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Friday, September 14, 2012

DEREK JETER FOR MVP? CONSIDER IT


You can’t deny Derek Jeter the opportunity to become the 2012 American League MVP this season.  He has done everything a captain can do for a ball club riddled with injury and struggle.  He has hit well, almost to the point of finding the Fountain of Youth, all because he found new life in what appears to be just being alittle more patient at the plate.  A tiny mechanical thing that he only found by accident when he was rehabbing last season down in Tampa.  Thank God he found it, because it’s making a ton of sports writers who wrote him off in 2010 really eat crow right now… and you know how I love that.  Just to rehash, because I can, this is what many of the headlines read back in 2010:

USA Today (October 2010): For a Yankees Icon, the beginning of the end

Business Insider (June 2011): Derek Jeter is getting old

Yahoo (July 2010): A Declining Derek Jeter on Collision Course with New York Yankees

ESPN (November 2010): Yanks will overpay for Jeter

New York Magazine (April 2011): This is the Derek Jeter Start Yankee Fans Feared

NBC New York (August 2010): The Derek Jeter Slump Hits the front page

New York Times (July 2010): Is a Slump a Reason for Concern?

New York Daily News (April 2011):   Yankees' Derek Jeter looks lost at the plate...

Just the headlines alone give a negative vibe that the end was near for Jeter, even if you read their pieces and it was mildly positive, the headline itself is like a slap at our Captain.  This is what Bleeding Yankee Blue’s headlines were right around that time:

WHY DEREK JETER IS OUR CAPTAIN

THE APPEAL OF DEREK JETER

WHY JETER DESERVES A PAY DAY

Why am I comparing? I'll tell you why... because we never gave up on the captain when everyone else in the media did. That's significant.
Now, as we approach one of Derek Jeter’s best seasons since 2009, (.334 BA in '09), you really have to starting thinking, could this be real life?  Could this 38 year old guy who’s pretty much won every type of individual and team award in his career also tack on a 2012 MVP award? Here are his numbers this season: 195 H / .323 AVG / 15 HR / 53 RBI. Look, It’s true, there are plenty of options, great players also have great seasons.  Mike Trout of the Los Angeles Angels is killing the ball right now (163 H /.331 AVG / 27 HR / 77 RBI), and many believe he’ll be the guy, but there is also another “little” award he should collect first. 
(In Photo: Derek Jeter, 1996)
It’s called the Rookie of the Year award.  Remember that award? Derek Jeter won it in 1996.   

Miguel Cabrera continues to have a great season (179 H / .328 AVG / 36 HR / 118 RBI), he always does and let’s not forget, this guy is just a great hitter. Sure, he deserves consideration too. 

And Josh Hamilton? Sure, the guy hits the ball well and has terrific numbers (145 H /.298 AVG / 41 HR / 121 RBI), but I have to tell you, it almost seems logical that Derek Jeter be considered ahead of them, and even more so than a guy like Robinson Cano. Why? The reason is simple… The comeback.  I hate to use that term because Jeter hasn’t gone anywhere.  What I mean is Jeter came to life again...hard! All us Yankee fans knew he still “had” it, but finding it took alittle while.  Couple that with Jeter being a classy, clean ballplayer with no scandal attached…not even PEDs Skip Bayless (Read SHAME ON SKIP BAYLESS) and we may be onto something big this year for Jeet.

Look Derek Jeter is currently batting .323, his best average since 2009 when he ended the season with a .334 average. His home runs are up (2012: 15 - 2011: 6), his OPS is up (2012: .817 to 2011: .743) and this is another factor, but a factor that won’t be (and probably shouldn’t be) considered in the voting.  Jeter at this point has 3283 hits in his career and 195 this year.  He’s quickly approaching Pete Rose and his all-time hits record.  He’s tied with Willie Mays (Read HERE) and about to pass guys like Honus Wagner and Stan Musial...legends.  I mean are you freaking kidding me?  We are talking about a living legend right here, right now in Derek Sanderson Jeter.

Now would Jeter want to hear about MVP talk? Hell no.  He just wants to win another ring, as a team. He just wants this Yankee team to win more games than just 1 in a row and instead rally for a winning streak in September.  That’s all he’s thinking about. For Jeter, we all know these individual awards are weird for him and that’s fine, you need to admire that.  Jeter’s a gamer and a team player, but my God, the fact that fans at Yankee stadium aren’t yet chanting “M-V-P” when he walks to the plate is puzzling to me. We need to start drumming up the chatter Ladies and Gentlemen, tonight! Why?

Because while 20 year old Mike Trout has played a terrific season, so has 38 year old Derek Jeter.  Think about it, he’s never slowed down this season, he’s been consistent and has kept that average up all year, there really is no drop off.  Amazing.

Yeah, I’m just rambling and slobbering at this point, we all know the voting wouldn’t even consider a New York Yankee anymore.  They’re done with rewarding us, almost like they think we’ve “Won too much,” but they need to think long and hard about this vote, because love the Yankees or hate them, everyone admires Derek Jeter.  I don’t care if you’re a Red Sox fan or a Padres fan, What’s not to admire? Jeter is the ambassador of Major League Baseball. The classiest guy, and one of the hardest working players out there and at 38, I have to tell you, it’s time he needs to get his. 
 
So yeah, when the fans pile into Yankee stadium tonight against the Rays, let’s start the Derek Jeter “M-V-P" chant… the time is now, we have to start drumming up the hype and help out the Captain… he deserves it. I have no doubt in my mind. Jeter could be the 2012 MVP… Damn that's got a nice ring to it, don’t it?

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