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Friday, May 10, 2013

Keidel: Should Derek Jeter Retire?

And I was the shortstop for the New York Yankees! But like the rest of you I’ve outlived my usefulness! No one wants me around any more!

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Father Time is finally throwing Jeter some serious chin music, snapping his ankle in October, and then taunting him back to practice before chipping it again. But Jeter is the Bernard Hopkins of baseball, swinging until he’s literally carted off. The Yankees surely hope he makes that decision before they have to.

“Jeter’s not a quitter!” you bark.

Retiring after 17 resplendent seasons isn’t quitting. It’s logical. Find one shortstop in the modern era who produced at 39. Cal Ripken switched to third base at 35. Ernie Banks switched positions at 30. Even Ozzie Smith, better in the field than all three combined, was a part-time player at 39. Jeter will be 39 the next time he swings at a live pitch.

...Of course, the question is academic, as Jeter will play sometime this year. But perhaps how he plays determines what he does next year. Does he want to be nudged north, toward the outfield? What happens the next time he tries his stabbing pirouette and can’t find first base?

The question is only offensive because you love Derek Jeter. If you’re under 30, he is all you’ve known, the dynastic emblem of your youth. But just as kids once wondered who would replace Ruth found Gehrig, and then DiMaggio, and then Mantle. I was reared on Reggie Jackson and then Don Mattingly. And then we were blessed with the Joe Torre juggernaut – a buffet of baseball character and characters who nursed a new generation of fans.

Someone will replace Derek Jeter, and do with with equal aplomb, even if it seems and sounds blasphemous to say today.

Repoz Posted: May 10, 2013 at 05:32 PM | 50 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: yankees

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   1. Fernigal McGunnigle has become a merry hat Posted: May 10, 2013 at 06:31 PM (#4439975)
Find one shortstop in the modern era who produced at 39.

Age 39+, 1+ WAR, 50% of games at SS, since 1947:

Rk           Player WAR/pos Rfield Year Age  PA   BA  OBP  SLG  OPS
1      Luke Appling     5.1      2 1949  42 619 .301 .439 .394 .833
2      Luke Appling     4.6      0 1947  40 573 .306 .386 .412 .797
3      Omar Vizquel     2.9      7 2006  39 659 .295 .361 .389 .749
4     Luis Aparicio     2.6     10 1973  39 561 .271 .324 .309 .633
5       Ozzie Smith     2.1     12 1994  39 433 .262 .326 .349 .675
6       Ozzie Smith     1.5      4 1996  41 261 .282 .358 .370 .728
7    Craig Counsell     1.0      7 2010  39 230 .250 .322 .319 .640 


It's been said often before that every shortstop who has lasted at the position as long as Jeter was a much better fielder than he has been. So these cases don't really matter. Though if he hits as well as Appling then he should stay until they take him off the field in a hearse.
   2. Tom Nawrocki Posted: May 10, 2013 at 06:35 PM (#4439987)
I hate questions like that. It's one thing to ask, "Should the Yankees move on from Derek Jeter?" But the only person who has any business making the decision about whether Derek Jeter should retire is Derek Jeter. Let him live his own life.
   3. SoSH U at work Posted: May 10, 2013 at 06:45 PM (#4439999)
I hate questions like that. It's one thing to ask, "Should the Yankees move on from Derek Jeter?" But the only person who has any business making the decision about whether Derek Jeter should retire is Derek Jeter. Let him live his own life.


Ayup. And while my personal preference is when an all-time great has to have the uniform ripped off him before calling it quits (like Rickey), how each player wants to exit is a one-person decision.
   4. The Yankee Clapper Posted: May 10, 2013 at 06:47 PM (#4440002)
Afraid to even give him a chance? Jeter wasn't supposed to be able to do what he did last year, either. He's also been a better player than all those listed in #1. It's not like he's blocking the next Derek Jeter. No need to rush him out of the game.
   5. Walt Davis Posted: May 10, 2013 at 06:52 PM (#4440010)
Ernie Banks switched positions at 30

While I'm sure Banks would have shifted eventually, he moved off the position because he tore up his knee. Was never the same hitter again either. Yount shifted for injury concerns too but didn't decline as a hitter. I forget why ARod shifted.
   6. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: May 10, 2013 at 07:07 PM (#4440020)
I remember someone retiring a few years ago--Garret Anderson, maybe?--and telling reporters, "I didn't make this decision alone. 30 teams helped me make it." I thought that was pretty funny.

