Monday, March 3, 2014

THE PEOPLE DEMAND MORE JETER COVERAGE

First thing's first--if you've never been to this blog before, and arrived recently for the first time because someone linked you to it along with a note to the effect of "Look at what this angry stupid guy has to say!" please don't bother leaving your dumb comment. Just close this tab and kindly fuck off. Thanks.


With that out of the way, let's get back to Jeter, who surely is not only the greatest athlete of all time, but indeed, the greatest person. Jeter Jeter? Jeter Jeter Jeter. Jeter Jeter calm eyes clutch hustle gift baskets.  Should he be elected to the HOF unanimously? SI's Sam Border (in a column from 2011, right around when he picked up his 3,000th hit) makes a very compelling case that he should, and further, that Jeter should also be the next President and Vice President of the United States of America.

At first blush, it seems unlikely that there could ever been a total agreement on anything in baseball. Arguing has forever been part of the game. It is everywhere: You see the infield in, I see pinched at the corners.

Which is it? It can only be one of those. This is not a good example of an argument in which people who are well-versed in the subject matter can reasonably disagree.

You see a curve, I see a slider.

Again, those are two different things, so if two people are arguing about it, one of them is wrong.

You see the hot dog man, I see cotton candy.

And now you're not even trying.

When it comes to the Hall of Fame, which is currently voted on by people ranging from tenured baseball writers to members of various committees,

From those people, to morality-policing assholes who only shape their preferences based on the direction the wind is blowing, to guys who write for golf magazines and haven't covered baseball in a decade, to idiot know-nothing basement-dwelling bloggers like Murray Chass.

the divergence of opinion becomes even more magnified.

No it doesn't. This is high school level writing. "My thesis is that people disagree about the Hall of Fame. Because it's my thesis and I want to make it sound poignant, in fact I'm pretty sure they disagree more about the Hall of Fame than any people have ever disagreed about anything ever."

Generally, this is a group that can't agree on anything: Sandy Koufax only got 87 percent of the votes when he was elected in 1972.

Although it's idiotic that anyone wouldn't vote for him, at least there's a plausible reason for it with the way his career ended so prematurely.

Mickey Mantle got 88 percent.

And in contrast, that's just fucking stupid.

Even Babe Ruth -- only the greatest hitter ever -- had five percent of the voters say he wasn't a Hall of Famer.

Ah, the original asshole voters, the ones who make it ok for today's assholes to practice their assholism.

Tom Seaver, who missed unanimous election by just five votes, got 98.84 percent in 1992 and remains the closest to perfection.

Seaver was amazing, of course, but to top the percentage received by guys like Aaron and Ruth, he must have been a real asskisser when sportswriters were around. "Yes, Mr. Pearlman, I agree that athletes are horrible people. You are absolutely right. Would you like another autograph?"

In other words, unanimity isn't the Hall electorate's strong point and it is very likely there will never be a player to get 100 percent of the votes. In fact, in looking at the current baseball landscape, I would propose that there is only one player in the foreseeable future who even has a chance at accomplishing such a feat.

Sure, but Mike Trout is only 22. He won't be eligible for about 25 years if baseball fans are lucky.

One player who might bridge the gap between stat-geeks and the crusty old lifers.

True, he's got the gaudy WAR totals, he's got the traditional stats, he's got the hustle/grit.  Pretty prescient of you to know how good he would be back in 2011, before he even made his MLB debut.

One player who everyone -- regardless of their individual views on the game -- sees as worthy.

Whoa, easy! Dial it back at least until Trout is 30.

You've probably heard of him.

Frank Stallone?

His name is Derek Jeter.

:-(

Now, Jeter is a great player. (Watch out! This dumb petty angry blogger is about to say nice things about the player he's been tearing down for the past week!) If I had an HOF vote I'd happily cast it for Jeter on the first ballot. And I'm the first person to point out what a bunch of fucktards HOF voters are. But look, let's face facts. Not even the mystical dreamy eyed flip play good face True Yankee powers of Derek Jeter are going to stop some overprincipled cuntface from casting a blank ballot in 2019 because there are CHEATING CHEATERZ up for election. And there will be some non-cuntface voters who decide to be contrarian and also not vote for him, because fuck it they have a vote and the unwashed masses don't, and they don't feel like voting for him. What are you going to do? It is what it is.  And sorry I'm not sorry, but Jeter just isn't dreamy enough to me to make me hope he manages to cure the collective idiocy of the voters.

