Apparently, there was a brief buzz about Derek Jeter moving from shortstop to center field, which came from a supposedly misinterpreted Joe Torre comment. I don’t want to regurgitate this whole article, since I agree with Bob Klapisch on most aspects of the whole situation. A few thoughts though: I think it would be a great idea. A-Scrod moves to his natural position at SS. They pick up or call up someone who can hit well and dump him in the less defensively challenging position of 3rd base (is Billy Mueller available? Is Drew Henson still alive?). And you get the ultimate gamer running your outfield. So, in a rovesque move, Torre accidentally floats the idea since you couldn’t really ask him to do it, and Jetes either goes for it or he doesn’t. I don’t blame him for not going for it, but just imagine if he volunteered to do it and seamlessly transitioned to a gold glove quality center fielder. His ultimate gamer status would be off the charts. You’d pretty much have to give him the MVP just for volunteering to do it.
Oh, that reminds me of some (and I know this is going to sound ridiculous) Jeter-doesn’t-get-enough-credit bitching I was doing yesterday to Dewy24 and Jimed (who apparently is neither a Blue Jays fan, nor a terrorist). Check out Jeter’s placement in the AL MVP voting in the 10 full seasons he’s played in MLB:
Year - Place in voting - First place votes
96 ---- didn't place ------- 0
97 ---- 24th -------------- 0
98 ---- 3rd --------------- 2
99 ---- 6th --------------- 1
00 ---- 10th ------------- 0
01 ---- 10th -------------- 0
02 ---- didn't place ------- 0
03 ---- 21st -------------- 0
04 ---- 13th -------------- 0
05 ---- 10th -------------- 0
In his entire career, only 3 voters (probably 2) thought he was the most valuable player in the AL. And you could only really say he was in the conversation once. But ask those same 28 voters who the MVP of the AL was over this 10 year stretch, and how many of them say Jeter? Now, I know the MVP game: it's all about the sexy stats and what Juan Gonzalez or whoever does in any given year, not the performance over a 10 year span. I'm just saying, has there ever been a player more valuable to a team as successful as the Yankees in a 10 year span and got less respect in MVP voting (and this is just for the AL, not league-wide like in the NBA)? If, for the sake of argument, you give him a 25 for the didn't place years, his average ranking in AL MVP voting is 14.7. It's a ridiculous award. As far as the actual award goes, there was zero question in any of the voters' heads about A-Rod being higher than Jeter in 2005, but I bet you there was also close to zero question about who was actually more valuable to the Yankees.
I also heard a rumor this morning that the Yankees may get Juan Pierre out of the Marlins fire sale. There’s your center fielder, there’s your leadoff man, allowing Jeter to stay at short and move back to his more natural 2 spot in the lineup. JP is a career .305 hitter with a career On Base Percentage of .355, which I’d like to be 30 points higher, but he’s good for about 50 stolen bases a year, which the Yankees could definitely use. He certainly killed us in the 03 Series. The rumor has the Yanks parting with Scott Proctor (good riddance) and someone else I don’t know. I like it.