Tagged: Derek Jeter

The RSBS Podcast, Episode 25: Audible Pantslessness… and Other Stuff

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And so in this Podcast brought to you by Lifestyles

After a rough night of Pirate inspired debauchery, Jeff and Johanna clear the cobwebs (and police reports) to make room for special guest, Paul Lebowitz.  It doesn’t take long for them to get riled up as they touch on the evil FOX chimera Joe McCarver, Clint Hurdle’s Pirates, the White Sox’s diamond impotence and much, much more!

Check out Paul’s baseball blog, The Prince of New York, and also consider checking out his books, like the 2011 Baseball Guide (I’m using it to destroy my fantasy baseball foes right now).

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Subscribe to the RSBS Podcast by clicking *HERE*

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*Special thanks to our PodMaster Keith Carmack. Make sure you follow him on Twitter!  And if you’re into raunchy stunts and Hooter chicks, make sure to check out Keith’s Undercast at Undercard Films!

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Recorded Saturday, July 16, 2011

The Filibuster

Since it’s the start of the All-Star break, who’s your All-Star so far this season?

Paul
Cicero, IL
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First of all, major cap tip to ultimate All-Star, The Captain, Derek Jeter, a man who has been giving me goosebumps for 17 years and counting.  Dude is a paragon of class, someone who always goes hard and who seems to have a natural knack for the dramatic.

Jeter is one of those duh, no kidding he’s an All-Star sorta guys, the Pete Rose type, the kind of player you always expect to be an All-Star ‘cuz that’ s how he carries himself, on and off the field.  But there’s another type of All-Star, the kind who generally isn’t included in the actual All-Star Game… they are the grinders, the 110% effort guys, the ones who find clean uniforms shameful.

When I was playing legion and high school ball, I was never the best on the team.  I was short.  I was skinny.  I pretty much had zero tools… but I always went hard.  Bruises, cuts, scrapes… I was tattooed with them.  One day, after a particularly poor team performance, Coach said we needed to give more effort, to go harder.  He said, “Lung has more energy in his pinky finger than the rest of you do as a team.”

I never forgot that.  And even though I didn’t have the talent to be a starter, or to be successful at baseball at all, I did learn to walk pretty tall after that because everyone knew I gave it everything I had on every play.

Nyjer Morgan does that today.

Shocking, yes, I know, that I would praise the talents of a misfit who plays for a rival team.  But have you ever watched Nyjer Morgan play baseball?  That dude is fired up!  And he plays helluh-hard!  There is no let-up in his game and above all the homeruns, the no-hitters, the miraculous defensive plays in the field, I would rather watch nine Nyjer Morgans play against nine Nyjer Morgans than any of the aforementioned spectacles.

He may be odd, he may be hot headed and he may be just a few clicks shy of stupid, but Nyjer Morgan loves baseball like I love baseball, and he plays it in such a way that I can’t ever take my eyes off him.

He’s my undisputed off-the-radar All-Star.

Hate me, it’s cool… just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeff

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The Filibuster

How come you get to vote up to 25 times for All Star selections?  Is one vote per person less democratic?

Nathan
Mattoon, IL
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MLB made $6.1 billion in revenue in 2010.  28% of that revenue ($1.7 billion), came from the New York Yankees.  The Phillies and Red Sox place in the top six most valuable franchises.  Until the Wilpons’ recent financial issues, the Mets also figured into this top tier of baseball royalty.

When you look at these clubs, you notice they have two things in common.  Number one, they generate large amounts of revenue for MLB and number two, they all belong to large east coast cities.  These two facts are closely related and this fact has not slipped MLB’s notice.

How do you keep a bunch of super-rich clubs happy?  Simple.  You make sure that their players get elected to the All-Star game.

With fan voting and internet voting, of course the large metropolitan areas and the teams with large fan bases are going to ensure that their players get voted on to the All-Star roster.  Whether or not they belong there is an entirely different story.

As of 29 June, the leading vote getter among AL catchers was Russell Martin of the Yankees.  Martin’s batting average at this same point was .230, 10 points below the league average and 73 points lower than the second place catcher, Alex Avila of the Tigers.  Similarly, Derek Jeter sat half a million votes in front of Cleveland’s Asdrubal Cabrera while Cabrera sat about 40 points ahead of Jeter in terms of average among AL shortstops.

