DEREK AND ALEX
(Disclaimer: Derek Jeter is my favorite player on the current Yankees, but much of this is the product of frustration.)
So, in case you hadn't heard, the Yankees lost their ALCS to the Red Sox this past week. What makes the loss so huge is that it came after the Yankees had been up 3-0 and everyone, including me, was sure that the Red Sox were dead in the water. Following the loss, a blame game amongst Yankee fans and media began and it seems the most common whipping boy has been Alex Rodriguez, he of the .320/.414/.600/.336 (AVG/OBP/SLG/GPA) postseason. While Rodriguez has taken the brunt of the blame, Derek Jeter has been praised, he of the .245/.339/.347/.239 postseason.
So, if Rodriguez was being criticized and Jeter was being deified, despite A-Rod clearly outperforming him during the postseason, there has to be some deeper yet valid reason, right? Wrong. The Jeter backers point to Derek being the "only one who looked like he wanted to win Game 7". Were it not for some of the other arguments I've heard in the support of Derek Jeter through the years, that would be the stupidest thing I've ever read. The Yankees are a team built to win and anything less than a World Series title is a failure. I am almost 100% sure that everyone wanted to win, and just because they weren't being as much of a cheerleader as The Captain does not mean they didn't care. And as for all the support of Jeter that stems from his cheerleading...come on.
Stepping outside of the world of stats for a second, in my history on athletic teams I have noticed two distinct styles of motivation/leadership. There is the extrovert, the leader/player who derives their motivation and ability to motivate others from cheering on and being vocal, and then there is the introvert, the leader/player who derives their motivation and ability to motivate others from being silent, focused, and getting their job done. I have always felt the extrovert is overrated. If you want to support Jeter for being that, go ahead, but I won't be joining that camp. Those types of leaders are nothing more than a joke to me. Do your job and shut up and I'll appreciate you more. Making that situation even more ridiculous was the media/fan outrage that A-Rod was beginning to try and be like Jeter. Process this for a minute: because Alex Rodriguez was cheering on his teammates and doing fist pumps...he was trying to be like Jeter, seeing as Derek Jeter is the first person ever to cheer on a teammate or do a fist pump.
And what happened when the media asked The Captain about the team's failure? He gave a response that translated said, "past Yankee teams of the late '90s would have closed out this series, but not this team". Are you kidding me? You're the captain of the team and you did nothing all postseason long. You were an overall negative towards the goal of victory and you won't shoulder the blame? You'd rather pass it off on your newer teammates implicitly? That is ridiculous. Even more ridiculous is the media surging to defend Jeter by coming out with a wave of articles talking negatively of the new Yankees in comparison to the old Yankees.
I love Derek Jeter as a baseball player. He is my favorite player on my favorite team. Sometimes, it is tough to accept that though because the media and many Yankee fans feel this insatiable desire to build Derek up to be more than he is, especially in reference to other players. Derek is a likely HoFer and has been a great postseason player over the course of his career. That said, he is nowhere near the regular season performer that Alex Rodriguez has been, he is nowhere near the postseason performer that Alex Rodriguez has been, he is nowhere near the baseball player that Alex Rodriguez is and has been. If you think Derek Jeter is better than Alex Rodriguez, I'm going to have to question your sanity. If you think Derek Jeter should be praised for anything he did this postseason and more so than Alex Rodriguez, I'm going to have to question your sanity. If you think Derek Jeter is a better pick to start a franchise than Alex Rodriguez, I'm going to have to question your sanity. Derek Jeter is many things, so it is sad that what he should be known for most commonly is being ridiculously overrated by the media and Yankee fans.
School is back under control so more frequent posting will begin. In negative prospect news, Bronson Sardinha never made it to the AFL so the Yankees have no one worth tracking over there.
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