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Imagine Jeter as a career Pirate, getting maybe 100 fewer PA per year and hovering around 2800 career hits. We're probably worried that he might not make the HOF.
and the clemens saga has proved only that the public and the media has already decided who is Good and who is EVULLL and no amount of anything is gonna change their minds.
Makes me wonder, in an alternate universe, what would have happened if A-Rod arrived in NY and then said "I'm a better hitter than Jeter, a better baserunner and a MUCH better fielding shortstop. I'm the new shortstop and he can move to 3B. Get used to it. If you aren't in favor of this, then you aren't trying to help the Yankees become a better team and you're not welcome here."
**A pretty good test of that would be their reaction to the time in 2004 when he dove into the stands against the Red Sox for that foul ball. After every announcer and every player chimed in on what a great play it was, an entire cottage industry sprung up around here to Oliver Stone it down to a misplayed routine popup, as if the point HAD TO BE MADE that it wasn't as good as everyone out there was saying it was. As if Jeter himself was somehow to blame because the judges awarded him a 9.8 instead of an 8.2 for his effort.
It wasn't some kind of abstract lament--Pokey Reese had made a catch of similar difficulty look easy earlier, because he could actually play a great shortstop, yet Jeter got all the plaudits for his defense because he fell into the stands after making the catch; and it wasn't even directed at Jeter so much as the media for their habit of inflating the perceived defensive value of players who make a play splashily because they couldn't get there in time to make it cleanly. The reaction had less to do with Yankee-Haters than with the anti-conventional wisdom thing that sometimes gets talked about around here.
But. as Walt notes, if Jeter plays elsewhere and loses 100 PAs per season, he's down to 2,800 hits.
I don't know that it's so clear that he'd lead off. Jeter really strikes me as ideally a #2 hitter: high average, sees a lot of pitches, a decent amount of power.
ARod's a baseball savant. Put him on a field with a bat, a glove, and a healthy body and he's a force of nature. Everything is easy and perfect for him without so much as trying hard.
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