Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Beane and Jeter and Benjamin Button

From "The Captain: The Journey of Derek Jeter"

“Jeter is Benjamin Button,” said Oakland A’s general manager Billy
Beane, a sabermetric scholar whose charts had been most unkind to
the shortstop in previous years. But late in the 2009 season, Beane
looked down at those same charts and saw Jeter ranked as the third best defensive shortstop in all of baseball.

“My God, it’s amazing,” Beane said. “My whole front-office career
I’ve been waiting for Jeter to slow down, and this year he’s as good as ever. His grace and elegance in everything he does, and his ability to be the same exact guy today that he was the day he stepped into the big leagues, is just incredible.

“It’s hard to have a negative thought about the guy even as you are
competing against him. . . . If you’re in Fenway and [David] Ortiz hits
a home run, as a GM you’re going, ‘F---in’ Ortiz,’ even though Ortiz
isn’t a guy you dislike. You would never say that word in front of Jeter’s name. You can’t deface it. You have the term ‘Damn Yankees,’ but there’s never a ‘Damn Jeter.’ ”

Beane was married to his metrics, if only because they helped him
build a consistent contender on an absurdly small budget and helped
him become the breakout star of Moneyball.

Only no matter how much he worshiped at the metric altar, Beane
said, “One guy I’ll never criticize if the metrics don’t match up with
the player is Derek Jeter. It’s like someone saying they don’t like the
mole on Cindy Crawford’s face. . . . As someone who believes in metrics, I’m here to give you the good news: I still think Jeter is an incredible player.”

From The Captain

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