The 2009 Derek Jeter appreciation thread


During the Yanks’ victory over the A’s yesterday, Michael Kay dropped an interesting, if largely meaningless, statistic. Derek Jeter is 13 for 23 when facing a pitcher for the fourth time in the game. His hit on Sunday against Dallas Braden gave the Yanks a lead they wouldn’t surrender.

For Jeter, the two-RBI hit capped off a weekend to remember. On Friday night, he passed Ted Williams on the all-time hit list. Following the weekend set against the A’s, Jeter now has 121 hits on the season and 2658 career hits. Three thousand, here he comes.

During the post-game show, the YES Network hosts were praising Jeter. On the month, he his now hitting .367 with 15 runs scored and 11 RBI. He has hits in 19 of this month’s 22 games, and he has taken to the lead-off spot as a moth does to a light. Quietly, confidently, Derek Jeter, at age 35, is having one of the best seasons of his career.

On the season, Jeter is hitting .321 — a full .005 points above his career average — with a .398 OBP and a .457 slugging. While the slugging mark is in line with his career average, his OBP is well above his career .387 mark. He’s on pace for 19 home runs and 31 stolen bases.

Defensively, he has shown marked improvement as well. While his numbers aren’t as gaudy as they were in June, his UZR is a positive 1.8 and his UZR/150 is 4.5. For his career, those marks are at -38 and -5.5 respectively. If a 35-year-old short stop known more his bat than his glove can improve, Jeter is doing so.

During the TV broadcast, Michael Kay and Paul O’Neill were talking about Derek Jeter’s MVP-like campaign this year. In 2006, Jeter should have won the MVP when he hit .343/.417/.483. While Mark Teixeira has been an utter beast at the plate, Jeter in the leadoff spot has been a revelation for the Yanks. He’s hitting as well as he ever has, and he’s showing no signs of slowing down.

At some point, we’ll start to have some very serious discussions about Jeter’s future. He is after all making over $20 million and nearly playing to his salary this season, but he’s a free agent after next year. The Yankees are going to have to figure out how much to offer a 36-year-old who has been the face of the franchise since 1996. It is not a decision for which I envy the Steinbrenners and Cashman.

For now, though, we should just sit back and watch a master professional at work. At various points in his Yankee career, Jeter has been either underrated or overrated. No matter everyone else’s opinion, Jeter has just always been there, and this year, he’s doing it at a high level. To that, we offer up a tip of the cap to the Yankee captain. Keep it up, DJ.

Categories : Musings


  1. “He has hits in 19 of this month’s 22 games, and he has taken to the lead-off spot as a moth does to a light as a curvy supermodel does to Derek Jeter. ”

    Are self-referential metaphors allowed?

  2. Rocky Road Redemption (formerly RAB poster) says:



  3. Derek Jeter once ate three 72 oz. steaks in one hour. He spent the first 45 minutes having sex with his waitress.

  4. It’s kind of funny, Jeter having such a great season this year.

    Rumors of his decline have been greatly exaggerated.

    • Rocky Road Redemption (formerly RAB poster) says:

      Everybody who watched him last year could predict a good year this year. He got hurt. Happens. And because our team was being decimated by injury and we needed him, he gritted it out Gardner style and refused to go on the DL for an extended period of time.

  5. scoopemup says:

    Hey, he’s got to be inching up on Lou Gehrigs Yankee record for hits.How come no pub on that?

  6. Klemy says:

    Being serious, I really consider it lucky to have been able to watch him play his whole career. I’ll be sad when it’s over, much like when Mattingly retired.

  7. KW says:

    Random note: this showed up in the mobile site last night, while this just posted up here to the main site

  8. A.D. says:

    When the clone Mo, they should go ahead and do the same with Jeter.

  9. gxpanos says:

    At the ASG, Obama was small-talking Jete, and he said something like, “I’ve loved watching you play all these years. You’re the elder statesman around here now, huh?” And Jeter, immediately, like it was a reflex, said “Not the oldest.”