Based on how long he's been out with this injury, his age, and the fact it's a foot injury, you have to think Jeter's probably done. But to echo #2, it's none of my business or yours when or how he chooses to end his baseball career.

A more interesting question to me is how much of Jeter insisting on playing shortstop every day when he can't play anymore the Yankees would tolerate before releasing him. But I think to think Jeter has enough class and self-awareness not to force that kind of situation if he's hitting .215 and they're in a pennant race.
   7. Joyful Calculus Instructor Posted: May 10, 2013 at 07:23 PM (#4440030)
Jeter has an $8 million player option for next year. He'll be back.
   8. The Yankee Clapper Posted: May 10, 2013 at 07:26 PM (#4440033)
Jeter has an $8 million player option for next year.

$9.5M with the bonus for the Silver Slugger he earned last season.
   9. willcarrolldoesnotsuk Posted: May 10, 2013 at 07:36 PM (#4440044)
I... I... I suspect that if you put Derek Jeter, Cal Ripken, and Ernie Banks all at shortstop, they'd field more balls than Ozzie Smith alone.
   10. lonestarball Posted: May 10, 2013 at 07:39 PM (#4440047)
He's also been a better player than all those listed in #1


I don't think it is a given Jeter is a better player than Appling or Ozzie.
   11. Hang down your head, Tom Foley Posted: May 10, 2013 at 07:53 PM (#4440057)
He's a half year older than me. I hope he plays forever.
   12. Morty Causa Posted: May 10, 2013 at 07:54 PM (#4440060)
9:

No, I don't think so. Cal was a very good fielding shortstop. And, of course, a much better hitter.
   13. Jack Carter, calling Beleaguered Castle Posted: May 10, 2013 at 08:51 PM (#4440105)
I don't think it is a given Jeter is a better player than Appling or Ozzie.

Agreed. It's not possible, I don't think, to look at the respective outs Ozzie and Jeter contributed to while playing defense and not conclude Ozzie was the more valuable overall player.
   14. flournoy Posted: May 10, 2013 at 09:20 PM (#4440138)
I was unaware that Jeter was injured, but I see that he hasn't played a game this season and is on the 60-day DL. Is there a timetable for his return?
   15. Blastin Posted: May 10, 2013 at 09:23 PM (#4440140)
It's possible, Jack. But sure, he might be the 7th or so best SS rather than top five.
   16. willcarrolldoesnotsuk Posted: May 10, 2013 at 09:57 PM (#4440170)
I... I... I suspect that you misread what I wrote.
   17. RMc's desperate, often sordid world Posted: May 10, 2013 at 10:07 PM (#4440183)
Old Aches and Pains is the all-time leader in WAR after age 39. And he did this when he was flippin' seventy-five years old!
   18. jdennis Posted: May 10, 2013 at 11:40 PM (#4440249)
at least let him come back and suck before forcing him to retire. have an excuse on your end, you know.
   19. KT's Pot Arb Posted: May 11, 2013 at 12:11 AM (#4440261)
Jeter has an $8 million player option for next year.

$9.5M with the bonus for the Silver Slugger he earned last season.


Plus if he retires, he'll be forced to spend all his time with her.

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2013_swimsuit/models/hannah-davis/13_hannah-davis_28.html

No man could tolerate that for long.

Edit: Though maybe it's okay cause they have so much in common, such as her being born the same year he won Rookie of the Year.
   20. Walt Davis Posted: May 11, 2013 at 12:13 AM (#4440262)
Wow, no way I would have thought Appling had more WAR post-39 than Bonds. I'm hornblitzeled.
   21. Joyful Calculus Instructor Posted: May 11, 2013 at 12:20 AM (#4440266)
Though maybe it's okay cause they have so much in common, such as her being born the same year he won Rookie of the Year.


That would make her 16 or 17 years old. Is that even legal?
   22. SoSH U at work Posted: May 11, 2013 at 12:30 AM (#4440270)

That would make her 16 or 17 years old. Is that even legal?


A couple of his teammates on the 2000 World Series team told him it was OK.

She's actually 22. I don't know what ValueArb is referring to.

