If you were not aware that Major League Baseball was played before 1990, you might be forgiven for thinking that Derek Jeter is the Greatest Baseball Player In The History Of Ever Oh My God Break Out The Stars And Stripes!
Listen – the guy is a likeable player. Never gets in trouble, never says stupid or inflammatory things, clean cut, dresses well, doesn’t act like an NFL player or any other kind of criminal … it’s all good. But one of the greats? Hardly. The guy was a decent player, with average per-year stats who hung around long enough to end up with some nice totals. But he’s not one of the great hitters of the age – the dude strikes out more in a month than Joe DiMaggio did in two years. And as far as fielding goes he is mostly competent … unless you count the fact that he has cost his team more runs with his defence than any other shortstop in history. Then you might want to replace “mostly” with “barely”. Hell, his “signature highlight” is a play where he is so far out of position that you could use the footage as a training tape to teach little leaguers how not to play the infield.
So yeah. Yay Jeter for a nice career. But he’s not one of the greatest players of all time, not even close. Hell, he’s not even one of the greatest Yankees of all time. So can we please stop all the weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth now?