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From Maury Allen:
All he does is play baseball and play it better than anybody has over the last decade or so with five World Series triumphs, seven pennants and eleven division titles.
He is, in journalistic terms, colorful on the field and colorless off the field. He has made some of the most amazing plays in baseball with his incredible throw to his catcher from somewhere between third and home to catch a shocked Jeremy Giambi in a playoff game against Oakland and the vaulting, diving, life-threatening catch in an extra inning thriller against the Red Sox.
His lifetime batting average coming into the 2010 season is .317 with the most hits ever of any Yankee, 2747. The next three names on the Yankee hit list are Lou Gehrig, Babe Ruth and Mickey Mantle. He has never batted lower than .291.
In his 16 seasons around the Yankees, there has never been a hint of scandal, off-color conduct or controversy about him……
Jeter has shown no signs of slowing down as a player in the first month of the Yankees 2010 season. His average has stayed around .300 and his fielding skills show no signs of deterioration.
It is a good guess that this well-conditioned, dedicated, serious athlete will be leading the Yankees for another half dozen years or so on the field. Then he will become the manager or general manager and stay with the Yankees another 30 or 40 years.
I think Derek Jeter is the best all around player in baseball today. I think he may be one of the five or six best all around players ever. All he seems able to do constantly is win.
I don’t know anything about Derek Jeter off the field. Maybe that is just the way it is supposed to be when you are the second coming of Jack Armstrong.
Derek Jeter is a great baseball player. He is one of the 3 or 4 best offensive shortstops of all time, and is likely amongst the top 10 at the position overall. You could make a case for him being one of the top 10 players in the sport over the last decade, and one of the top 25 or so best all around players today. Furthermore, as Allen notes, he has been nothing but respectful and well behaved off the field, with nary a hint of scandal surrounding him in his 16 years with the big club.
Yet, despite all of this, Allen feels the need to foist excessive praise on Jeter, lauding him as the best all around player in the game today and one of the 5 or 6 best players of all-time. I believe that most objective baseball fans would find this statement to be ridiculous. Articles like Allen’s tend to do more harm to Jeter’s image than good, as they usually make people think of him as overrated and overexposed. The ridiculous fawning creates this image of Jeter as a superhero, a standard that Jeter can never hope to meet with his on-field play. People read praise like this, watch Derek play, and then wonder what all the fuss is about. It obscures Jeter’s actual greatness by causing most fans to view him as overrated.
Derek Jeter is a great player, one of the greatest at his position of all time, and is still producing at a high level. There is no reason to overrate him. Let his play and his actions speak for themselves.
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