Get over the interruption

by

The wonderful DJ
I’m no Yankee fan. I’m more of a Yankee hater, but I have to call it like I see it.

Derek Jeter is one of the least appreciated players in baseball. I know, I know he makes $18.6M this year alone in salary. But here’s my point. Considering the pressure of New York and the Yankee mystique, since 2003 he has been the quintessential captain of baseball’s most storied franchise. Jeter carries himself with an uncanny, down-to-earth demeanor. And don’t forget he has put up 10-year stats similar to the immortal Jackie Robinson with more runs, hits, homers and a better batting average. He led his team to World Series victories in ’98, ’99 and 2000. In these Fall Classics he never hit lower than .353, and was the MVP in 2000 hitting .405.

Say what you want about overrated defense. He is the total package. There’s not a better player out there. He makes the must-have play. He has that Jordanesque ability to create synergy, and he never, ever creates a problem for his team on or off the field. In the self-centered world of Barry Bonds, Sammy (the-most-over-rated-hitter-of-all-time) Sosa, Jeter provides the refreshing antithesis to the monster ego. And doesn’t exactly embarrass himself between the foul lines.

If he’s not the total package of baseball then whom?

Fearless College Football Predictions
1) Georgia will not finish in the ranking’s top 10
2) Texas will (finally) beat Oklahoma
3) Texas A&M will beat Texas
4) Mike Price’s UTEP Miners will flirt with an undefeated season after going 2-11 in ’03
5) BC will beat Florida State at Chestnut Hill
6) Iowa won’t live up to their hype
7) LSU will only lose one game all year … to Arizona State
8) This will be Joe Paterno’s last year
9) Matt Leinart will win the Heisman
10) USC will not win the national championship

Tell me what I missed.

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22 Responses to “Get over the interruption”

  1. Joe Longhorn Says:

    I’ll give Jeter his props. He performs well on the “big stage.” But that’s also one of his main flaws. He almost exclusively performs well on the “big stage.” It seems that he knows whether or not a game is nationally televised and steps up his game accordingly. I think he’s more like Robert Horry than Jordan. And by the way, does anyone actually know what “synergy” means anymore?

  2. Joe Longhorn Says:

    Who’s the total package? I’ll take Tejada over Jeter when it comes to baseball tools. Ichiro has to be in the discussion as well. Vlad Guerrero maybe. There are a lot of players that are great offensively and defensively. I don’t think we can hold Jeter up any higher than the rest.

    Oh… and before we play the “Jeter as team leader” angle, do you think Shef or A-Rod give a hoot about Jeter’s “leadership”?

  3. Joe Longhorn Says:

    1) Georgia will not finish in the ranking’s top 10

    I don’t know. If they win in Knoxville and the “cocktail party” against Florida in J’ville, the rest of the sked is pretty much cake with the tougher opponents (Auburn (big drop off this year), Ga Tech, and Arkansas) at home.

    2) Texas will (finally) beat Oklahoma

    Duh

    3) Texas A&M will beat Texas

    Horns play at Kyle. If they make it through Ohio State and OU (which I think they will), there is no way they let down for A&M.

    4) Mike Price’s UTEP Miners will flirt with an undefeated season after going 2-11 in ’03

    Interesting. Their two toughest games ( Marshall and UAB) are in El Paso. But I think they get caught sleeping early in the year and lose to Tulane in N’awlins.

    5) BC will beat Florida State at Chestnut Hill

    I like this call, but then I like any call that has FSU getting beat.

    6) Iowa won’t live up to their hype

    Good line, good receivers, great QB, iffy RBs. Not a good mix. Good LBs and DBs, no DL. Very bad mix. Iowa stumbles this year.

    7) LSU will only lose one game all year … to Arizona State

    LSU loses no games this year until they fall to Texas in the Rose Bowl.

    8) This will be Joe Paterno’s last year

    Only if he dies. PSU will have a decent year. Not up to past standards, but better than recent campaigns.

    9) Matt Leinart will win the Heisman

    He’ll have to beat Vince Young. Barring injury, VY will (literally) run away with it.

