Derek Jeter is having a great year. Especially for a 38 year-old. But the thing about elite, Hall of Fame talents is that they often have great years late in their career. That’s sort of part of being an elite, Hall of Fame talent.
But Skip Bayless thinks it is incumbent upon us to be suspicious of Jeter. He thinks we’d be “remiss” not to ask if he’s taking PEDs:
Bayless engaged in a heated debate in which he quoted BALCO founder Victor Conte as saying synthetic testosterone use is “rampant” in the majors today. He then asked, “If you are Derek Jeter, would you think about using HGH right now?” Bayless backed off accusing Jeter of any wrongdoing.
“I am not saying he uses a thing,” Bayless said. “I have no idea. But within the confines of his sport, it is fair for all of us, in fact you are remiss, if you don’t at least think about this.”
No Skip, you are not. You are, however, a classless muckraking jerk for making such a weasely insinuation designed to use Jeter’s fame and a volatile subject to bolster your “he’ll say anything!” brand and get people to watch your dumbass show.
What say you Jetes?
Jeter said he hadn’t viewed “First Take,” nor had he heard about Bayless’ statements.
Good plan. And Jeter didn’t ask me, but if he did, I’d tell him he should just watch “The Lights” on the NBC Sports Network in the morning. No Bayless or Smith. Just 20 minute loops of all of last night’s highlights repeating all morning. We’ll only report on Jeter taking steroids on “The Lights” if he does it in the middle of a game!
Mike Trout may not win another MVP award, because Josh Donaldson of the Blue Jays had a great season and voters seem to be leaning his way, but the Angels center fielder just completed his fourth MVP-caliber campaign in four full seasons as a major leaguer.
Trout has now either won the MVP or (presumably) finished runner-up at age 20, age 21, age 22, and age 23. And there were certainly cases to be made that he was deserving of all four MVP awards. It’s been an incredible start to a career. But how incredible?
Here are the all-time leaders in Wins Above Replacement through age 23:
37.6 – Mike Trout
36.0 – Ty Cobb
34.2 – Ted Williams
31.4 – Mel Ott
30.1 – Ken Griffey Jr.
29.7 – Mickey Mantle
27.7 – Alex Rodriguez
27.5 – Al Kaline
26.7 – Arky Vaughan
26.5 – Rogers Hornsby
I mean, just look at the 10 names on that list. Ridiculous, and Trout sits atop all of them.
Trout has been the subject of intense MVP-related debates in three of his four seasons, but regardless of which side of that coin you favor don’t let it obscure the fact that we’re witnessing something truly special here. There’s certainly room to quibble with the exact rankings–WAR is merely one prominent and easy way to do such things–but however you slice it Trout has been one of the best handful of players in the history of baseball through age 23.
Last week impending free agent Chris Davis expressed frustration that the Orioles had not approached him about a contract extension during the season, pointing out that the team had previously locked up other players like J.J. Hardy and Adam Jones mid-season.
Now that the season is over and Davis had another monster year Orioles executive vice president Dan Duquette told Eduardo Encina of the Baltimore Sun that re-signing Davis is “a top priority” and added:
He’s had a great year and he’s been a great player for us, so obviously, we’d like to have him back. Whether we can do that in the market, that remains to be seen, but we’re going to try.
Davis is 29 years old, has some defensive versatility, and has led the league in homers in two of the past three seasons while posting an .891 OPS during that time. He’s going to get plenty of huge multi-year offers and based on some of Duquette’s other quotes within Encina’s article it sure sounds like the Orioles are preparing for life without him.