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Thursday, June 26, 2014

Derek Jeter, happy 40th birthday. Everyone's covering for you.

Derek Jeter, your OPS+ is 83, a career low.  You're playing shortstop like third base.  You may have made more mental mistakes so far this season than in all your previous seasons combined.  Two days ago you made two inexcusable fielding blunders and your starting pitcher, David Phelps, took the blame afterwards.  Even your bunting is off.

But you still hustle.

Jeter at SS, Rodriguez at 3B June 20, 2007
by User Onetwo1 via Wikimedia Commons
A few days ago you beat out a grounder with a leaping final stride into first base.  All I could think was that your former teammate Robinson Cano, for whom you covered, would not have even attempted that.  The only old player who would have is your former best buddy Alex Rodriguez, who served game 77 of his 162 game suspension.  This week I wrote three posts recommending that commissioner Allan Huber "Bud" Selig commute A-Rod's sentence, maybe to 100 games.  Then he could rejoin you.  What do you say, Derek, how about joining my recommendation?

Next season we'll miss you but we won't miss your play.  It's clear that you should have retired but I don't blame you for not.  We all want to play, think we can play.  You seem to have almost no self doubt, the kind that plagues pretty much all other players, no matter how great.  I guess that's your foundation, what makes you indomitable.

Your manager and former teammate Joe Girardi doesn't bench you for poor play, nor does he drop you in the batting order.  You're not a slugger, so it would be easier to have you bat at the bottom of the order but in the games you've started you've batted leadoff in one and second in all the rest.  That's forced Girardi to bat Brett Gardner at the bottom instead of you, which probably hurts the team.  Gardner's 114 OPS+ is second on the Yankees to 129 for Mark Teixeira.

To your credit your teammates are not complaining.  No one is grumbling, not even your slick fielding backup Brendan Ryan who has the same OPS+ as you: 83.  That's a sign of respect, maybe even affection.

Your "mental" lapses in the field are probably due to uncertainty you sense in your ability to make routine plays.

There have been only 50 player seasons for players at least 40 years of age, including multiples for some and including yours in 2014 if you can reach the required 502 plate appearances (PA).  You are ranked ... number 40.  Happy birthday, Derek.

Baseball-Reference.com:
From 1903 to 2014, From Age 40 to 99, (requiring Qualified for league batting title), sorted by greatest Adjusted OPS+
Player ages are computed as their age on June 30th


