Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Johan Santana -- the best, Derek Jeter -- (statistically proven) the worst

February sucks for sports fans.

Unless you really love the NBA or NHL or college basketball's regular season, February is purgatory. The Super Bowl (which was won by the Giants, did you hear?) is done, and Opening Day is weeks away. No football, no baseball, and March Madness is still a ways away.

So to fill the void, let's take a quick look at two bits that caught my attention.

The New York Mets now have Johan Santana, who is the best pitcher in the entire world.

For some reason, it took me until I saw pictures like that to truly believe that he is a Met. Since their inception in 1962, the Mets have had two legitimate ace pitchers: Tom Seaver and Dwight Gooden. Now, we have a third.

And then there was this bit of news: A recent study shows that Derek Jeter is the worst shortstop in the American League. And to top it off, it shows that Alex Rodriguez (who currently plays third base, because Jeter wouldn't move) would have been way better.

As much as I loved reading about this, especially the New York Post version, I have to say the results of the study are a bit suspect. Is Trot Nixon really one of the best right-fielders out there?

However, I've felt for a long time that Derek Jeter was waaaaaay overrated in terms of fielding. The man can hit, no arguments there, and he definitely should've won the MVP over Justin Morneau in 2006. The guy's a great baseball player, no doubt, but if anyone thinks he's a great fielder, then wow. He just isn't. Yes, he has made the occasional amazing play, like that time he caught that foul ball against the Red Sox and flew into the stands. But ultimately, I've thought for a long time that it was really dumb to move an excellent shortstop (A-Rod) to a new position just because the "Captain" wanted to stay where he was. (A-Rod, by the way, registered as the 2nd best shortstop, in the time frame of this particular study, 2002-2005.)

Oh, and don't say anything about Jeter winning any Gold Gloves. Those awards are total horseshit. I'm a Mets fan, and the fact that David Wright won one last year is all the proof I need that winning a Gold Glove doesn't mean you're a good fielder.

So I guess my conclusion is that the Mets are awesome and the Yankees suck. I'm glad science is now catching up.


Joe Grossberg said...

From someone who's a fan of neither team:

* the Yankees and Mets both try to buy their way to championships
* the Yankees have succeeded multiple times
* the Mets haven't won a World Series in 22 years

Ergo, the Yankees are better than the Mets.

And, while the balance might finally be shifting, the Yankees were eliminated from the playoffs last year and the Mets didn't even qualify.

So, while the Mets might be better soon, in the long-term, medium-term and short term, the Yankees have better results to show for their efforts.

The Mets are the second team of NYC baseball; they're like the Jets, Nets or (gasp!) Islanders of baseball.

Joe Grossberg said...

Oh, and you don't think David Cone was an ace the year he went 20-3?

Open Bar said...

First of all, Joseph, half of the players on the yankees from those recent World Series teams have been outed as cheating cheaters who cheated a lot.

Second, suck my dick.

Joe Grossberg said...

"Dude, you're Tim Thomas!"