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Friday, July 18, 2014

Vaccaro: Yankees greats have stumbled from where Jeter now stands

Jeter: I can’t OPS+ any more.

Sixty-eight games to stick the landing.

You don’t have to wander very far to know how challenging that can be. Mickey Mantle long regretted how it ended for him, a 1968 season in which he could barely walk, in which he hit .237 and knocked four points off his career average, leaving him at .298.

...Jeter, of course, is equipped with certain unique elements that will steel him from such problems. For one thing, he would have to go 0-for-428 to drop his career average to .2994. So that’s safe. He has long been exposed to unflattering reports — whether from statheads or a vocal anti-Yankees faction that has forever targeted him as overrated and overvalued — that would make what the Brooklyn scout said of DiMaggio read like a Hallmark card. That won’t affect him.

Could he have a skid like the one that nearly obliterated Mattingly’s last go-round? He could. He’s had stretches of ineffectiveness this year. But again, when you’ve watched Jeter as long as you have, you understand something: There’s no way he will allow himself to become a burden. It seems he’s come to peace with who he is at age 40: a contributor, a leader, a captain, a player you’d certainly rather have on your team than not, a star by reputation rather than repetition. Reliably reliable.

That probably explains why he knew this year would be it, because that’s not a function he could long be comfortable with. But it allows an image far more satisfying than the one we would’ve been left with this time last year – or the one we’d likely have this time next year. He has a chance to stick the landing. Who’s betting that he won’t?

Repoz Posted: July 18, 2014 at 09:02 AM | 79 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: yankees

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   1. Howie Menckel Posted: July 18, 2014 at 09:30 AM (#4753464)
Mantle finished 3rd in AL in OBP and 9th in OPS in his final season. 143 OPS+

Jeter has an 81 OPS+, OBP of .324 while 3rd is .393 and 10th is .377

Jeter should have such a bad season...

#cmonmike
   2. JE (Jason) Posted: July 18, 2014 at 10:30 AM (#4753531)
Mantle posted a 2.8 fWAR in '68, which was only that low because his 1B defense appears to have been Piazza-esque.
   3. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: July 18, 2014 at 10:41 AM (#4753542)
Mantle 2.6 WAR in final season, 3.9 in previous.

Jeter 0.5 this year, and previous seasons: -0.7, 2.2, 1.1, 1.7, 6.5.
   4. Buzzkill Posted: July 18, 2014 at 11:09 AM (#4753575)
I think Vaccaro's point is that its a borderline miracle Jeter is getting on base 3 out of ten times he gets up this season.
   5. pure bull Posted: July 18, 2014 at 11:25 AM (#4753601)
me. i'm betting against him sticking the landing. in fact, i'm saying that he hasn't come close to sticking the landing thus far, so it'd be foolish and starry-eyed to try to convince yourself that he's got any chance of picking it up enough between now and the end of the year that you could look back at it and say, 'yeah, jetes, he went out on a high, sticking it like that...'
   6. TJ Posted: July 18, 2014 at 11:44 AM (#4753624)
What!?! Derek Jeter is retiring!?! Why hasn't anyone talked about this?

   7. ursus arctos Posted: July 18, 2014 at 12:35 PM (#4753674)
Mantle looked awful in 1968. Saying that he could barely walk is only a bit of an exaggeration.

Even to a nine year old who wasn't fond of the Yankees or Mantle, it was painful to watch.
   8. GotowarMissAgnes Posted: July 18, 2014 at 12:40 PM (#4753677)
Yet, if you stop relying on a misleading visual impression and look at what objective data shows he did...
   9. SandyRiver Posted: July 18, 2014 at 01:31 PM (#4753715)
While much of 1968's "Mick's awful" was from not understanding what the data meant, part of it was from seeing how far he'd fallen. That 143 OPS+ was 78 below his peak and more than 60 below his #2 and #3 years; Jeter's 81 is 72 below his best and 51 below 2nd best.
   10. Dale Sams Posted: July 18, 2014 at 01:49 PM (#4753726)
And other than Brett Gardner, who has been a more reliable Yankee in 2014, day to day, than Jeter?


Is Mark Teixiera dead? Last time I checked he had about a 122 OPS+
   11. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: July 18, 2014 at 02:07 PM (#4753736)
While much of 1968's "Mick's awful" was from not understanding what the data meant, part of it was from seeing how far he'd fallen. That 143 OPS+ was 78 below his peak and more than 60 below his #2 and #3 years; Jeter's 81 is 72 below his best and 51 below 2nd best.

And Mantle's 143 OPS+ in his final year was largely due to his high walk totals, in a year where there wasn't anyone to drive him in from first. In 547 PA's that year, Mantle wound up on base 192 times, but in those 192 times, he scored only 39 runs. Walks are of little value if you keep winding up LOB.

Mantle might not have had those spreadsheets next to him when he chose to retire, but I'm sure he wasn't unaware that his real value to the Yankees was only a shell of what it had been, and IMO he made the wise choice of hanging it up when he did.
   12. TDF, situational idiot Posted: July 18, 2014 at 02:22 PM (#4753744)
And other than Brett Gardner, who has been a more reliable Yankee in 2014, day to day, than Jeter?
That's a loaded question.

(1) Only 2 other Yankees have more PA than Jeter (Ellsbury and Gardner) and McCann is the only other Yankee within 60 PA of him; hence, "day to day" is going to limit things severely.
(2) By bWAR, 6 other Yankees have been more valuable than Jeter, but none have been as "reliable". OPS by month:

Jeter: .660, .670, .639, .592 (by BA, Jeter's gone .272, .275, .272, .269 - that's pretty impressive)
Gardner: .696, .775, .858, .745
Ellsbury: .821, .644, .809, .688
Roberts: .613, .745, .625, .771
Teixiera: .862, .840, .774, .740
Ichiro!: .791, .721, .584, .711
Solarte: .865, .809, .495, .347

My dog poops on the bathroom floor every morning (he's a deaf/mostly blind rescue dog that came with my wife). He's reliable, but certainly not the best pet.
   13. Howie Menckel Posted: July 18, 2014 at 02:31 PM (#4753758)
"Mantle might not have had those spreadsheets next to him when he chose to retire, but I'm sure he wasn't unaware that his real value to the Yankees was only a shell of what it had been, and IMO he made the wise choice of hanging it up when he did."

of course.

and while he only scored 57 runs (not the 39 you list, and it's 210+ times reached base), it was in the all-time modern year of desperation to score runs. every run was precious, so even if he only had scored a handful of extras via walk, it would be worth a lot more than an extra handful in 2014. nobody in AL scored more than 95 runs and you only needed 78 to get into the top 10. Mantle was 28th in AL Runs Scored. His .237 AVG was 34th, and he was 19th in Slugging.

(for anyone who hasn't looked at 1968 or remembered it, the AL hit .230 and the Yankees hit .214. Mantle's 18 HR led the club and was 13th in AL. heck, his 6 SB were 42nd; 2 CS as well).

