The Dord of Darien

Musings from the Mayor of the Internet

Okay, one more

I promise I’ll get back on the LeBron-train tomorrow, but this article’s too boneheaded and too time-sensitive to let go by. It’s by some guy called Chris Ruddick, and it’s called

Jeter watch is officially on

Thank god we had Chris to make it official. I was starting to worry that all this Jeter-watching was unapproved.

Let’s be honest, it’s not going to be the same if Derek Jeter gets his 3,000th hit anywhere other than Yankee Stadium.

Thank you, Chris Ruddick, for that hard truth that absolutely nobody has been willing to admit. We appreciate your honesty.

That is the situation we find ourselves with, as the Yankee captain sits seven hits shy of the magical milestone with just four games left in the Bronx before a six-game interleague trip.

An interleague trip? Are you kidding me?

Eye kay arr, broski! Fucking Bud. I can’t believe he’s fucking up this moment like that.

You can make the argument that this is going to be the most celebrated milestone of all-time.

You can make that argument, but you won’t be notorious for winning it. Hank Aaron’s all-time home run record (Bonds’ less so, for reasons I believe we’re all familiar with), Mark McGwire’s single-season home run record (Bonds’ less so, for reasons I… wait…), Cal Ripken’s games played streak. Those are three milestones I am willing to guarantee were more celebrated than Jeter getting his 3000th hit. You get back to me when Jeter collects his 4257th hit and we’ll talk.

For one, it’s the Yankees. They do everything big. If you don’t believe me why don’t you relive some of the events leading up to Jeter passing Lou Gehrig for the franchise lead in hits.

Okay. Hit me with some of them. I’m prepared to be blown away by the enormity of Derek Jeter getting within 1256 hits of the all-time record by reliving his exciting chase of Lou Gherig’s franchise record. Which I had, in truth, honestly forgotten about until you brought it up.

So I’m ready. What do you have?

Can you even name other teams’ all-time hits leaders?

What, is that it? That’s an "event" you want me to relive? Strong argument. Well, off the top of my head, I can name the Cubs, Rockies, Mariners, Orioles, Reds, and maybe Marlins and Red Sox. Do I get a prize?

(I looked this up after I wrote this, and I was right about all of them except the Marlins. And almost definitely could have done like eight more if I’d thought about it longer.)

By the time you are done with the video tributes, endless De-rek Je-ter chants, the Yankees will have you thinking he is the only to ever get to 3,000 hits not just the first player in their amazing history to do it, and believe me you’ll hear that little nugget ad nauseam as well.

Well, like Lieutenant Commander Kunta Kinte says, I don’t have to take your word for it. I have already heard that nugget ad nauseam. You’ve told me like fourteen times yourself, and I have a ways to go yet.

This just won’t be a Yankee celebration, though. Major League Baseball will make a big deal about this. He is the face of baseball. He has been since he entered the league on a regular basis in 1996.

No, Cal Ripken Jr. — remember him? He’s the Orioles’ all-time hits leader — was the face of baseball in 1996. Jetes didn’t take over until the early 2000s. Also, MLB made a pretty big deal about A-Rod’s 600th homer last year too, and he ain’t the face of anything. Except a centaur.

You can call him overrated. You can say he was just at the right place at the right time. You can say whatever you want. But 3,000 hits is 3,000 hits. That is one of those numbers that just catapults you to Cooperstown, kind of like 500 home runs used to.

Jeter probably punched his Hall of Fame ticket a long time ago, but this will serve as validation.

Gosh, you think he’ll get in? I’m not sure!

Yea he’s never won an MVP, or a batting title, has been labeled the worst defensive shortstop in the game by some, and consistently appears on baseball’s overrated lists year in and year out.

Derek Jeter got jobbed in 1999 and arguably again in 2006. He should have at least one MVP. Nobody cares about batting titles — I mean, seriously? I remember 2009. You’re telling me that if Joe Mauer had gone 0-for-whatever on the last day of the season, that would improve Jeter’s Hall of Fame case? That’s looney-tunes.

Derek Jeter is stunningly overrated, and this not unrelated to his having five gold gloves while being the worst defensive shortstop in baseball by literally every single metric.

I am not the biggest Jeter guy. Never have been, but even I have to laugh at the overrated thing. I mean really? Are you paying attention at all? Perhaps it’s jealousy. Maybe it’s all the winning or the attention that comes with it, or perhaps it’s the girls he’s been rumored to be with.

Nah. Defense. But thanks anyhow for the weird aspersions cast on the characters of thousands of people you don’t know.

Let’s face it. It’s probably pretty cool being Derek Jeter.

