Last Sunday, there was an article in the New York Post about that Penn study of MLB shortstops that said that Derek Jeter was the worst defensive shortstop in baseball. Well, you knew that would bring in the letters from those enraged Yankee fans. Well, the Post had a few today, and one of them caught my eye, so I thought I'd reply to it here.
For your perusal:
Jeter has won multiple Gold Gloves, Rookie of the Year honors, All-Star and World Series MVP designations and he has four World Series rings.
I do not remember Alex Rodriguez diving into the crowd for a foul ball, but was watching as Jeter did.
I also do not recall Clint Barnes or Jason Bartlett holding the record for hits in the post-season or wearing the captain's "C" for the most famous sports franchise in the world.
No matter where you go in the world, you always get a handful of jerks. It just seems they all converged on this one pathetic study.
Before I get going on the Jeter part of this goofy letter, let's get one thing straight here, Mr. Brennan. The New York Yankees are NOT the most famous sports franchise in the world. The Boston Red Sox are not, either. No American sports franchise is the most popular franchise in the world. That honor goes to Manchester United of the English Premier League, the most popular sports league in the world. They are a soccer team. You have heard of soccer, right?
Once again, I'm hearing about how the Yankees are the most popular/famous/renowned team in all the world. This has been coming out of the YES Network/Evil Empire Propaganda Machine for years, and it simply is NOT true. It seems like a lot of their fans buy into this palaver as well. Soccer is the biggest sport in the world, and no other sport comes even close, and that includes baseball. Soccer is the national sport in nearly 200 countries, whereas baseball is in about 6 countries. (I can think of the U.S., Venezuela, Taiwan, Japan, Cuba and the Dominican Republic.)
Manchester United's popularity is beyond staggering. Their matches are seen on every continent, either live or on tape, every week. (Can the Yankees, or any other sports team here make that claim?) They have fan clubs in many nations. Only Real Madrid, Spain's most popular soccer team, is higher in overall monetary value among world sports franchises. United's more popular than the Yankees and Red Sox combined.
And it pains me as a Liverpool fan to say all this, but it is true. I'm just tired of hearing this crap from these Yankee fans who think the whole world is in love with their team, and because they've won the most World Series, they are the biggest thing in sports around the world.
I love baseball, and it will always be my favorite sport. I am also a soccer fan, and nothing will ever reach soccer on a worldwide basis. People around the world may have heard of the Yankees or Red Sox, but for most people of Africa, South America, Asia and Europe, soccer is their burning passion, not some club with the largest payroll of any sports team in America that hasn't won a World Series in seven years.
Now, to Jeter. Mr. Brennan, the article was about Jeter's defense and range, not about his offense, the awards he's won or championships he's been a part of. (Being on four title teams doesn't make him the best SS in baseball necessarily.) The Gold Gloves don't mean anything, as it is a popularity award NOT based on statistics, and is little more than a joke. Clint Barmes (not Barnes as you wrote, get your facts straight) is the best on his range and defense, and it doesn't matter if he's never been on a championship team, worn the captain's initial, or has never "dived into a crowd for a ball." (By the way, Jeter caught that ball in 2004 against the Red Sox BEFORE he went into the stands, and his momentum took him into the seats. The catch Pokey Reese made earlier in that game was far tougher, as he had to REACH into the stands among Yankee fans to grab it. Pokey's catch was far better. Check it out the next time YES shows that game on "Yankee Classics.")
This was a study that tells it like it is, not a "pathetic" one as you say. It was a four-year study based on every ball put in play over that time. It proved that Jeter had the worst range of any SS in baseball. (If you watched baseball at all closely, you'd know that.) Jeter's a terrific offensive player who will probably go to the Hall of Fame one day. But he is totally overrated as a shortstop. I guess you just can't accept that your best shortstop is playing third base.