Saturday, June 4, 2011

Girardi's Forecast that Jeter Would Switch Positions

From "The Captain: The Journey of Derek Jeter"

Jeter said he did not pay attention to sabermetric rankings, and he was incredulous when asked why.

“A computer?” he said. “I don’t know anything about it. I haven’t learned about it, and I really don’t care to learn about it. . . . I think it’s literally impossible to do that, because everybody doesn’t play in the same position and doesn’t have the same pitcher. The ball’s not hit to the same spot, and you don’t have the same runner. . . . One day he’s got a leg problem, the next day he doesn’t.

“You just can’t do it. There are too many factors that go into it.” Only it was not just the computer. Even the most ardent Jeter fans were seeing a slower and less supple version of the shortstop’s former self in the field.

One was his former teammate and coach Joe Girardi, National League Manager of the Year in Florida who was fired by Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria in a clash of stubborn personalities. Girardi had become an analyst for the YES Network, and he thought as much of Jeter’s tangible and intangible skills as any teammate the captain ever had.

Girardi saw Jeter as a baseball player who could beat you eight days a week. But as he watched his old teammate cheat to his left to compensate for lost range up the middle, watched him get to fewer ground balls than he used to, Girardi told a couple of friends something he took no delight in saying.

“I feel sorry for the next Yankee manager,” he said, “because he’s the one who’s going to have to tell Jeter he can’t play shortstop anymore.”

From The Captain

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