Sure. Rich, famous, idol of millions. One of the best shortstops ever. Is he still boning Minka Kelly? That’s not bad either.

And here we are faced with the fact that Jeter could reach this milestone on the road. In Wrigley Field of all places where the Yankees head for the first leg of the six-game trip that will wind down with three games in Cincinnati, the city that the team named him their 11th captain back in 2003.

Did you just have a seizure? What the hell did you just type?

Is it possible for Jeter to get seven hits in four games.

Is it possible for you to use the correct punctuation at the end of your sentences. Also: seven hits in four games? Possible, sure. He’ll get probably 18 PA or so. But Jeter’s averaging just over one hit per game this year, so it’s not the way to bet.

But I’m sorry. I’m sure you were just about to say that, yes?

Sure. He’s done it countless times throughout his career. He actually had seven hits in a three- game series against Texas earlier in the year. Now he has to do it again.

Oh. Or you could say… that. By the way, as I’m writing this, Derek Jeter has just been pulled from tonight’s game with "an apparent leg injury." Not clear to me what that means, but I’ll bet it impacts his chances of duplicating the legendary seven-hits-in-three-games feat he once performed.

If I had to place money on this happening before the Yanks leave town, I’d bet on Jeter.

I would take that bet. I mean, even if he hadn’t been hurt. His hits/game this year is so far below what he needs to make the cutoff that I’d almost certainly end up one your-money richer.

Why? Because there hasn’t been a player who has embraced the big moment and has been aware of it more than Jeter in my time following baseball.

My friend, you are the kind of man bookies live for. Also, what about this "Big David Papi Ortiz" fellow I’ve heard so much about? I thought "big moments" were supposedly a specialty of his.

The biggest reason I think he’s going to do it, though, is because he always comes through.

Derek Jeter’s 2011 WPA: -1.1. Derek Jeter has cost the Yankees more than one win by not coming through in big situations this year.

That’s why he is such a big deal, because he always seems to deliver in the biggest spots possible.

In the 2001 World Series, Derek Jeter went .148 / .179 / .259 / .438. In game seven, Jeter struck out, flew out, grounded out, and singled. The Yankees lost.

Jeter homered in his first game as a regular, he hit the Jeffrey Maier home run, he became Mr. November when New York as a city was at its lowest point, heck he even passed Gehrig on the eight-year anniversary of 9/11.

No, when New York was "at its lowest point," he did that stuff I mentioned in the last paragraph. But, yes, he does have multiple home runs in his career.

I’m quite sure he is more aware of the fact that the Yanks hit the road for six games after these next four games than you may think.

What? Here’s an article from yesterday — the day before you wrote your… thing — in some obscure regional paper that I expect is from the Japanese city of Usa in which Derek Jeter talks all about how he wants to get his 3000th hit at home. You’re not stumbling on some unknown psychological insight here, clown.

It’s funny that a player whose sole inevitable enshrinement to the Hall of Fame is based mostly on intangibles and team accomplishments, is now going to be celebrated for a statistical achievement.


No, I’m serious: what?

Derek Jeter is one of the best shortstops of all time. This is not based on his "intangibles," or on what his teammates have done, but on the fact that Derek Jeter has been very, very good at baseball for a very long time. Do you know where he ranks among position players in WAR all-time? 55th, which is very good. Do you know how many active players are above him? Four: Thome, Chipper, Pujols, and A-Rod. Do you know how many are shortstops? Six: Arky Vaughan, Bill Dahlen, Robin Yount (for half his career), Cal Ripken Jr., George Davis, and Honus Wagner. Derek Jeter is the seventh-best shortstop of all time, and his career isn’t over — he could still plausibly pass Vaughan, Dahlen, and Yount. No, Derek Jeter’s Hall of Fame case is absolutely built on statistics, because he’s been fucking incredible for a pretty long time. Where are you getting this?

(He’s 25th all-time in offensive WAR, and miles ahead of all other shortstops except Wagner. Derek Jeter is a phenomenal hitter. His poor defense has bitten him in the ass to some extent.)

The ridiculous talk will soon begin of where he belongs among the all-time Yankee greats. I personally don’t put him anywhere near the top. A Hall of Fame player for sure, but he is not even the best Yankee of this generation. That is a spot saved for the great Mariano Rivera, who is not only the best Yankee of this generation, I argue he may be the best player period of this generation. That is a different argument for a different day.

No, let’s have it now.