The list goes on and on but the fact of the matter is, the story would be the same whether fans had only 1 opportunity to vote or 50.  MLB consciously made the choice to allow this because MLB is a business and businesses have to grow or die.

We could go back to the old way of choosing the All-Star team, the method they used before 1970.  Back then the players, coaches and managers voted on the All-Stars and this more or less insured that the best players, as opposed to the most popular, made the team.  But the fans weren’t all that interested.  They wanted to see “their” guys playing in the mid-summer classic, whether or not they were the best.  And because baseball is a business, baseball gave the vote back to the fans.

Should Russell Martin and Derek Jeter start for the AL this year?  Statistically, absolutely not.  But baseball is business and that means the answer has to be reformatted.  Should Russell Martin and Derek Jeter start for the AL this year?  Monetarily, without a doubt.

So, Nathan, the answer to your question is that giving fans 1 vote or 25 votes is actually equally democratic.  But if you go further and ask the question, “Does democracy work in the context of MLB All-Star voting,” you already have your answer.  The answer is Russell Martin.

-A

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The Filibuster

What’s more impressive?  3,000 hits or 600 saves?

Aaron
Hammond, IN
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Before really getting into it, I just want to make it perfectly clear.  Either 3,000 hits or 600 saves merit you getting into the Hall of Fame.  However, now that I’ve put that out there, let’s get into the comparison.

To get to 600 saves, you need to average 30 saves a year over the course of 20 years or 40 saves a year over 15 years.  Either one of those numbers is pretty gaudy but that’s just the number of actual saves recorded over a 162 game season.  There are also non-save opportunities for closers and the occasional blown save.  There’s also that rare occasion when you come in to record a 4 or 5 out save.  So let’s assume you’re playing about 24 weeks a season, this means that you’re making a minimum of 2 to 3 appearances a week and pitching an inning at a time.  Those numbers add up, especially when you include all the warm ups and the up and down in the bullpen as you get ready to enter.

That being said, 3,000 hits over a 20-year career works out to 150 hits a year, almost a hit a game.  The more likely scenario is a 15-year career and that means averaging 200 hits a year.  But you’re not just getting at-bats, you’re also playing on a regular basis.  Although hitting takes a toll on a player, a much greater physical price is exacted by the daily grind of playing a position.

This question takes on added significance this year with Jeter almost certain to pass the 3,000 hits plateau and the possibility that Rivera could make it to 600 saves.  Both men are gifted athletes and both will most likely be first ballot hall of famers.  So, which one is more impressive?

This question gets muddied a little with Jeter’s dip in production over the last season and a half but let’s face it.  The guy has held down shortstop for the Yankees full-time since 1996.  I’m not sure there’s a more stressful position in MLB.  And while Rivera has also held a full-time position on the Yankees since 1997, there’s a reason that Jeter is the captain.

That’s the long non-answer.  The short answer is that although comparing the two things is not all that different from comparing apples and oranges, at the end of the day you do have to make a decision between the two.  I can’t tell you exactly why and I don’t necessarily have the stats to make an open-and-shut case but I happen to think that 3,000 career hits is pretty damn impressive.  You can always find a closer.  You rarely find a Jeter.

-A

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The Filibuster

So what are you guys looking forward to the most this season?

Tim H.
Bowen, IL

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baseball.jpgI don’t know what to do with 2011.  First off, it’s a prime number.  Ok, I’m not completely sure on that and I don’t really feel like doing the math to check but I feel pretty safe in saying that it’s prime.  Prime numbers just generally give me the creeps so I’m feeling a little unsettled.

In other arenas, 2011 is shaping up to be kind of blah.  Sure, Jeter will probably get his 3,000th hit and that’s pretty impressive.  But, the best case scenario only moves him up into the top 20 all time, which, although an exemplary accomplishment, still leaves him well south of Pete Rose. 

As far as overall baseball records go, Mariano Rivera could surpass Trevor Hoffman’s still warm saves record but if I can be perfectly blunt, who cares?  Again, yes, it’s impressive but when you trot out of the bullpen two or three times a week to get a couple outs, you’re not exactly the heart and soul of the team.  Closers are like field-goal kickers.  People know who you are and you have an important role on the team but no one really cares until you blow one.