Or, at least I hope this is the case. If Jeter actually does get elected unanimously, overcoming the barriers I just described, I'm going to shit myself. God, how insufferable would that be? I'd have to stop following baseball for a year. Disaster. It can't happen. It won't happen.

/Larry B hyperventilates

In the third season of The West Wing (which, frankly, should get 100 percent of the votes when it's eligible for the Greatest Series Ever Hall of Fame),

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

Aaron Sorkin sucks balls. Your taste is as bad as your baseball analytical abilities.

there is a scene in the episode "The Two Bartlets" where

Paragraph deleted. I do not give a fuck. Keep your West Wing fanboyism to yourself please. (The gist was that some people are popular with all kinds of voters, from sophisticated to unsophisticated. Same thing he already said above.)

Jeter is the same.

You know who else was the same? Rickey Henderson. Tony Gwynn. Mike Schmidt. None of those guys were unanimous. I don't know how many starlets they fucked, or how many 306 foot opposite field pop fly home runs that would have been outs in 29 of the 30 stadiums in the league those guys happened to hit in big moments, but Jeter is not more worthy of unanimity than they were.

The demographics of the Hall of Fame voters are obviously difficult to pin down, but there are some generalizations that can be made. To get 100 percent of the votes, a player would need to appeal to everyone:

Top notch analysis.

Those who value traditional statistics and those who look at more modern metrics;

Those who prefer the latter to the former see Jeets for what he is: an awesome player, a first ballot HOFer, but a guy who also is pretty hilariously overrated by those who prefer the former to the latter.

those who care about winning and those who want gaudy personal totals;

People who care more about the former demand to know why Scott Brosius hasn't been enshrined yet.

those who look for dignity and representing the game well and those who simply use their "gut" to tell them if a player is worthy.

These people are also known as fucktards.

Want advanced stats? Jeter's career WAR is 70.2, which is 55th all-time among position players. Roberto Alomar, who got 90 percent of the 539 votes cast this year and will be inducted in Cooperstown on Sunday, is below him at 63.5. So is another shortstop in Barry Larkin (68.9), as well as Tony Gwynn (68.4), Jackie Robinson (63.2),Yogi Berra (61.9) and roughly three-quarters of the rest of the players already in the Hall.

Jeter's WAR total is in the top quartile of all HOFers. Therefore: voters should get together and agree to induct him unanimously when no one has previously been so inducted. Makes sense. If we can't tongue Jeter's asshole one last time before he fades into history, why have a Hall of Fame at all?

Prefer more traditional markers? Jeter has already passed 3,000 career hits, a long-time benchmark for position players.

Yes. This is one of the reasons he is definitely a Hall of Famer. It is also not a reason to treat his election differently than Stan Musial's, Ted Williams's, etc.

Consider, too, that Cal Ripken is currently the position player toreceived the greatest percentage of votes (98.53 percent in 2007) and Jeter has him beat -- handily -- in most critical rate statistics.  Jeter's .312 career average is 36 points higher than Ripken's. His .383 on-base percentage is 43 points higher. His .831 OPS is 43 points higher.

First of all, great job double-counting OBP and OPS.  Hmmm.  I wonder how their career SLGs stack up?

