Sunday, November 29, 2009

Some Awards Don't Show Up In The Boxscore

As you know by now, an "anonymous e-mail tipster" has written in to a gossip site saying Derek "Tax Chete Jete" Jeter is about to be named SI's Sportsman of the Year. I guess anything's possible, but this can't be serious. And I won't believe it unless I see it.

SI put up a column a month ago asking fans to tell them their Sportsman of the Year. Out of over 400 comments between November 2nd and an hour ago, do you know how many people chose Clappy TopStep? Four! I understand two of them was card tricks. And by card tricks I mean votes as part of a multi-player selection--one said Jeter/Rivera, one said Jeter, Rivera, Posada, and the fourth member of the "core," who if I recall correctly was on the Astros for a big chunk of the decade, Andy "God Made Me Do It...Twice" Pettitte.

The point is: nobody's even thinking of Jeter for this honor. Don't you have to do something noteworthy to be given that title? Oh wait, he doesn't have to do anything to get on TV any time any one of his teammates hits a home run...

Update 1: SI also had 29 writers name their own Sportsman and none of them went with Jeter. (That could just mean they were all told he was gonna win and to choose someone else, though.)

Update 2: I guess they are thinking about making him win. I just saw an ad on the SI site where he appears to be one of four "finalists." So shitty. What a joke that guy is. (By the way, I've long since boycotted SI's site but I'm breaking it to research this post, obviously. Their whole site seems to be dedicated to "hot chicks" instead of sports, and they just generally stink.)

Update 3: It's official. They gave it to him. Possibly the biggest joke in sports history. But in the end, it's just a completely made-up award. (Which is actually perfect for Derek Jeter.)

I'm not even going to start with your stupidity about Jeter. Though I'll just say this: the guy has been pretty classy, no real turmoil or * clouding his career. Fine if you don't like him, to act like he sucks or didn't have a way better career than your precious Nomah, then you are clearly being a fool.

re Pettitte: he played for the Astros from 2004 - 2006, he played for the Yanks from 95 - 03 then 07 - 09, I know i'm no genius like you, but I don't think that's "a big chunk of the decade".
What I don't get is how a guy who comments on my blog every day for months and months knowing the comments don't get posted could ever make fun of me for everything.
Well, SI did it. My goodness. Is it partly to do with his charitableness? I'm clueless.

I hope you both had a great holiday weekend.


I'm curious, but if class, no "real" (and opposed to fake?) turmoil or * plus having a better career than Nomar are the criteria, why isn't Albert Pujols the Sportsman of the Year? He's certainly had a better career than Derek. Why not Ken Griffey, Jr? Hell, Mauer's been just as classy and he's got an MVP and three batting titles and he isn't even 30. For any player, it's something to write home about, but for a catcher, it's pretty extraordinary.

See, the problem I, and most reasonable people, have with the Yankees and their fans is that they don't seem happy going to sleep knowing they won by simply outspending every other team in baseball. They're terrified of the reality of the situation. It's the same reason they don't cheer when people (other than themselves) make a killing on the stock market, or watch as a large corporation buys out a smaller one. Rather than just accept that they're the Microsoft of MLB, they attempt to create foma ("comforting myths") about the team's success based on ideas that tradition and pride are the reasons players flock to New York. An example is that so many seem to think that the Yankees were led to the Series because of Jeter's clutchness, intangibles, and leadership. All of those are admirable qualities, but I'm sure most teams would to have the funds to price all other teams out of the free agent market.

And while I agree that economics is boring, why not at least give credit where credit is due? I say give George III the Sportsman of the Year Award: He's the reason the Yankees won.

As per Pettitte, he has spent 1/3 of this decade in Houston. If someone took 1/3 of your salary, wouldn't you call that a "big chuck" of it? I would too.

The problem with using the Yankees payroll as a point of criticism is two fold. If you believe the sole reason they succeed is due to their financial resources ("they won by simply outspending every other team in baseball")which remains a constant, then they would never lose. Of course, they do lose. That must mean that their success must be attributed to multiple factors, i.e quality drafting and international scouting. After all you're not complaining about the Mets or Tigers at 2 and 3 in payroll, respectively. Furthermore, the Yankees had a higher payroll last year and didn't even make the playoffs.

