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Pregame notes: “That’s good company right there”

Posted By Chad Jennings On May 31, 2011 @ 8:59 pm In Notes | 135 Comments

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The reactions were probably exactly as you might expect. Alex Rodriguez shrugged, Joba Chamberlain laughed and Derek Jeter really didn’t want to talk about it.

Today, Sports Illustrated released the results of a player poll that ranked the most overrated players in baseball. Rodriguez was first, Chamberlain second and Jeter third.

“That’s good company right there,” Chamberlain said.

Those three have led the overrated poll each of the past three years. Chamberlain was No. 1 last year and Jeter was No. 1 in 2009, the year he went on to finish third in the MVP voting.

“I’ve been on this list many, many times, and I’m sure I’ll be there again next summer,” Rodriguez said. “I will say this: If this is the only thing we’re talking about, we’re doing good.”

I have a hard time getting too worked up about something like this. It’s fun to talk about, but it’s also impossible to say whether players took the word overrated to mean overpaid, overhyped or overly famous. It’s also hard to know how much money and jealously play into something like this. A player in New York, with the Yankees, is naturally going to get more exposure than a player in Milwaukee playing for the Brewers. Does that makes Yankees more susceptible to being overrated? If a player is overrated, doesn’t that say more about the person doing the rating than the player himself?

“I guess I’m disappointed that I’m not No. 1,” Chamberlain said. “I’ve still got a job, so I’m doing something right.”

Jeter said he didn’t vote: “I’m more focused on more positive things,” he said.

[3]• If you’re curious, Jayson Werth was fourth and Jonathan Papelbon fifth in the SI poll. The magazine noted that Nick Swisher just missed the top five. He got 4 percent of the vote.

• Girardi said he put Russell Martin’s name in the lineup before he had a chance to check with him. Martin will do what he did yesterday, go through stretch and drills to make sure his toe is up to playing.

• Lately, Girardi has been starting Eduardo Nunez against left-handers and using either Jeter or Rodriguez at DH. Today, he decided to DH Andruw Jones and could take advantage of Brett Gardner’s defense in this spacious outfield. “You’re playing in a big outfield and Gardy has hit lefties,” Girardi said. “I just felt, it’s a good day for Gardy to play.”

• What day is good for Rodriguez to get a DH day? “Tomorrow would be a great one,” Girardi said.

• Girardi went further than before in admitting that his DH spot has become a platoon. “You could look at it that way,” Girardi said. “Jorge hasn’t had success right-handed this year, but he’s had success in the past. It’s just kind of worked out that way.”

• Before the game, Phil Hughes did long toss with Ivan Nova. Hughes will throw a bullpen tomorrow.

• Girardi’s scouting report on Brett Anderson: “Outstanding breaking ball. And he’s going to throw it for a strike, and he’s going to try to back foot the right-handers, and you’ve got to try to lay off it. The young man’s got very good stuff. When you face these guys, they know how to expand the zone, and that’s where you have to try to lay off them.”

• Left-handers have a higher batting average than right-handers against Anderson this year, but Anderson has yet to give up an extra-base hit to a lefty this season. “Lefties don’t hit him for power,” Girardi said. “They definitely don’t. And righties, I think, have only hit four homers off him this year, so it’s not a guy that gives up a lot of homers, but the extra-base hits come off of righties.”

ATHLETICS
Coco Crisp CF
David DeJesus RF
Conor Jackson 1B
Josh Willingham DH
Ryan Sweeney LF
Kurt Suzuki C
Mark Ellis 2B
Kevin Kouzmanoff 3B
Andy LaRoche SS

Associated Press photos

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