Skip to content

I’m pretty sure Derek Jeter woulda been a Hall of Famer even without the intangibles

May 7, 2013, 5:42 PM EDT

derek jeter getty Getty Images

Howard Bryant’s latest ESPN column considers Derek Jeter. It starts thusly:

THE MAGIC OF baseball will always live in the storytelling

Pretty lucky for Bryant, given that he’s a storyteller! Anyway:

– the grandeur of Ruth, the Midwestern identification with Musial, the unbreakable Robinson and the complex defiance and moral ambiguity of Bonds. It’s what gives life to the statistics. Unfortunately, in the age of Moneyball and fantasy leagues, the numbers have been detached from, and become more important than, the players. All but one.

Know what? I still think the players are the most important thing in baseball. We could all stop playing fantasy baseball and reading sabermetric articles and, heck, even keeping statistics, and I bet there would still be major league baseball games with millions of people attending. Indeed, I’m almost positive this is true.

But even with that aside, I’m just not buying any of what Bryant is selling. Which is, in short that “Jeter’s intangibles and leadership are what make him a Hall of Famer,” to quote the little caption under the graphic on top.

Yes, there are great stories about Derek Jeter. But there are great stories about Joe Charboneau too. Yes, Jeter apparently has some great intangibles. But he also happens to have some AMAZING FREAKING TANGIBLES.

If no one ever wrote a single word about Jeter that didn’t appear in a game story, he’d be a Hall of Famer. That’s because he’s one of the best shortstops who ever lived and has multiple World Series rings. Those things are tangible.

I’ve never understood the desire for so many to engage in Derek Jeter mythmaking. The reality is so awesome already.  Why don’t we make myths about Nick Punto? That guy could use some help!

Latest Posts
  1. Tanner Scheppers moving into the rotation hasn’t worked for the Rangers

    Apr 18, 2014, 11:19 AM EDT

    Tanner Scheppers Rangers Getty Images

    Tanner Scheppers and his 9.82 ERA may not be long for the Rangers’ rotation.

  2. Brian Matusz makes a special connection with a fan who shares his peanut allergy

    Apr 18, 2014, 11:03 AM EDT

    St. Louis Cardinals v Baltimore Orioles Getty Images

    Over two million Americans have peanut allergies. This story is about two of them.

  3. Joe Nathan is feeling better after a “dead arm” period

    Apr 18, 2014, 10:47 AM EDT

    Joe Nathan Tigers AP

    After a pair of ugly early season outings Tigers closer Joe Nathan talked last week about going through a “dead arm” phase, but now the 39-year-old is feeling much stronger.

  4. Mark Teixeira expected to rejoin the Yankees on Sunday

    Apr 18, 2014, 10:15 AM EDT

    Mark Teixeira AP

    On the disabled list with a strained hamstring, Mark Teixeira got three at-bats in a minor-league rehab game Thursday and is expected to rejoin the Yankees’ lineup Sunday.

  5. Chris Sale has no use for statistics and that’s totally fine

    Apr 18, 2014, 8:47 AM EDT

    Chris Sale Getty Images

    He may not care, but I’m going to write a research report about how you normalize ISPFMLBLSSR for different eras.

  6. The Secret Service was prepared to kill Mr. Met

    Apr 18, 2014, 8:33 AM EDT

    Screen Shot 2014-04-18 at 8.31.33 AM

    If this is true, you’d have to think the Philly Phanatic would have a no-fly zone imposed over him.

  7. And That Happened: Thursday’s scores and highlights

    Apr 18, 2014, 6:47 AM EDT

    Adam Wainwright AP

    Adam Wainwright turned in the latest of several dominant pitching performances around Major League Baseball this week.

  8. Toronto’s bullpen melts down in epic fashion against the Twins

    Apr 17, 2014, 11:00 PM EDT

    Sergio Santos AP AP

    The Twins scored six runs on one hit, eight walks (!) and three wild pitches in the bottom of the eighth inning tonight.

  9. Jonathan Papelbon is tired of talking about his velocity

    Apr 17, 2014, 10:05 PM EDT

    Jonathan Papelbon AP AP

    Jonathan Papelbon had a little more giddy-up on his fastball today, but don’t ask him about it.

  10. Jeremy Jeffress elects free agency

    Apr 17, 2014, 9:31 PM EDT

    Jeremy Jeffress Getty Getty Images

    Jeremy Jeffress turned down a minor league assignment with the Blue Jays and will seek an opportunity elsewhere.

  11. Report: Joel Hanrahan looked “great” during his throwing session today

    Apr 17, 2014, 8:21 PM EDT

    Joel Hanrahan AP

    Lots of teams watched Joel Hanrahan throw today.

  12. VIDEO: The Yankees turned a triple play against the Rays

    Apr 17, 2014, 8:16 PM EDT

    triple play yankees

    Yangervis Solarte, Brian Roberts, and Scott Sizemore turned a triple play and got CC Sabathia out of a potential jam.

  13. Mike Napoli returns to Red Sox starting lineup

    Apr 17, 2014, 7:45 PM EDT

    Mike Napoli AP AP

    Mike Napoli suffered a dislocated finger on Tuesday, but only had to miss one game.

  14. Shane Victorino to begin minor league rehab assignment Saturday

    Apr 17, 2014, 7:02 PM EDT

    Shane Victorino Getty Getty Images

    Shane Victorino has been sidelined since the end of spring training with a hamstring strain.

  15. Mariners prospect Ji-Man Choi suspended 50 games for performance-enhancing drug

    Apr 17, 2014, 5:17 PM EDT

    ji-man choi

    Ji-Man Choi, a Triple-A first baseman in the Mariners’ farm system, has been suspended 50 games after testing positive for the performance-enhancing drug methandienone.

  16. Yasiel Puig does all of the Yasiel Puig things in the same inning

    Apr 17, 2014, 5:08 PM EDT

    Yasiel Puig AP

    You take the good, you take the bad, you take ‘em both and there you have Yasiel Puig … Yasiel Puig . . .

  17. Robinson Cano, Shin-Soo Choo each hit their first homers of the season

    Apr 17, 2014, 4:24 PM EDT

    Robinson Cano AP

    Slow starts for the well-paid are beginning to be reversed.

Featured video

This was 'the perfect baseball game'
Top 10 MLB Player Searches
  1. S. Kazmir (4987)
  2. K. Uehara (4305)
  3. T. Wood (3659)
  4. G. Springer (3449)
  5. J. Kubel (3299)
  1. M. Machado (3150)
  2. T. Walker (3001)
  3. H. Rondon (2990)
  4. D. Pedroia (2947)
  5. J. Reyes (2882)