I am in Argentina.
Every day in my hotel I get a little distilled edition of the NY Times slipped under my door. Today I read it as I sipped my coffee and watched "Tommy Boy" on F/X Buenos Aires. (It loses something in the translation.) And today, my NY Times distillation had an article about the AL MVP voting (which had not yet happened). The title of the article was "Jeter Looms as an MVP Candidate."
In the distilled article, there was a quote from worthless pontificator Tim McCarver, who believed that Derek Jeter should have been MVP. Why, you ask? WARP3? VORP? WPA? EqA? Probably EqA. That's McCarver's like go-to stat. I can't quite remember...well, let me just re-read the article and refresh my memory as to why Jeter should be MVP."Derek Jeter is different from all the other power guys," said the Fox broadcaster [sic] Tim McCarver..."It's not like he doesn't do anything from a numbers standpoint; he does a lot of things. But he's different, and you have to consider him differently. If Phil Rizzuto can win the MVP in 1950, Derek Jeter can be a candidate 56 years later."
Now, if any of you loyal readers out there ever question again why we at FJM despise Derek Jeter, or Tim McCarver, please just read that quote.
Derek Jeter is different. You have to think of him differently.
Now. It's possible that what McCarver is saying here is:
"Derek Jeter is different from the power guys. You have to take his position into account. You have to realize that the numbers he puts up as a SS are perhaps more valuable than the numbers Justin Morneau puts up as a 1B. Therefore, let's use things like VORP and WARP and stuff to determine exactly how valuable this guy is to his team."
I don't think that's what he is saying, though. I think he is talking about intangibles, here.
Perhaps that is a leap for me to make, here, in Argentina. But look again at that qualifier: "It's not like he doesn't do anything from a numbers standpoint; he does a lot of things." He brings up how Jeter has good numbers, which leads me to surmise that when he talks about how Jeter is "different," he is not actually talking about numbers at all, or about comparitive numbers among players at different positions. Plus, I have heard McCarver talk about Derek Jeter so often, and so miserably faux-poetically, that I'd be willing to bet 10,000 pesos (about $3500 US, give or take) that McC is saying that in a metaphysical, poetic, intangible way, we have to think of Derek Jeter differently.
And to that extrapolated exhortation from McCarver I say: no, sir. No we do not. We do not have to think of him differently. We have to think of him exactly the same
as we think of any baseball player. We have to consider his position, yes. But when it comes to evaluating his contributions to his baseball team, we absolutely do not have to think of him "differently"
He does not possess superhuman powers. He is not physically handicapped. He is not a warrior-poet. He is not blessing us with his very presence. He is not a wizard. He is a baseball player.
He should have been the MVP because of how good he is at baseball.
Not because of his calm eyes (a phrase McCarver, I believe, invented) or his intangibles or his steely gaze or his charisma or his elegant gait or his composure or the fact that he's currently schtupping Jessica Biel.
The thing that really bugs me is, McCarver is right about the Rizzuto-in-1950 comparison, but not the way he thinks he's right. Rizz had this line:Phil Rizzuto, 1950:
And there were certainly bigger power guys, like Larry Doby and Vern Stephens and stuff. (Teddy W. would assuredly have won the award if he hadn't played in only 89 games due to Korea -- he hit 28 bombs and had a .338 EqA in those 89 games. Also, did you know he had a farking .419
EqA in 1941? I mean, holy shit.) But, Rizzy had a 12.3 WARP3 because he played SS. Much the way Calm Eyes McGee had a 12.1 this year. Although, to be fair, DJ is a way better offensive player than Rizzy ever was.
I might have actually given the 1950 award to Yogi Berra, who had a 10.5 WARP3 and a .303 EqA, going .322/.383/.533 with 28 HR. But really, I would have given it to him because in 597 AB he struck out TWELVE TIMES. Look it up. That is batshit insane, my friends. But I digress.
The point is, Tim McCarver is a dumb dummy. And he is right about Rizzuto/Jeter for exactly the opposite reason that he is arguing.
And no one should ever think of Derek Jeter, or anyone else, "differently" when evaluating him/them.
And if McCarver says tomorrow that all he was talking about was VORP and WARP and RC and FRAA and EqA, I will take this all back. And I will eat my sombrero.
I am in Argentina.
Labels: derek jeter, intangibles, tim mccarver