   14. JE (Jason) Posted: July 18, 2014 at 02:35 PM (#4753764)
Is Mark Teixiera dead? Last time I checked he had about a 122 OPS+

As TDF points out, "day to day" is key: Hasn't Teixeira missed 21 games already?
   15. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: July 18, 2014 at 02:38 PM (#4753766)
and while he only scored 39 runs, it was in the all-time modern year of desperation to score runs. every run was precious, so even if he only had scored a handful of extras via walk, it would be worth a lot more than an extra handful in 2014.

The point is that reaching first base with no base stealing ability isn't doing the team much good if there's nobody to drive you in. If Mantle had been on the Red Sox or the Tigers that year, those walks would have had much more value. Just as the value of stolen bases is reduced on a team filled with sluggers, the value of a walk is reduced in a team with none of them, and the Yankees were 9th in team slugging that year in a 10 team league.

(for anyone who hasn't looked at 1968 or remembered it, the AL hit .230 and the Yankees hit .214. Mantle's 18 HR led the club.)

I know that, and it only reinforces my point. Mantle would've been more valuable to his team that year swinging away, even if his OBP would have dropped.
   16. Mark Armour Posted: July 18, 2014 at 02:48 PM (#4753769)
The older Willie Mays is another guy who is derided for being so terrible when in fact he was a very good player until almost the end. His last three OPS+'s: 158, 131, 81. He stayed one year too long, I suppose.

But it was really less than that. He actually announced his retirement with a month to go in the season, his body suddenly unable to play, and did not plan to play any more. He played two games in September (both at first base), and none the last three weeks of the season. But the Mets suddenly got on fire and won the division, and their outfielders started dropping like flies. Mays played just a few innings in the NLCS, but, somewhat shockingly, Berra started him in center field in the first game of the World Series. The guy had barely played for a month. He played all of Game 1, then played a few innings of the next two games (in extra innings). He looked old, played old, and people never really got over it.

But it is unfair to suggest that he hung on. He tried to retire, and his team essentially begged him to stick around.

Also. Mays's last great season, his last season as WILLIE MAYS, was 1966. He played seven more seasons merely as Willie Mays. I was six years old when he switched, so my memories are of the lesser player. But the old man put up 27.0 bWAR in those years.
   17. Howie Menckel Posted: July 18, 2014 at 02:59 PM (#4753778)
"If Mantle had been on the Red Sox or the Tigers that year, those walks would have had much more value."

well, the 57 runs he did score have much more value than the 39 you credit him for.
:)

Mays is remembered for his pitiful World Series "single" that went about 10 feet, iirc, like - well, like a BBTF annual softball game hit or two, lol
   18. cardsfanboy Posted: July 18, 2014 at 03:06 PM (#4753783)
well, the 57 runs he did score have much more value than the 39 you credit him for.
:)


His comment wasn't about the seasonal stats, his comment was about the times in which Mantle didn't drive himself in.
   19. Mark Armour Posted: July 18, 2014 at 03:15 PM (#4753788)
If Mantle had been "swinging away", as Andy suggests he should have, presumably his .237 batting average would have gone down. People who hit .237 should not be expanding their strike zone. Mantle was a selective hitter, which is why he was a great hitter.

Ken Harrelson, who had a better season than Mantle and played for a much better offensive team, was driven in just 42 times that season in substantially more plate appearances than Mantle had. 1968 was crazy.

   20. Sunday silence Posted: July 18, 2014 at 03:22 PM (#4753794)
I'm glad someone explained that Mays '73 season, cause they always put him down for what happened at the end. I know Tony Kornheiser does not like him, so he always mentions Willie Mays "stumbling around in the outfield."

The last time I checked, I seemed to think he had covered CF very well the year before, was he still in San Fran? He was still very effective at age 40, not so much at 41 or 42 whatever it was.

I remember him striking out in the all star game, I think it was '73. He looked bad on that, he was trying so hard you could see the frustration in his face.
   21. cardsfanboy Posted: July 18, 2014 at 03:23 PM (#4753796)
If Mantle had been "swinging away", as Andy suggests he should have, presumably his .237 batting average would have gone down. People who hit .237 should not be expanding their strike zone. Mantle was a selective hitter, which is why he was a great hitter.

Ken Harrelson, who had a better season than Mantle and played for a much better offensive team, was driven in just 42 times that season in substantially more plate appearances than Mantle had. 1968 was crazy.


I don't think Mantle should have been expanding his zone, just that his ops+ and obp are somewhat misleading since he was walked a lot because he wasn't likely to score with the offense behind him and his creaky knees. OPS+ is giving him credit for something that was probably pretty often a tactical decision by the opposition.
   22. Howie Menckel Posted: July 18, 2014 at 03:26 PM (#4753798)
"His comment wasn't about the seasonal stats, his comment was about the times in which Mantle didn't drive himself in."

ah, thanks

but as far as OPS+ goes, it's 143 for Mantle and 81 for Jeter.
tell us how many "pts" you want to take away from Mantle (whose 6 SB in 1968 match Jeter's current total). 10? 15? 20? it's not 60, is it?
   23. Mark Armour Posted: July 18, 2014 at 03:35 PM (#4753804)
I don't disagree, but you can make that argument for Mantle (or Williams, or Bonds, etc.) his entire career. His walk rate in 1968 was 19.4%, a little higher than his career rate of 17.5% but less than many seasons in his peak. In 1957 he walked over 23% of the time and in 1962 over 24% of the time. Much of this is Mantle being Mantle, but some of it is (as you say) tactical.

Again, I do not disagree really. Most of our value statistics assume that the individual events (ground out, double, strikeout, home run) are randomly distributed over the player's appearances. If the opposing team were able to place each of the events throughout the batter's season as they saw fit, obviously the player would have less value. Intentional walks are not random, they are placed when the opposing team wishes them placed. To the extent that some of the non-intentional walks are also not random (difficult to ascertain), this does effect the batter's actual value I think.
   24. Swoboda is freedom Posted: July 18, 2014 at 03:36 PM (#4753806)
and the end of the year that you could look back at it and say, 'yeah, jetes, he went out on a high, sticking it like that...'

And then giving out a gift basket.
   25. cardsfanboy Posted: July 18, 2014 at 03:45 PM (#4753811)
but as far as OPS+ goes, it's 143 for Mantle and 81 for Jeter.
tell us how many "pts" you want to take away from Mantle (whose 6 SB in 1968 match Jeter's current total). 10? 15? 20? it's not 60, is it?


I'm not sure anyone is defending Jeter over Mantle season(outside of the writer of this article) I just think Andy was trying to point out that 143 ops+ for Mantle at that time in his career is probably not equivalent to a 143 ops+ from someone else during the peak of their career. Andy was saying it was wise of Mantle to retire at the time he did, because he was no longer "Mantle" and maybe not even that valuable of a player if the team picked up better offensive players to surround him, since his actual value was in his walk totals, and those would have surely gone down if there was any offense behind him. (Not sure I agree with that assessment, but I didn't see him play, Andy did)
   26. The Yankee Clapper Posted: July 18, 2014 at 03:57 PM (#4753817)
. . . always mentions Willie Mays "stumbling around in the outfield."

