Originally Posted by M2
Two big differences between Biggio and Jeter:
1) Biggio made his bones by beating up on weaker pitchers. That's not an entirely bad thing. MLB was flush with bad pitching during his career and he made the schlubs pay for it. Yet he also struggled mightily against good pitchers and generally performed a disappearing act in the playoffs. Meanwhile Jeter hits good pitching about as well as anyone we've ever seen. His playoffs stats are actually a hair better than his regular season stats. It's yet another reason why Jeter is worshipped. There's a firm reality behind the hype. BTW, Jeter's got 3,504 career hits and he's 9th on the career runs scored list if you count his playoff numbers (and I remain under the firm belief that those games count).
2) Jeter's aged better. It probably goes towards him being a less volatile player. There's a reason Jeter was heading up the list that started this thread and Biggio's not on it, and it says more than a little bit about the differences between them.
Plus, far as I can tell, Jeter has Biggio trumped for career value across the board. Use any measuring stick you want, Jeter's ahead. They're certainly similar creatures in many respects, but Jeter's been the better of the two.
Well, Jeter had more opportunities to hit that good pitching since his teams made the playoffs more often than HOU did. As for the regular season, these things even out. Jeter got to hit against Tampa and Baltimore pitching quite a bit while Biggio got to hit against Reds and Pirates pitching a lot - I'd include the Cubs but they weren't total crap during the mid 90s and early 00s.
One thing about Biggio that always bothered me was that he always wore that armor on his arm all the time and if anyone dared to pitch inside he would just let the ball hit him on the armor and trot down to 1st. I know he was just taking advantage of the rules at the time but it's a lot tougher to pitch to a guy when you know you can't come inside on him.
I think there's a lot of merit to the theory that if Biggio and Jeter switched organizations, Biggio would be the fair-haired boy and Jeter would have toiled in obscurity. In a way, that's not fair to the NY players because people are going to say that a great player's success in NYC was in part because he played there. It's probably not fair to a guy like Jeter and definitely not someone like Rivera but might be more fair to a guy like Pettit or Posada.