’s a new post up on so-and-so. But also, readers are encouraged to continue reading and posting here, if they are interested in this current topic on whatever-whatever.”

    Nick in SF in NC- 1) when I began writing my comment, it was in the most current post, 2) I have been working on a post related to Jeter and the “Best Yankees of all time”, but it’s not ready to post yet. I will post it in this thread and not elsewhere.

  108. Wait till we do it all over Again February 2nd, 2010 at 1:38 pm

    SportsGeek=-I agree absolutely 100% with everything you posted.

  109. Sports Geek February 2nd, 2010 at 1:38 pm

    I enjoyed this post, and I love Jeter- he IS one of the best Yankees of all time. but he is not THE BEST. I do think he is in the top 10 or even top 6 of All-time Yankees. I do agree with many of the posters and their rankings.

    I would like to find some way to make a reasonable comparison between batters and pitchers. Perhaps “Plays Affected”, a new stat I just invented, which = “At Bats + Fielding Chances” for field players, and “Batters Faced + Fielding Chances” for pitchers. A more “sophisticated analysis” might consider the “number of games impacted”, or “number of key plays executed”, or the “Win Chance Added” for each player, but that would be a tough analysis to execute unless you already had worked with all of the detailed data involved.

    But, it might be an interesting way to provide some way to compare batters and pitchers.

    Here is an interesting comparison of plays affected for 4 “All-time Great Yankees” and one other player who was a Yankee for a few years.

    Jeter- 18534 plays affected (=9809 Plate Attempts + 8725 Fielding Chances)
    Clemens-21160 plays affected (=20240 Batters Faced + 920 Fielding Chances)
    Ruth- 21157 plays affected (=10616 Plate Attempts 5535 Fielding Chances + 5006 Batters Faced)
    W.Ford- 13872 plays affected (=13036 Batters Faced + 836 Fielding Chances)
    Rivera- 4675 plays affected (=4352 Batters Faced + 323 Fielding Chances)
    Note- if you multipled each “play affected” by some “significance value” for the relative importance of each play, Rivera’s “Significant Plays Affected” would be much closer to the figures for the other slited here.

    Thoughts?

  110. Vermilion February 2nd, 2010 at 2:21 pm

    This is one of those arguments I find silly. Not the argument it’s self but the fact it’s unsinkable. No person can stand and truly say the great players now are better then the great players of another time period. Simply because of how much the game has changed. What if Gehrig had all the technology that’s available today? A batter today can step into a batters box against a pitcher he’s never even heard of before and know what he throws, when he throws it and what speed he throws it at. Then after his at-bat, he can go watch film and see what went wrong. Not to even mention the fact players today see baseball as a business. In Gehrig’s day they didn’t spend the off-seasons training and studying to see what they could do better the next season. No, they went and got winter jobs for the duration of their off-seasons.

    For of the argument, I’m not even sure you can justify Jeter as the greatest player on the Yankees as of this moment. Arod is approaching some of baseballs most covetousness records but most of Mariano Rivera’s sheer dominances as he moves into his 40’s. All and all there is no denying Jeter’s popularity, talents, achievements, presence in the media, and what he means to baseball as a whole.

    P.S. – How does Yogi Berra and his fifteen allstars, 3 MVPs, and his 10 championships. The guy never finished less then fourth in MVP voting from 50 to 57! To make this even more stunning he did it from the catchers position. Besides the numbers this is what makes Mauer stand out so much. This is what makes Jesus Montero such a valuable prospect. Are there big bats out there? Yes, but how many of those come from behind the plate? We’re all excited to see Montero in the big leagues but I’m willing to wait another couple years if it means he’s able to do it as a catcher and not a first baseman or DH. Remember he could be a legitimate replacement for another Yankees great in Jorge Posada.

  111. Vermilion February 2nd, 2010 at 2:27 pm

    Ugh I typed that to fast and had some typo’s. I meant to ask how does Yogi not even get mentioned. Also left out the all in “but most of Mariano Rivera’s sheer” but oh well. You get the point.

  112. ortforshort February 2nd, 2010 at 2:40 pm

    In one aspect, Derek’s the greatest player of all time – class. He’s also the unquestioned leader and face of the Yankees in one of their most productive eras. Unfortunately, as talented as Derek is, he’s just not the hitter that Ruth, Gehrig, DiMaggio and Mantle were. He’s fifth. Not bad when you’re behind those guys.

  113. Stan February 2nd, 2010 at 3:37 pm

    This post may well be the nadir of all baseball analysis. Ever. I find it unlikely that anyone will make a more absurd claim.

  114. pete February 2nd, 2010 at 4:13 pm

    Sorry, but derek isn’t even the best, 2nd best, or even 3rd best player on his own team right now. Would he be the all-time SS for the yankees? of course. Is he the greatest yankee of all time? not even close

  115. Mr. Faded Glory February 2nd, 2010 at 4:29 pm

    “Derek Jeter is the best Yankee that ever lived.”