To be fair, Mays did have a lot of trouble in the playoffs, which certainly came as a surprise back then when most people were going by memories and wouldn't have seen Willie playing lately. Mays "lowlights" weren't on Sports Center every night, they just showed up in the biggest games of the year. Hence the impact.
   27. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: July 18, 2014 at 04:05 PM (#4753823)
OPS+ is giving him credit for something that was probably pretty often a tactical decision by the opposition.


Mantle always walked

plus he batted in front of either Tresh, Pepitone or White, Tresh* was terrible but both Pepitone and White had SLGs well above league average

Mantle scored 57 runs in 547 PAs (0.104 per PA)

That year the league scored 0.092 runs per PA
he had 54 RBI in 547 PAs, (0.99 per PA)
the league had 0.085 RBI per PA

Mantle was still a productive offensive player in 1968, which fact was obscured by both 1968's extreme offensive environment and the overall overvaluation of batting average back then and the lack of appreciation for stuff like walks and slugging percentage.

When Mantle's 1968 gets discussed there always seems to be a side that says
1: I remember he looked terrible
2: Well the numbers, well, umm, their boosted by walks and they don't count because... because of the reasons people have been trotting out for 100 years as to why batter walks are meaningless (The batter is clogging the bases, the batter is hurting his team by punting the ribbie opp to a [lesser] hitter, the hitter shouldn't get any credit because he's obviously being pitched around etc etc)

It's almost like they have a very strong initial impression that they just refuse to even consider revising (kind of like a politics thread)


*Tresh was a guy who I never actually saw play (last year was 1969) but Yankee announcers had a habit of talking about him all throughout the 70s, apparently he was the guy they all thought was going to be a huge star, was a star, never took the next step and then in his late 20s inexplicably went "poof" and turned into a pumpkin... apparently it was supposed to be some type of cautionary tale, but cautioning of what I have no idea



   28. Mark Armour Posted: July 18, 2014 at 04:59 PM (#4753877)
To be fair, Mays did have a lot of trouble in the playoffs, which certainly came as a surprise back then when most people were going by memories and wouldn't have seen Willie playing lately. Mays "lowlights" weren't on Sports Center every night, they just showed up in the biggest games of the year. Hence the impact.


It is true that Mays could not really play anymore. What is lost from this, I think, is that he knew this and tried to quit and especially tried to not play the outfield. Starting August 1, he played 12 defensive innings in centerfield the rest of the way, and played just a couple of games at first base in September. In the post-season, the Mets played 12 games and Mays played 16 innings in the outfield. It was 16 more than he wanted to play. And the misplayed ball in CF -- when he and another outfielder converged and could not agree on whose ball it was -- was played over and over and over for years afterward. It was a different era -- the people who watched Mays play those 16 innings might not have seen him play in the outfield on TV since the 1971 NLCS.

Mays was not a good player in October 1973. But he did not "hang on too long," which is often claimed. He played because his team begged him to stick around and help, and they all say then and now that they needed him and that he did help.
   29. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: July 18, 2014 at 05:15 PM (#4753889)
the guy they all thought was going to be a huge star, was a star, never took the next step and then in his late 20s inexplicably went "poof" and turned into a pumpkin... apparently it was supposed to be some type of cautionary tale, but cautioning of what I have no idea


Steroids.
   30. bobm Posted: July 18, 2014 at 05:18 PM (#4753895)
For single seasons, From 1947 to 2014, During last season , Hall Of Fame Members (as mlb players), Played 50% of games at C, 1B, 2B, 3B, SS, LF, CF, RF or DH, sorted by greatest Plate Appearance

