It has been well-documented that Jeter's defense has markedly declined over the years (although, I must admit that as an average layperson fan, I still have a difficult time adequately deciphering the various defensive metrics).
But, as Mike Vaccaro of the New York Post points out, who needs defense when you have a "C" on your jersey.
Yesterday afternoon at Steinbrenner Field, there were two baseball teams competing against each other - one representing America, the other America's Team. But there was only one captain on the field, one designated leader for both Team USA and the Yankees.
[And in an interesting gesture, Jeter asked to wear jersey number 200 for the WBC just so that he depict his dual-captainship on the back of his jersey.]
The fact is, there were nearly 60 players on the field during USA's 6-5 win over the Yankees who would tell you they wouldn't trade Derek Jeter for anyone-
[Are we sure that's a *fact,* professional journalist Mike Vaccaro? Like, you asked all of the players and they said so? Oh, no? Oh, OK. You're right, though. Let's just call it a fact anyways. Solid.]
There may be one prominent player who disagrees with that...
...but he was in Jupiter, Fla., yesterday, telling reporters how much he would enjoy having Jose Reyes on his team.
[Aww snap! A-Rod may or may not have just implied that Jose Reyes is better at baseball than Derek Jeter! That would probably REALLY sting if it weren't accepted as an obvious factual statement by, you know, EVERYONE.]
"I wish [Reyes] was leading off on our team, playing on our team," Rodriguez said. "That's fun to watch. Anytime you have that type of speed.... So, to recount, in the space of 47 words Rodriguez buried Jeter, buried Johnny Damon, then said he didn't mean it.
[Huh? Settle down, Vaccaro. Who *wouldn't* want Jose Reyes leading off for their team. Oh, right... The Mets.]
Those who choose A-Rod as the Yankees' current foundation do so only because of his numbers, which are historic (regardless of artificial inflation) and awe-inspiring -
[That is only partially true. I would probably choose A-Rod as the Yankees' current foundation because of his awesome numbers AND because it would make Mike Vaccaro visibly angry.]
A leader? Would you like to know what a leader does?
[Brings in bagels for the whole team?]
A leader, when asked the other day about David Wright, says something like this: "I have a great deal of respect for him, because he's talented and he loves to win, and he plays hard. It's a great challenge playing against him, so I'm happy to have the chance to play with him for a little while."
That's what Jeter said about Wright.
[Do you know what A-Rod said about Wright?? Well, needless to say, the phrase "garden variety" appeared several times.]
[Jeter] has been criticized for not publicly defending A-Rod more, but it is on days like this that you realize his silences are as loud as any words he might employ.
[Again, I am a big Jeter fan, but isn't having an open and rather public feud with a teammate kind of, oh I don't know, not very leadership-y??
Although I bet those bagels make up for it and then some.]