    Unmarried and dating 22 year olds…is short with anyone that asks if he thinks about moving off SS….

    Does anyone else think that Jeter’s insecurity about his age will blind him to reality in a few years? I think it could get really messy near the end. I just hope it’s no worse than the Bernie situation. Jeter is THE Yankee.

    But for now, we should appreciate this year, one of his best ever, at age 35. Unbelievable, playing that position and getting BETTER. Jeter’s a warrior and a pro, and it’s fitting that he’ll be the first Yank to get to 3000.

    • Rocky Road Redemption (formerly RAB poster) says:

      I’ve heard whispers that, not counting Ichiro (Japanese hits), Jeter is the only player still playing w/even an outside chance of breaking Rose’s hits record MAYBE hopefully possibly some day.

      • Link says:

        If I’m not mistaken I believe he has more hits right now than Rose did at the same point in his career.

      • I Remember Celerino Sanchez says:

        It may be possible, but it will be tough. Rose had 4256 hits. So Jeter needs another 1598 hits to tie. Jeter is 35. If he plays 7 more seasons and averages 200 hits a year (very, very unlkely), he’d still fall 200 hits short.

        Rose hung around for five seasons at the end of his career where he had a sub-100 OPS+ and batting averages of .271, .245, .286, .264 and .219 (including accepting a trade to Montreal for half a season). I don’t see Jeter hanging on as a shadow of himself, and that’s what it would take.

        • JGS says:

          there is also the “one-team” factor. I can’t see Jeter playing in any other uniform and if he wants to break all-time hitting records, the odds are against him.

          9 of the 27 members of the 3000 hit club played for one team throughout their whole career but only two (Yastrzemski and Musial) of the thirteen members of the 3200 hit club did so. Will the Yankees eventually cut loose a 43 year old Jeter?

      • JGS says:

        They were both rookies at age 22, and If Jeter hits 200 this year, he will end his age 35 season with 2735 hits. Pete Rose had 2762 at the end of his age 35 season. He can do it, but can he stay healthy and hitting until 45 like Rose did? Also, where would he play?

    • V says:

      Minka Kelly is 29 – aren’t they ‘serious’? I don’t think he’s sleeping around anymore.

    • Don’t worry about it. Superstar icons who are beloved by their fans like a family member and are sometimes thought of as being bigger than the game never have a problem letting go or coping with a smaller role or a diminished skillset. You’re overreacting. This will all work out just fine with no drama or hurt feelings.

      Brett Favre

    • E-ROC says:

      I think his insecurity about his age might have motivated him to work harder at staying fit and productive. IMO, I think he indirectly acknowledges his weakness (range) and has catered his training to improving aspect and his positioning.

  10. prime says:

    I think the Yankees will go against their usual policy and extend Jeter this offseason. Depsite not doing the same for Mo, Bernie, Posada or Pettite, the last thing they need after 2010 is bad PR for not signing Jeter quickly. It doesnt matter how much they think he will decline as a SS or as a hitter, they need to resign him, as he is the face of the franchise and should continue to be. Despite whatever happens this October, he’s had a great season so far and if it continues, the Yankees would look much better extending him now for the money they will give him, rather than after next season, when he could have a down season.

    • Drew says:

      I agree, I think Jetes will be locked down this winter, even though they really don’t have to. I also see him getting a huge bonus so that his yearly salary isn’t too high.

  11. Jeremy says:

    Unless Jeter’s production falls off a cliff by the end of next season, the Rivera and Posada deals will be the baseline for his next contract.

  12. Drew says:

    Hopefully JD gets hot and Jetes will see even more good pitches to hit. This year he’s been unreal. I expected him to kill it at the plate but his defense has been just as good.

  13. prime says:

    The length of the contract will be the bigger issue than the amount per year. They don’t want to give him a short contract so that in 3-4 years, they face a situation where Jeter wants to continue playing and he is that much older. They will/should give him 1 contract that is long enough that becomes his last contract as a player and work the dollar amount out that way (whether frontloaded, incentives, etc.)

