Thursday, December 01, 2005

Derek and His Giant PR Machine

by BH

There's a story by Bob Klapisch on ESPN.com about the possiblility of the Yankees moving Derek Jeter to center field next year. While the subject was first broached by Joe Torre, the Yankee manager quickly made it clear that his quotes were taken out of context, and the Yanks have no plans to move Jeter to center. Klapisch, being the objective human that he is, can't help but wonder how the world would be a better place with "the Captain" roaming the hallowed center field of Yankee Stadium. Bolded parts come from the Klapisch piece.

Jeter and A-Rod are gifted athletes who could make the switch and actually improve the Yankees' overall defense. Both are quicker than Crosby with superior throwing arms. But without saying so, it was Jeter whom Torre was imagining as his next center fielder.

Apparently, Klapisch has ESP.

At 31, he's one year older than A-Rod but still faster in an all-out sprint, more graceful leaving his feet and has that extraordinary radar for fly balls and pop-ups, even with his back to the ball.

Problems. More graceful leaving his feet? Should the Yankees start putting ballerinas in center field? What the hell does being graceful have to do with anything. I'm not sure anyone ever called Jim Edmonds graceful, nor would anyone suggest it's a good indicator of whether or not he's a good outfielder. Secondly, one thing I would never call Jeter is graceful. Unless, of course, Klapisch means it the way a 4WD is graceful. Finally, is Jeter going to have to turn his back to a lot of pop-ups in center field?

Born in a manger in Bethelehem

It all goes back to that obsessive need to catch everything in the air -- evidenced by his crashing into the stands for a foul ball against the Red Sox on July 1, 2004. Jeter, bloodied and bruised, all but won the Gold Glove that year in a single play. He was just as consumed in a May 25 collision with Robinson Cano, climbing all over the rookie second baseman to grab a Marcus Thames soft flare into shallow center, snuffing out a Tigers rally.

Holy crap. This again. I have never seen more highlights of any two catches. Well, that's not true. The play in which Jeter backhanded the ball the Posada to get Jeremy Giambi in the playoffs is played more frequently. Maybe Klapisch is trying to make the point that Jeter will sacrifice himself for the team. Let's see where he goes with it.
I also love the line, "It all goes back to that obsessive need to catch everything in the air." You mean, so an out can be made?

He's branded as their leader, no mere man but The Man. Jeter is the franchise's most marketable commodity playing the most challenging position. If he wouldn't surrender shortstop for A-Rod in 2004, why would he do it now?

Wait. Klapish says he's the leader, but that he wouldn't give up his position in 2004 to someone we know was, at least at that point, better at that position. In the same paragraph, Klapisch explains that Jeter has both the best interests of the team and his own selfishness at heart.

Point is, the Yankees do have options at third, which is more than they can say about center field. If Jeter-to-center field was really that crazy, Torre shouldn't have allowed himself to be drawn into a conversation about it.

Earlier in the story, Klapisch spent a paragragh discussing the Yankees' options in center field. These included among others, Bubba Crosby, Torii Hunter, Johnny Damon, and Milton Bradley. While he made a case for the Yankees not pursuing each of these guys, they are, in fact at this point, options. Also, Torre tried to distance himself from this whole idea. After the story came out, he said he was taken out of context. Whether or not it's true, that's what he said. Torre didn't allow himself to be drawn into a conversation about it. He was the conversation, then tried to quell the whole thing.

2 comments:

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revhanson said...

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chadnicholashanson@hotmail.com

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