    I really thought that was a joke when I first read it.

    Is Jeter often considered the best player in the history of the game? No. (Ruth is. Mantle is.)

    Was Jeter ever arguably the best player in the game at one time? No. (DiMaggio was. Mattingly was.)

    Poor Jeter having to deal with paparazzi! The media treats him better than almost any other athlete. Look at A-Rod, if the guy goes sunbathing with his kid itturns into front page news.

    I can’t believe how ridiculous this post is. I’m almost ashamed it’s included on Lohud.

    This is new fan revisionist history.

  116. max February 2nd, 2010 at 4:51 pm

    let’s just get right to the point:

    this is a very respectable blog and the idea of guest posts is a very nice one, but this post is absolutely ridiculous. this is not even an argument, the authors of this post are either uneducated on the subject or are not intelligent. smart money is on the latter.

    this post gives yankee fans a bad name and makes us all seem delusional

  117. Anthony February 2nd, 2010 at 5:15 pm

    Any discussion of who was the best baseball player in a certain category of baseball players that includes Babe Ruth has the wrong outcome if anyone but Ruth is chosen. Obviously, every time period is different, but no one has ever dominated the sport the way Ruth did. All we can do is compare to people’s peers and Jeter, while one of the best players of his generation and in Yankee history, is not better than Ruth. And to put him above Gehrig, Dimaggio, and Mantle… well, that’s pretty tough to do, too. I really don’t know that I would choose him over Yogi Berra, either, who surprisingly didn’t even get a mention in this piece.

  118. saucY February 2nd, 2010 at 5:21 pm

    hey, it’s an opinion. and opinions are the only things that will come into play when you attempt to compare players from much different generations…

    you can very well make a convincing case that the level of competition and general knowledge of the game is at an all time high.

  119. Bob February 2nd, 2010 at 5:28 pm

    This was a totally nonsensical post, so far behind in quality than anything to date, and totally irrelevant as well. Who cares?? No one should.

  120. Chris Kaftan February 2nd, 2010 at 6:50 pm

    There was no doubt when my brother brought up the blog post topic to me weeks ago that we knew we’d be called all names under the sun. It IS a controversial issue.

    What I like to read here is the discussion and the rankings. What I don’t like to read is “this was a stupid post.” C’mon, all people who read this blog should participate in constructive dialogue. Calling us stupid or ignorant won’t help the cause. There were several good comments, and several morons too.

    Jeter — and all of the previous Yankees — will always be dissected as to which was the best ever. People make arguments for Ruth, DiMaggio, Mantle, and Gehrig. They all have their intangibles.

    Trevor and I made our discussion based on today’s numbers — the Steroids Era, the era of mass media and instant gratification on the Internet, and his ability to lead a team that is owned by one of the most compulsive owners in all of professional sports.

    But, thanks to all of you who left constructive comments.

    See you in the Yankee blogosphere!

    -ck

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  122. MattNC February 2nd, 2010 at 7:12 pm

    Wins above replacement in a Yankee uniform:

    Babe Ruth 149.5
    Derek Jeter 68.7

    And Jeter is my favorite current player.

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    Gehrig 118.3
    DiMaggio 83.4

  123. CT February 2nd, 2010 at 8:33 pm

    Chris,

    This is ballsy, but even as a non-yankee fan, no way would I rate Jeter as the #1 yankee ever.

    That belongs to George Herman Ruth, no ifs, ands, or buts. If it weren’t for the Babe, there would be no 27 rings. You all should worship his grave as the greatest Yankee ever.

    =)

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  125. Brian February 3rd, 2010 at 8:06 am

    jeter is not the #1 yankee ever. I know that comparing players across decades is considered “hard” but when you adjust for league, park, and time period factors the two best players of all time (statistically speaking, PED allegations aside) are Barry Bonds and Babe Ruth, and its very close. And jeter has never had gaudy statistics. He’s a great player, and is probably top 5, but not the best.

  126. roundbaout February 3rd, 2010 at 4:45 pm

    Chris:
    Re “Jeter — and all of the previous Yankees — will always be dissected as to which was the best ever. People make arguments for Ruth, DiMaggio, Mantle, and Gehrig. They all have their intangibles.”

    There is no statistic that shows Jeter is the best Yankee ever or near so. He lacks power, doubles, rbis, oba to compare to the big four and Yogi. Yes, even Reggie Jackson and A-Rod. Jeter makes the top 10.. But Jeter is a SINGLES HITTER, a table setter who with a flair for the big play and moment.
    Look at the power numbers…Jeter couldn’t shine the spikes of the big four and Berra..
    It’s a ridiculous premise and not supported by facts.

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