    10) USC will not win the national championship

    I’ll refer you back to my comments to 8 & 9.

    I’ll admit freely that I am a UT homer, but all signs point to this year being special.

    What did you miss?

    (1) Urban Meyer makes Florida a national force… immediately.

    (2) Bobby Bowden has his first losing season in almost 30 years. OK, maybe not that bad, but he definitely misses a bowl this year.

  4. DeJon Redd Says:

    Tejada over Jeter? I can’t call this ludicrous. Miggy is the AS starter, but considering the last 7 – 10 years, I think Jeter does rise above the rest.

    Dare to say any has been better than Jeter considering the field, plate and the clubhouse over the past decade?

    Tejada didn’t hit over .250 or hit more than 21 HRs until 2000.

  5. DeJon Redd Says:

    Synergy: (def): The interaction of two or more agents or forces so that their combined effect is greater than the sum of their individual effects.

  6. DeJon Redd Says:

    1) Uga won’t beat UT in Knoxville, and won’t recover

    2) You are a homer, Joe.

    3) I’ll stick buy A&M pulling the upset.

    4) I agree with Marshall and UAB as the big challenge, but I’m becoming a big Mike Price fan.

    5) My thought: BC over FSU won’t even be an upset.

    6) After Iowa’s (lucky) victory or LSU, my prediction is more a spiteful hope. (I’m a homer too)

    7) LSU always starts slow out the gate. Tennessee will be the litmus test, but I stand by ASU sneaking one by us.

    8) I’m just ready for JoePa to go away. Thanks for the memories.

    9) Vince Young’s Heisman hopes will be dashed by the Aggies.

    10) I chickened out a bit by not picking a Champ, and I’ll keep that way for now. I’ve made enough guesses in July!

    I thought about mentioning the Razorbacks, but I wasn’t sure if they were putting together a team since Matt Jones left.

  7. DeJon Redd Says:

    I’m not ready to bow to Urban Meyer yet. His hiring seem to be as the coach d’ jour. I suspect he may have gainesville begging the Ole’ Ball coach to return.

  8. Al Sturgeon Says:

    Football first:

    You forgot USC blasting Arkansas by 40 points, followed by a surprise Hog rout over Bama in Tuscaloosa the next week. Easy to forget, though, since the Hogs will probably go 6-5 this year (if they’re lucky, 7-4).

    You did, however, overlook Ohio State’s week 2 defeat of the Longhorns in Columbus. Mark it down.
    🙂

    Jeter:

    Okay, you make the good argument for Jeter being the “total package” – clubhouse, hitting, fielding – but I think most people’s total package argument gets weighted by championship rings, which I don’t necessarily buy.

    How important are rings to the total package? What do you guys think?

    In a team sport, I know that’s what you play for, but there are many other factors beyond one guy. You can only “lead” so far…

    Was Edgar Renteria more of a total package than Ernie Banks? Renteria is a clubhouse favorite, Gold Glove winner, solid hitter, won a ring, etc.

    Tony Parker a better floor leader than John Stockton?

    Kurt Warner a better total QB than Dan Marino?

    Jeter’s a great player & leader, but he’s played in NY with the top talent money can buy (players & coaches). Put him in Tampa Bay and see what kind of regular season & post-season numbers he puts up.

    So if we’re talking the greatest “individual” total package, I think rings could be considered, but with qualifications of who he was playing with…

    So if you factor in rings w/o qualifications, Jeter’s probably the total package.

    Take out rings, and I go with young Albert Pujols hands-down…

    (You probably could have guessed my Pujols bias, but I think the “rings” argument is a valid one to consider.)

  9. Joe Longhorn Says:

    Al,
    I started to add Pujols to my list of total players, but he has little to no impact with his D. That’s not his fault at all. 1B just isn’t a premiere defensive position. He doesn’t have much impact in the field. Jeter and Tejada close down gaps in the infield. Ichiro and Vlad give 3rd base coaches fits. Pujols, well, he just has to avoid making errors.

