Derek Jeter is not an MVP candidate

This whole "overrating Jeter" thing isn't even funny anymore

9/13/12 in MLB   |   Pat   |   5233 respect

September 11, 2012; Boston, MA, USA; New York Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter (2) talks to a reporter prior to a game against the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-US PRESSWIREFor some reason, there's something about Derek Jeter that causes grown men to swoon and completely lose their minds.

Some even go so far as to claim that he's the best shortstop of all time, completely ignoring the fact that he's not even the best shortstop on his own team, and doesn't have even the smallest chance up against legends like Honus Wagner.

Perhaps there's something about longevity combined with a squeaky-clean reputation and a depraved NY media that ends up creating a monster that can't be controlled.

Now, despite the fact that Miguel Cabrera is a legitimate Triple Crown candidate and Mike Trout is putting together one of the greatest seasons of all time, some people feel the need to push Jeter into an MVP conversation in which he's completely outclassed in every way.

Here's a blind look at the 3 AL leaders in batting average:

Blog Photo - Derek Jeter is not an MVP candidate

Taking into account that the first guy on the list is an elite fielder at his position, and the other two are average at best, it's pretty clear who should be the MVP, right?

The top player, Mike Trout, should be the unanimous MVP at this point. If the Angels make the playoffs, I think he'll be a lock. Even if they don't, he would get my vote.

Even if you somehow decided that you couldn't vote for Trout, Miguel Cabrera would be a decent choice.  He's the second player on that list, and he's also a clear choice over Jeter.

Jeter's the third player, and as you can see, his numbers are dwarfed by Trout and Cabrera across the board.

Derek Jeter is having a nice year. For a player his age, it's commendable. But do we really have to bring him up in the MVP discussion when it's so obvious that he simply doesn't belong?

Richard Justice's MLB.com column in which he attempts to force Jeter into the conversation is nothing short of embarrassing.

Justice doesn't even try to feign objectivity. From the start, he reveals his fanboy nature, starting his column with "There can't be a conversation about the American League's Most Valuable Player Award without including Derek Jeter, and doesn't that make this whole season even better?"

Does that really make the season better? Does the performance of any one individual player REALLY make the entire season better or worse? Would baseball really be worse off if Jeter was struggling and another player was instead having a better-than-expected season?

It gets worse, too.

The case for Jeter is this:
• Doing his job at the top of the lineup spectacularly well.
• Playing nice defense.
• Winning.
• Leadership.
• Being at his best when the pressure is cranked up the most, which is pretty much every day of the year with the Yankees.

For starters... "his job at the top of the lineup" is just code for "he's a slap hitter who strings together a bunch of singles." While that's nice, it's nothing compared to what Trout has done this year. It's insulting to even pretend that the two are comparable.

June 23, 2012; New York, NY, USA; New York Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter (2) commits an error on a ground ball by New York Mets batter Scott Hairston (not pictured) during the second inning of a game at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-US PRESSWIRENice defense? That's a stretch for Jeter, who has never been much better than an average fielding shortstop, even in his best years.

Winning? Sure, thanks to a lineup loaded with future Hall of Famers. Every time someone credits Jeter with winning, an angel loses his wings. It's one of the most overused, inaccurate trends in sports.

Also, his leadership is at best overhyped. Where was his leadership when Jorge Posada was having his tantrum with management? Jeter's leadership is right on par with that of Jason Varitek, the Red Sox captain who silently went down with the ship last September when they fell apart.

We've never seen Jeter and the Yankees have to struggle through true adversity, thanks to their ability to amass the best team money can buy. How can we really praise his leadership when it has been so damn easy?

Also, the idea that every day is a pressure cooker in New York is simply mistaken. You're on the same field as your opponent, and it's hard to buy the argument that playing for a team in first place by 8 games is the most pressure-filled situation.

Now, the Yankees are struggling to hold off the Orioles for the division lead. Does that mean Jeter's leadership is failing, or that he's no longer truly a winner? No. It just means those things were overstated from the start.

Jeter's a damn good player, and he's having an excellent season. But if you're going to place him on your MVP ballot, there's no way to intelligently justify him being anywhere higher than around 10th. Trout, Cabrera, Josh Hamilton, and even Robinson Cano are all head and shoulders above him. Never mind guys like Adrian Beltre and Austin Jackson, or even pitchers like Justin Verlander and Chris Sale.

