John (New York, NY): Do you agree with other analysts that Derek Jeter's defense is overrated? With the number of errors he's made so far this year, it seems like everyone's jumping off the bandwagon.
SportsNation Joe Morgan: I would not put myself in that group. First off, as a middle infielder, shortstop is the most difficult position to play on the field. Any lapse of concentration or injury can throw you off. I think with Jeter, he's been losing his concentration recently, but I expect him to get out of it. Middle infield demands that you have your highest confidence at all times, so a few errors can throw you off. I won't say someone's overrated because I don't see him every day. Obviously, if he's won 3 consecutive Gold Gloves, he has to be pretty good.
Joe Morgan definitely gets the most boring chat award. The guy took one issue head on (albeit in interesting one) and was just a bore otherwise. I could have predicted just about everything he said, but this one particularly annoyed me. Let's just look at that last part again...
I think with Jeter, he's been losing his concentration recently, but I expect him to get out of it. Middle infield demands that you have your highest confidence at all times, so a few errors can throw you off.
Oh. Well, you are a Hall of Famer and you must be watching him regularly to make such an assertion.
I won't say someone's overrated because I don't see him every day. Obviously, if he's won 3 consecutive Gold Gloves, he has to be pretty good.
You appear to watch him enough to say that you think he has been losing his concentration, but Hall of Famer Joe Morgan cannot properly assess his fielding prowess? Then he uses the fact that he has three Gold Gloves to bolster some case for Jeter? The issue with the entire thing is in his second to last sentence. Most of the people voting do not watch these guys on a daily basis and cannot make a proper judgment. During my senior year of high school, it was time to vote for superlatives in the yearbook and the committee was trying to fill as many pages as possible so they included singing amongst other useless ones (even more useless than the standard ones). One major problem. Nobody actually knew who could or could not sing and since most people knew that I played guitar, I won.
Of course, it was stricken from the yearbook since it was a farce, but that is basically how I see the Gold Glove voting happening. People really do not know who is the better fielder when there is no a standout (like an Omar Vizquel) and just go with whomever they is having a nice year and say, "he's having a good year at the plate, he must be fielding well to". But even when someone was a standout and they are past their prime, they get voted in 'just because'. I actually think it is an inside joke that Greg Maddux keeps winning Gold Gloves on the mound because it is practically impossible to even pick a winner at that position. There are plenty of pitchers that field their position with aplomb and you will not find many actually getting dirty or diving, which is one way I guess they could separate themselves from the pack.
I should just check it off as being irrelevant, but as Rob Neyer pointed out, in twenty years people will not remember Jeter was actually not Gold Glove worthy in the field. They'll remember the fact that he was a great offensive player and must have been a great fielder as evidenced by his three (and counting) Gold Gloves. In a way, it mars history because there are inconsistencies and untruths being left behind. Of course you can extend that as to the reason steroids are vehemently disliked by mankind when it comes to baseball, but I cannot prove much about illegal substances and how much they have changed the game vs. just the game progressing. However, I don't need any magical eight ball to tell me Jeter is simply not a premium defender and I could tell you with certainty his glove will be part of his legacy.
Coincidently, Jerry Crasnick wrote a piece on Adam Everett being the short stop of the universe and had some comments about Jetes.
The findings, released last year in "The Fielding Bible," are a testament to Everett's skill. From 2003 through 2005, he received an aggregate rating of plus-76, compared to a minus-64 for the Yankees' Derek Jeter. Bill James examined the disparity in a 4½-page essay in Dewan's book and concluded that Jeter can't carry Everett's jock, never mind his glove, as a defender.
In the end, I guess it all bothers me because I want there to be more to the Gold Glove. I don't want Vizquel to win it until he dies just because of his reputation. I honestly do not see him enough to know if he is better than Jose Reyes, but I would certainly hope that Reyes doesn't need to have a 30/30 season to win the Gold Glove. I would hope that if Reyes was the best, he would win it. Likewise I would hope that if Everett was the best, he would win it. Right now, it seems to be a joke with some of the winners these days. Do they get it right sometimes? Of course, but sometimes the mark is missed by miles.
Shawn in Philly: Do you really believe the lack of African-American players in the game is a "crisis"? Does it matter how many there are in the league as long as the opportunity is there? To me, the real problem is the lack of African-Americans in front office positions.
SportsNation Joe Morgan: Of all the people I've listened to about this percentage, you have the right understanding. I cannot find it in my heart to blame MLB for the percentages. The opportunity is there. Players are making a choice to go to the NBA or the NFL. If baseball wants to try to help persuade them to go that way, that's great, but it's not baseball's fault. Football is 70 percent African-American and basketball is 80 percent African-American. All those athletes are not playing baseball. I agree fully that the problem is in the front office and in the management, but if you do not have African-American players, where are the managers going to come from? They have brought people into the front office who have graduated from Harvard, but not African-Americans who have graduated from Harvard. You have guys who get two, three chances, but a guy like Cito Gaston, Dusty Baker, Don Baylor, Lloyd McClendon, Davey Lopes, Jerry Manuel who don't get as many chances. Yet a aguy like Phil Garner, who lost in Milwaukee and Detroit, found a good team in Houston. Not to pick on him, but the opportunity isn't there. Only Frank Robinson has managed more than three different teams; Cleveland, San Francisco, Baltimore, and Washington. You have a very good understanding of what I see as the problem.
First, it's not necessarily a problem that African-Americans are not running towards baseball by the droves. Everyone has a choice as to which sports they choose to participate in and baseball is not one that appeals to many inner city kids. It could be the lack of fields, equipment, or enough people willing to play whereas with basketball, you need one hoop and one ball. Not even a person necessarily. Though Major League Baseball has the choice to try and open the game up to inner-city kids via their RBI program, that is really not the issue according to Joe Morgan and I tend to agree with him there.
1st and 2nd with no outs and Valentin and Reyes turn a gorgeous double play with an especially amazing turn by Reyes to get out of the way of a sliding Rowan.
Pat Burrel's inability to run down a Beltran RBI double that many other people could have gotten to.
Alou going deep twice in a harsh wind that kept everyone in check.
Alou's sliding catch to save a run to end the 6th.
The Phillies are sitting in last with less wins the vaunted Nationals and a horrible bullpen.
What the Philly fans saw first hand after a delusional couple months heading into the season is that the Mets are tight all around and their Phillies are not. The two teams are not in the same league.
- "There's a bunch of humans out here, but to Manny, he's the only human." ~ Julian Tavarez
- He linked to this Uni Watch Blog post about the 42-a-thon on Sunday. Really awesome stuff and you have to painstakingly go through all of the pictures. Just a side note, I loved the idea of everyone wearing 42 and Randolph gets the douchebag award of the day by not letting Damion Easley wear it as well (at least that is what I heard or remembered reading or maybe even dreamed up).
- Fascinating piece in the N.Y. Times about "fight money" in Japan, whereby players can receive nice little cash bonuses, or occasionally "stuffed animals and sets of towels." Gee, I hope nobody tells Johan Santana; we thought the Yankees' big money would be enticing.
Labels: golden glove