I have no words. Aaron’s analysis is here. Here are the winners:
C: Joe Mauer
1B: Mark Teixeira
2B: Robinson Cano
SS: Derek Freakin’ Jeter
OF: Ichiro Suzuki
OF: Carl Crawford
OF: Franklin Gutierrez
P: Mark Buehrle
I suppose good arguments can be made for and against most of those guys, but I don’t see how anyone can call Derek Jeter the best defensive shortstop in the American League. Even the heartiest Jeter backers have given up vouching his defense in recent years. This is an inertia award, voted on by people who care less about actually honoring good defense than in honoring tenure and popularity and, maybe, in defensively perpetuating the erroneous belief that we never grow old, our skills never erode and that we never will die.
The thinking: “Hey, if Derek Jeter is still pickin’ it like gold in his mid-to-late 30s, I must be in my salad days! [whistle whistle whistle . . .]”
We’ll have more analysis on this as the day goes on. I, for one, am going to get a stiff drink in the hopes of forgetting this ever happened.
Tim Tebow isn’t letting go of his major league dreams just yet. The former NFL quarterback is slated to appear with the Mets during spring training this year, extending what initially looked like an ill-fated career choice for at least one more season. Per the club’s official announcement on Friday, he’ll join a group of spring training invitees that includes top-30 prospects like Peter Alonso, P.J. Conlon, Patrick Mazeika and David Thompson.
Tebow, 30, hasn’t taken to professional baseball as gracefully as expected. He batted a cumulative .226/.309/.347 with eight home runs and a .656 OPS in 486 plate appearances for Single-A Columbia and High-A St. Lucie in 2017. While that wasn’t enough to compel the Mets to give the aging outfielder a big league tryout, there’s no denying that Tebow brought substantial benefit to their minor league affiliates — in the form of increased attendance figures and ticket sales, that is.
Even after the Mets were booted from the NL East race last September, they resisted the idea of promoting Tebow for a late-season attendance boost of their own. That’s not to say they’re planning on taking the same approach in 2018; Tebow will undoubtedly get his cup of coffee in the majors at some point, but for now, a Grapefruit League tryout is likely as close as he’ll ever get to playing with the team’s big league roster on an everyday basis.