Next time you try to argue with someone who says Derek Jeter is overrated, keep all of this in mind.
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9/14/12   |   Pat   |   5233 respect

MortonsLaw wrote:
Yeah, you're right, so many other all-time greats had or will have close to 4,000 hits. About to be 8 years of 200 hits or more. I guess home runs and RBI is more important to you. He probably shouldn't even make the hall of fame. You're 100% correct in everything you say.

He has a long way to go before he's close to 4,000 hits. See what I mean, though? You're already giving him credit for something he hasn't actually accomplished. Reminds me of every single one of his gold gloves.

9/14/12   |   MortonsLaw   |   156 respect

Pat wrote:
I'd love to know exactly what I don't get. Everyone loves to talk about how great Jeter is, but no one has been able to quantify it. It's always intangibles, or leadership, but no actual real life examples. Feel free to explain.

Congrats on him being a pretty good leadoff hitter. That's really cool. But that's all he is. Not an MVP candidate, not an all-time great... just a pretty good player for a long time.

Yeah, you're right, so many other all-time greats had or will have close to 4,000 hits. About to be 8 years of 200 hits or more. I guess home runs and RBI is more important to you. He probably shouldn't even make the hall of fame. You're 100% correct in everything you say.

9/14/12   |   Pat   |   5233 respect

MortonsLaw wrote:
You don't get it and your hatred for Jeter and the Yankees is very obvious.

I'd love to know exactly what I don't get. Everyone loves to talk about how great Jeter is, but no one has been able to quantify it. It's always intangibles, or leadership, but no actual real life examples. Feel free to explain.

Congrats on him being a pretty good leadoff hitter. That's really cool. But that's all he is. Not an MVP candidate, not an all-time great... just a pretty good player for a long time.

9/14/12   |   MortonsLaw   |   156 respect

Pat wrote:
Bottom line: It's an insult to Mike Trout for Jeter's name to even be mentioned in the same conversation.

You don't get it and your hatred for Jeter and the Yankees is very obvious.

9/13/12   |   Pat   |   5233 respect

Bottom line: It's an insult to Mike Trout for Jeter's name to even be mentioned in the same conversation.

9/13/12   |   MortonsLaw   |   156 respect

It's most VALUABLE to his team, not best stats. You seem to be focused on just stats versus value. The Yankees have had several injuries and until the last month played incredible baseball. Go check Terry Pendelton's stats in 1991 when he won the MVP. The CY Young award is about best performance, the MVP isn't. The Tigers aren't in first place and neither are the Angels.

Yes, I know guys have won the award having all-time great seasons while being on bad teams, but for the most part the team's performance plays a part in winning the award.

Do I think Jeter should win the award? No. But for you to dismiss him based on numbers is mindless.

9/13/12   |   alexr190two   |   1 respect

This guy is a huge Red Sox fan. He undervalues millions of opinions by stating that being the captain of a team "loaded with future hall of famers" must be quiet easy. Not to mention staying on a team like that for 17 years. It's not embarrassing to include a guy leading the MLB in hits with 15 home runs and a .324 avg when considering possible MVP candidates. It also does make the season better. As much as you'd want to say that having a "squeaky clean rep" after this long in baseball doesn't separate you from the rest... it does. With players like Melky and Colon going down this season, when Jeter retires the amount of "trust" you can really have in this sport will most certainly hit bottom. That is what is a saving grace about having a 38 year old showing this sort of season. You're right, it doesn't make the season better, it makes the whole game better. The case you put down for Jeter sucks. It's like I'm looking at Sarah Palin trying to "fairly" state a liberal opinion. Jeter is not only a singles hitter like people have been saying. He's not Pete Rose. He has over 250 HRs in his career and only one season where he didn't hit over 10. His doubles are right up there with your "legitimate" MVP candidates too. If you want to complain about his defense then at least state the highly contested WAR... because other than that he doesn't have a lot of errors.

9/13/12   |   mcleodglen   |   32 respect

I guess people expect Jeter to outperform himself at all times..