Tag: Derek Jeter

Jeter hat tip

Derek Jeter: future part-owner of the Marlins?


This is all kinds of fun.

Just a tour, right? Dude lives in Florida and wanted to check the place out. Buster, however, speculates more:

Jeter, whose home is in Florida, has never made a secret of his desire to buy into a team someday, and perhaps he’s looking into the possibility of owning a share. Additionally, Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria has always been enamored of the Yankees.

Could you imagine Derek Jeter aligning his baseball interests with Jeff Loria? His business interests, perhaps. His art interests, maybe. But if Derek Jeter knows anything he knows about image and branding and the idea that a huge, huge part of his legacy is owed to the association with the Yankees, which is in turn associated with class and winning and all of that.

Which isn’t to say that Jeter would never become involved with another team. To the contrary, there are a lot of teams which have winning legacies and class and and all of that. But I have a really, really hard time seeing him associate himself with a Jeff Loria-owned Marlins team. Because that’s about as anti-Jeter as it comes.

Happy 100th Birthday to Joe DiMaggio. An overrated all-time great.

Joe DiMaggio

Joe DiMaggio was born 100 years ago today. On the occasion, John Harper of the Daily News talks with baseball historian John Thorn about the Yankee Clipper’s legacy. One that, in Thorn’s view, is a bit greater than the actual baseball merits. Or, to put it like the headline puts it, one that is overrated:

“Baseball is our national religion,” said Thorn. “And belief in DiMaggio is a central tenet. I’m not pooh-poohing him. It’s just that he has been the subject of so much apotheosis — the elevation to the heavens — that it calls for analysis from Dr. Freud rather than Branch Rickey.”

This is undeniably true. DiMaggio was a great hitter, but he was nowhere near the hitter of his contemporary Ted Williams. He was a good center fielder, but he wasn’t even the best defensive center fielder in his own family, for pete’s sake. While one can make a good argument that DiMaggio was the best all-around player on the best team for a handful of years, to suggest — as baseball fans and writers openly suggested for years following his retirement — that DiMaggio was, at any time in his life, “Baseball’s Greatest Living Player” is more than a little crazy. Indeed, at no time in his life was DiMaggio anything close to that, mostly because Willie Mays outlived him and still lives today.

But I think Harper and Thorn get at why the tendency to overrate DiMaggio persists when they talk about how DiMaggio was perceived. And it makes a lot of sense.

Part of it was the hitting streak in 1941 which truly riveted the nation in ways that no baseball event had ever done in close to real time like that. That’s pretty key. Also key: DiMaggio’s Italian-American heritage, which today may not seem like a big deal but certainly was in the 1930s and 40s, giving a lot of people a hero and role model who never truly had one in baseball. Also, don’t sell short the fact that DiMaggio was the star of choice for the parents of Baby Boomers. We’ve seen how outsized a phenomenon can be if Boomers talk about it. You have to figure that also applies to things Boomers talk about their parents talking about, which easily extended DiMaggio’s legacy into the 60s, 70s and beyond.

But Thorn reminds us that, whatever we say about DiMaggio on the merits, that’s not everything when it comes to talking about baseball history:

“But when you put it all together, I think the myth counts. The story counts. It’s not just stats. The DiMaggio myth transcends history and you deny it at your peril. I admire his performance, I’m just letting a little air out of the balloon.”

I think the same can be said about the Derek Jeter coverage of the past few years too. It’s possible to let some air out of the balloon because, man, there’s a lot of air in it, but let’s not forget why there was air there in the first place. DiMaggio (and Jeter) were important to a lot of people. They were leaders of teams that won and the exploits of those teams are, for better or worse, put in their individual columns. Which is fine because most baseball fans don’t consume baseball like analysts do. They have the game as memories and memories often need symbolic placeholders like that.

Anyway, happy 100th Joltin’ Joe. Overrated? Sure. But undeniably great for reasons that transcend our rating of players.

Derek Jeter went golfing with President Obama

Derek Jeter AP

Derek Jeter is enjoying retirement just fine, thank you very much. The former Yankees shortstop and future Hall of Famer went golfing with the leader of the free world, President Barack Obama, earlier today according to Steve Holland of Reuters.

Jeter and Obama were joined at Shadow Creek Golf Club by Las Vegas Sun owner Brian Greenspun and businessman Stephen Cloobeck.

At the very least, Jeter can still say he hasn’t given up hitting white balls with sticks.

Derek Jeter’s replacement? Yankees “intrigued” by Rangers shortstop Elvis Andrus

Elvis Andrus

As the Yankees look for a Derek Jeter replacement Joel Sherman of the New York Post has an interesting name to consider, reporting that Rangers shortstop Elvis Andrus “has the Yankees intrigued.”

Of course, Andrus has an eight-year, $120 million contract that doesn’t even start until 2015.

Texas might be willing to trade him, however, because his performance has stagnated and they have potential replacements in Rougned Odor and Jurickson Profar.

The question would be whether Andrus’ market value has declined to the point that the Rangers would have to eat some of his contract to get a trade done or if he still has enough value to fetch a decent return along with the high salaries through 2022.

Andrus hit just .267 with six homers and a .653 OPS in 313 games during the past two seasons and both his defense and baserunning showed signs of decline this year at age 25. Do the Yankees want to be paying him $15 million per season through age 34?

Gold Glove finalists announced

gold glove award

Gold Glove award winners are announced November 4, but in the meantime Rawlings just named three finalists for each position in each league:

AL, catcher: Alex Avila, Yan Gomes, Salvador Perez
AL, first base: Eric Hosmer, Miguel Cabrera, Albert Pujols
AL, second base: Robinson Cano, Dustin Pedroia, Ian Kinsler
AL, third base: Josh Donaldson, Adrian Beltre, Kyle Seager
AL, shortstop: Alcides Escobar, J.J. Hardy, Alexei Ramirez
AL, left field: Alex Gordon, Michael Brantley, Yoenis Cespedes
AL, center field: Adam Jones, Adam Eaton, Jackie Bradley Jr.
AL, right field: Kole Calhoun, Kevin Kiermaier, Nick Markakis
AL, pitcher: Mark Buehrle, Felix Hernandez, Dallas Keuchel

NL, catcher: Jonathan Lucroy, Russell Martin, Yadier Molina
NL, first base: Adrian Gonzalez, Justin Morneau, Adam LaRoche
NL, second base: D.J. LeMahieu, Brandon Phillips, Chase Utley
NL, third base: Nolan Arenado, Juan Uribe, Pablo Sandoval
NL, shortstop: Zack Cozart, Adeiny Hechavarria, Andrelton Simmons
NL, left field: Justin Upton, Starling Marte, Christian Yelich
NL, center field: Billy Hamilton, Denard Span, Juan Lagares
NL, right field: Jason Heyward, Gerardo Parra, Giancarlo Stanton
NL, pitcher: Zack Greinke, Clayton Kershaw, Adam Wainwright

I stopped paying much attention to the Gold Glove awards a long time ago–somewhere between Rafael Palmeiro winning one as a designated hitter and Derek Jeter winning five as a shortstop–but feel free to complain about the finalists.