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Friday, August 15, 2014

Kernan: Imagine Jeter going from The Flip to The Flop

Flip, flop & fly…I don’t care if Jeter’s playoff chances die. So long as…JONES FLIES INTO THE STANDS!

The Flip was made on Oct. 13, 2001. No play better exemplifies Jeter’s winning approach, his creativeness and his ability to be in the right place at the right time.

Instead of The Flip, here in 2014, the Yankees are giving us The Flop.

They can’t stand up to the challenge.

At the age of 40, Jeter was supposed to go out the right way, playing October baseball and letting the chips fall where they may. Perhaps, Jeter would have one more heroic October in his body. Yankees fans dreamed of him going out the way he came in — his first full season in 1996 — a champion.

...At this rate, Jeter’s last game in The Bronx will be Sept. 25 against the Orioles. His finale would be in Boston three days later.

The last October memory of Jeter is a painful one, his left ankle breaking as he screamed out on the infield dirt at Yankee Stadium. Jeter had to be carried off the field that night by trainer Steve Donohue and manager Joe Girardi in the 12th inning of Game 1 of the ALCS, a 6-4 loss to the Tigers.

That was Oct. 13, 2012. Exactly 11 years to the day of The Flip.

As Jeter was helped off, fans began to chant his name, making it the saddest of chants.

That is the final memory of Jeter and October baseball.

It can’t end like this for Derek Jeter.

Repoz Posted: August 15, 2014 at 09:55 AM | 36 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: yankees

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   1. Chris Fluit Posted: August 15, 2014 at 10:15 AM (#4771638)
It can’t end like this for Derek Jeter.


Yes, it can.
   2. TJ Posted: August 15, 2014 at 10:19 AM (#4771643)
Ahhhh, the daily "Derek Jeter Suckup Piece"- now all is right with the world...

As for Jeter being at his best in October because he has hit .308, his career batting average is .311. As for "it can't end like this for Derek Jeter", he is a 40-year old trying to play shortstop on an aging team with a bunch of other injury-plagued old guys and nothing much in the way of help from the farm system, so I would say falling short of the postseason is about how we should have expected it to end...and I'm a Jeter fan.
   3. The District Attorney Posted: August 15, 2014 at 10:25 AM (#4771648)
I thought this would be envisioning Jeter as a poker player, which could have been some spectacular bad writing. Ah well.
   4. Lassus Posted: August 15, 2014 at 10:25 AM (#4771647)
They are four games back from the second wild-card spot. Not impossible.
   5. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: August 15, 2014 at 10:31 AM (#4771654)
It can’t end like this for Derek Jeter.

Cal Ripken put the finishing touches on Memorial Stadium by grounding into a double play to end the game and the season. Jackie Robinson ended his career with a strikeout that ended the World Series. By the time Steve Carlton ended his career, he had a 16.76 ERA and was probably fetching cigarettes for the Twins' bullpen coach. Very few 40ish players end their careers like Ted Williams.
   6. Tom Nawrocki Posted: August 15, 2014 at 10:38 AM (#4771660)
Even Ted Williams didn't end his career in the World Series, and I don't recall any whining about that.

Willie Mays ended his career stumbling around in center field in the World Series. Hank Aaron finished up as a .229-hitting DH in Milwaukee. Ken Griffey Jr. got released midseason by the Mariners. This is the way even great careers end.
   7. A big pile of nonsense (gef the talking mongoose) Posted: August 15, 2014 at 10:42 AM (#4771666)
Even Ted Williams didn't end his career in the World Series, and I don't recall any whining about that.

Willie Mays ended his career stumbling around in center field in the World Series. Hank Aaron finished up as a .229-hitting DH in Milwaukee. Ken Griffey Jr. got released midseason by the Mariners. This is the way even great careers end.


Yeah, but those guys were humans, not Jeterian gods (John Updike notwithstanding).
   8. JE (Jason) Posted: August 15, 2014 at 10:50 AM (#4771678)
Even Ted Williams didn't end his career in the World Series, and I don't recall any whining about that.

