Originally Posted by UC_Ken
You brought up the one thing that really bothers me when people talk about Jeter. Leadership skills. When the Yankees won their titles it was a veteran team with O'Neil, Brosius, Bernie, Posada, and other veterans.
Posada was hardly a veteran in the late 90s. He came up after Jeter, did not play in the World Series in 1996, and split duties with Girardi in 1998 (I believe he was still officially the backup catcher that year).
In fact, that team of the 90s was NOT a team of veterans at all, which was a huge aberration for the Yankees, not even the Yankees as we know them now, but in terms of their entire history. The Yankees have been buying their great players ever since Babe Ruth. One of the reasons their farm system was allowed to develop in the early 90s was because Steinbrenner was suspended for the Dave Winfield suit. To say that Jeter was the only kid on the team is a huge misconception. Bernie had been around since the early 90s, but was still pretty young, and until the kids came up from the farm system, if he was leading at all, he was leading a pretty crappy team that already had Don Mattingly as their veteran. Bernie was as new to the postseason as the rest of them.
That team got by on the efforts of Bernie, Pettitte, [later] Posada, Rivera, Ramiro Mendoza and yes, Jeter, all of were very young players who came up through the farm system. Their "veterans" were players like David Justice, Jim Leyritz, Strawberry and Mariano freaking Duncan for crying out loud. (Getting into 99/2000, we get into a few hired guns like Clemens, but they were still an exception.) The fact that they won so convincingly with such a young, inexperienced team IS a testament to the young ones who stepped up to lead them, and Jeter is definitely at the top of that list. Again, Jeter's ability is not a byproduct of the Yankees' greatness; the Yankees' greatness is in small part a byproduct of Jeter's greatness.
I'm still waiting for someone to point me in the direction of exactly where it is claimed that Jeter is an excellent defensive shortstop.