                                                                                 
Rk             Player  PA OPS+ Year Age  Tm Lg   G   BA  OBP  SLG   OPS       Pos
1           Al Kaline 630  107 1974  39 DET AL 147 .262 .337 .389  .726      *D/H
2        George Brett 612   94 1993  40 KCR AL 145 .266 .312 .434  .746      *D/H
3       Kirby Puckett 602  130 1995  35 MIN AL 137 .314 .379 .515  .894 *9D/8H645
4       Luis Aparicio 561   75 1973  39 BOS AL 132 .271 .324 .309  .633        *6
5        Paul Molitor 559   86 1998  41 MIN AL 126 .281 .335 .382  .718     *D/3H
6       Mickey Mantle 547  143 1968  36 NYY AL 144 .237 .385 .398  .782       *3H
7           Rod Carew 518   99 1985  39 CAL AL 127 .280 .371 .345  .717       *3H
8          Cal Ripken 516   70 2001  40 BAL AL 128 .239 .276 .361  .637     *5D/H
9         Robin Yount 514   90 1993  37 MIL AL 127 .258 .326 .379  .705    *8/3DH
10     Hank Greenberg 510  131 1947  36 PIT NL 125 .249 .408 .478  .885      *3/H
11       Joe DiMaggio 482  116 1951  36 NYY AL 116 .263 .365 .422  .787      *8/H
12      Ryne Sandberg 480   83 1997  37 CHC NL 135 .264 .308 .403  .711     *4H/D
13     Richie Ashburn 473  121 1962  35 NYM NL 135 .306 .424 .393  .817    89H/74
14        Bobby Doerr 463  114 1951  33 BOS AL 106 .289 .378 .448  .826        *4
15         Joe Morgan 438  104 1984  40 OAK AL 116 .244 .356 .351  .707     *4H/D
16   Carl Yastrzemski 437  106 1983  43 BOS AL 119 .266 .359 .408  .767    *DH/37
17          Lou Brock 436  100 1979  40 STL NL 120 .304 .342 .398  .739       *7H
18    Jackie Robinson 431  106 1956  37 BRO NL 117 .275 .382 .412  .793   *54H/37
19         Joe Gordon 430   99 1950  35 CLE AL 119 .236 .340 .429  .770       *4H
20          Ron Santo 418   69 1974  34 CHW AL 117 .221 .293 .299  .591   D45H/36
21     Billy Williams 413   98 1976  38 OAK AL 120 .211 .320 .339  .659     *DH/7
22   Roberto Clemente 413  138 1972  37 PIT NL 102 .312 .356 .479  .835       *9H
23       Ted Williams 390  190 1960  41 BOS AL 113 .316 .451 .645 1.096       *7H
24        Ralph Kiner 390  116 1955  32 CLE AL 113 .243 .367 .452  .818       *7H
25       Barry Larkin 386  101 2004  40 CIN NL 111 .289 .352 .419  .771       *6H
Rk             Player  PA OPS+ Year Age  Tm Lg   G   BA  OBP  SLG   OPS       Pos
26     Roy Campanella 380   82 1957  35 BRO NL 103 .242 .316 .388  .703      *2/H
27        Stan Musial 379  101 1963  42 STL NL 124 .255 .325 .404  .728       *7H
28     Reggie Jackson 374   89 1987  41 OAK AL 115 .220 .297 .402  .699      *DH9
29   Harmon Killebrew 369   93 1975  39 KCR AL 106 .199 .317 .375  .692     *DH/3
30        George Kell 345  115 1957  34 BAL AL  99 .297 .352 .413  .765      *53H
31         Wade Boggs 334   94 1999  41 TBD AL  90 .301 .377 .377  .754   *5/HD31
32       Johnny Bench 334  101 1983  35 CIN NL 110 .255 .308 .432  .741    5H3/27
33        Gary Carter 325   81 1992  38 MON NL  95 .218 .299 .340  .640     *2H/3
34         Hank Aaron 308  102 1976  42 MIL AL  85 .229 .315 .369  .684     *DH/7
35       Frank Thomas 289   97 2008  40 TOT AL  71 .240 .349 .374  .723      *D/H
36        Ozzie Smith 261   94 1996  41 STL NL  82 .282 .358 .370  .728       *6H
37        Willie Mays 239   81 1973  42 NYM NL  66 .211 .303 .344  .647     *83/H
38           Jim Rice 228   70 1989  36 BOS AL  56 .234 .276 .344  .621      *D/H
39         Tony Perez 228   87 1986  44 CIN NL  77 .255 .333 .355  .688       *3H
40     Roberto Alomar 190   81 2004  36 TOT ML  56 .263 .321 .392  .713     *4H/D
41        Duke Snider 189   75 1964  37 SFG NL  91 .210 .302 .323  .625      *H97
42       Eddie Murray 185   55 1997  41 TOT ML  55 .222 .281 .317  .598       *DH
43      Pee Wee Reese 181   87 1958  39 LAD NL  59 .224 .337 .381  .718       65H
44       Mike Schmidt 172   91 1989  39 PHI NL  42 .203 .297 .372  .668        *5
45       Luke Appling 144   61 1950  43 CHW AL  50 .234 .300 .320  .620     6H3/4
46       Arky Vaughan 144   86 1948  36 BRO NL  65 .244 .354 .341  .696     *H7/5
47     Enos Slaughter 135   70 1959  43 TOT ML  85 .171 .269 .342  .611      *H97
48     Willie McCovey 132   66 1980  42 SFG NL  48 .204 .285 .301  .586       *3H
49      Dave Winfield 130   49 1995  43 CLE AL  46 .191 .285 .287  .572       *DH
50         Larry Doby 124   61 1959  35 TOT AL  39 .230 .290 .301  .591    97H/83
Rk             Player  PA OPS+ Year Age  Tm Lg   G   BA  OBP  SLG   OPS       Pos
51        Johnny Mize 118  101 1953  40 NYY AL  81 .250 .339 .394  .733       *H3
52     Orlando Cepeda 117   62 1974  36 KCR AL  33 .215 .282 .290  .572      *D/H
53     Ernie Lombardi 117  100 1947  39 NYG NL  48 .282 .325 .436  .761      *H*2
54       Rick Ferrell 115  126 1947  41 WSH AL  37 .303 .389 .414  .804      *2/H
55         Tony Gwynn 112  127 2001  41 SDP NL  71 .324 .384 .461  .845     *H9/D
56        Ernie Banks  92   53 1971  40 CHC NL  39 .193 .247 .325  .572      *H*3
57    Willie Stargell  85  100 1982  42 PIT NL  74 .233 .318 .411  .729      *H/3
58   Rickey Henderson  84   70 2003  44 LAD NL  30 .208 .321 .306  .627       *7H
59     Frank Robinson  79  104 1976  40 CLE AL  36 .224 .329 .358  .687   *H*D/37
60     Bill Mazeroski  72   34 1972  35 PIT NL  34 .188 .217 .250  .467      H4/5
61       Phil Rizzuto  66   47 1956  38 NYY AL  31 .231 .310 .231  .541      *6/H
62       Andre Dawson  61   92 1996  41 FLA NL  42 .276 .311 .414  .725      *H/7
63       Carlton Fisk  58   29 1993  45 CHW AL  25 .189 .228 .245  .473      *2/H
64      Eddie Mathews  57   98 1968  36 DET AL  31 .212 .281 .385  .665     *H/35
65    Brooks Robinson  52   30 1977  40 BAL AL  24 .149 .212 .255  .467      *5/H
66       Billy Herman  49   42 1947  37 PIT NL  15 .213 .245 .298  .543     *4/H3
67         Nellie Fox  42   76 1965  37 HOU NL  21 .268 .286 .317  .603    *H/534
68         Yogi Berra   9   29 1965  40 NYM NL   4 .222 .222 .222  .444     /*H*2
69       Lou Boudreau   3 -100 1952  34 BOS AL   4 .000 .000 .000  .000     /*H65


Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 7/18/2014.
   31. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: July 18, 2014 at 05:19 PM (#4753896)
Mantle scored 57 runs in 547 PAs (0.104 per PA)

Of which 18 of them were from home runs.

Mantle was still a productive offensive player in 1968, which fact was obscured by both 1968's extreme offensive environment and the overall overvaluation of batting average back then and the lack of appreciation for stuff like walks and slugging percentage.

All that's true, but that doesn't mean that he wouldn't have contributed more overall value by expanding his strike zone. You'll notice I haven't once said anything about his batting average, only the very small number of times he was able to score once he got on base. His team value would have been much greater that year if he'd been on the Tigers.

-------------------------------------

but as far as OPS+ goes, it's 143 for Mantle and 81 for Jeter.

My comments about Mantle also had nothing to do with Jeter, whose name I haven't even mentioned in this thread up to now.
   32. BDC Posted: July 18, 2014 at 05:25 PM (#4753904)
You failed to mention Jeter in a Jeter thread? Turn in your membership card, sir.
   33. Matt Welch Posted: July 18, 2014 at 05:26 PM (#4753905)
Last seasons of over-30 players not named Joe Jackson who qualified for the batting title that year, ranked by OPS+:

1) 145 Will Clark 2000
2) 143 Mantle 1968
3) 138 Buzz Arlett 1931 (also his rookie season! What?)
4) 135 Frank Huelsman 1905
5) 134 Wildfire Schulte 1918
6) 133 Bill Keister 1903
7) 131 Greenberg 1947
8) 130 Puckett 1995
9) 129 Tony Cuccinello 1945
10) 127 Johnny Dickshot 1945 (the only season he qualified for the batting title)

Other notables:

116 DiMaggio
116 Jesse Burkett
114 Hal Chase
113 Billy Hamilton
109 Albert Belle
107 Al Kaline
105 Kenny Lofton
105 Paul O'Neill
105 Larry Doyle
104 Al Rosen
98 Vladimir Guerrero
97 Mattingly

And so on. The Mantle-sucked-in-'68 meme needs to die.


   34. Steve Treder Posted: July 18, 2014 at 05:32 PM (#4753909)
The Mantle-sucked-in-'68 meme needs to die.

It needs to be terminated with extreme prejudice.
   35. Mark Armour Posted: July 18, 2014 at 05:37 PM (#4753911)
1 Al Kaline 630 107 1974 39 DET AL 147 .262 .337 .389 .726 *D/H


The interesting thing about Kaline's final season is that he played more than he had in 13 years. Some of this is the DH rule, of course, but part of it was his drive for 3000 hits. Kaline needed 139, a total he had not reached in a decade, and by God he got 'em.

No offense intended -- I love Kaline without condition.
   36. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: July 18, 2014 at 05:39 PM (#4753912)
10) 127 Johnny Dickshot 1945

Heh.
   37. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: July 18, 2014 at 06:04 PM (#4753926)
And so on. The Mantle-sucked-in-'68 meme needs to die.