Second of all, "critical rate statistics." Interesting. Why are they so critical?  Why isn't the fact that Ripken had almost 200 more HR than Dreamy Eyes McGee in only 800 additional PAs critical?  Anyways, when you adjust for park and era, Jeter's offensive edge over Ripken is not as striking (career OPS+es of 117 and 112, respectively). But how about the "critical" counting stat of WAR (rWAR in this case, because fuck Fangraphs), where Ripken has a 95ish to 70ish edge? Jeter actually has an edge in oWAR, but it is more than made up for by Ripken's enormous dWAR edge (35ish to -10ish). Turns out baseball is about more than just hitting, and Jeter has been a joke on defense for about 14 seasons. Ripken never recorded a negative dWAR in his career. Jeter has only recorded a positive dWAR three times, and two of those were during the 90s. It's fucking bonkers how good Ripken was. Jeter is a first ballot HOFer, but Ripken is one of the 50 or so best players ever. Jeter can't make that claim, no matter how clurtch he is/was.

Ripken, of course, is crediting with "saving baseball" after the disaster of the 1994 strike and there is value in that.

Typo is (sic).  Anyways, what? If that even is a topic people discuss, I'm pretty sure McGwire and Sosa receive that credit, as they probably should.

Public perception is certainly a factor for some voters -- does this player "matter?" -- and Ripken did. But as much as anyone ever has, Jeter has mattered, too.

Barf.

He has been the face of the game's most famous franchise 

Definitely.

and, in many ways, the entire league, 

Barf.

for nearly his entire career: After 9/11.  

HAHAHAHAHAHA

Can't we all just agree that without Jeter, we never would have gotten over it?

When Team USA competed in the World Baseball Classic for the first time. 

First of all, I like the WBC just fine, but let's face facts: no one really gives a shit about it.  Second of all, in the 2006 WBC, against teams not named South Africa (which the US beat 17-0), Jeter was six for seventeen with one walk and two errors.  We didn't get out of the second round, finishing 8th, behind basically every single other nation on earth that cares about baseball.  So yeah.  Not sure "Member of 2006 USA WBC team" is a really strong line on his resume.

When Yankee Stadium was closed down. 

I like the implication that this was an important moment for MLB rather than just the Yankees.

When George Steinbrenner died.

Same.

He has been popular. 

Definitely.

He has been dignified. 

How?  How?  Fucking how?  This is more idiotic Jeter ballwashing with virtually no substance.  Yes, he has never been legal trouble or linked to steroids during his career.  Congratulations Derek, you've reached the lofty dignified heights achieved by 90% of all MLB players.  What else has he done?  Is he known for any special charity efforts, above and beyond what any other star player does?  I've fucking had it with hearing about how when a guy plays for the Yankees and doesn't live like a shithead, somehow he's the epitome of class.  Fuck that.  Ken Griffey Jr. is virtually identical to Jeter in the "he wasn't a shithead" department.  Griffey's one mildly unclassy act was the way he more or less forced the Mariners to trade him to Cincinnati, ruining their leverage; the Jeter equivalent is the way he refused to switch to 3B for ARod.  Both guys, other than those mild missteps, were/are decent human beings.  So why is one of them just remembered as the guy who hit all those home runs without steroids, and the other is Christ come back to earth?  It's fucking disgusting.  I'm sick of it, and if you disagree with me on this point, you are a bad person.

He has been reliable and trustworthy for fans, never letting them down with even a hint of a connection to gambling or crime or the use of PEDs.

LOLZ @ the idea that he deserves a pat on the back for not being linked to gambling.  What decade is this, the 1920s?  Other than Rose, has a single active high (or even medium) profile player been linked to gambling since World War II?  If one has I sure as hell can't think of him right now.  [Late breaking update: Chris W, because he is a jealous hater who wants to dump on my blogging at every possible turn, points out that Denny McClain fits this criterion.  Fair enough.  So that's two prominent players since WWII.  Someone throw Jeter a parade for not being either of them.]

No one would say that Jeter is the best player ever or even, necessarily, of his generation. 

Oh, I don't think you'd have to look too far to find quite a few people who think both of those things.

But that is not the issue here. The question is whether he is someone everyone, regardless of how they rate a player's career, could see the name "Derek Jeter" and immediately think "Hall of Fame."

