Saturday, February 16, 2008

NY Post publishes study just to take one more shot at A-Rod

MTV's Making the Band: Menudo.

That picture has nothing to do with this post. I just found it funny.

Anyway, from the NY Post...


Allow me to get all Mose Schrute on this article for a moment.

How's this for junk science - even with three Gold Gloves, Yankees captain Derek Jeter has been labeled the worst fielding shortstop in baseball.

In other words, the Post thinks the study is crap, but it's a slow news day. And its not really about Jeter. There is a pay off, bare with us.

But the numbers prove it, researchers at the University of Pennsylvania said yesterday at a meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, in (of course) Boston.

The American Association for the Advancement of Science at UPENN had nothing better to do but rank MLB shortstops? They got that Cancer thing all figured out, and chemistry is for douches, so they want to move on to bigger and cooler problems. Hey, Congress can talk baseball, why can't labcoated nerds?

Using a complex statistical method, researchers concluded that Alex Rodriguez was one of the best shortstops in the game when he played for the Texas Rangers. When Rodriguez became a Yankee in 2004, he moved to third base while Jeter stayed at short.

You can see what's coming.

But that may have been a mistake, said Penn researcher Shane Jensen.

Wait for it.......

Researchers looked at every ball put in play from 2002 through 2005 and recorded where the shots went. Players were then ranked in each position from best to worst, with Mr. New York Baseball - Jeter - coming in dead last among major league shortstops during the research period. A-Rod, who won two Gold Gloves at short, was ranked No. 2

And there it is! Pitchers and catchers reported last week and the NY media needs to warm up too. Let the A-Rod/Jeter soap opera begin. Interesting data pool they are pulling from. 2002-2005. Three years. 1996-2001 when Jeter was probably at his statistical best but overshadowed by Omar Vizquel? They don't count for this study. Let's call them practice.

"The Yankees have one of the best defensive short stops playing out of position in deference to one of the worst defensive shortstops," said Jensen.

Oh and we are pretty sure the research showed A-Rod gave it to Jeter's mom in the brown-eye. And keyed his car after a home game against the Devil Rays. We can't be sure though.

But New Yorkers scoffed at the notion.

And on cue, here come the last people Yankee fans want speaking for them, or as I like to refer to them 'The Mike and the Mad Dog callers.'

"I don't know what they're smoking down at Penn," said Yankees fan Mike Birch, 32. "That's preposterous. I completely disagree. Jeter's a clutch player."

Never said he wasn't clutch, they said statistically Jeter wasn't...

"It's ridiculous," said fan Jay Ricker, 22. "Jeter is all-around awesome. He's better than A-Rod any day. Character has a lot to do with it. He's out there for his teammates, not just himself. He does it for the good of the team. That's the kind of guy you want on the field."

Wait I wasn't done...Ok fine. Know what is ridiculous? Using the term all-around awesome. Can someone be half awesome? Is that still a compliment? Oh and character, teammates, not for himself. Good qualities. Not researchable. The study was about fielding and ....nevermind. The New Yorker quotes go on and on....I'll paraphrase 'teammates, intangible, clutch hitting, bangs hot chicks, classy' and every other thing that makes Jeter so loved but have NOTHING to do with fielding.

My favorite quote goes to Frank Angelo who felt "Jeter's the captain, he was there before A-Rod," said Angelo.

Jeter was their first. Good enough reason for me.

But lets go over the top 3 according to the study. We know A-Rod was 2. Who was 1? Clint Barmes from Colorado. And number 3? Jason Bartlett of the Devil Rays. I'll take my chances with Jeter.

So did the Post really run this entire article to take some cheap shots at A-Rod and back the Captain? Could a major publication be that petty?

But as Yankee fan Brittnay Thompson, 32, said, it's about who's good in May, and who's good in October. "In big situations A-Rod drops the ball, no pun intended," said Thompson."

And scene.....


Anon said...

Wow. I'm a huge Yankee fan but those comments by "fans" disgust me. I know, it's gatekeeping, but it's still pretty cheap. I love Alex Rodriguez (we'll just say 'as a baseball player' for now) and he's hands-down the best (and only) 5-tool player the Yankees have seen in years. As for postseason? Yeah, his past 4 postseason series have been fair at best, but one player does not a series break. I also love Jeter. I think he's great. He's got the baseball sense, the talent, and the ever-so-elusive intangibles that make up a great player. But he's probably the second goat in the 2007 ALDS elimination, after Wang. He hit into three DPs and didn't even hit the Mendoza line. No, I don't think that Jeter should have HAD TO give Alex his position in 2004. He had earned it. But to imply that Alex is undeserving of defensive accolades over Jeter is simply ridiculous. A-Rod ranks up there with Ripken and Viszquel as one of the great defensive shortstops of his time. Again, both infielders rank as two of my favorite Yankees of all time. I've always been an A-Rod supporter and I probably always will be and, conversely, Jeter's my guy. I grew up watching him and he belongs to some of my favorite junior high and high school Yankee memories. There is no arguing that these two are huge talents--superstars--but to be blind to a player's faults because of some ignorant lines the media's been feeding you is pathetic, at best.

Fat Willard said...

Anon. I agree with you. I will always be a huge Jeter fan, but my problem is with this constant A-Rod bashing from the media and casual fan. First, A-Rod offered to play third just to come here. It wasn't like he got to NY and they said Jeter is the SS or Jeter beat him out at the position. So, that might be one of the biggest unselfish moves a player can make. And it's always the 'all about the money arguement.' So the other top 9 highest paid players, they are doing this for fun? It's not ABOUT the money but if someone throws a ridiculous amount of money at you are you going to say 'nah?' You'd be a jackass if you did.

A-Rod is hands down the best player in the game. You don't trade him or let him walk, because let's be honest, the Yankees would have been 20 games out last year if he didn't carry them in April-June.

Its never going to end unless they win a championship with him being a key part of the win.