The Great One

04yankees1395

If you think Derek Jeter is a magically clutch player, that he saves his best for the playoffs, that he defines leadership, then his performance last night was either conclusive proof or just another example of what you already know. Five hits. A homer. Three runs. A crucial DP. “Yankere Captain Personifies Greatness” is the lead story on ESPN.com. “Jeter, as Usual, Saves His Best for October,” is the Times’s take, which I’m, sure has prompted more than a few “Don’t forget November!!!”s among Yankee fans who remember 2001.

Does Jeter actually elevate his game in the playoffs? Could it be that last night was just a truly great night for a truly great player? (Would it be heresy to point out that one of those hits would surely have been an out if Detroit shortstop Carlos Guillen was in position? Is that even relevant?)

Small sample size? Perhaps. But for one day, anyway, presumptions hold.

18 comments… add one
  • He’s had great days and bad ones. In the end the thing that impresses me most is that his post-season stats are pretty much a mirror image of his regular season stats, and in a statistically significant sample size (he’s got about a full season’s worth of post-season plate appearances). Generally, you face tougher teams in the playoffs, so I do think he steps up a bit, but let’s not overdo it.
    Yes, his first double was a bit of hit & run luck. And if ARod had hit that HR in the 9th, it would’ve been “stat padding in garbage time.” That doesn’t mean it wasn’t great – it was. I love watching him play.
    By the way, speaking of ARod, to my eye he had three real good ABs out of 4. He hit two liners right at people, though. Jeter hit one, but Guillen had broken to cover 2nd. Such is baseball.

    Rob (Middletown, CT) October 4, 2006, 10:34 am
  • Although I am predisposed to “hating” Jeter, when all is said and done, he is, of course, a great player. The clutch-ness and “turn it up for the post season” thing though, sort of irks. I mean, its fun for baseball and an entertaining media construct that doesn’t really do anybody harm. But if he turns it up an extra notch in the post season, does that mean he’s really not trying his best during the regular season?

    Token Met Guy October 4, 2006, 11:06 am
  • I’m confused. That’s not Wayne Gretzky.

    Quo October 4, 2006, 11:22 am
  • Love you as I do, YF, I’m calling BS on this post. Jeter’s stats in the post season are, as Rob says, very close to his regular season stats. The volume of games he’s played in the post season only increases the likelihood of that being the case since it’s a bigger sample size. I love Jeter, too, but I once read somewhere that Jorge has more go-ahead (or late inning) RBIs in post-season play than The Great One.
    And for the record, A-Rod’s post season stats largely mirror his regular season stats, too (though they may have dipped after last year’s ALDS).

    Sam October 4, 2006, 11:53 am
  • Before I get banned from the site for life for my previous post, I want to add that hearing the Stadium crowd chanting Jeter’s name so loudly and so long last night gave me goose-bumps. What an amazing moment for an amazing player (albeit one who simply replicates his regular season form!)

    Sam October 4, 2006, 12:04 pm
  • I have not looked into the ERAs of teams that make into the playoffs each year, but I would think that better pitching teams are the teams that play in the post season. So even though Jeter’s stats are similar in both the regular and post season he is playing against better competition. Why does Jeter get knocked for doing what he is supposed to do on a hit and run. A player of his level (and the amount of times he has been part of a hit a run) knows that part of the field would be wide open. Jeter knew that guillen would be “out of position” thats the point of the call.

    Seth October 4, 2006, 12:22 pm
  • I honestly feel that is am impressive thing, though, given that you don’t see Tampa Bay’s pitchers in the playoffs. To match his (excellent) regular season hitting in the playoffs is pretty darned good!
    Which speaks well of ARod too, btw.
    As for Jorge… I seem to recall him having miserable post-season stats. Maybe I’m wrong.

