Thursday, August 20, 2009


Pulled double duty for this week's edition of the Beacon. First on page 38 is a defense of Derek Jeter's glovework, which has been much maligned for years by sabermetricians Martians who landed in Boston and discovered baseball through Red Sox Nation. Now that he has broken the all-time career record of hits by a shortstop (Luis Aparacio was the keeper of that flame), he's just a couple of weeks from breaking that record in the history of the Yankees. So before the media (local and national) wax poetic on Jeter's accomplishments, I figured that it was time to remind folks that his defense is far better than it has been portrayed for various reasons:

Honestly speaking, much of the ‘hate’, if you will, for Jeter’s defense comes from a seemingly endless loop of Yankee coverage from the national media. Considering that the Yankees are absolutely beloved or reviled – there is no middle ground with this team – any of The Captain’s highlights, including the famous backwards-leaping toss to first, drives his detractors insane. Jeter isn’t as smooth or quick as Ozzie Smith or Omar Vizquel, two of the best defensive players of any position in the game’s history. Yet, if he wore a Kansas City Royals uniform or even that of the Chicago White Sox, his shortcomings and strong points would have dimmer lights shone on them.

On page 39 is a look at the New York Giants' rushing depth now that Danny Ware and Allen Patrick are trying to make up for what was lost when Derrick Ward departed for Tampa Bay during free agency:

It appears that Ware prepared himself well for the increased workload, even if we’re talking about the preseason. “I think I had a pretty good offseason,” said the undrafted reserve from Georgia. “I lost a little weight, trained hard, studied hard, just been working as everything has been about football this offseason.” With the glaring opportunity of 2009 in front of him, he quipped, “I noticed that we had Ward leave, so there was an opening and I took it upon myself to just go get it… and see what happens with the end results.”

Just to say about Ware is that quite a few people in the press thought highly of him last August, but he wouldn't get any shine considering he was fourth on the depth chart of a Super Bowl-winning team (one that waived Ryan Grant before he caught fire with Green bay in 2007). He was certainly appreciative that I mentioned that to him.

Now, something tells me that the former will illicit some heated comments or at least spark a few thoughts. Have at it.

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