   23. Ray (RDP) Posted: May 11, 2013 at 01:30 AM (#4440310)
I hate questions like that. It's one thing to ask, "Should the Yankees move on from Derek Jeter?" But the only person who has any business making the decision about whether Derek Jeter should retire is Derek Jeter. Let him live his own life.

Ayup. And while my personal preference is when an all-time great has to have the uniform ripped off him before calling it quits (like Rickey), how each player wants to exit is a one-person decision.


My god, how do you guys get up in the morning? Chill out.

As to what he has left, he has desire to keep playing as is evident from every interview he does, and as long as his leg is healthy I expect him to play well for at least the next 2-3 years.
   24. bjhanke Posted: May 11, 2013 at 03:21 AM (#4440324)
No, he shouldn't retire, He can still hit and he's in the AL, where they have the DH. - Brock Hanke
   25. KT's Pot Arb Posted: May 11, 2013 at 03:22 AM (#4440325)
She's actually 22. I don't know what ValueArb is referring to.


OK, so she was in kindergarten or pre-school or diapers. What's your point?

The difference ain't gonna me make my hate and envy for him one iota less.
   26. Jack Carter, calling Beleaguered Castle Posted: May 11, 2013 at 04:48 AM (#4440331)
Do some of you guys know you're guys? The hang ups on age here are hilarious.

A great old broad once told me, "If it doesn't bother her, it shouldn't bother you".
   27. RMc's desperate, often sordid world Posted: May 11, 2013 at 07:40 AM (#4440338)
Ms. Davis turned 23 on Sunday, actually (born 5 May 90). Heck, that was two full years before Jeter started in the minors, and four years before I saw him play in a AAA game in Toledo in '94.

Still doesn't qualify under the half-plus-seven rule, tho...
   28. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: May 11, 2013 at 08:36 AM (#4440347)
A great old broad once told me, "If it doesn't bother her, it shouldn't bother you".


Unless it bothers local law enforcement authorities, in which case it definitely should bother you.
   29. joeysdadjoe Posted: May 11, 2013 at 09:48 AM (#4440365)
22 Clemens and Curtis?
   30. SoSH U at work Posted: May 11, 2013 at 10:16 AM (#4440373)

OK, so she was in kindergarten or pre-school or diapers. What's your point?


I wonder the same thing about yours. Your comment about her birth year was very specific, just inaccurate.

22 Clemens and Curtis?


Half-right. Roger and Luis Polonia.

And I don't have any hangups about Jeter dating a 23-year-old. I really couldn't give a crap who he dates.

   31. KT's Pot Arb Posted: May 11, 2013 at 12:09 PM (#4440448)
Ms. Davis turned 23 on Sunday, actually (born 5 May 90). Heck, that was two full years before Jeter started in the minors, and four years before I saw him play in a AAA game in Toledo in '94.

Still doesn't qualify under the half-plus-seven rule, tho...


Yet strangely my hate and envy subsides not.

I don't think he will retire until he's legally allowed to date a girl who was born during his double MVP season.
   32. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: May 11, 2013 at 12:37 PM (#4440471)
Not sure about New York or New Jersey, but in some states age of consent is 16. So he might only have a few years to go!
   33. alilisd Posted: May 11, 2013 at 12:45 PM (#4440476)
I'm going to pile on a bit and say its not at all clear Jeter was/is a better SS than Appling, a better hitter probably, but not necessarily a better SS.
   34. joeysdadjoe Posted: May 11, 2013 at 01:36 PM (#4440530)
Polonia wasnt there in 2000. May have briefly crossed paths in 95 however.
   35. GregD Posted: May 11, 2013 at 01:47 PM (#4440547)
This is especially dumb since the Yankees are tied for first and in desperate need of warm bodies. Hell, a Jeter in bad decline would help them a lot, much less the 2012 Jeter.
   36. SoSH U at work Posted: May 11, 2013 at 02:30 PM (#4440608)
Polonia wasnt there in 2000. May have briefly crossed paths in 95 however.


Luis played the final 37 games of his career for the Yankees in 2000.
   37. Ray (RDP) Posted: May 11, 2013 at 02:32 PM (#4440609)
This is especially dumb since the Yankees are tied for first and in desperate need of warm bodies. Hell, a Jeter in bad decline would help them a lot, much less the 2012 Jeter.


