Since Jason posted this, Derek Jeter’s DL stint is no longer a question mark — all the better, since it is now more likely that the Captain’s 3,000th hit will occur in the happy confines of Yankee Stadium.
But let’s take the opportunity to check the Wally Pippometer:
Playing short in D.J.’s place, Eduardo Nunez batted eighth and went 2-for-4, driving in New York’s first run — and later scoring — in the Yankees’ six-run second inning of their 12-4 win over the Texas Rangers.
Perhaps more importantly, Brett Gardner went 3-for-4 with a walk, three runs, and an RBI in Jeter’s usual leadoff spot — including an infield single in the hole on which I couldn’t help but observe (God forgive me) “Jeter is thrown out on that play.” (Gardner went on to steal a base after that infield single and score on Curtis Granderson’s 21st homerun.)
So based on the huge sample size of one game without the Captain in the lineup, it looks like he ought to be batting eighth when he comes back from his calf injury.
An interesting question during tonight’s Yankee broadcast (yes, broadcast: it was on My 9, not cable’s YES Network):
Q: Besides getting his 3000th hit, what would be your favorite Derek Jeter individual moment?
A) “Mr. November” Home Run
B) Bloody Dive into the Stands
C) Jeffrey Maier Home Run
D) “Flip” at home against the A’s
E) Breaking Lou Gehrig’s record
The results? D) The Flip: 40.5 percent. B) The Dive: 38.9 percent. A) The Nov. 1 dinger: 9.9 percent. E) Passing Gehrig’s hit total: 6.8 percent. C) The Tarasco Fiasco: 4 percent.
Now, Jason — as you know — I’m not an avid quantbot. So can you explain to me how Jeter’s WAR numbers would have been different if “the flip” had been a simple relay throw from left field; and if “the bloody dive” (believe it or not, I can find no video) had been a simple, one-step popout to short?
Doubtless Yankee fans just have an irrational fondness for these plays that, in the final mathematical analysis, are little more than ho-hum outs.