On Brett Gardner and Derek Jeter

Discussion in 'Baseball' started by PhillyBirds, Feb 15, 2011.

  1. PhillyBirds

    PhillyBirds Mentor

    Mar 25, 2008
    With Spring Training looming, the NY Yankees are faced with a few personnel decisions, one of which being who their leadoff hitter will be. When asked this question NY skipper Joe Girardi replied:

    "My thought with Derek is that we signed him to be our shortstop and we signed him to be our leadoff hitter...''

    To his credit, Jeter has made a fantastic career leading off for the Yankees. Heck, he hit .334/.406/.465 in 2009 and finished third in the MVP voting that year, one of his best seasons ever at age 35. Why should this even be in doubt, you ask? There are a few reasons.

    Firstly, Jeter came off of the worst season of his career, at age 36. His batting average (.270) on-base percentage (.340) and OPS (.710) were all the lowest since 1995, when he appeared in only fifteen games. While never a fantastic base stealer, Jeter has usually been solid in that regard, yet stole only 18 in 23 chances in 2010. Mind you, those numbers are still nothing to sneeze at, but many analysts think that, in addition to his eroding range at shortstop, these may be the signs of Jeter's decline. And if it is, he's had himself a Hall of Fame-worthy career.

    But I think the Yankees have their leadoff man of the future in left fielder/center fielder Brett Gardner. Widely regarded as one of the fastest men in the Majors, Gardner is the rare white athlete whose blazing speed is actually acknowledged for what it is. He is a successful and smart base stealer as well, stealing 47 bags last year while being caught only nine times. He's as exciting a player as you'll find. He also has a keen eye at the plate. Brett kept a .383 OBP in 477 ABs while batting .277. Gardner is a .289/.389/.383 hitter in 388 career minor league games, so his skillset has translated nicely to the Majors.

    Derek Jeter is an all-time great ballplayer. He's also one that could be on the decline as soon as this year. Good thing the Yankees have their speedy leadoff man of the future. It's just a matter of time until Brett should get a chance to shine in a league with so few white leadoff men.

    Edited by: PhillyBirds
  2. jaxvid

    jaxvid Hall of Famer

    Oct 15, 2004
    Sounds like a racial apprenticeship to me. Young black guys with speed are put at the top of the line-up the minute they make the club.
  3. Jack Acid

    Jack Acid Newbie

    Mar 25, 2011
    Derek Jeter has spent most of his career batting #2. The mulatto G-d is not a leadoff hitter, as 2010 proved.

    Few seem to want to believe the speed and plate ability of the White Brett Gardner. The Yankees will bat him 9th again, using the "he''s like a second leadoff hitter there" excuse, until his talent forces Joe Girardi to recognize the bleeding obvious, that Gardner is their best leadoff hitter option.

    Edited by: Jack Acid
  4. Freethinker

    Freethinker Hall of Famer

    Oct 3, 2008
    Suffolk County, NY
    The latest news seems to be that the Yankees will operate with 2 different lineups depending on if they face a righty or a lefty. Gardner will leadoff against right handed starters with Jeter sliding to the 2 hole. Against lefties, where Gardner still struggles a bit, he will bat 9th with Jeter leading off. This seems like a good transition for Gardner and it will appease the veteran Jeter.
  5. whiteCB

    whiteCB Master

    Apr 14, 2005
    So true Jaxvid. The Indians have this 2nd yr kid Michael Brantley (black) and he's the Opening Day leadoff hitter this season. After not doing a dam thing all of his rookie season last year.

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