Yeah, they're playing Nunez and Nix there. The idea that Jeter won't be a big help over players who are replacement level at best is silly.
   38. Howie Menckel Posted: May 11, 2013 at 03:31 PM (#4440643)

"Still doesn't qualify under the half-plus-seven rule, tho..."

I hit the very edge of this rule the day I met my wife, when I was 34. It is amusing how well it jibes with a general sense of what we'd expect - guy is 20, girl should be at least 17; guy is 34, girl should be at least 24; guy is 60, girl should be at least 37, etc

   39. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: May 11, 2013 at 03:40 PM (#4440648)
Doesn't bother me a bit of a 19-year-old wants to marry a 53-year-old, in either direction (though old male/young female is much more common than the converse). It's their business, not mine.
   40. Everybody Loves Tyrus Raymond Posted: May 11, 2013 at 06:24 PM (#4440731)
Wow, no way I would have thought Appling had more WAR post-39 than Bonds. I'm hornblitzeled.


He also has the most old-timers game WAR for players 75 and older

Old Aches and Steroids ...
   41. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: May 11, 2013 at 06:30 PM (#4440735)
ELTR (40): I think you owe RMc (#17) a Coke. Granting the video is sufficiently awesome that everyone should watch it twice.
   42. Jack Carter, calling Beleaguered Castle Posted: May 11, 2013 at 07:10 PM (#4440754)
I'm going to pile on a bit and say its not at all clear Jeter was/is a better SS than Appling, a better hitter probably, but not necessarily a better SS.

Pretty much everyone here is aware of the limits of what range factor, putouts, assists, errors, and so on can tell us, but still... the differences between the two players over careers of very similar lengths are remarkable:

Innings Chances Putouts Assists Errors DPs Fld% [Rtot]
21977.2 10216 3653 6322 241 1354 .976 -150
21785.2 12905 4249 8375 281 1590 .978 239

Anyone with a friend remotely susceptible to reason who's interested in an education on the meaninglessness of errors and fielding percentage when it comes to figuring a player's defensive value need look no further...



   43. Jack Carter, calling Beleaguered Castle Posted: May 11, 2013 at 10:41 PM (#4440820)
If a fielder totals an additional 596 putouts, and 2,053 assists, that's worth... how many hits from the batting side? How many bases? Is the Rtot difference of 389 close to enough?
   44. Tom Nawrocki Posted: May 11, 2013 at 11:09 PM (#4440828)
At the very least, you have to normalize for the strikeouts. There were a lot more strikeouts in Jeter's time than in Appling's time.
   45. Jack Carter, calling Beleaguered Castle Posted: May 11, 2013 at 11:12 PM (#4440829)
I should have been clear. I was comparing Ozzie to Jeter. Sorry about that. Yes, you do have to normalize for K's, for pitching staffs, and so on, but I think it was also the case there were more guys on base during the average PA in Jeter's time, so Jeter not getting to a ball had a higher run expectancy than Ozzie not getting to a ball.
   46. Fancy Pants Handles lap changes with class Posted: May 12, 2013 at 05:05 AM (#4440862)
If a fielder totals an additional 596 putouts, and 2,053 assists, that's worth... how many hits from the batting side? How many bases? Is the Rtot difference of 389 close to enough?

By linear weights it would be way more, assuming you are turning outs into singles: .47 runs per single, .27 runs per out. But as has been pointed out, you can't look at those numbers in a vacuum.
   47. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: May 12, 2013 at 07:02 AM (#4440870)
Appling's HR came in the first inning. Not very clutch.
   48. GuyM Posted: May 12, 2013 at 10:38 AM (#4440921)
For an interesting look at how more accurate fielding estimates impacts historical players' WAR, see Michael Humphreys' SABR presentation. See slide 15 for his ranking of SS (thru 2011, I assume). Jeter fans will be happy to know he's in the top 20.
   49. BDC Posted: May 12, 2013 at 10:50 AM (#4440929)
Humphreys's work is just remarkable. Even if some unified-field-theory of batted-ball defensive analysis becomes standard for defense past a certain date, something like DRA will remain useful for comparisons and analysis of previous eras where such data will never be recoverable. And perhaps not just "something like," because DRA itself is amazingly well-argued.
   50. alilisd Posted: May 12, 2013 at 11:39 AM (#4440970)
Thanks GuyM. Good read!

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