Greg Maddux didn't get 100% of the vote.  He's on the short list of nominees for best pitcher in baseball history.  He hit every traditional statistical milestone, and was adored by "fancy stats" people.  He was regarded as a good teammate.  He has a ring.  There is no way to not think "Hall of Fame" when you see "Greg Maddux."  Of course I think it's moronic to say "Well Maddux didn't get 100% of the vote, so Jeter shouldn't either."  But saying "Jeter has 3000 hits and 70 WAR, so can't we all agree that he should go in unanimously?" is equally moronic.

The question is whether Jeter is good for all time zones.

It's tough for anyone to stack up to an all time legend like Greg Maddux.  So how about we compare Jeter to Wade Boggs?  3000 hits, played for two of baseball's marquee franchises and won a ring with one of them, was great with the glove, and has a much higher WAR total than Jeter.  Sounds like a sure fire "Hall of Fame" guy to me.  Now I'll grant that Boggs had some personal failings that Maddux, Griffey, Jeter, etc. appear not to have.  But he wasn't ever connected to steroids, crime or (lol) gambling.  Other than the fact that he drank too much and allegedly had some problems with teammates, how was he not good enough "for all time zones" to be unanimously elected?  "But Jeter Jeter Jeter!" is about as far as any of these ballwashers can go, and it makes me sad for them.  This and so many other articles reads like a teen girl's diary entry about a member of a boy band.  It's fucking pathetic.  Full stop.

If you look at the active players ahead of Jeter on the all-time list of position players in terms of WAR, there may be an inclination to wonder why Jeter -- and not, say, Albert Pujols -- would have the best chance at becoming the first 100 percenter. It's a reasonable question.

It sure is!

Here are the players ahead of Jeter:

1. Alex Rodriguez

2. Albert Pujols

3. Chipper Jones

4. Jim Thome

Let's not ignore other guys who at the time of this writing were retired but not yet eligible or currently on the ballot but not yet elected: Frank Thomas (ahead of Jeter in rWAR, behind in fWAR, but like I said fuck Fangraphs), Larry Walker (same) Jeff Bagwell (UH OH HE HAD MUSCLES BETTER NOT ELECT HIM), Palmeiro (OK I can see why he's not getting elected) and Griffey.  Not to mention Lou Whittaker.  Sorry Lou--maybe if you had been more dignified and classy, you wouldn't have been booted off the ballot so quickly!

Taken in reverse order, Thome (while an incredible hitter) will inevitably be docked by some for not playing a field position for much of his career. He never really had a chance.

And maybe Jeter should be docked by some for being a bad defender and not having Thome's 600+ home runs.  At least Thome wasn't actively hurting his team while the other team was batting.

Jones, who statistically is one of the most underrated players of all time (his 141 OPS+ is third among third basemen in history) will nevertheless suffer among the intangible-heavy voters, who may hold back because they don't think of him as a "winner." 

These people are idiots who should have their HOF votes taken away, and then be sealed inside a cave somewhere in Nepal.

It also hurts Jones that he played his entire career in Atlanta, which -- while certainly not Kansas City -- doesn't have the spotlight of other cities.

This is the closest he will come to admitting that "Jeter deserves more credit because THE BIG APPLE QED."

Pujols, too, will be knocked for a lack of winning, though he has time to change that.

He has since won his second World Series, getting on base at almost a .500 clip and hitting five home runs in 80 PAs that postseason.  On the other hand, he has also since started hitting like dogshit, fueling speculation (from me) that he's older than he says he is, and will continue to decline rapidly.  He's still almost certainly going to top 100 WAR though, putting him in the top 30 or so all time.  600 HR isn't out of the question and 3000 hits is a possibility.  He could retire today and have had a better career than Jeter.  But I agree, because Jeter happened to play on a really awesome Yankees team during the late 90s that won four WSes, and Pujols did not, that's definitely a reason that Jeter is the better player.

Ultimately, the question with Pujols will be about his popularity. Even now, in his prime, Pujols ranks sixth in terms of jersey sales, below players like Jeter (No. 1), Joe Mauer (No. 2) and Chase Utley (No. 4), and even if continues to produce the way he has, his (relatively) lower profile will likely be what keeps him from challenging the 100 percent mark.

