Derek Jeter Newsbeat
Tuesday, May 21, 2013
Also known as THE WILL TO WIN.
The other day, I was watching the visiting announcing crew call a Kansas City Royals game, when Jeff Francoeur came to the plate. Before it even began, I knew what was coming. The announcers started to praise Francoeur. You know, it was all the usual stuff—great leader, plays terrific defense, bat coming around, wonderful guy. And, suddenly, a question came to mind.
What player in baseball do you think has the most ANT—Announcer Nonsense Talk—spoken about them?
By ANT, I’m not just referring to stuff announcers say. I’m referring to a sort of universal praise that does not tie to logic or anything tangible but instead to a sort of whimsical hope and powerful narratives. I remember in a playoff game against the Cleveland Browns, John Elway once dropped back, almost fell down, ran into his own offensive lineman, almost fell down again, flipped a short little pass to Mark Jackson who broke and avoided like 49 tackles on his way to a long and ridiculous touchdown catch. As soon as it ended, the announcer shouted: “John Elway did it again!”
You know ANT when you hear or read it—it is when people start speaking in broad generalities about a player (“This guy just wants it more”) or when they start over-crediting a player for dubious achievements (pitcher wins and RBIs tend to be the sweet nectar of Announcer Nonsense Talk) or when they start to turn sports achievement into life achievement (“That was just a courageous pitch!”). And like I say, it’s not only announcers who do this—far from it. You see it everywhere. I’ve spent plenty of time writing ANT.
Derek Jeter has been the recipient of a lot of ANT through the years—I coined the word Jeterate based entirely on this—but Jeter is a legitimately great player, one of the best shortstops ever, and he is a consummate professional worthy of respect and admiration. So you can understand why people would want to tack on some nonsense talk to make the record even more sterling. For a while, David Eckstein seemed to be the worldwide leader of ANT, but, heck, the guy is 5-foot-6, can’t really run, can barely throw the ball across the infield, and yet he was a shockingly good baseball player for a handful of years. In 2002, he finished 11th in the MVP voting and deserved it, maybe deserved even a little more. So, yeah, you could see why he got so much ANT. When a player defies logic or sparks intense emotion, nonsense talk often seems the only way to capture the awesomeness of it.
Tim Tebow has probably had more ANT spoken about him than anyone, ever.
But back to baseball … and Jeff Francoeur. At this moment, Jeff Francoeur is hitting .209 with five walks and one home run. We are about a quarter of the way through the season, so you can multiply those numbers by four to get a sense of where he would finish the year at this pace. He has an OPS+ of 48. The Pitch FX numbers show he can’t catch up to the fastball, can’t recognize the slider and cannot stay back on the change-up. He’s O-swing percentage—that is, his percentage of pitches he swings at outside the strike zone—is at a staggering 44.6%, a career high in a career of hacking. It is the third-highest percentage in baseball, behind only legendary free swingers Pablo Sandoval and Alfonso Soriano.
Those guys, however, tend to be bad-ball HITTERS. Francoeur, no, not so much on the hitting part.
Wednesday, May 15, 2013
When welterweight Floyd Mayweather was No. 1 on Sports Illustrated’s Fortunate 50 last year—knocking out Tiger Woods, who had been No. 1 every year since SI started producing the list in 2004—it looked like a fluke, the result of the $85 million he received for his fights with Victor Ortiz and Miguel Cotto. Now Mayweather is proving that he belongs at the top. From just two bouts this year, one earlier this month and the other scheduled for September, he will earn at least $90 million, and that’s conservative; he could make as much as $128 million.
There are other notable shifts this year. LeBron James (No. 2) passed Kobe Bryant (No. 4). Tiger Woods (No. 5) is back above Phil Mickelson (No. 6)—thanks to $4 million more in tour winnings. Drew Brees wasn’t on last year’s list but he burst into the top five thanks to a $37 million signing bonus from his new contract.
The findings consist solely of salary, winnings, bonuses and endorsements. SI consulted players’ associations, tour records, online databases, agents and media reports. The endorsement estimates come from a stable of marketing executives, agents and other experts, including Burns Entertainment & Sports Marketing.
Candidates for the Fortunate 50 must be U.S. citizens or play in a U.S.—based league.
1. Floyd Mayweather (boxing)
2. LeBron James (NBA)
3. Drew Brees (NFL)
4. Kobe Bryant (NBA)
5. Tiger Woods (golf)
9. Alex Rodriguez
Posted: May 15, 2013 at 11:52 AM | 40 comment(s)
Wednesday, April 10, 2013
Sunday, March 24, 2013
The kid had just blown an easy play in center field and he came back to the dugout with his head down. And the first hand that landed on his shoulder, the consoling hand, belonged to Derek Jeter…
Jeter had already hit three times, in fact had led off each inning in the privilege afforded major leaguers who are doing a rehab assignment in the minor leagues, and now it was his turn to hit again.
“Why don’t you go up there and hit first this inning?,” Jeter asked the kid.
