Friday, July 18, 2008

Derek Jeter Isn't Overrated.

Derek JeterSports Illustrated asked 495 Major League Baseball players "Who is the most overrated player in baseball?". Derek Jeter came out on top. This is an ongoing debate.

The problem is context (as usual). They should have defined the term "overrated". If you're measuring his impact on the team's ability to win multiple championships, he's undeniably NOT overrated. If you're a Bill James follower and believe the statistics tell a deeper story, then he's CERTAINLY overrated.

But there's another factor here. Many naysayers can't make sense of the amount of adulation Derek Jeter receives. There's an outpouring of affection from Yankee fans. There's even a lot of respect from Mets and Red Sox fans. And I don't think it's simply because of the fact that these people are exposed to him more than the rest of the country. I think the understood, but un-said element here is that he's able to consistently perform at a high level, in championship situations in New York City.

Many of the stories from the recent All-Star game talk about players' awe of the historic ball park. Again, it's context. Many of these people are judging outside of the fuller context. How can you honestly call a player who performs in that same awe-inspiring venue, in the most pressure-packed city in the world "overrated". The answer is you can't.

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Photo courtesy of me.
And here are more Yankee photos from yours truly.
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