Yeah, it's Jeter.
The trendy thing to do among skeptics, cynics and statistical analysts is to diminish who Derek Jeter is, what Jeter is, what he brings to the ballpark every day.
The trendy thing to do among [moron sports writers], [idiots] and [talking heads] is to [inflate to insane proportions] who [slightly above average baseball players] are, what Jeter [Varitek, Eckstein, any white infielder] is, what he brings to the ballpark every day.
His range has shrunk. He is neither slugger nor perennial batting champion. Since signing his $189 million contract, he hasn't even been a part of a World Series winner.
That contract is the one thing really grinds my gears regarding Jeter. For being such an awesome "leader" and "glue guy," he is ridiculously, laughably overpaid.
From 2006 on he's made over $20 million per season. And here's what you got for an average season:
.322 BA/12 HR/34 2B/20 SB-6 CS/118 OPS+/59 BB:96 K
"Intangibles, my eye!" the skeptics and the cynics scoff, laughing.
Intangibles, me eye! (which isn't even an expression) *Scoff* Har har har.
The fact is, there were nearly 60 players on the field during USA's 6-5 win over the Yankees who would tell you they wouldn't trade Derek Jeter for anyone - even Rollins, which is interesting given that Jeter's presence will guarantee Rollins' absence from the lineup many days of the World Baseball Classic.
We'll start with Rollins -- who, I gurantee, is a better player than Jeter.
Rollins from '06-'08 made five, eight and eight million dollars. A total of $21 million, or one Jeter season. For that you got:
.283 BA/22 HR/40 2B/41 SB-4 CS/107 OPS+/54BB:73 K
Fucking awesome. And 60 dumbass baseball players wouldn't trade Jeter for him. Well, at least according to one huge dumbass sports writer.
I would trade his bloated contract, diminished skills and greatness in leading people for, oh I don't know...
Wright, Howard, Miggy Cabrera, Hanley, Rollins, Peavy, Utley, Pujols, Reyes, 1/2 the Tampa roster, and like at least fifty more players.
And if Jeter takes Rollins playing time, the U.S. deserves to lose. Which they will, because the D.R. is stacked and Japan is scrappy.
A leader? Would you like to know what a leader does? A leader, when asked the other day about David Wright, says something like this: "I have a great deal of respect for him, because he's talented and he loves to win, and he plays hard. It's a great challenge playing against him, so I'm happy to have the chance to play with him for a little while."
A-Rod, meanwhile, said, "Who the fuck is David Wright?" He then injected a steroid needle directly into his bicep, rubbed Icy Hot on Robinson Cano's jock strap, punched a reporter in the face and burned down an orphanage.