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1st Piece for Grantland: Derek Jeter & Greatness

11 July 2011

In my Grantland debut, I wrote about Derek Jeter, greatness, numbers, Zeus, and Guns n’ Roses. Good times.

5 Comments leave one →
  1. 11 July 2011 4:47 pm

    Good piece JK. Your magic number of 60 WAR encompasses my two “Tim Raines” Alan Trammell and Lou Whitaker. I can get down with that.

    • 11 July 2011 4:49 pm

      I’d have both Trammell and Whitaker in, for sure.

  2. 12 July 2011 5:11 pm

    Heading into the ’70s only 5 players had reached 3,000 hits. That decade 5 guys made it, in the ’80s it was 3 and then 6 and then 5 and so far this decade we’ve had 1, with at most 5 more guys (I-Rod, A-Rod, Damon, Ichiro and Pujols) having a shot. I would argue that expansion and the 162-game schedule had much more to do with the dilution in the value of 3,000 hits than “advances in training methods, medicine, nutrition, and in some cases PED.”

    And as marginal as his HoF candidacy may be, Johnny Damon is far more worthy of 3,000 hits–and the Hall–than Lou Brock.

    • 12 July 2011 5:15 pm

      Disagree on expansion. We’ve had a commensurate spike in talent sources in the past 42 years, with doors opening to players from Japan, various Latin countries, and elsewhere.

      The point about 162-game schedules is, of course, spot on.

  3. 12 July 2011 5:50 pm

    Yes, the expansion in the talent pool has come with an expansion in teams–what I’m saying is that the increase in the number of teams had a huge effect on the increase in the *raw number* of players reaching 3,000.

    The lengthened schedule helped bump up the *rate* at which guys made it to 3,000.

    And there’s another factor that’s led to the jump in guys making it–it began to mean something. Kaline, Boggs, Palmeiro, Brock, Carew and Biggio all hung ’em up after the season in which they got there.

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