Nobody here has said that, and nobody here has been half as hard on Mantle's 1968 as Mantle was himself.
   38. Moeball Posted: July 18, 2014 at 06:22 PM (#4753941)
Mickey Mantle long regretted how it ended for him, a 1968 season in which he could barely walk


Are you kidding? He walked 106 times! And to hear a lot of his critics, all he could do was walk!

Last seasons of over-30 players not named Joe Jackson who qualified for the batting title that year, ranked by OPS+:

1) 145 Will Clark 2000
2) 143 Mantle 1968
3) 138 Buzz Arlett 1931 (also his rookie season! What?)
4) 135 Frank Huelsman 1905
5) 134 Wildfire Schulte 1918
6) 133 Bill Keister 1903
7) 131 Greenberg 1947
8) 130 Puckett 1995
9) 129 Tony Cuccinello 1945
10) 127 Johnny Dickshot 1945 (the only season he qualified for the batting title)

Other notables:

116 DiMaggio
116 Jesse Burkett
114 Hal Chase
113 Billy Hamilton
109 Albert Belle
107 Al Kaline
105 Kenny Lofton
105 Paul O'Neill
105 Larry Doyle
104 Al Rosen
98 Vladimir Guerrero
97 Mattingly

And so on. The Mantle-sucked-in-'68 meme needs to die.


Minor quibble here - I'm guessing the sort for the list above must have been based on players with 502 PA or something like that? In fact, in 2007 Barry Bonds only had 477 PA which is probably why he wouldn't show up on a list such as that shown above. It should be pointed out, however, that he was officially listed as the league leader in OBA even being 25 PA short of the requirement due to the rule that if you are close enough to the limit that the missing PA could all be added as outs - and if so added, you still led the league - then you are officially the league leader and therefore qualified. Even with 25 additional outs Bonds still would have had a .456 OBA that year. His OPS+ as it was came in at 169; even with 25 additional outs he would probably still crack that top 10 list shown above.

BTW - that same rule was used for Tony Gwynn being listed as the NL batting champion in 1996.

He has long been exposed to unflattering reports — whether from statheads or a vocal anti-Yankees faction that has forever targeted him as overrated and overvalued


So apparently it's only statheads (in the author's mind these are clearly people who unhealthily obsess about the numbers) or people who hate the Yankees that would dare say Jeter was overrated? No one could possibly watch Jeter out at SS with a scout's eye and figure out that he was hopelessly overmatched by the position? Sheesh.

And finally - it's 2014 and the author is still talking about whether Mantle or Jeter could finish with a .300 career batting average or not? Like it's only Jeter's batting average that shows he's been an outstanding hitter over his career? Seriously? We're still basing our measurement of offensive excellence on batting average? in 2014?

When the world comes to an end I want to be surrounded by a bunch of baseball writers - they're at least 30 years behind the times so I'll get to live a few decades longer before the end gets to them.


   39. The Yankee Clapper Posted: July 18, 2014 at 06:42 PM (#4753950)
Jeter 0.5 this year, and previous seasons: -0.7, 2.2, 1.1, 1.7, 6.5.

Players get old. OPS+ after age 30 season: Cal Ripken 97; Derek Jeter 111.
   40. Fred Lynn Nolan Ryan Sweeney Agonistes Posted: July 18, 2014 at 07:47 PM (#4753987)
Players get old. OPS+ after age 30 season: Cal Ripken 97; Derek Jeter 111.

No kidding.
dWAR after age 30 season: Cal Ripken 11.8; Derek Jeter -6.5.
   41. Srul Itza Posted: July 18, 2014 at 07:52 PM (#4753991)
Kaline needed 139, a total he had not reached in a decade, and by God he got 'em.


And yet he walked every 9.7 PA, which is more than he had the last two years, and pretty much in line with his career average of 9.1. And given that his triple slash line was .262/.337/.389, with all of two IBBs, it is not like they were working around him much. So even with the drive to get hits, he also took his walks.

Not that Al Kaline needs any defending from me.
   42. cardsfanboy Posted: July 18, 2014 at 07:53 PM (#4753993)
Players get old. OPS+ after age 30 season: Cal Ripken 97; Derek Jeter 111.


Not sure what the purpose of taking that quote of context was. The article is about how Jeter is better in his twiglight than noted legend Mickey Mantle, the comment was to show the vast differences between the two and that Jeter is a pretty average/below average player right now and for a while, while Mantle on the other hand was a plus player that this writer is trying to bad mouth.
   43. Fred Lynn Nolan Ryan Sweeney Agonistes Posted: July 18, 2014 at 08:01 PM (#4753999)
Not sure what the purpose of taking that quote of context was.

I think it was pretty obviously to show that Derek Jeter was better than Cal Ripken.
But only as an older player.
And even then, only while batting.
   44. Rob_Wood Posted: July 18, 2014 at 09:09 PM (#4754047)
I have probably told this story before but I was seated next to Mickey Mantle on a flight from New York to Dallas in the early 1990s. I didn't want to be a pest or anything so upon meeting him I said I was a fan of his and intended to leave him alone for the rest of the flight. Well, after a few minutes he chatted me up about baseball, who my favorite team was, my favorite player, etc. I told him my favorite player was Willie Mays and he chuckled. That triggered in his mind Willie's poor end-of-career and reminded him of his own too. He said he only had one regret in his entire career and that was playing that last season in 1968. His legs were basically gone, he was in pain for much of the season, he hated playing first base and he had a crappy season (although he did not say "crappy").

I reminded him that 1968 was the Year of the Pitcher and his season was pretty decent compared to the putrid league-wide offensive levels that year. He just shook his head and said he should have retired after the 1967 season.

Anyway, Mickey knew he was a shell of his former self and nobody knew that more than Mickey himself.
   45. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: July 18, 2014 at 09:24 PM (#4754056)
Interesting anecdote, Rob. There's another story about Ted Williams that also concerns a chance meeting with a fan.

At some point in the mid-1950's, when Williams had had several injury-shortened seasons, there were reports in the papers that he was considering retirement. At that point, an unknown fan came up to him at a train station, pulled out some stat sheets that he'd been working on, showed Williams that he was very close to achieving several historic career milestones, and that he owed it to himself and to the game not to quit. According to Williams, that fan's POV helped convince him to keep playing.
   46. Howie Menckel Posted: July 18, 2014 at 09:25 PM (#4754057)
#fishinabarrel
   47. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: July 18, 2014 at 09:40 PM (#4754062)
Anyway, Mickey knew he was a shell of his former self and nobody knew that more than Mickey himself.


agreed.
and yet he still was an excellent performer relative to the league.
I hate to say it, but Post 9 just reminds us how incredible a hitter Mantle was, and how even this freefall left him near the top of leaderboards.
[EDIT: Howie wrote that in #46 and then deleted it.]

Yet I'm glad that ballplayers like Mantle, Williams, and Dimaggio didn't continue to try to stretch it out. Williams was particularly admirable, since he actually quit after an outstanding season in which he actually matched his career OPS+ (190), but both Mantle and Dimaggio didn't want to be remembered as shells of their former selves, and they knew when their bodies were telling them it was time to hang it up.

