The fundamental difference between Team Jeter and Team Yankees people (note: I’m assuming these “teams” exist, because the media is obsessed with such things in today’s discourse) is perspective. Team Jeter seems to be looking backwards, at all of the things Jeter has accomplished and all that he means to the New York Yankees. Team Yankees looks forward and has trouble seeing how Jeter can possibly be worth $20 million a year at age 37 and later. Heck, even that $15 million seems steep.
Today Howard Megdal shows us why. He looks at the top five 37-year-old and older shortstops of all time, and wonders if Jeter has a chance to be worth his contract going forward. The short answer: don’t count on it. Of the top five, one is Honus Wagner who, as perhaps the greatest player of all time, should probably not form the basis of comparison. Three played, long long ago. The fifth is Mike Bordick, whose offensive production was low to begin with, making his “improvement” after age 37 a relative proposition at best.
I can’t see Jeter joining that group. Even if he does, I can’t see him transcending them. Hold the line Yankees. Stick with your $15 million offer. See what happens.*
*Yes, I realize they won’t do this, but a boy can dream.
The Dodgers are NL West champions for the fifth time in a row. They clinched with a 4-2 win over the Giants on Friday night, taking their first and only lead on a mammoth record-breaking home run from Cody Bellinger in the third inning.
Rich Hill turned in another quality start, going six innings with five hits, a run and nine strikeouts to keep the Giants at bay. He tacked on an RBI hit of his own, too, lashing a double to left field for his first extra-base hit since 2007.
The Giants, meanwhile, deployed Jeff Samardzija and his 4.42 ERA for 4 1/3 innings. Samardzija was on the hook for the Dodgers’ four-run spread in the third and took his 15th loss of the season. Pablo Sandoval came through with a solo home run in the ninth, but the rest of San Francisco’s offense wasn’t so lucky against Kenley Jansen, who struck out the side to clinch the game — and the division.
After Friday’s showstopper, the Dodgers are just two wins away from their first 100-win season since 1974. If they win the remaining eight games of the season, they’ll beat out the 1953 Brooklyn Dodgers for the most wins in franchise history.
Cody Bellinger helped the Dodgers to their first lead on Friday night, going deep for his 39th home run of the season and setting a new National League rookie home run record in the process. With two on and two out in the third inning, the Dodgers’ slugger launched a 2-1 pitch from the Giants’ Jeff Samardzija, skimming the right field fence to give the team a three-run cushion:
The three-run bomb was Bellinger’s sixth of the season. In what is undoubtedly a Rookie of the Year award-worthy campaign, he’s logged 21 solo shots, 11 two-run blasts and a single grand slam. His historic home run topped former NL rookie leaders Frank Robinson and Wally Berger, at 38 homers apiece.
The Dodgers need to stay on top of the Giants to clinch the NL West or, barring that, have the Marlins pull off a win over the Diamondbacks. They currently lead the Giants 4-1 in the bottom of the fifth inning. The Marlins, meanwhile, are staying just ahead of the D-backs with a 9-7 lead in the top of the sixth.