Secondly, if you're in the bottom third of the league in terms of payroll there is little difference to you between the 130mil Red Sox and the 200mil Yankees. Imagine a local hardware store owner reading that Loews is fed up with the Home Depot and their significant financial resources. That's how your comment reads. There are legitimate reasons to criticize the Yankees but for any team in the top 5 in payroll to criticize another team in the top 5 about their payroll is ludicrous.

No, there's a huge fucking difference between the Yankees payroll and EVERY OTHER TEAM.
And also, the Yanks have made the playoffs every year except one since '95. Yeah, the choke all the time and don't win it ALL every single year, but it's just so stupid when Yankee fans try to act like there's parity in baseball. I hear this total bullshit all the time. "Look at the '08 Rays! Any team can win!" No, there's like a few teams that have a chance year in and year out, the Red Sox being another one. It's a completely unfair system. There are 4 playoff spots in the AL, and between the Yanks, Sox, and Angels, we're all in it almost every year.

I agree with your second comment there. It's not that there isn't a problem with payrolls in baseball. It's just that as Sox fans its disingenuous of us to call out our rivals for an advantage which we have. While yes 50 million is a big difference between 1st and 2nd on the team payroll list, the view from the bottom is all the same. That's all I'm saying.


For the record, I don't believe money is the "sole" reason the Yankees won, but it is the elephant in the room when it comes to their success. I said that they "simply" outspent, meaning their means of succeeding was a simple formula: Pay above market value for players because they can afford to.

As per their drafting and scouting, how many All Stars have the Yankees developed through their own system over the last ten years? The system produced great players in the 90s, but since 2000they've gotten much of their talent from other teams.

As per the Mets and Tigers, I think you're forgetting that I offered the Yankees' success comes from pricing other teams out of the market when it comes to free agents. As I mentioned, who else in baseball (maybe the Giants?) would think AJ Burnett deserved to be the highest paid pitcher in the league?

As for the Yankees with a lower payroll, that's true: They lowered it a whole 3.8% and still outspent every other team in the league by a healthy margin.

Here's a fact: The gap between the Yankees and Sox in terms of payroll is $80 million. Between the Red Sox and the A's (the last place team in terms of spending) is $59 million. In terms of spending, the Yankees truly are in a league of their own.
Daaa is still thinking I was wrong about my Pettitte "chunk" comment with his latest (rejected) comment. He thinks I haven't paid attention to the Yankees, I guess. He thinks I wasn't there after the '03 season when there was talk of the Sox getting Pettitte, and when Andy moved home to be with "family" only to abandon them a few years later. Or listening to Cashman on Mike & the Mad Dog trying to defend himself for letting Andy go. Or that I wasn't there in '06 to make a little graphic with a dollar sign on Andy's hat when he came back to the Yanks. He thinks I have no idea when Andy left and came back, and that surely "chunk" means 8 years and not 3.

I said he was out of NY for a chunk of this decade. I still say he was. Because he was. If you have a baseball-sized hole in your leg, is a "big chunk" of your leg not missing? Yes, even though it's not a "majority" of your entire leg.
Thirty percent of the decade is a chunk. There ought not to be any debate on that point.

Getting back to Jeter's award - and most of the other awards he's won - it looks like a classic case of projection. The writers / poohbahs who vote on these awards have, for some reason, built up a near-superhuman profile of Jeter that does not stand up to scrutiny. When someone has convinced himself (or been brainwashed) into believing something, all sorts of weird things happen. The hopes and dreams of the writers get projected onto Jeter, and they get reinforced every time Jeter claps on the top step of the dugout or smiles at one of his teammates (suggesting a broad conspiracy by the TV crews, but that's another issue), and pretty soon he's not only The Best Ballplayer, but also The Best Guy on Earth! Let's shower him with awards!

Jere, I remember you writing a great post in response to Jeter's winning an Iron Mitt, excuse me, a Gold Glove a year or two ago. I don't have time just now to dig for it, but the sentiment expressed there fits this latest Jeter silliness, too.

Post a Comment

If you're "anonymous," please leave a name, even if it's a fake one, for differentiation purposes.

If you're having trouble commenting, try signing in to whatever account you're using first, then come back here once you're signed in.

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

My Photo
Location: Rhode Island, United States