Rk Player OPS+ Year Age Tm Lg G PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB IBB SO HBP SH SF GDP SB CS BA OBP SLG OPS Pos
1 Willie Mays 158 1971 40 SFG NL 136 537 417 82 113 24 5 18 61 112 11 123 3 1 4 8 23 3 .271 .425 .482 .907 *83H
2 Edgar Martinez 141 2003 40 SEA AL 145 603 497 72 146 25 0 24 98 92 7 95 7 0 7 17 0 1 .294 .406 .489 .895 *D/H
3 Dave Winfield 138 1992 40 TOR AL 156 670 583 92 169 33 3 26 108 82 10 89 1 1 3 10 2 3 .290 .377 .491 .867 *D9
4 Stan Musial 137 1962 41 STL NL 135 505 433 57 143 18 1 19 82 64 4 46 3 0 5 13 3 0 .330 .416 .508 .924 *79H
5 Darrell Evans 135 1987 40 DET AL 150 609 499 90 128 20 0 34 99 100 8 84 2 2 6 2 6 5 .257 .379 .501 .880 *3DH/5
6 Carlton Fisk 134 1990 42 CHW AL 137 521 452 65 129 21 0 18 65 61 8 73 7 0 1 12 7 2 .285 .378 .451 .829 *2DH
7 Ty Cobb 134 1927 40 PHA AL 133 574 490 104 175 32 7 5 93 67 12 5 12 22 16 .357 .440 .482 .921 *98/H
8 Rickey Henderson 128 1999 40 NYM NL 121 526 438 89 138 30 0 12 42 82 1 82 2 1 3 4 37 14 .315 .423 .466 .889 *7/HD
9 Honus Wagner 127 1915 41 PIT NL 156 625 566 68 155 32 17 6 78 39 64 4 16 22 15 .274 .325 .422 .747 *643
10 Luke Appling 126 1947 40 CHW AL 139 573 503 67 154 29 0 8 49 64 28 1 4 15 8 6 .306 .386 .412 .797 *6/H5
11 Luke Appling 125 1949 42 CHW AL 142 619 492 82 148 21 5 5 58 121 24 0 6 23 7 12 .301 .439 .394 .833 *6/H
12 Honus Wagner 121 1916 42 PIT NL 124 485 432 45 124 15 9 1 39 34 36 8 10 11 .287 .350 .370 .721 *63/H4
13 Graig Nettles 120 1985 40 SDP NL 137 515 440 66 115 23 1 15 61 72 5 59 0 0 3 10 0 0 .261 .363 .420 .784 *5H
14 Pete Rose 118 1981 40 PHI NL 107 486 431 73 140 18 5 0 33 46 5 26 3 1 3 8 4 4 .325 .391 .390 .781 *3
15 Sam Rice 118 1930 40 WSH AL 147 669 593 121 207 35 13 1 73 55 14 3 17 13 8 .349 .407 .457 .864 *98/H
16 Reggie Jackson 116 1986 40 CAL AL 132 517 419 65 101 12 2 18 58 92 11 115 3 0 3 14 1 1 .241 .379 .408 .787 *DH/9
17 Sam Rice 116 1932 42 WSH AL 106 323 288 58 93 16 7 1 34 32 6 0 3 7 4 .323 .391 .438 .828 9H87
18 Johnny Cooney 115 1941 40 BSN NL 123 477 442 52 141 25 2 0 29 27 15 0 9 13 3 .319 .358 .385 .743 *8/H3
19 Carl Yastrzemski 111 1982 42 BOS AL 131 523 459 53 126 22 1 16 72 59 1 50 2 0 3 12 0 1 .275 .358 .431 .789 *DH3/8
20 Luke Appling 111 1948 41 CHW AL 139 594 497 63 156 16 2 0 47 94 35 0 3 17 10 4 .314 .423 .354 .777 *56/H
21 Kenny Lofton 105 2007 40 TOT AL 136 559 490 86 145 25 6 7 38 56 1 51 2 6 5 6 23 7 .296 .367 .414 .781 *87H/D
22 Dave Winfield 105 1993 41 MIN AL 143 594 547 72 148 27 2 21 76 45 2 106 0 0 2 15 2 3 .271 .325 .442 .767 *D9/H3
23 Darrell Evans 105 1988 41 DET AL 144 522 437 48 91 9 0 22 64 84 4 89 1 0 0 14 1 4 .208 .337 .380 .717 *D3H
24 Paul Molitor 104 1997 40 MIN AL 135 597 538 63 164 32 4 10 89 45 8 73 0 2 12 8 11 4 .305 .351 .435 .786 *D3/H
25 Sam Rice 100 1931 41 WSH AL 120 460 413 81 128 21 8 0 42 35 11 1 11 6 5 .310 .365 .400 .765 *9H78
Rk Player OPS+ Year Age Tm Lg G PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB IBB SO HBP SH SF GDP SB CS BA OBP SLG OPS Pos
