Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Derek Jeter Is A Pimp In Every Sense Of The Word

"Yankee star Derek Jeter, one of New York’s most eligible hunks since his split with longtime gal pal Minka Kelly, is bedding a bevy of beauties in his Trump World Tower bachelor pad — and then coldly sending them home alone with gift baskets of autographed memorabilia....

'Derek has girls stay with him at his apartment in New York, and then he gets them a car to take them home the next day. Waiting in his car is a gift basket containing signed Jeter memorabilia, usually a signed baseball,' the friend dished." (courtesy of The Post)

This story is going around all over the sports blogosphere today, mainly with a negative spin to it, and I just don't get it.  How is this supposed to be a bad thing?  To me this is just Jeter playing chess in the booty-getting game once again while the rest of us regular guys are playing checkers.

Consider.  Derek Jeter has established the all-time greatest list of celebrity conquests in the history of human existence.  No everyday chick can bring to the table what some of his previous ladies can, and they know it.  More importantly, he knows it.  But he knows it's a big deal for them to get to meet, hang out with, and bang him.  I mean, he is the guy who did this:

And he's a 5-time world champion, and he's a member of the 3,000 Hit Club, and he's still pretty damn hot.  So what does he do?  He treats them to a wonderful evening out on the town, takes 'em back to his place (discreetly, of course), shows 'em The Captain, takes care of business, and then sends them home with a little memento.  It makes them feel more special and not just like another notch on Jeter's belt and also serves as proof for them when they tell their friends that they hooked up with Derek Jeter.  It's genius.

This is the smoothest move I've seen since I decided to skip the tie at senior prom and rocked a badass button stud instead.  It's just Jeter being Jeter and if you expected anything different you're either a moron or you're jealous.  Now hit the fucking music.

Maximizing A-Rod In 2012 And Beyond

(The A-Horse swingeth)

After his fourth straight season of injury problems and declining production, this year's batch of injuries preventing him from even playing in 100 games, it appears that Alex Rodriguez is now moving towards the twilight of his career.  Unfortunately for the Yankees, that transition is going to be a long one as he still has 6 years and $143 million left on the contract he signed after the 2007 season.  Looking at the downward trend in his production and the upward trend in DL time over the past four seasons, we could be in for some ugliness before the sun finally sets on The Horse's baseball career.  Knowing that, it makes sense to re-evaluate expectations for A-Rod moving forward and consider a more conservative approach to managing him as he declines in the interest of keeping him healthy.  EJ started to touch on this point yesterday with his idea that A-Rod's health is what drives his production, and I want to take it a step further.  Starting this year and moving forward, the Yankees need to focus on keeping Alex healthy and need to manage him in a way that allows him to stay healthy.

Since his 2007 MVP season, A-Rod has averaged just 124.5 Games Played and 538 PA per season over the past four thanks to his various injuries, and has seen his elite-level production fall as well.  When he's healthy and on the field there's no doubt that The Horse can still produce at a high level, as evidenced by his April and June months in 2011 when he put up OPS values in the high .900s-low 1.000s and wOBA values in the low .420s.  But once he starts getting banged up, that production suffers, both as a result of him modifying his approach and swing to compensate for his injuries and then due to the large chunks of time spent on the DL when the injuries become too much.  The projections for 2012 all create a similar expectation for him to miss significant time next season and for his production to continue to suffer as a result:
  • 2012 ZiPS: .264/.350/.474, 115 OPS+, 108 G, 456 PA
  • 2012 CAIRO: .273/.363/.474, .351 wOBA, 106 G, 459 PA
  • 2012 Bill James: .277/.373/.497, .376 wOBA, 134 G, 579 PA
The Bill James projection is the most favorable, both in terms of performance and playing time.  The other 2 projections, drawing heavily from the last couple years, expect A-Rod to only slightly improve on his playing time totals from 2011 (99 G, 428 PA) while continuing the downward trend in production that he's had over the last two seasons.  But if we can agree and accept that A-Rod's production should be declining some at his age and agree that the injury problems seem to be accelerating that decline, then we can agree that the first thing the Yankees need to address in 2012 is how to keep him healthy and in the lineup as much as possible.

Once again this year we are being treated to reports on A-Rod's new offseason workout program that will keep him healthy and productive.  But at age 36 it would be unreasonable for us or the Yankees to expect a healthy full season from A-Rod in 2012 regardless of what that workout plan is, especially if he continues to be used the way he has over the past four seasons.  Joe has finally started to make a conscious effort to give A-Rod more time at DH in order to keep him healthy, but that approach has usually come after A-Rod has already been hurt.  This upcoming season should be the first where regular DH time and scheduled off days becomes a staple of his playing schedule.  Implementing a strict plan that guarantees Rodriguez regular DH time and regular rest from Day 1 should help lessen the wear and tear his body accumulates through the 162-game season and keep him producing at a high level.

You Know You're A Diehard Yankee Fan When...

(My new night light)

A guy you work with out in Milwaukee, who doesn't even read the blog, steals a neon Yankee light from his buddy's bar to give to you because he remembers that you like the Yankees.  It's old, it's dusty as hell, and there are probably spider eggs hatching out of it and hundreds of baby spiders crawling all over my apartment right now, but that's still fucking sweet.

I guess blowing off all my friends and social life during the playoffs to scream at the TV and jot down game notes is finally starting to pay off.  And I thought there were no perks to being a blogger.