Mariano Rivera, career WAR: 54.1
Derek Jeter, career WAR: 70
Alex Rodriguez, career WAR: 104.4

Mariano Rivera has been amazing. Best relief pitcher of all time, bar none. But still: he’s a relief pitcher. Jeter and A-Rod have been vastly more valuable than Mo, and Barry Bonds (this will blow your mind) was as valuable as Derek Jeter and A-Rod put together:

Barrold Lamar Bonds, career WAR: 171.8

I mean, sure, you can argue that being the "greatest Yankee" or even the "greatest player" of your generation is not about what you actually do while playing baseball, but, rather, that it’s about your heart, and your intestines, and how much you "mean" to the team and your amazing "moments," such as how Mariano Rivera singlehandedly lost the 2001 World Series to the Diamondbacks, and exploded two nights in a row in the 2004 ALCS to give the Red Sox a pass to their first championship in 86 years. But if you do, I get to call you a lug nut.

You lug nut.

No offense to Jeter, but when it comes to the all-time Yankee greats, he is sitting at the children’s table, while Babe Ruth, Gehrig, Joe DiMaggio, Mickey Mantle and Yogi Berra dine in style.

Babe Ruth, career WAR: 190 (1st all-time)
Lou Gherig, career WAR: 118.4 (16th)
Joe DiMaggio, career WAR: 83.6 (49th)
Mickey Mantle, career WAR: 120.2 (15th)
Yogi Berra, career WAR: 61.9 (140th)

And, once again:

Derek Jeter, career WAR: 70 (82nd)

He doesn’t belong in that group? I’m glad it’s not up to me to be the gatekeeper of the official Yankee Greats Clubhouse, because the criteria don’t make any fucking sense at all.

Either way I want the moment. Cal Ripken passing Gehrig was a big deal. Barry Bonds surpassing Hank Aaron should have been a big deal. It turned out to be a sham. This one is going to be nuts, even though it is something that has happened 27 other times.

That might be the dumbest paragraph in your whole article. Petulant, contentless, badly written.

Okay, no. The best one is still the one where you just typed some random nonsense words about Wrigley Field and Cincinnati and captains.

Selfishly I am hoping he either goes crazy and gets it in the next two days or goes into a major slump until about June 23rd, because more than likely I am going to be on a cruise somewhere in the Eastern Caribbean at the time he finally gets it.

Uh. Okay. Have fun on your trip! Don’t think too hard.

It probably serves me right. While I respect everything he’s done, I’ve just never been a big Jeter guy. Although, my kids have about five Jeter shirts and jerseys. So, it’s probably fitting that baseball gods seem to have gotten together in order for me to miss this.

Thankfully there is DVR.

Why are we talking about this? Nobody cares.

But like it won’t be the same if he gets it anywhere other than Yankee Stadium, it won’t be the same watching it however many days after it has already happened.

I see now that the life of a true Yankees fan is a difficult one.

June 13th, 2011 Posted by | Baseball | 6 comments


  1. Good thing for this nut that Jeter had a mystery injury last night and is likely out for, hey, what is it? The next couple of weeks?

    Just in time to come back and play the next home stand! What a coincidence!

    Comment by Dave | 14 June 2011

  2. Fun fact: when Hank Aaron hit his 713th home run, the Braves tried to bench him for the duration of the road trip they were on, so he’d hit 714 at home. The commissioner wouldn’t let them.

    Comment by Darien | 14 June 2011

  3. I was going to mention something about how Teddy Ballgame refused to sit down on the last day of the 1941 season to protect his .39955 average. Then I remembered he sat out the entire last road trip of 1960 because he’d hit a homer in his last at bat in Fenway, and he wanted that to be his last at bat ever.

    Also, do you think game 2,131 of Ripken’s streak was penciled in as an Orioles home game from around 1989 on? I’m pretty sure it was.

    Comment by Dave | 16 June 2011

  4. A consecutive-games-played streak is hard as shit to gimmick at the team level. Did the league set it up that way for him? Possible, but they were reticent to do so for Aaron. Different commissioner, of course.

    Also worth noting is that any such feat, assuming it happens at all, has a 50% chance of happening at home.

    Comment by Darien | 16 June 2011

  5. Impossible on a team level, but simple for the league. All they have to do is count, and tell whoever is making the schedules “Make sure Orioles game 141 is a home game.” As much as the entire universe loved Cal, I consider it pretty unlikely that it was left to chance. Or if it was left to “chance”, maybe it was the same kind of chance that gets me my stats in Angband. You know, I keep rolling until I get ones I like. “Oh look, the computer spit out a schedule where Cal breaks the record in Cleveland… Let’s try that again. Texas? Nope. Kansas City? Gah. One more try. There we go! Baltimore! That’s the schedule. Print it.”

    Comment by Dave | 17 June 2011

  6. Scummer.

    Comment by Darien | 18 June 2011

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