Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Tidbits from the NY Post Sports page

A couple of interesting tidbits from the New York Post this morning:
  • George King notes the results of a Sports Illustrated poll of Major League players that comes up with the same thing I've been saying for years: Derek Jeter is the most overrated player in the game. Please note that that does not mean that he isn't a very good player, because he is. He's an excellent hitter for a shortstop, but he's possibly the worst defensive player playing regularly in the big leagues at that position. He gets a lot of credit for "intangibles" because he happened to come up at just the time that his team was ready to win the World Series 4 times in 5 years. He certainly was a part of that run, but not the biggest part. He's getting a lot of credit for his teammates' accomplishments.

    And then there's the whole myth of his "clutchness." When the Red Sox came back from 0-3 to beat the Yankees in the 2004 ALCS, Alex Rodriguez took enormous blame for the debacle. Jeter got to walk around and make veiled comments about his previous teammates and how they managed to get it done. But, other than part-time first baseman Tony Clark, no Yankee did less for the team in that series than Jeter.

    2004 ALCS - Yankee Offense

    Matsui, Hideki340.4120.4440.8241.268

    Lofton, Kenny100.30.4170.61.017

    Sheffield, Gary300.3330.4440.5330.978

    Rodriguez, Alex310.2580.3780.5160.895

    Sierra, Ruben210.3330.4170.4760.893

    Williams, Bernie360.3060.3060.5560.861

    Cairo, Miguel250.280.4060.40.806

    Posada, Jorge270.2590.4170.2960.713

    Olerud, John120.1670.2310.4170.647

    Jeter, Derek300.20.3160.2330.549

    Clark, Tony210.1430.1430.190.333

    And there was no talk about him at all! Arod choked, Sheffield choked, Matsui choked, but Jeter, he's still Captain Clutch, Mr. Intangibles. If everyone else had played only slightly better than he did, they've have been swept in four shutouts.

  • David Wells commented on Joe Torre's comments on the Boston response to Johnny Damon. Torre said, after Monday night's game, that "I was very disappointed for the fans, sspecially how long it took Boston to win a World Series. Without him they probably wouldn't have won." It's funny, but I don't remember Joe making comments about the Yankee fans booing David Wells on opening night last year...

  • One of the annoying aspects of the whole Red Sox/Yankee thing is the tendency for hype. Everything has to be the biggest, best, most serious, etc. But the fact is, when you play 19 times a year head-to-head, that hype wears thin. Quickly. Every night can't actually be armageddon, because after you've had armageddon 50 times in 2 years, and woken up the next morning every time, it kind of sinks in that the world is going to keep turning. But the writers have to keep selling papers, so it continues and escalates.

    With that in mind, Mike Vaccaro makes a comment in his column this morning that is one of the dumbest things I expect to read today. Talking about the rivalry, and the fan-bases, he says
    Still, in 2006, it seems there is more hostility bubbling just beneath the surface - and boiling just above it - than there's been at any other time in this rivalry's 103-year history

    More hostility than at any time in the rivalry's history? Good Lord! When was Mike Vaccaro born? Yesterday? It doesn't compare, right now, to what it was during most of the late 1970s. I wasn't around during the late 1940s, but I bet there were times of bad blood then, too. But it's just silly to say that the hostility now is as bad as it's ever been.

Technorati tags: RedSox, Yankees, Post, Jeter, overrated, Damon



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