You're a fucking diptard.  At the time this was written Pujols had a pretty good shot at hitting 700+ home runs.  He had an outside shot at 763 (finished 2011 with 445--was supposedly about to enter his age 32 season, meaning if he could do something like 35-35-35-30-30-30-25-25-25 he'd be at Ruth's mark entering his age 41 season.  I mean if ifs and buts were candy and nuts and all that, but still.  Saying in 2011 "If Pujols can continue to hit like he has (i.e., like one of the top ten hitters ever), I suppose he might be as good a nominee for unanimous HOF election as Jeter, but he doesn't sell as many jersies, so...." is just agonizingly stupid.

As for A-Rod, the issue is moot. His admission to using PEDs during his career means the question is less about whether he'll get in unanimously and more about whether he'll get in at all.

Very true, and much more true in 2014 than it was in 2011, but can we also just agree that A-FRAUD's real sin was dragging Jeter down throughout the former's whole career as a Yankee and limiting New York to just one WS win during that time?  Honestly, Derek deserves the Congressional Medal of Honor for overcoming A-ROID's .365/.500/.808 line during the 2009 postseason and carrying the team to a championship.  (To Jeter's credit, he hit like a maniac that postseason too: .344/.432/.563.)

Jeter does not have that issue. He is clean. 

$2,000 from Larry B to the Red Cross for a positive test anytime before the end of this season.  Can you imagine the hilarious articles writers like this guy would frantically bang out in Jeter's defense?  "If he's guilty of anything, it's wanting to win too much."

He is beloved. 

You don't say.

He has won five championships. 

And yet, just one without Tino Martinez.  Who was carrying who on those late 90s Yankees teams?  Food for thought.

He has been a 12-time All-Star. He has the numbers, regardless of which numbers you happen to think are important.

Rickey Henderson: did not have the numbers, or something.

I know that baseball has forever been a game of friendly disagreement but Derek Jeter is a first ballot Hall of Famer.

Correct.  Unfortunately that's a different (and much less stupid) point than the one you've been trying to make throughout this dumb article.

Surely there's at least a chance we could all agree on that?

I have no problem with that.  Now shut up and go away.

Teaser for my next Jeter post: the title of it (not making this up) contains the words: "Shut up, stats nerds and haters."  It's gonna be gooooood.

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

You've probably heard of him.

Frank Stallone?


that killed me

Gulag said...

The two worst groups in human history (in no particular order):

1). Nazis
2). Sportswriters w/ a Baseball HOF vote

concerned said...

Have you considered you may be too angry for law school?

Larry B said...

Shout out to Chris W, this blog's foremost Frank Stallone fan.

Concerned: nah, I think it plays to my advantage, actually.

Anonymous said...

Started off kinda whiny but that was a much better Jeter-related column than the one from a few days ago.

Re: Babe Ruth...he did not get 100% of the vote in large part because he was up against every single player who played at least part of his career in the 20th century including players still active at the time of the vote. That's dozens of HOF caliber players who had to contend with. He still should have been unanimous but at least it's understandable that he was not. Tom Seaver, on the other hand, had only to contend w/Joe Schmo and Dingus McGillicutty so it's ridiculous that he was not unanimous.

Biggus Rickus said...

Perhaps this is nitpicking, but if your premise is that "These guys can't agree on ANYTHING!...Except Jeter." maybe don't begin by citing examples of things they pretty much agree on. I mean, 87% is very high and indicates widespread agreement. You may as well argue that Americans can't agree on whether or not the Holocaust occurred because skinhead assholes say it's a myth.

Chris W said...

to answer your question about gambling, larry b--denny mcclain, leo durocher (manager) and probably some other fuck i'm forgetting (steve howe maybe? or did he just do all the blow?)

Anonymous said...

I'll admit it. When I started reading that article, I thought there was no way Jeter deserved a unanimous vote. But he convinced me. Jeter does deserve to be a first ballot HOFer.

John Gohde said...

Re: K. Griffey, Jr. Um, I think you're forgetting he wore his hat backwards sometimes. Soooooo...disrespectful thug. Or something.