    • That’s the exact opposite of what the team should do.

      They should choose short contracts so that they can bail at any point in time if he hits the wall, and they should give themselves numerous new contract signing periods so they can constantly have the option/leverage to adjust his salary downward if he declines but wants to stay with the team.

      A long contract would be a bad idea.

    • Drew says:

      nah, he can play for another 7 years. You can’t give him a 7 year contract though. I’d probably guess that it’s a 4 year extension if they do it this winter.

  14. No matter how far I have to go, I will be in Cooperstown when Jeter makes the Hall of Fame.

  15. Dela G says:

    i love derek sanderson jeter

  16. KayGee says:

    It will be interesting to see how much the A-Rod deal handcuffs the Yankees in the Jeter negotiations. What is to stop Casey Close from demanding a deal that pays Jeter $20 million until he is 42 (same age A-Rod will be at the end of his deal)?

    • Drew says:

      Alex Rodriguez and his current deal will not, in any way or form, prohibit or handcuff the New York Yankees in their negotiations on a new contract with Derek Jeter.

      • What is to stop Casey Close from demanding a deal that pays Jeter $20 million until he is 42 (same age A-Rod will be at the end of his deal)?

        The fact that Derek Jeter’s career SLG is .458 and ARod’s is .576.

        • KayGee says:

          Considering A-Rod is making $30 mil or more per year throughout the contract and nobody said they should be making the same amount of money, that stat doesn’t really have anything to do with it. This is about contract length. The fact that Jeter IS a fan favorite, has 4 rings, and IS the face of the franchise on top of the ridiculous contract A-Rod got when there werent any other teams willing to come close to it, could end up handcuffing the Yankees. It would be very difficult for Jeter to look bad in any sort of negotation. Rivera’s “show me respect” approach and Posada’s “meeting” with the Mets did nothing to tarnish their images. It got them the contracts that again no team was willing to meet.

          • Drew says:

            Again, no, it really won’t handcuff them in any way.

            • KayGee says:

              Excellent point

            • Mike HC says:

              Just being the Yankees will hand cuff them. You can’t just throw money around like you did last off season and for A-Rod, and then tell Jeter we are looking to cut back and that because you are old and a shitty defensive shortstop, you are going to get a pay cut. Contract negotiations are not done in a bubble. The fact that the Yanks clearly have a ton of loot and are not afraid to spend it, will be a major factor.

              • You can’t just throw money around like you did last off season and for A-Rod, and then tell Jeter we are looking to cut back and that because you are old and a shitty defensive shortstop, you are going to get a pay cut.

                Why can’t you? ARod was 32 and coming off a .314/.422/.645 and had no defensive long-term concerns. Jeter will be 36 and won’t even come close to a 1.022 OPS on his best day and has significant defensive long-term concerns.

                They’re apples and oranges.

                Contract negotiations are not done in a bubble.

                Exactly. Since they’re not done in a bubble, you have to consider the stark differences between the expected ROI on ARod at his contract negotiation opportunity and Jeter at his. Jeter’s price should be far lower than ARod’s, because you’re paying for less potential production.

                • KayGee says:

                  Agreed they are very different in a few ways. However, for Jeter to want a contract to take him until age 42 ( 6 years as opposed to 10) at a significantly lower price than A-Rod while also chasing a milestone no Yankee has accomplished (3,000 hits….how about $3 million for reaching that?), there can be complications getting a deal done.

                • Mike HC says:

                  Your argument is proving my point. You first claim they are apples and oranges (which is an expression for two things that are not comparable), and then you go on to compare the two. You point out the differences for why Jeter should be getting paid less than A-Rod, while Jeter will point out the similarities. Jeter’s deal will obviously be less than A-Rods, but my point was the A-Rod deal will be talked about and factored into the negotiations. People here were saying the A-Rod deal was completely irrelevant. I’m saying it will have plenty of relevance

                • You first claim they are apples and oranges (which is an expression for two things that are not comparable), and then you go on to compare the two.

                  I compared the two to show you how incomparable they are. It was an academic exercise to satisfy your curiosity.