    Rob (Middletown, CT) October 4, 2006, 12:22 pm
  • Incidently, you know what you’ve set up here? If Jeter goes 0fer tonight, one of the SF’s will have some nice ammo.
    Speaking of which, tonight’s matchup is a lot harder for the Captain. He murders left handed pitching, as many good righty hitters do. Verlander, a righty with a great fastball, is another matter.
    Let us hope he is tired and that FB is nice a fat. :)

    Rob (Middletown, CT) October 4, 2006, 12:29 pm
  • Sam: I think you’re misreading the post. To a very large extent, I’m in agreement with you. But on certain days, yesterday being one of them, I think twice.
    Seth: He doesn’t get knocked. A hit is a hit is a hit. Though I question just how much he was able to “aim” that ball, which he crushed.
    I’m getting it from all sides!

    YF October 4, 2006, 1:52 pm
  • I think that Jeter benefits from being a SS as well. He is “in on” so many plays that hs presence is felt during the post-season when we all seem to be watching a little more intensly. However, Jeter exudes a confidence and has made big plays (and hits) in the post season and that goes a long way to how we perceive him now.
    Whatever the stats say you always feel like he makes his presence felt in every game (it could be the nature of the SS, and the 2nd in the batting order position).

    walein October 4, 2006, 2:01 pm
  • whoa whoa whoa. clutch? what decade are we talking about here?

    sf rod October 4, 2006, 2:26 pm
  • Technically, Abreu had the biggest hits yesterday, didn’t he? Four RBI and all.

    Paul SF October 4, 2006, 2:28 pm
  • Abreu was huge, no question; I don’t see the two stories (Jeter, Abreu) as either/or.

    YF October 4, 2006, 2:34 pm
  • the adult mr. peepers (abreu) was the deciding factor last nite.

    sf rod October 4, 2006, 2:39 pm
  • They both were… Jeter scored on both of Bobby’s hits. As did Damon (thanks in part to some shoddy fielding by Robertson).
    Everyone who got a hit (and in Giambi’s case, HBP x2) contributed, either directly or indirectly. The only guys I can think of who didn’t do anything are Matsui and Cano.
    2 for 5 with 4 RBI or 5 for 5 with 3 runs scored? Both, please. Oh, yeah, we got both. :)

    Rob (Middletown, CT) October 4, 2006, 2:54 pm
  • Matsui made the game interesting with his play in left field or not knowing to play.
    Sheff looked good at 1b, though I have to admit I thought he might rip a leg tendon from all those splits.

    Seth October 4, 2006, 3:11 pm
  • I wanted to be in front of the tv last night, beers at the ready, practicing my assel horizontology technique with occasional jump-out-of-seativitis, but had other obligations. My lady, a Tigers fan, and I were both kicking ourselves for bad scheduling.
    Thank stars for Tivo. Her cell phone was ringing during game time from drunk friends in Detroit. All calls were ignored. A few hours later we were home to watch the game.
    Bottom 2: Favorite play of the game; 6-4-3 with Sheff laying out in a full split on the extension to make the bang-bang two-fer. Looks like a first baseman to me.
    Bottom 3: Damon’s roller slips by Robertson. My lady, deadpans, “Oh sh*t. That’s gonna cost us.”
    Sooth. Soon after in that inning, it was the game, beer, and me as she said F this, I’m getting dinner. Sweet grab by Ordonez in the third; he’s a gamer.
    Top 5: Jeter throws low on the 6-3. Sheff makes a nice sweeping scoop catch. Still looks like a first baseman to me.
    Same inning: The lady is back with dinner; Tex-Mex tonight. I want to throw my burrito at Tim McClellan and his delayed call, shifty strike zone.
    Bottom 5: Giambi is drilled in the ribs. Intentional? Of course not. Robertson wouldn’t say if it was not not intentional.
    Top 7: Very surprised Joe pulled Wang there.
    Top 8: Box of Chocolates makes me scream.
    Bottom 8: That crowd roar is unreal.
    Top 9: Mo looked great. I loved that brushback on Polanco.

    attackgerbil October 4, 2006, 3:26 pm
  • Top two on that 643 rather.

    attackgerbil October 4, 2006, 4:29 pm

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