26 Nap Lajoie 100 1915 40 PHA AL 129 521 490 40 137 24 5 1 61 11 16 4 15 10 6 .280 .301 .355 .656 *46/35
27 Lave Cross 100 1906 40 WSH AL 130 538 494 55 130 14 6 1 46 28 16 0 16 19 .263 .303 .322 .625 *5
28 Jimmy Ryan 97 1903 40 WSH AL 114 474 437 42 109 25 4 7 46 17 29 8 12 9 .249 .290 .373 .663 *8
29 Carl Yastrzemski 96 1981 41 BOS AL 91 390 338 36 83 14 1 7 53 49 4 28 0 0 3 10 0 1 .246 .338 .355 .693 *D3/H
30 Hank Aaron 95 1975 41 MIL AL 137 543 465 45 109 16 2 12 60 70 3 51 1 1 6 15 0 1 .234 .332 .355 .687 *D/H7
31 George Brett 94 1993 40 KCR AL 145 612 560 69 149 31 3 19 75 39 9 67 3 0 10 20 7 5 .266 .312 .434 .746 *D/H
32 Honus Wagner 94 1914 40 PIT NL 150 616 552 60 139 15 9 1 50 51 51 2 11 23 .252 .317 .317 .634 *65/3
33 Edgar Martinez 92 2004 41 SEA AL 141 549 486 45 128 23 0 12 63 58 10 107 2 0 3 15 1 0 .263 .342 .385 .727 *DH
34 Pete Rose 90 1982 41 PHI NL 162 720 634 80 172 25 4 3 54 66 9 32 7 8 3 12 8 8 .271 .345 .338 .683 *3
35 Jake Daubert 88 1924 40 CIN NL 102 448 405 47 114 14 9 1 31 28 17 2 13 5 10 .281 .331 .368 .699 *3
36 Eddie Murray 87 1996 40 TOT AL 152 637 566 69 147 21 1 22 79 61 6 87 0 0 10 19 4 0 .260 .327 .417 .743 *D/H3
37 Jeff Conine 86 2006 40 TOT ML 142 539 489 54 131 26 4 10 66 40 4 65 4 1 5 13 3 2 .268 .325 .399 .724 *379H/D5
38 Paul Molitor 86 1998 41 MIN AL 126 559 502 75 141 29 5 4 69 45 5 41 1 1 10 19 9 2 .281 .335 .382 .718 *D/3H
39 Craig Biggio 84 2006 40 HOU NL 145 607 548 79 135 33 0 21 62 40 1 84 9 5 5 15 3 2 .246 .306 .422 .727 *4H/D
40 Derek Jeter 83 2014 40 NYY AL 67 297 269 26 72 8 1 2 17 20 0 42 3 4 1 7 3 1 .268 .324 .327 .651 *6/DH
41 Dave Parker 81 1991 40 TOT AL 132 541 502 47 120 26 2 11 59 33 3 98 3 0 3 9 3 3 .239 .288 .365 .653 *D/H
42 Nap Lajoie 80 1916 41 PHA AL 113 455 426 33 105 14 4 2 35 14 26 1 14 15 .246 .272 .312 .584 *4/37H
43 Rickey Henderson 78 2000 41 TOT ML 123 519 420 75 98 14 2 4 32 88 1 75 4 3 4 11 36 11 .233 .368 .305 .673 *7/HD
44 Craig Biggio 71 2007 41 HOU NL 141 555 517 68 130 31 3 10 50 23 0 112 3 7 5 5 4 3 .251 .285 .381 .666 *4H/D2
45 Cal Ripken 70 2001 40 BAL AL 128 516 477 43 114 16 0 14 68 26 1 63 2 2 9 15 0 2 .239 .276 .361 .637 *5D/H
46 Pete Rose 69 1983 42 PHI NL 151 555 493 52 121 14 3 0 45 52 5 28 2 1 7 11 7 7 .245 .316 .286 .602 *39H/7
47 Deacon McGuire 66 1904 40 NYY AL 101 357 322 17 67 12 2 0 20 27 45 3 5 2 .208 .276 .258 .533 *2/3
48 Omar Vizquel 61 2007 40 SFG NL 145 575 513 54 126 18 3 4 51 44 6 48 1 14 3 14 14 6 .246 .305 .316 .621 *6/H
49 Rabbit Maranville 60 1933 41 BSN NL 143 533 478 46 104 15 4 0 38 36 34 1 17 17 2 .218 .274 .266 .539 *4/H
50 Rabbit Maranville 59 1932 40 BSN NL 149 635 571 67 134 20 4 0 37 46 28 3 15 4 .235 .295 .284 .579 *4
Rk Player OPS+ Year Age Tm Lg G PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB IBB SO HBP SH SF GDP SB CS BA OBP SLG OPS Pos
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 6/26/2014.

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