Willie Mays ended his career stumbling around in center field in the World Series. Hank Aaron finished up as a .229-hitting DH in Milwaukee. Ken Griffey Jr. got released midseason by the Mariners. This is the way even great careers end.

Yeah, this piece is stupid even by Kernan standards. Nowhere does it even acknowledge that one of the reasons that the Yankees are struggling is because Jeter's having a pretty miserable season.
   9. JE (Jason) Posted: August 15, 2014 at 10:57 AM (#4771684)
They are four games back from the second wild-card spot. Not impossible.

Who are you, McCoy? The Yanks are four games back and behind three teams. So maybe it's "not impossible" but it ain't likely either. Heck, they're more apt to finish at or below .500 than get the opportunity to play a single game in California.
   10. villageidiom Posted: August 15, 2014 at 11:00 AM (#4771689)
They are four games back from the second wild-card spot. Not impossible
You mean there's still a chance they could finish eight games back?

They could rattle off a nice win streak and be back in the thick of it. KC went 9-1 and they are division leaders now; Seattle went 8-2 and are a half-game out of the second wild card. But both those teams have decent pythag records (Seattle is underperforming by 6 games!) and KC isn't playing many winning teams the rest of the way, so one might expect them to be fairly strong in the games unplayed. OTOH, NY's pythag is in line with the actual performance of the White Sox. That doesn't bode well.

It would make a nice story if he could lead them to one final WS victory. But at this point I think it's unlikely they make it to the WS - and frankly, if they get there and are victorious, I think it's unlikely that Jeter leads them there. Infield hits do not win championships.
Very few 40ish players end their careers like Ted Williams.
I hope Jeter doesn't end his career like Ted Williams. Williams didn't go on the final road trip. I have tickets to Jeter's last scheduled games, on the road in Boston. I'm planning to give the tickets for the final game to a couple of friends who are Yankees fans, but I want Jeter to be there and to play.
   11. villageidiom Posted: August 15, 2014 at 11:02 AM (#4771694)
Who are you, McCoy?
Well, Alfonso Soriano is available...
   12. JE (Jason) Posted: August 15, 2014 at 11:13 AM (#4771705)
Jeter has been at his best in the ALDS, where he has a lifetime .343 average over 66 games. In seven World Series, he has hit .321.

Translation: Jeter has been unclutch in the ALCS.
   13. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: August 15, 2014 at 11:38 AM (#4771721)
Yeah, this piece is stupid even by Kernan standards. Nowhere does it even acknowledge that one of the reasons that the Yankees are struggling is because Jeter's having a pretty miserable season.

When your two most productive hitters are Francisco Cervelli and Brett Gardner, Jeter's wholly predictable season is the least of your worries. No question he's a stiff, but what's the alternative? Stephen Drew, with his 54 OPS+?

Translation: Jeter has been unclutch in the ALCS.

We won't mention St. Barry's postseason record until he finally awoke from the dead in 2002.
   14. JE (Jason) Posted: August 15, 2014 at 11:56 AM (#4771731)
When your two most productive hitters are Francisco Cervelli and Brett Gardner, Jeter's wholly predictable season is the least of your worries. No question he's a stiff, but what's the alternative? Stephen Drew, with his 54 OPS+?

Hence, "one of the reasons." As for Drew, it was nice to see that 10 years later, Jeter again chose not to do what was best for the team and switch positions. [/ducks]
   15. Ray (RDP) Posted: August 15, 2014 at 12:10 PM (#4771752)
When your two most productive hitters are Francisco Cervelli and Brett Gardner, Jeter's wholly predictable season is the least of your worries.

Jeter has the 16th worst WAR on the team, tied with Kelly Johnson.

No question he's a stiff, but what's the alternative? Stephen Drew, with his 54 OPS+?


Um, yes?

Is this a trick question? Of course Drew is a better baseball player at this point than Jeter.

We won't mention St. Barry's postseason record until he finally awoke from the dead in 2002.


Yes, yes, you think he was unclutch until he was clutch. Thanks for that contribution.
   16. Non-Youkilidian Geometry Posted: August 15, 2014 at 12:12 PM (#4771755)
Yeah, but those guys were humans, not Jeterian gods (John Updike notwithstanding).