And BTW Williams reportedly turned down a monster contract offer from the Yankees to come back in 1961, though I'm not sure how he would've gotten out of his reserved clause obligation.
   48. Dale Sams Posted: July 18, 2014 at 09:41 PM (#4754063)
Re: 1973 Mays. If I recall, a lot of players were having trouble with the sun in that WS. It wasn't just Mays stumbling around out there.
   49. The Yankee Clapper Posted: July 18, 2014 at 09:50 PM (#4754066)
This just in - Yankees To Honor Jeter On September 7:
The New York Yankees will honor Derek Jeter during a special pregame ceremony Sept. 7 at Yankee Stadium prior to that afternoon's game against the Kansas City Royals. . . . The Yankees have not announced details of the festivities other than to say that each fan will receive a limited edition commemorative coin.

It's about time Jeter received a little recognition.

   50. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: July 18, 2014 at 10:00 PM (#4754072)
I'm always torn on great players. I don't really want to see a great player embarrass himself but at the same time I'd hate to see a guy walk away before he gave it all he had. Take a guy like Carlton, as bad as the end was I don't feel like I missed out on anything of value from Steve Carlton. By contrast a guy like Koufax, maybe he could have done even more than he did. (not apples to apples but hopefully you get my point).
   51. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: July 18, 2014 at 10:03 PM (#4754073)
This just in - Yankees To Honor Jeter On September 7:


It's funny, the story of Williams homering in his final at bat is legendary but it is less known that the Sox still played three more games. As a Red Sox fan with season tickets I will be EXTREMELY disappointed if Jeter does not play the final weekend in Boston. While no fan of his I would enjoy giving him one more salute (well, probably two, one good and one bad).

Given the prices for that final weekend on StubHub it would be interesting to see how Jeter skipping that weekend would be received in general. I just looked it up and interestingly Williams' final three scheduled games were in Yankee Stadium. Andy (or anyone else old enough) was anything made of this at the time?
   52. cardsfanboy Posted: July 18, 2014 at 10:08 PM (#4754079)
I'm always torn on great players. I don't really want to see a great player embarrass himself but at the same time I'd hate to see a guy walk away before he gave it all he had. Take a guy like Carlton, as bad as the end was I don't feel like I missed out on anything of value from Steve Carlton. By contrast a guy like Koufax, maybe he could have done even more than he did. (not apples to apples but hopefully you get my point).


I look at it from my point of view, if I was a great player, I would have been Rickey Henderson, I'll play wherever they would let me until they stopped letting me.
   53. cardsfanboy Posted: July 18, 2014 at 10:10 PM (#4754081)
It's funny, the story of Williams homering in his final at bat is legendary but it is less known that the Sox still played three more games. As a Red Sox fan with season tickets I will be EXTREMELY disappointed if Jeter does not play the final weekend in Boston. While no fan of his I would enjoy giving him one more salute (well, probably two, one good and one bad).


New York doesn't end the season at home? Wow...that could get awkward if they don't make the post season. Obviously if the Yankees manage to make the post season, Jeter will play in Boston, but if not, it's going to be interesting to see how they handle it.
   54. Howie Menckel Posted: July 18, 2014 at 10:51 PM (#4754100)

"By contrast a guy like Koufax, maybe he could have done even more than he did."

he mangled his arm thru 4 spectacular seasons, and couldn't shake a hand practically. the polar opposite of current "protect the arm" mantras. short of an arm transplant...
   55. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: July 18, 2014 at 11:09 PM (#4754106)
Re: 1973 Mays. If I recall, a lot of players were having trouble with the sun in that WS. It wasn't just Mays stumbling around out there.

In that 1973 World Series, the three midweek games in Shea were at night (with wind chill in the 30's), and the four weekend games in Oakland were all in the afternoon. And yes, the Sun there was a problem. When Mays was struggling to see the ball in game 3, it was nearly 5:00 and the Sun field was just about at its worst.

----------------------------------------------------------

New York doesn't end the season at home? Wow...that could get awkward if they don't make the post season. Obviously if the Yankees manage to make the post season, Jeter will play in Boston, but if not, it's going to be interesting to see how they handle it.

If Jeter's not injured or in some 2 for 50 slump, there's no way he won't play at least one of those games, and I'd be surprised if he doesn't play in all of them. There's way too much history between those two teams for him to take a pass on the entire series.
   56. The Yankee Clapper Posted: July 18, 2014 at 11:26 PM (#4754118)
It's funny, the story of Williams homering in his final at bat is legendary but it is less known that the Sox still played three more games. As a Red Sox fan with season tickets I will be EXTREMELY disappointed if Jeter does not play the final weekend in Boston.

I don't think Jeter has any interest in getting a jump on the fishing season, which, IIRC, was the reason for Williams' departure. Or perhaps not the reason, just the alternate activity.

The Yankees close the season with 18 games without an off day, so Jeter may get a day off during that stretch, but if he's healthy, I doubt he'd be rested against Boston. If the Yankees are still in the race - which may be difficult with 80% of the starting rotation on the DL - he'll probably play all 3 games.
   57. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: July 18, 2014 at 11:50 PM (#4754131)
I don't think Jeter has any interest in getting a jump on the fishing season, which, IIRC, was the reason for Williams' departure. Or perhaps not the reason, just the alternate activity.

Of course if Williams had done that today, we'd be hearing that it was proof that players (and not just Williams) no longer really "cared". (smile)
   58. JE (Jason) Posted: July 19, 2014 at 10:14 AM (#4754243)
The New York Yankees will honor Derek Jeter during a special pregame ceremony Sept. 7 at Yankee Stadium prior to that afternoon's game against the Kansas City Royals. . . . The Yankees have not announced details of the festivities other than to say that each fan will receive a limited edition commemorative coin.

Will the Royals pitchers be permitted to pitch to him or will he hit off of a tee? Mind you, I'm asking for a friend.
   59. JE (Jason) Posted: July 19, 2014 at 10:50 AM (#4754258)
Mantle is portrayed as playing the 1968 season with two amputated legs, yet he still managed to swipe six bases.
   60. haggard Posted: July 19, 2014 at 12:09 PM (#4754285)
Mantle was still an effective player in 1968, but for a man who was going to make his living thereafter as a celebrity, the image of him struggling physically for a crummy team could not have been helpful.
   61. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: July 19, 2014 at 12:14 PM (#4754288)
Mantle is portrayed as playing the 1968 season with two amputated legs, yet he still managed to swipe six bases.

Yeah, but it's no coincidence that they all came off Denny McLain.
   62. Howie Menckel Posted: July 19, 2014 at 12:22 PM (#4754292)

Mick stole 3 of the bases in July, but scattered, and his last 1 was in August. got caught in April (on first try) and June.
none off Tigers
:)
   63. The Yankee Clapper Posted: July 19, 2014 at 02:42 PM (#4754359)
With a walk, RBI single & stolen base, as of 5th inning today, Jeter passed Mel Ott (4,648) for 13th place on the career Times On Base list. Next up, Ted Williams (4,714). Jeter also passed Al Kaline (4,852) for 24th on the career Total Bases list. Next up, Paul Molitor (4,854). Close to passing Yastrzemski, Wagner & Anson (counting NA) on the hit list, too.
   64. valuearbitrageur Posted: July 19, 2014 at 04:26 PM (#4754411)
Players get old. OPS+ after age 30 season: Cal Ripken 97; Derek Jeter 111.


