Originally Posted by edabbs44
Sorry, but I have to disagree. At first you said the team was basically young. But El Duque was young in terms of American baseball experience, O'Neill was a vet but only played well in one WS, Tino had experience on a losing team, Wells wasn't a leader and Knoblauch doesn't count b/c he wasn't there in 96. That doesn't make the team young. They were all major contributors. The Yankee front office put together a very good team in the late 90s and Cashman has murdered the system. Anyone can put together an all-star team with that payroll and the fact that they haven't won a WS since 2000 should be an embarrassment. They have gotten every player they wanted at the break and in the off-season and have nothing to show for it. I realize that they have had success since 2000, but with the $ they drop every season anything short of a WS is not good enough.
I'm saying not that the team was young, but that it was the young ones who carried the team through its all of its peak years and beyond. The breaking down of the specific players was just to show that the ones you mentioned were not all veterans and/or parts of every single one of the WS-winning teams.
The way the team has handled its signings since then is an entirely separate argument, and one on which I probably agree with you on most points. If nothing else, the fact that they haven't assembled a WS-winning team since 2000 is even more evidence that it was the young team, not a collection of superstars, that has been successful for them.
The only reason why everyone says Jeter is a great leader is b/c he was anointed that once he made it to the majors. Would a great leader EVER let his team lose to the Red Sox after leading 3-0? Why does he get a pass on this? It was the biggest collapse ever! If he really had these unbelievable intangibles and leadership powers, that never would have happened. Case closed.
So jeter cannot be held responsible for the team's success, but he's solely responsible for the team's failures? That's completely contradictory logic. The truth as far as I'm concerned is in the middle. If you can blame any one player for an entire team's winning or losing records, then it's track and field you're interested in, not baseball.
Jeter's "leadership" does not mean that he shows the team how to win or lose. That, in my mind, is not what a leader does anyway, because a leader accepts that while winning is the goal, it does not overshadow the playing of the game itself. He has exemplary attitudes towards playing the game, his approach at the plate, his pretty much unshakable confidence, his ability to go out and play the best he can every day and put the results behind him, win or lose, to pursue the next thing coming. That's certainly going to have more of an effect on young players around him than it will on A-Rod, Gary Sheffield, Jason Giambi, Johnny Damon, Randy Johnson, etc. ad nauseum. If the team could go a single year without adding even one more superstar, the chance might exist for this kind of leadership to have a long-term effect. but nevertheless he is the rock of that team, and while they may not have won a World Series since 2000, they have weathered some very bumpy paths well, and I think he has something to do with that.
The "intangibles" in reference to Jeter also involve things off the field as well. I'm sorry, but this cannot be discounted in the sport of professional baseball. Was he anointed in New York when he came up as a rookie? Sure, and well he should have been. His story, when played the right way (which it has been, no question) is extraordinary. The man practically came out of the womb a Yankee. A child of a mixed-race couple, he has been saying since he was five years old that he would be the shortstop for the Yankees. He worked hard through his childhood and through a couple of horrendous years of rookie ball. He happened to come up to the Yankees at a time when they were just on the brink of winning the World Series -- and becoming a dynasty -- after their longest stretch of sucktitude in the team's history. His father is a drug counselor. He's never misstepped with the media. He does great things for charity. He has a sense of humor. He probably gets more action than Paris Hilton, but he's discreet enough that he's never been slapped with any kind of character assasination from spurned people from his past. I'm sure he rescues kittens from trees on alternate weekends. I mean, it's definitely almost too much sometimes, and for all I know the guy could be a jerk in real life, but if he is, the people around him have certainly covered it well. His handlers or whoever saw what he was pretty early and played it brilliantly. And in this, they've given children a fantastic role model at a time when baseball has been realing from both the strike and steroids, and Jeter has given and continues to give millions to charity. What does this have to do with his defensive stats? Nothing. What does it have to do with Major League Baseball? Everything. The game of baseball doesn't need superstars, but the sport does. Many people say he only gets attention because he's a Yankee; that has something to do with the level of attention he gets, but I'm almost certain he'd be even more LOVED if he played for any other team. so I think the fact that he's a Yankee causes a lot of people to hold his level of stardom against him, and that's where the overrated label comes from. Once again, within baseball, not many people rate him as the perfect shortstop. But the overrated tag as an all-around good guy baseball player, which is a byproduct of the "leader" label in some ways? That's your choice to believe he's overrated there. I happen to think he's good for the game, on and off the field.