“Maybe you’ll hit better with a guy on base,” cracked a sideline kibitzer named Reggie Jackson.
“At least I won’t feel so bad if I make an out,” Jeter replied. He had grounded out in each of his three at-bats so far.
“I think I’ll try to hit the ball on the ground this time,” he said to Jackson, smiling wryly.
Meanwhile, the kid took Jeter up on the offer, and on the first pitch he saw, cracked a home run over the left-field fence.
“You see? You see?” Jeter shouted. “I know what I’m doing.”
Then Derek Jeter stepped into the batter’s box for the fourth time—and grounded out to third.
Thus ended the Yankee captain’s day as a Scranton RailRider on Saturday. He will remain a member of that squad, or in fact, any minor-league squad the Yankees are sending out between now and whenever it is determined Jeter is ready to return to playing shortstop every day for the big club… hanging over his head is the knowledge that the Yankees are planning to start him off on the DL, and hanging over the Yankees’ heads is the knowledge that all season long, they may be carrying a shortstop who can no longer bear the load of playing every day…. Jeter, of course, is still insisting he will play Opening Day, and is clearly not happy about having to spend the rest of his spring playing in minor league games, even if there is less than a week of training camp left…
... he seemed proudest of his decision to let young Jose Toussen bat in front of him, and the results it produced. “I knew he was gonna hit a home run. I could see it in his eyes,” Jeter said. “I’m a pretty good manager, too.”
Sunday, March 10, 2013
Fermin had, of course, already been traded for a future Hall of Famer…
Yes, general manager Brian Cashman said, the unthinkable nearly happened.
It was spring training 1996, and the Yankees weren’t sure what they had at shortstop.
“We were going to go with the young shortstop that turned out to be Derek Jeter,” Cashman said Saturday. “Derek wasn’t having a good spring training.”
Cashman said there were some people in George Steinbrenner’s “circle” who raised concerns about how ready Jeter would be. Then, Cashman said, infielder Tony Fernandez and Pat Kelly got hurt, leaving the team with few alternatives at shortstop “if Jeter failed as a rookie.”
So the Mariners came calling with a trade proposal.
“They had Felix Fermin they wanted to move,” Cashman said. “They wanted either Mariano Rivera [who had pitched against Seattle in the 1995 ALDS] or Bob Wickman. One of those two guys for Felix Fermin, and The Boss was honestly considering it and forced us to have some serious conversations about it.”
Cashman recalled the talks—held in then-manager Joe Torre’s office and including Gene Michael, then-GM Bob Watson and Cashman—as being spirited.
“It was a fight to convince The Boss to stand down and not force us to do a deal none of us were recommending,” Cashman said. “And it wasn’t because we knew what we had in Mo or Wickman, it was we had committed to go with young Jeter. Thankfully, we didn’t do that deal. That was as close as we ever came to trading Mariano.”
for his generous support.
You must be logged in to view your Bookmarks.
: Richie Ashburn’s Widow in Tears Over His Endangered Gladwyne Grave
(30 - 8:30am, May 25)
: OT: The Soccer Thread, May 2013
(1164 - 8:26am, May 25)Last:
FancyPantsHandle glistening with foreign substanceNewsblog
: Davey Johnson says he won't shave until Nationals start hitting
(1 - 8:21am, May 25)
Last: JE (Jason Epstein)Newsblog
: Perry: Hawk Harrelson reacts to blown call by Angel Hernandez
(2 - 8:16am, May 25)
Last: Tulo's Fishy Mullet (mrams)Newsblog
: Marchman: Why Even Have Baseball's Draft?
(13 - 8:04am, May 25)
: [OTP-May] Politico: Congressional baseball game, May 1, 1926
(4434 - 7:58am, May 25)Last:
FancyPantsHandle glistening with foreign substanceNewsblog
: SI: Alex Sanabia : I didn't know spitter was against rules
(2 - 7:49am, May 25)
: Paul Daugherty: Old-v-New schools of thought
(31 - 7:24am, May 25)
Last: Ok, Griffey's Dunn (Nothing Iffey About Griffey)Newsblog
: LATimes: Microsoft unveils new Xbox One console
(40 - 7:09am, May 25)
: HHS: Autin: Miguel Cabrera to the max
(33 - 6:54am, May 25)
Last: RMc and His Roster of RubbishNewsblog
: Curtis Granderson has fractured left pinky finger
(13 - 6:51am, May 25)
Last: Matt WatersNewsblog
: MLB: Don Sutton never shy about voicing his opinion
(18 - 6:38am, May 25)
Last: Harveys WallbangersNewsblog
: FanGraphs: Cameron: The 2013 Cubs: Better Than We Think
(44 - 6:22am, May 25)
Last: Arnett Mead (Arjun)Newsblog
: OT: NBA Monthly Thread - May 2013
(1277 - 5:45am, May 25)Last:
Athletic Supporter gangnam styleNewsblog
: Fox Sports: McLouth catch earns thrown beverage
(14 - 5:08am, May 25)