We know from Updike that gods do not answer letters. Do they send gift baskets?
   17. TerpNats Posted: August 15, 2014 at 12:17 PM (#4771759)
I hope Jeter doesn't end his career like Ted Williams. Williams didn't go on the final road trip. I have tickets to Jeter's last scheduled games, on the road in Boston. I'm planning to give the tickets for the final game to a couple of friends who are Yankees fans, but I want Jeter to be there and to play.
I hope it happens, that those games in Boston are meaningless to the postseason. It would mark the unofficial end of the two-decade era of the evil empires distorting just about everything about MLB, and also would leave ESPN, Fox and TBS with egg on their faces.
   18. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: August 15, 2014 at 01:02 PM (#4771822)
Stephen Drew, with his 54 OPS+?


Which is actually WORSE than it was with the Sox. Drew has a 28 OPS+ with the Yanks. Yes, yes, small sample size and all that ####. The amazing thing is, even with his terrible hitting, Drew has a positive WAR for the season (or, if not positive, it's not negative) at .4 (.3 Sox/.1 Yanks). Jetes has .6 for the season.
   19. AROM Posted: August 15, 2014 at 01:04 PM (#4771825)
Yankee single digit legends:

1. Billy Martin 1988 - team got off to a 40-24 start. Lost 4 in a row, including a 3 game sweep in Detroit with 3 one run losses. Luis Salazar singled off Charlie Hudson to drive in Tom Brookens. Martin fired, never managed again. He probably would have though, had he not been killed a year later in a car crash.
2. ?
3. The Babe. 0-3 with a walk and a run as Yankees lost to the Senators. Yankees finished second and let Ruth go. He played a bit for the Boston Braves the next year, had a 3 homer game. A week later he went 0-1, was replaced in the game, and retired.
4. Gehrig 0-4 on 4/30/39. The disease would not let him continue.
5. DiMaggio 1-2, 2 BB in game 6 of the 1951 series. Yankees won. Last AB was a double to right.
7. Mantle 0-1 against Red Sox, Yankees finished 5th. Mantle hit in the top of the first then was replaced.
8. Yogi 0-1 against Twins. Pinch hitting in the 9th. This was his last Yankee game. 2 years later he went 0-4 for the Mets against the Braves.
8. Dickey Pinch hit single in the 9th on 9-8-46. Yankees lost anyway. Yankees finished 3rd on season
9. Maris Pinch hit, 9th inning, go ahead homer on 9-30-66. Yankees gave the lead back and lost in extras. Last appearance as a Yankee. Went to St. Louis. 0-3 in game 7 of WS against Mickey Lolich.

From best to worst exit:
DiMaggio
Maris
Dickey
Mantle
Yogi
Babe
Martin
Gehrig
   20. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: August 15, 2014 at 01:09 PM (#4771832)
No question he's a stiff, but what's the alternative? Stephen Drew, with his 54 OPS+?

Um, yes?

Is this a trick question? Of course Drew is a better baseball player at this point than Jeter.


Maybe I should have added that Jeter's 0.6 WAR is higher than Drew's combined 0.4 with the Yanks and the Red Sox. It's not as if you'd be swapping a stiff for J.J. Hardy.

We won't mention St. Barry's postseason record until he finally awoke from the dead in 2002.

Yes, yes, you think he was unclutch until he was clutch. Thanks for that contribution.


Who said anything about clutch? I was just presenting the facts, ma'm. The numbers don't lie.
   21. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: August 15, 2014 at 01:33 PM (#4771854)
Maybe I should have added that Jeter's 0.6 WAR is higher than Drew's combined 0.4 with the Yanks and the Red Sox. It's not as if you'd be swapping a stiff for J.J. Hardy.


Jeter - 106 games
Drew - 51 games

And I am going to take a random guess that Drew's offense would be a smidge higher if he actually played in spring training instead of trying to get back into it during the season.
   22. Ray (RDP) Posted: August 15, 2014 at 01:44 PM (#4771870)
Maybe I should have added that Jeter's 0.6 WAR is higher than Drew's combined 0.4 with the Yanks and the Red Sox.