                  There’s a difference between the deal being “talked about” and having “plenty of relevance”.

                  It will be talked about, yes. It won’t be a major factor, exceedingly relevant, or a handcuff, no.

                • Mike HC says:

                  Aright. We have come to the point where we are now arguing over the exact meaning of words. I think we generally agree with each other with slight differences.

                • Ed says:

                  You can’t negotiate Jeter’s performance strictly on baseball performance.

                  Jeter’s merchandising value to the team is multiple orders of magnitude more than the entire rest of the team combined. A-Rod if he sets the home run record is the only player on the team that can come close to comparing. And considering A-Rod is getting large bonuses if he hits that point, you can bet that Jeter will play off of that in his negotiations.

                  Fun fact from the Yankee Stadium tour last year – most players put their fan mail in a corner of their locker and deal with it once a week to once a month. Jeter has a second locker dedicated entirely to storing his fan mail. He has assistants that come take the mail and handle it when the locker fills up, which happens about 3 times a week.

                  His value to the team is in a whole different world, and you can bet he’ll cash in on it.

          • Rob H. says:

            considering that the person who gave A-Rod that contract, Hank Steinbrenner, has absolutely nothing to do with contract negotiations now, A-Rod’s contract will have nothing to do with Jeter’s negotiations. I hope the yankees don’t cave in to Jeter’s demands, whatever they may be. Jeter may be the face of the franchise and a fan favorite, but that doesn’t mean he should get away with having insane demands. I was just as disappointed when the yankees gave in to both Rivera and Posada with their demands(moreso Posada than Mo).

            And to be more accurate and fair, A-Rod is “only” paid 30 million or more this year and the next two. The rest of the contract is 29, 28, 25, 21, 20, and 20 mill. Plus you can’t compare A-Rod and Jeter. It just doesn’t work. They are two completely different players.

            • KayGee says:

              He also does get a good $30 mil in incentives for certain benchmark home run totals. While it is not a given he reaches them all, it is certainly attainable.

              Despite Hank no longer being the front man for negotiations, I think the presure is almost completely on the Yankees to complete the negotiations as quickly and quietly as possible. In the eyes of most Yankees fans, Jeter can do no wrong. If his agent is fighting the battle for a new long term deal, I think much attention will be deflected from Jeter. Again, this is not a direct dollar for dollar comparison of A-Rod and Jeter because they are not the same player. Arod will be making considerably more per year than Jeter. But the length of the contract is something that can be compared considering Jeter’s durability and continued high performance level.

              • Rob H. says:

                again, you can’t compare the two in terms of the contracts simply b/c Jeter and his agent won’t be negotiating with the same dimwit that gave A-Rod that contract. Hank is no where to be found and has basically no pull in anything regarding negotiations. Jeter and his agent hopefully will realize that Hal and Cashman had nothing to do with A-Rod’s contract and probably won’t care what comparisons Jetes and his agent try to make. Anything more than 4 years max and I’ll be disappointed in the yankee front office potentially caving in to Jeter, regardless of what fans think.

              • But the length of the contract is something that can be compared considering Jeter’s durability and continued high performance level.

                Jeter will be a full 4 years older than ARod when he signed his 10-year extension. No, the length of the contract can’t be compared.

                We gave ARod a contract 2-3 years longer than we wanted to as a tradeoff because we were paying for his prime age 32-36 seasons. We’ve already paid for Jeter’s prime… there’s thus no similar willingness to overpay in contract length.

                • KayGee says:

                  Unfortunately, this contract does not go strictly based on performance either. While you can’t compare Jeter and Arod statistically, you also cant compare them in terms of what they mean to the Yankees and their fan base. Had A-Rod walked, the heat goes on him and not the Yankees. Jeter’s situation is reversed unless his contract demands are utterly ridiculous.
                  The revenue Jeter generates and the image he projects as the captain, the one who stays out of negative headlines will certainly factor into negotiations as well. (Obiously I have no statistical data for the revenue he generates but I imagine its up there). He is also chasing history of his own in terms of records in Yankees history and his climb up the all time hit list.