So what does that leave?  There are no meaningful elections this year so that’s not an option.  Strasburg is going to miss the season so the game’s newest and greatest draw isn’t even going to be on the field.  Sure, I’m hoping the Tigers will make a good run this season but that’s just one team.  So what is there to look forward to?

I guess I’m looking forward to baseball without the bulls–t.  Sure, stories will come up and issues will be invented as the season moves on but at this point, it’s just 30 teams trying to make it to and win the World Series.  Ok, 29 because I’m pretty sure we can go ahead and count out the Pirates.  But the fact remains, at this point, a few days before the season begins, everyone has the same record and no one knows who might be this year’s 2006 Tigers, 2007 Rockies or 2010 Rangers.  Who knows, they might even push it a step further and actually win the thing like the 2010 Giants.

So that’s what I’m looking forward to.  No labor issues, no steroid scandals, no imperfectly-called perfect games.  Just baseball.  Throw in a little sunshine and some beer and I think we got ourselves a winner.

-A

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The Filibuster

Do you think Jeter will pass Pete Rose as the all-time hits leader?

Mark
Canton, IL

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derrick rose simeon.jpgDamn, I knew Derrick Rose was gifted but the all-time hits leader at his age?  That’s just straight up impressive.  I didn’t even know they counted hits in basketball!  Is that like a non-foul or something?

Oh, Pete Rose.  Whoops.  Sorry about that one.  Oh yeah, I was just joking.  Of course I knew what you meant.  And as for your question….

I’m not sure.  I think we’ll know a lot more at the end of this upcoming season.  See, here’s the thing.  It depends on which Derek Jeter shows up in 2011.  If the Derek Jeter of 2009 shows up, he has a fighting chance assuming he can continue that form.  Rose played 23 seasons and Jeter, at 36 with 15 seasons under his belt, could probably put in another 5 or so.  Assume he goes 6 seasons and can stay consistently around 200 hits a year, he has a decent chance of catching Rose.  If 2010 Jeter takes his place, let’s just say it’s not very likely and leave it at that.

But this leads us to a larger question.  Derek Jeter is a sure-fire Hall of Famer.  At this point in his career, he’s in a league by himself.  But he’s still chasing Pete Rose, a man who is banned from the Hall despite holding some of the most important records in baseball.  Yes, Rose hurt the game of baseball and desecrated his own name with his actions.  But denying him a place in the Hall cheapens baseball.

At this point in the discussion, I’m sure some people will insert the Barry Bonds argument but the two have nothing to do with each other.  Rose bet on games, maybe even threw a few despite the fact that he denies it.  However, you can’t deny his dominance as a player and the fact that he did it through his own abilities.  Despite Bonds’ very real abilities without the juicing, you can’t say the same of him.  Sadly, the real difference is that Bonds could still make it into the Hall despite his well-chronicled use of PEDs but Rose is barred for life.  This is plainly and simply a disservice to the game and a disservice to the Hall.

So that’s a long, rambling and completely underwhelming answer to your question, Mark.  If you just want my opinion on whether Jeter will pass Rose, though, I’d say no.  But Jeter will still be in the Hall and Rose will still be outside looking in.

A
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The RSBS Podcast, Episode 18: Major League Fleshlights… and Other Stuff

rsbs podcast photo 12.jpg

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And so in this Podcast brought to you by Lifestyles

Jeff, Allen, Johanna and Second City’s Mark Piebenga knock off the winter rust and gear up for what looks like a fantastically competitive 2011 season.  Besides being racy, risque and borderline offensive (or, just plain offensive), the topics of discussion include but are not limited to the best orange juice of all time, Michael Young’s precarious situation, Major League collisions and much, much more… all to make you happy face!

Holla!

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Subscribe to the RSBS Podcast by clicking *HERE*

Subscribe via iTunes by clicking *HERE*

*Special thanks to our PodMaster Keith Carmack.  You can experience Keith’s wicked podcast and subsequent film projects at  Undercard Films.  Keith is a hot topic right now!  Not only is he filming that cool baseball doc, but now he’s got some commercial gigs from the Undercast, AND he’s investing in fleshlights!  Pay him a visit!

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Recorded Saturday, January 29, 2011