Andy, first, Drew missed half of the season to this point. So adding up WAR numbers is really terrible analysis.

Second, unless you below that Drew is anything close to a true 54 OPS+ hitter, Drew is a better player than Jeter.

   23. villageidiom Posted: August 15, 2014 at 01:54 PM (#4771879)
I hope it happens, that those games in Boston are meaningless to the postseason. It would mark the unofficial end of the two-decade era of the evil empires distorting just about everything about MLB, and also would leave ESPN, Fox and TBS with egg on their faces.
Egg on their faces while getting two Los Angeles teams, two DC-area teams, possibly two Bay-area teams, and St. Louis, in the playoffs, not to mention the possible return of the Royals and Mariners to the postseason. Nah, I think the TV partners will be happy enough.

This could be the first year in Jeter's career that neither the Red Sox nor Yankees make the playoffs. The last time there were playoffs without either team was 1993.
   24. Ron J2 Posted: August 15, 2014 at 02:15 PM (#4771904)
Rizzuto wasn't a single digit legend but his exit was not all that nice. Nabbed a nice summary off the net:

Late in the 1956 season, the Yankees brought him in the office and asked him to look over the roster. They asked him to explain what player or players were expendable, and one after another, the Yankees explained why they needed to keep the player. In the end, Rizzuto realized that it was him that the Yankees found expendable. George Stirnweiss, the Yankees owner, however, warned Rizzuto. If Rizzuto took to the media to complain, it would affect his non-playing career. Rizzuto didn’t complain, and he would later say that following Stirnweiss’ advice was the best thing he ever did.
   25. The District Attorney Posted: August 15, 2014 at 02:29 PM (#4771915)
George Stirnweiss did have some good times with the Yankees, but not as the owner of the team...

BTW, I think of a "flop" as either a team that blows a lead, or a team that was a preseason favorite and disappoints. How are the Yankees a "flop"? They appeared to be a mediocre team, and they've proceeded to play mediocre all year.
   26. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: August 15, 2014 at 02:59 PM (#4771926)
BTW, I think of a "flop" as either a team that blows a lead, or a team that was a preseason favorite and disappoints. How are the Yankees a "flop"? They appeared to be a mediocre team, and they've proceeded to play mediocre all year.


Because by the Power of the Pinstripes the Yankees are automatically expected to win the WS every year or it's an abject failure (the year, not the Yankees). Surprised you didn't know that.
   27. Ron J2 Posted: August 15, 2014 at 03:01 PM (#4771928)
#25 Yeah, meant to insert a note that it wasn't Stirnweiss. George Weiss, GM.
   28. villageidiom Posted: August 15, 2014 at 03:09 PM (#4771935)
BTW, I think of a "flop" as either a team that blows a lead, or a team that was a preseason favorite and disappoints. How are the Yankees a "flop"? They appeared to be a mediocre team, and they've proceeded to play mediocre all year.

To your point... ESPN peak* Yankees preseason predictions for 2014

No playoffs (32):
Baer, Boone, Keown, Keri, Lindbergh,
Saxon, Gomez, King, Kull, Meyers,
Ravech, Rubin, Crasnick, Wulf, Knisley,
Olney, Schulman, Szymborski, Cockcroft, Edes,
Mass, Schoenfeld, Spratt, Stark, Caple,
Durrett, Kahrl, Lundblad, Roberts, J. McDonald,
Pascarelli, Bennett

Wild card (6): Bowden, Cross, Szefc, Bernoski, Karabell, Kurkjian

Division (4): Rojas, Marchand, Schiambi, Simon

Pennant (2): Cruz, A. McDonald

Championship (0)

If you figure the team that misses a wild card spot is sitting around 89 wins or so at best, I'd have to figure the predictions above assume the Yankees would be short of that. Let's say 85 wins. That's a fairly mediocre team.

* By "peak" I mean how far they'd go in the playoffs. Obviously if someone predicts them to win the pennant they must also pick them for either the division or the wild card. I'm only listing the highest level predicted for the Yankees by the picker.
   29. Ulysses S. Fairsmith Posted: August 15, 2014 at 03:32 PM (#4771961)
The last time there were playoffs without [the Red Sox or the Yankees] was 1993.