Comparisons are fun!

Wins above average player (WAA)
Derek Jeter 32
Cal Ripken 
53 


53 is very good. 32 is surprisingly poor.

Players with more WAA than Jeter.

Rolen     (44)
Whitaker  (43)
Grich     (42)
Larkin    (42)
E Marinez (38)
Lofton    (38)
Thome     (37)
McGwire   (37)
Randolph  (36)
Andruw    (36)
Edmonds   (35)
Helton    (33)
Dick Allen (33)
Bobby Bonds (32


A veritable pantheon of Hall of Famers
   65. The Yankee Clapper Posted: July 19, 2014 at 05:25 PM (#4754446)
Ticket Prices Soar For Jeter Ceremony:
The New York Yankees' surprise announcement on Friday that the team would officially honor its retiring captain Derek Jeter on Sept. 7 sent ticket prices for that game soaring on the resale market. The average list price for the home game in the Bronx against the Kansas City Royals went from $139.24 before the announcement to $497.98 by Saturday, according to ticket resale market aggregator TiqIQ.

The price of the cheapest seat in the building jumped by more than 1,200 percent from $16 to $211. Bleacher seats with a face value of $23 can't be found for under $223, while outfield field box seats that carry a face value of $175 can't be had for under $575 anymore.
   66. Pat Rapper's Delight Posted: July 19, 2014 at 06:36 PM (#4754484)
The Yankees have not announced details of the festivities other than to say that each fan will receive a limited edition commemorative coin which will make the ideal centerpiece for any gift basket occasion.
   67. JE (Jason) Posted: July 19, 2014 at 08:05 PM (#4754528)
The average list price for the home game in the Bronx against the Kansas City Royals went from $139.24 before the announcement to $497.98 by Saturday, according to ticket resale market aggregator TiqIQ.

Don't these dopes realize that they can visit the Captain in his St. Jetersburg rocking chair in October for $238 R/T on JetBlue?
   68. Walt Davis Posted: July 19, 2014 at 08:19 PM (#4754535)
To get back to the notion (and incorrect conclusion) of this article, tangentially addressing some of #64 ...

The author seems to recognize that Mantle, DiMaggio and others recognized that they were done -- mere shadows of their former selves. While us smartypants might recognize that they still had pretty good seasons, we have to agree they were in severe decline and would probably have been done pretty soon. So the author's point would be to retire as soon as you have a season that is clearly well below your standards and you know things won't be getting better.

For Jeter, that season would have been 2010. Instead of retiring though, he signed a 4-year contract. Still, if 2010 wasn't enough to convince he was no longer THE Derek Jeter, surely 2011 was and, unlike the classless ARod, he should have retired rather than force the poor Yankees to honor that contract.

But Jeter, surely not out of greed, soldiered on and did bounce back a bit in 2012 but still just 2.2. WAR, quite low by his standards. Surely at this point he knew he was just a shell of his former self and quietly retired after the 2012 season.

In case anybody missed it, all tongue in cheek. If there had been long-term contracts in Mantle's and DiMaggio's day, I'm highly confident they'd have done their best to squeeze a multi-year contract out of the Yanks too and, if successful, would have kept playing rather than walk away from those millions.

Which brings us around a bit to #64. Not a huge difference but from 22-35, Jeter had 36 WAA. He gave back about 3.5 WAA for hanging on which is true of some other folks on that list but a number of them did walk away before the serious decline set in. Or, in Andruw's case, just had one of the worst season's of all time at the start of his otherwise fairly normal decline phase.

But yes, everybody here knows that Jeter is a career candidate, not a peak candidate. Even so, his WAR7 (convenient) is right in line with several HoF and should-be SS -- Ozzie, Trammell, Appling, Cronin, Reese, Larkin, Jeter are all in a range of 41-44. It's true that, relative to most of those guys, he added 1500-3000 PA of nothing but so what?

One thing we keep not mentioning when it comes to Jeter is that he has been one of the greatest offensive SS of all time. Among players with at least 1500 games at SS, he is 2nd only to Wagner in oWAR. He's closer to Wagner than Ripken is to him. That list omits ARod so feel free to bump him all the way down to 3rd if you want. (He's well ahead of Banks and Yount so there are no other "SS" to compete with him on this measure.)

So the WAR and the WAA are only so low because of the defense. And if you take the defense seriously that still leaves him at the level of Gwynn (36 WAA) and Raines (35 WAA). Other non-C, non-NeL, etc. Fairly recent HoFers with similar or worse WAA (i.e. guys below Gwynn) include Snider, Reggie,(Jeter), Alomar, Reese, McCovey, Dawson, Banks, Killer, Murray, B Williams, Stargell, Puckett, Winfield, Aparicio, Fox, Rice, Cepeda, Perez. 8 of those guys, including Gwynn, went in on the first ballot and Alomar, Williams and Killer had fairly easy paths. Best we not even mention Brock and Maz.

So if you want to push the peak-only HoF criterion and you want to set that line at least 4 WAA above Jeter, then (a) take it up with the voters and (b) enjoy your 51 position players in the HoF. Jeter ranks 61st among HoFer position players in terms of WAA, appropriately tied with Reese. With at least 3000 PA after 1900, there are 132 position players in the HoF. "Surprisingly poor" seems an odd way to describe the guy's WAA total.

Now if you want to argue that Rolen, Whitaker, Grich, Edgar, Lofton, Thome, McGwire, Edmonds, Allen and maybe the others belong in the HoF, you'll find a good share of agreement around here.

Jeter vs. Thome is kind of fascinating. It would be hard to think of two more opposite players. The only things they have in common are a high OBP -- Thome wins that handily 402 to 379 -- and lousy defensive value -- Jeter wins easily -9 to -17 dWAR. Equal on WAR, Thome wins WAA both primarily due to Jeter's 2000 PA edge which is primarily due to Jeter's earlier start. Thome's late career is saved by his very good age 39 season but otherwise did not add anything.

Jeter hangs with Thome because of the 26-win difference in positional value. Playing SS badly (but a lot better than the dWAR-Thome) is worth about 25 points of OBP and 100 points of SLG or 350 HR.

(That is among the reasons why it's silly to pretend that guys who spent half or 2/3 of their career at SS spent their entire careers at SS.)

   69. valuearbitrageur Posted: July 19, 2014 at 10:13 PM (#4754561)
Walt, I would take great argument with the bulk of what your wrote if I could find any inaccuracies in it. So instead I take great offense at your knowledge/attention to detail.

So if you want to push the peak-only HoF criterion and you want to set that line at least 4 WAA above Jeter, then (a) take it up with the voters and (b) enjoy your 51 position players in the HoF. Jeter ranks 61st among HoFer position players in terms of WAA, appropriately tied with Reese. With at least 3000 PA after 1900, there are 132 position players in the HoF. "Surprisingly poor" seems an odd way to describe the guy's WAA total.


I'm not suggesting setting the HOF minimum criteria at 36 WAA, that would be crazy.

