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. Dodgers promote Sergio Santos, DFA Xavier Cedeno

    Apr 24, 2015, 11:35 PM EDT

    Sergio Santos Sergio Santos

    The Dodgers made a couple of moves to make room for reliever Sergio Santos, called up on Friday.

  2. Mariners place Hisashi Iwakuma on the disabled list

    Apr 24, 2015, 11:00 PM EDT

    Hisashi+Iwakuma+Samurai+Japan+v+MLB+Stars+eDKaXCk7Myql Getty Images

    Hisashi Iwakuma is dealing with a strained right lat muscle.

  3. Mets lose to Yankees, winning streak halted at 11 games

    Apr 24, 2015, 10:05 PM EDT

    Jacob deGrom Jacob deGrom

    The Mets have lost for the first time since April 11.

  4. Blue Jays expected to activate Michael Saunders on Saturday

    Apr 24, 2015, 9:10 PM EDT

    michael saunders getty Getty Images

    Michael Saunders should be activated from the disabled list by the Blue Jays on Saturday.

  5. Wandy Rodriguez is starting for the Rangers tonight

    Apr 24, 2015, 8:15 PM EDT

    Wandy Rodriguez Wandy Rodriguez

    Wandy Rodriguez is starting on Friday night against the Angels.

  6. Josh Hamilton heads back where he belongs

    Apr 24, 2015, 7:27 PM EDT

    Josh Hamilton Josh Hamilton

    Hamilton’s return to Texas is the best-case scenario

  7. Mets shut Bobby Parnell down for a week due to forearm tightness

    Apr 24, 2015, 6:55 PM EDT

    Bobby Parnell Bobby Parnell

    Mets reliever Bobby Parnell won’t throw for a week as he experienced forearm tightness during his Tommy John rehab.

  8. Report: Angels, Rangers agree on Josh Hamilton trade

    Apr 24, 2015, 5:55 PM EDT

    Josh Hamilton AP

    The Angels and Josh Hamilton are reportedly parting ways.

  9. Jose Fernandez becomes a U.S. citizen

    Apr 24, 2015, 5:09 PM EDT

    Jose Fernandez Jose Fernandez

    Bonus of Tommy John rehab: more time to study for your naturalization test.

  10. Rob Manfred was asked again about the leaks in the Josh Hamilton case. His answers weren’t much better.

    Apr 24, 2015, 4:05 PM EDT

    manfred getty Getty Images

    Two weeks ago he said there would be no investigation. No he says the league has “tried mightily” to figure out the leaks. Really?

  11. Back injury sends Christian Yelich to the disabled list

    Apr 24, 2015, 3:15 PM EDT

    yelich getty Getty Images

    Yelich, who agreed to a seven-year, $49 million contract this spring, was off to a slow start by hitting .200 with zero homers and a .488 OPS through 11 games.

  12. Must-Click Link: Alex Rodriguzez: the slugger with a thousand faces

    Apr 24, 2015, 3:05 PM EDT

    Alex Rodriguez Reuters Reuters

    A-Rod’s habit of destroying narratives explains an awful lot about why reporters have developed a habit of destroying A-Rod.

  13. Orioles running out of infielders, put Ryan Flaherty on DL

    Apr 24, 2015, 2:49 PM EDT

    ryan flaherty getty Getty Images

    That leaves Everth Cabrera and Jimmy Paredes as the Orioles’ double-play duo.

  14. Kris Bryant is still mulling a grievance against the Cubs

    Apr 24, 2015, 11:32 AM EDT

    Kris Bryant Getty Images

    But even if it’s successful, it may not do what he wants it to do.

  15. Rays get James Loney, Drew Smyly back from disabled list

    Apr 24, 2015, 11:19 AM EDT

    smyly rays getty Getty Images

    Allen Dykstra, who filled in for Loney at first base, is headed back to Triple-A.

  16. Jarrod Parker makes first rehab start since Tommy John surgery

    Apr 24, 2015, 10:47 AM EDT

    Jarrod Parker AP AP

    Parker has been aiming at an early June return to the A’s.

  17. Someone sure as heck didn’t like the Barry Bonds decision

    Apr 24, 2015, 10:30 AM EDT

    Barry Bonds AP

    “That guy I despise got the benefit of the legal process! What a bunch of bull!”

Top 10 MLB Player Searches
  1. D. Travis (3981)
  2. J. Hamilton (3722)
  3. A. Russell (3639)
  4. D. Smyly (3423)
  5. D. Mesoraco (3229)
  1. T. d'Arnaud (3191)
  2. C. Rodon (3052)
  3. B. Zobrist (3015)
  4. K. Bryant (3005)
  5. J. Nathan (2979)