      • Mike HC says:

        A-Rod’s deal will definitely factor in at least a little bit in the Jeter negotiations. You are fooling yourself if you think A-Rod’s contract will be a non issue. Jeter and A-Rod are in different situations, but that does not mean A-Rod’s deal won’t have an effect on what Jeter wants, and what he thinks he deserves.

        • Zach says:

          If Jeter wants 7yr/140m+ or he’ll walk then sorry its time for him to walk and no one with a brain would blame the Yankees.

          • Mike HC says:

            Just because you claim that Jeter will ask for that, does not mean that is what is going to happen. I have no idea how the negotiations are going to go down. But you can be sure that all the extraneous factors some of you guys claim don’t matter, will matter very much. And quite frankly, if Jeter ends up playing on another team, no matter the circumstances, a lot of people will be blaming the Yanks, and rightfully so.

            • Rob H. says:

              and even if that happens, people will move on and continue rooting for the yankees. It happened with Torre and people got over it. The yankees don’t care if they look bad in the eyes of others. THey showed that with the whole Torre situation.

              • Mike HC says:

                hahaha, the Yankees don’t care if they look bad in the eyes of others? You gotta be kidding me. Reputation is a huge factor. Does Brian Cashman want to be the guy that forced Jeter to play for another team? No. Will the Steinbrenner kids want to have the reputation of dumping Jeter right after George is no longer in control of the team. It will be a PR disaster if they lose Jeter. There is no two ways about it and if you think the PR nightmare will not factor in at all, you are way off the mark.

                • Drew says:

                  Jeter won’t hold us hostage, this is all batshit insane.

                • Rob H. says:

                  did it affect them with Torre? seriously? it didn’t affect them too much did it? Torre was the beloved manager who won us those 4 WS right? Jeter is going to be 37 when the deal ends. If he thinks that he can get another huge contract, anyone with half a brain will realize that the yankees have every right to say no. Just b/c he’s Derek Jeter, he is allowed to hamstring the yankees? Everyone complains that the yankees had too many old players and they aren’t young enough. So we solve that by giving a 37 year old Derek Jeter more than 3 or 4 years? Sorry, I love Derek Jeter as much as the next fan but I don’t want Jeter re-signed if it means more than 3, maybe 4, years. We need to stop with this nastalgia stuff.

                • Mike HC says:

                  Your opinion is fine, and I’m sure many people agree with you, but you definitely do not “love Derek Jeter as much as the next fan.” I am the next fan, and I am sure that I love him way more than you do … No homo (not that there is anything wrong with that.)

            • Zach says:

              My point was that if ARod’s contract leads Jeter to demand some ridiculous contract then I hope Yankees dont get it.

              I didnt say people wouldnt blame teh Yankees, i said people with a brain wouldnt

              • Mike HC says:

                There is no salary cap in baseball. Paying Jeter will only take more money out of the owners pocket and put it in Jeter’s. Who cares. Ticket prices and food/drink are already so expensive that a Jeter deal won’t have that big of an impact there either.

                • That’s not remotely true.

                  Paying Jeter more money doesn’t take more money out of the owner’s pocket and put it in Jeter’s. It will take it out of the pocket of the potential teammates of Jeter’s that we won’t sign to contracts (or extensions) because we’re paying the money to him.

                  Baseball doesn’t have a salary cap, but the Yankees do have a budget, and we adhere to it.

                • Mike HC says:

                  give me a break. It is a self imposed budget and the Yankees can to over whenever they want. If the Yanks decide to pinch pennies due to their “budget” it will be a complete joke. I would love to see how that plays if the Yanks come out and say they can’t sign Jeter due to budget constraints.

        • Drew says:

          If you read my post, you’ll see I said nothing about it affecting Jeter’s wants. Say what you want about Jeter but he’s not an idiot. He’s knows he is not Alex Rodriguez, he’s not going to break the alltime HR record and he’s not going to slug .600.
          Bottom line, the Yankees will resign Derek Jeter. What’s so hard to understand about this? A-Rod’s albatross won’t prohibit or handcuff the Yankees in their negotiations with Jeter and his new deal, like I said.