I'm suggesting setting it at 32 WAA. Come on Jetes, only 0.3 more WAA and you can be enshrined forever! 67 games left, get juicing!

Seriously though, as you know I've been an advocate of WAA minus any negative WAA the player added after age 35, specifically because of players like Jeter who are still being highly paid on long term contracts when they should retire. It's not their fault the team made a bad decision, and it's foolish to penalize them for fulfilling their contract when you assess the type of player they were.

That leaves him with a comfortable 35 WAA at end of his age 35 season. And as you point out, he's one of the all time great offensive forces at shortstop, while defensive measures that have him as one of worst defensive shortstops ever. We should have less confidence in current defensive value measures than we do in offensive value measures, and as he's a big outlier defensively it should be more likely that he wasn't quite as bad a defender as the measures say than worse, so he's very likely better than 35 WAA.

But the one you missed is Willie Randolph, He retired at age 37 with 66 WAR and 36 WAA. If Jeter had retired that same age he would have ended with 70 WAR and 34 WAA. Obviously the difference is 28 more wins on defense for Willie, and 47 more wins on offense for Derek. Or 271 runs on offense for Derek, and 325 runs on defense for Willie. It's interesting both that a second baseman could put up that much defensive value, and not crater in his early 30s (according to the popular meme).

Willie seems to have been lost in history somehow. Obviously it's hard to make him too much of a martyr when even better second baseman like Grich & Whitaker have also been ignored by HOF voters. But what a good player Willie was, on a lot of very good teams including two championship teams, and a long time Yankee, and even with those intangibles didn't get much support.
   70. Howie Menckel Posted: July 19, 2014 at 11:16 PM (#4754581)
Jeter also has passed HOFers Mays and Molitor on the all-time Outs List to climb to 13th. He'll pass Aparicio soon, but I don't think he can make the required 200 outs to catch Biggio for 11th...

Randolph IS in the Hall of Merit, granted as one of the "hey, we have to fill these couple of dozen slots with SOMEONE" picks.
   71. Fred Lynn Nolan Ryan Sweeney Agonistes Posted: July 20, 2014 at 03:22 AM (#4754614)
Jeter also has passed HOFers Mays and Molitor on the all-time Outs List to climb to 13th. He'll pass Aparicio soon, but I don't think he can make the required 200 outs to catch Biggio for 11th...

He will probably pass Joe Torre to reach 13th on the all-time GIDP list, but will probably not surpass the leadfooted duo of Brooks Robinson and Rusty Staub to crack the Top 10.

He will almost certainly pass Dave Kingman to reach 14th on the all-time strikeout list, but he's probably missed his chance to catch Tony Perez - needs 60 more this season.

If he really gets going, he could tie Lou Gehrig at 100 caught stealing (needs 4 more). It'd be so meaningful if those Yankee legends could remain entwined in history like that.
   72. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: July 20, 2014 at 07:51 AM (#4754624)
I'm too kind to post this excellent op-ed piece on the newsstand, but I'll link it here just to count the number of responses that mention DWaR, fielding range metrics, A-Rod's being stuck on third, and gift baskets. We're a very unoriginal lot, we are.

Jeter, Like Duncan, Makes the Routine Extraordinary
   73. BDC Posted: July 20, 2014 at 10:04 AM (#4754642)
Mariano Duncan, that was another magical true Yankee.
   74. Howie Menckel Posted: July 20, 2014 at 11:02 AM (#4754650)
I actually mentioned months ago the lunacy of a WFAN caller who asked host Mike Francesa to compare Duncan and Jeter.

In a rare moment of lucidity, Yankees fan Francesa explained the lunacy of the comparison. Duncan is such an extraordinary player - in a sport where one player is far more integral to the success of a team - that it's a little embarrassing to Jeter to have him compared directly, and fall so substantially short (except for rings; I will stand down if Jeter taught Mariano his out pitch and gave between-starts lessons to most of the 15+-game starting pitchers during this span).

It's like Post 9 - Mantle and Jeter have slipped similarly in their final seasons; Mantle to still being one of the league's most effective offensive players, and Jeter to flirting with replacement level offensively. It reminds one of the absurdity of putting the two in the same sentence.

Duncan never played on a bad team because a team with Duncan on it can't be bad, basically. Jeter never played on a bad team because he was drafted by the Yankees. In fact, nobody who has played for the Yankees since the mid-1990s has played on a bad team, however inept the player might be. It's like being born into royalty.

Think of how difficult it is for Jeter, with that impressive career, to be overrated. And yet writers manage to leap that hurdle like Renaldo Nehemiah in an Olympic race.

Ironically, having interviewed both, I must admit the approach to interviews is uncannily similar on that front. And while it's popular to say, "They are smart enough not to give you anything" - well, the glazed-over look doesn't suggest to me that there's anything all that complicated inside to be hidden. Both are pleasant enough in the sense of being professional, but sometimes saying nothing is performed by those with nothing to say.

Can I assume that is true? Of course not. We don't really know them.

Should others assume some intriguing persona cleverly hidden from view of prying media? Of course not. We don't really know them.


   75. Howie Menckel Posted: July 20, 2014 at 11:32 AM (#4754656)

stupid Edit function wouldn't let me clarify 10 mins or so after post. anyway, Jeter v Duncan in "style" is fine. article also goes for "substance," which I take to mean actual performance which, uh....
   76. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: July 20, 2014 at 01:55 PM (#4754693)
In 547 PA's that year, Mantle wound up on base 192 times, but in those 192 times, he scored only 39 runs. Walks are of little value if you keep winding up LOB.

A batter walks with two outs and a runner on second. The next batter singles the runner home. The original batter is eventually left on base. He neither scored nor drove in the run, yet it would not have scored without him.

Walks don't just put you on base; they also extend innings, even when they come on behalf of the 1968 Yankees. (Which I'm sure you already know, of course.)
   77. The Yankee Clapper Posted: July 20, 2014 at 02:03 PM (#4754696)
Jeter never played on a bad team because he was drafted by the Yankees. In fact, nobody who has played for the Yankees since the mid-1990s has played on a bad team, however inept the player might be. It's like being born into royalty.

That almost makes it sound like the other players were carrying Jeter. Far from it. During their run of 4 World Series in 5 years, no Yankee had more WAR than Jeter. Same if you include 2001 and measure the 5 WS appearances in 6 years.
   78. Howie Menckel Posted: July 20, 2014 at 02:12 PM (#4754698)
feel free to offer a rough percentage of influence Jeter had on winning those championships, and do the same re Duncan. that's the point.
   79. Jose Canusee Posted: July 20, 2014 at 10:41 PM (#4754930)
33. Matt Welch Posted: July 18, 2014 at 05:26 PM (#4753905)
Last seasons of over-30 players not named Joe Jackson who qualified for the batting title that year, ranked by OPS+:
1) 145 Will Clark 2000
2) 143 Mantle 1968
3) 138 Buzz Arlett 1931 (also his rookie season! What?)

He would have played in 1932 but broke Wonderboy.

Actually he was another PCL guy who got a late chance and apparently made Hack Wilson look like Tris Speaker in the field by the time he made it, and was for a long time the MiLB career HR leader. And like Ruth, he also pitched, just not in the bigs.

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