Red Sox = Tommie Aaron
   30. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: August 15, 2014 at 04:54 PM (#4772019)
Rizzuto wasn't a single digit legend but his exit was not all that nice. Nabbed a nice summary off the net:

Late in the 1956 season, the Yankees brought him in the office and asked him to look over the roster. They asked him to explain what player or players were expendable, and one after another, the Yankees explained why they needed to keep the player. In the end, Rizzuto realized that it was him that the Yankees found expendable. George Stirnweiss, the Yankees owner, however, warned Rizzuto. If Rizzuto took to the media to complain, it would affect his non-playing career. Rizzuto didn’t complain, and he would later say that following Stirnweiss’ advice was the best thing he ever did.


George Weiss was the Yankees' GM (not the owner) at that point. Sternweiss's advice came along later, and he wasn't present during the exchange.

And the guy who lowered the boom with that "Guess who's being cut?" game was Casey Stengel. There are variants of this tale that have it taking place on a train, but they all involve Stengel's "asking" Rizzuto for his "advice" about roster moves, and then vetoing one name after another until Rizzuto finally got the hint. Just to twist the knife in, the actual announcement took the form of a press release that was handed out during the Yankees' Old Timers' Day ceremonies.

And BTW before Rizzuto got his job as a Yankees' co-announcer, he'd finished up the 1956 season broadcasting for the cross-river New York Giants. There's a strong possibility that this embarrassed the Yankees to the point where they hired him in early 1957.

   31. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: August 15, 2014 at 05:08 PM (#4772034)
I guess it'd be somehow more fitting to watch the Yanks lose the wild card game? No.
   32. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: August 15, 2014 at 05:13 PM (#4772039)
Andy, first, Drew missed half of the season to this point. So adding up WAR numbers is really terrible analysis.

Second, unless you below that Drew is anything close to a true 54 OPS+ hitter, Drew is a better player than Jeter.


Drew's OPS+ for the Yankees isn't 54. It's 28. Jeter's upside as a hitter is better, and more to the point, any marginal improvement would be negated by the backlash for benching Jeter in the final six weeks of his career in favor of a player whose value is solely in his defense.

And anyway, the bottom line is that the Yankees are dead in the water, they're not going anywhere without a lot a injury recovery miracles and a collapse of their wild card rivals**, and while obviously they'll never admit it in so many words, Jeter's value as a drawing card and a symbol far outweighs whatever marginal value Drew's defense might give them. You or I can dismiss this from a sabermetric perspective, but sabermetrics aren't the only reality that teams often act upon.

**Does anyone seriously think that the 56-63 Pythagorean Yankees are going to leap over all but one team out of a group that consists of Toronto, Detroit, Kansas City, the Angels and Seattle, and that Stephen ####### Drew is going to be the straw that spikes the drink? If so, let me show you this nice used bridge I'd like to sell you.

   33. Swoboda is freedom Posted: August 15, 2014 at 05:28 PM (#4772057)
And the guy who lowered the boom with that "Guess who's being cut?" game was Casey Stengel.


Sounds like that old Army joke. Sergeant gathers the platoon into formation. Asks all the men whose mother is still alive to take one step forward. As they do, the sergeant says "Not so fast there Johnson."
   34. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: August 15, 2014 at 05:32 PM (#4772061)
And that's pretty much what it was. Stengel and Weiss were about as sentimental as Larry Ellison.
   35. Walt Davis Posted: August 15, 2014 at 06:37 PM (#4772103)
This isn't hard.

Put Jeter on waivers so he can end his career with a winner.
   36. The Yankee Clapper Posted: August 15, 2014 at 08:42 PM (#4772177)
Does anyone seriously think that the 56-63 Pythagorean Yankees are going to leap over all but one team out of a group that consists of Toronto, Detroit, Kansas City, the Angels and Seattle, and that Stephen ####### Drew is going to be the straw that spikes the drink?

Don’t give up, don’t ever give up. But yeah, if something good happens, it's not likely to have anything to do with Stephen Drew.

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