          • Mike HC says:

            When the “best” player, or most highly paid player on a team is making 30 million, as opposed to something like 15 million, you can bet that that will have an effect on how much the other guys on the team will get paid. It will surely be a factor in how much the rest of the team is making, whether a team has to pay the other players relatively less money to make up for the huge 30 million dollar deal, or, like the Yankees, the team has to pay the rest of the team relatively more money because everyone knows they have the money to spend.

          • KayGee says:

            I absolutely think they will resign him. I am using the term handcuff in terms of years. Arod’s contract is not going to prohibit them from signing him financially. But the process of getting the contract done in terms of years/dollars per year could be complicated. Everyone knows Jeter is not Arod which is why Jeter will not ask for $30 million a year. But for him to want to be signed until he is 42 is not unrealistic and it is not unrealistic to think the Yankees would balk at that idea.

    • A.D. says:

      What is to stop Casey Close from demanding a deal that pays Jeter $20 million

      A few things, namely Jeter wanting to stay in NY and potentially not getting into an ugly contract dispute with the Yankees. And more so Jeter has always been a fan favorite, he was a star when he signed his current contract, and it made him not the highest paid player, and thus got less attention. If he gets into a contract dispute with the Yanks looking to force his dollar number up, it could backfire with the fans, as his image goes from being a “true yankee” to another overpriced veteran.

      On top of that, as with A-Rod, the Yankees may be the only one’s that really are interested in Jeter’s services for his price. Yankees have more money than any team, and are more likely to pay him the max than any team. If not the Yankees who exactly would pay a 36/37 year old Jeter 15M+ a year for a multi year deal….not too many suitors.

      • KayGee says:

        Agreed. Not too many suitors as with A-Rod. But A-Rod still got his $30 mil plus from the Yankees…While their situations are different considering A-Rod’s 2007 season and the fact that he is the superior all-around player, their situations are comparable to a degree. Jeter is the face of the franchise, the ultimate fan favorite, a 4 time champion and if he has another season like his current one, will still be an elite SS in the game. It would be very very difficult for Jeter to come off at all like the bad guy in negotiations ( see above post about Mo and Po). Considering A-Rod is signed until he is 42, it could be dicey if Close plays that card.

        • Rob H. says:

          again, Hank Steinbrenner gave A-Rod that deal, not Cashman or Hal. Cashman was dead set against it. So to try and use that as leverage against Cashman and Hal would be a mistake on Jeter’s part since they had nothing to do with it.

    • Chris says:

      The fact that Hank won’t be doing the negotiating.

  17. Mike HC says:

    Hey, I’ve been waiting all year for this thread. He is by far my favorite Yankee (I’m sure I’m not alone there) and I thought/hoped that last year was just a down year, and not a decline. Now I am hoping that this year is not just a “one last great year even though his overall stats are still in a decline over the past three” type of thing. I would personally re sign Jeter for as long as he wants to play baseball. Just give the guy a lifetime contract!

  18. A.D. says:

    If only they could get Jeter on one of those Wakefield contracts.

  19. Charlie says:

    i like the idea of an extension this offseason, similar to the one chipper jones was given. Something like 2 years 25 million with some sort of option year at the end.

  20. Riddering says:

    Isn’t Derek Jeter just the ginchiest?

    Yes. Yes, he is.

  21. dkidd says:

    my dream for how derek goes out: wins the WS in 09 and 10 and then retires with 2,942 hits because he’s too cool and bad ass to care about a number

  22. [...] the 2009 Derek Jeter appreciation thread, Ben noted an uptick in Cap’n Jetes’s defensive numbers. While his UZR has been mostly [...]

  23. [...] the last few weeks, we’ve toasted Derek Jeter. I hosted an appreciation thread before going on vacation while Joe praised his defense and called the Captain the team’s [...]

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