  10. Joe Longhorn Says:

    Al… I admit it. Columbus gives me pause. Gonna be a great game, but the Buckeyes owe us one after we knocked Michigan down a peg last year.

  11. Joe Longhorn Says:

    C’mon Deej. I didn’t call you a Homer for your LSU prediction!

    As for the UGA question… the Vols are going to be way down this year. Dawgs win there.

    I want to see Price succeed. I’d like to see it for him, and to see it stick in the craw of Bama officials. He got a raw deal from those folks.

  12. Joe Longhorn Says:

    Al,
    I’ll agree with you on the rings argument. By that measure, Robert Horry is on the same level as Michael Jordan. You make some good comparisons in your rings vs. no rings argument.

    But I’ll take a little issue with the argument about taking Jeter and putting him on the D-Rays. Isn’t this, in effect, what happened to Jordan on the Wizards? Does it diminish Jordan’s standing among NBA greats?

  13. Al Sturgeon Says:

    No, but it puts him in perspective. Jordan was supposedly the miracle worker, but turned out he wasn’t w/o Phil, Scottie, Horace, and a steady stream of 3-point marksmen when he was triple-teamed.

    I don’t think anybody is a miracle worker like that, but when we’re talking the value of an individual player in terms of leadership, we need to examine how he makes his team better than they would have been w/o him – not their final record.

  14. Whitney Says:

    I know almost nothing about the inner working of athletics except that I root for the Sooners, for the Astros, and against the Longhorns. 🙂

    (For the record, I do understand offense & defense in both football and baseball, so I’m very far ahead of the game in my little circle of friends.)

    Also, I don’t know what a homer is, but since it seemed to offend Joe based on its reference to his illogical belief that TX would beat OU, then I think it is a good word. (Tee hee hee).

    Of course, seeing as I know little to nothing about football and still think OU will win for a 6th straight year, does that make me a homer, too? (My grandpa’s name was Homer…someone help me out here.)

  15. DeJon Redd Says:

    I think its safe to say Whit is definitely an OU homer … ha.

    a.k.a. one who issues an opinion favorable of their home team and would never be swayed by facts or logic.

  16. whitney Says:

    Oh, that describes Joe AND Me perfectly. Luckily, we still can have fun in October (well, at least I do.) Thanks, Dej.

    P.S. Totally off the subject, will Ann be home soon?

  17. DeJon Redd Says:

    1 week, 6 days, 3 hours, 23 mins!

  18. DeJon Redd Says:

    Al, I gave some thought to how championships weight an athlete’s stature. I see two perspectives.

    1) The fan’s: As a fan, rings matter. As a Cubs fan I dare not say what I would do to have somebody (ANYBODY) lead us to a championship. RINGS MATTER!

    2) The general manager’s: I love the business of sports, baseball’s hotstove, salary caps collective bargaining. As a Fantasy GM (and trying to think like a real GM) I don’t care. I want them in the future not what some guy did 2 or 3 years ago with a cast that will never be assembled again. RINGS DON’T MATTER!

    If I’m building my team today Pujols and Tejada are priorities over Jeter.

    If I’m a fan reminiscining over recent years, Jeter gets the nod.

  19. Al Sturgeon Says:

    Excellent take on the matter, DeJon.

    I took the concept of “total package” as looking at it today – which is why I go with Pujols. Derek Lee is better outside of the clubhouse so far this season, but I was taking into account leadership + having proven yourself over “enough” time (whatever that means).

    Given the “reminiscing” approach, its Jeter – and this way I can agree with your “least appreciated” description.

  20. DeJon Redd Says:

    Al says: “Derek Lee is better outside of the clubhouse so far this season”

    I’m sorry, but that just sounds really good to me. Now if we could just work on the “W” column.

  21. Joe Longhorn Says:

    Ouch. Walk-off suicide squeeze in the bottom of the 11th. That had to hurt Deej. At least the Stros took ’em to the 13th last Friday.

    Is it me, or is this Astros season starting to look a lot like last year? Only 3.5 off the WC. 2 games up on the baby bears.

  22. DeJon Redd Says:

    Neifi Perez for President. Two outta three ain’t bad.

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