Thursday, January 13, 2011

Derek Jeter

Derek Sanderson Jeter born June 26, 1974, is a Major League Baseball (MLB) shortstop who has played his entire career for the New York Yankees. He has served as the Yankees' team captain since 2003. Jeter's presence in the Yankees' lineup, highlighted by his hitting prowess, played an instrumental role in the team's late 1990s dynasty. Jeter debuted in the Major Leagues in 1995, and the following year he won the Rookie of the Year Award and helped the Yankees win the 1996 World Series. Jeter was also a member of championship-winning teams in 1998, 1999, 2000, and 2009. In 2000, Jeter became the only player in history to win both the All-Star Game MVP Award and the World Series MVP Award in the same year. He has been selected as an All-Star eleven times, won the Silver Slugger award four times, and he has won the Gold Glove award on five occasions. He is regarded as a consummate professional, by teammates and opponents alike, and has a reputation as a reliable contributor in the postseason. Jeter is considered to be one of the best players of his generation. He is the all-time hits leader among shortstops[7] and his .317 career batting average through the 2009 season ranks as the fifth-highest among active players. He has been among the American League (AL) leaders in hits and runs scored for the past ten years. He is the all-time Yankees hit leader, passing Hall of Fame member Lou Gehrig in 2009.

eter was born in Pequannock, New Jersey in 1974. His father, Dr. Sanderson Charles Jeter, a substance abuse counselor, is African American; his mother, Dorothy, is Caucasian and of Irish/German descent. Charles and Dorothy met while serving in the United States Army in Germany. His father played shortstop at Fisk University in Tennessee. Derek has one sister, Sharlee, who is five years younger and was a softball star in high school. The family lived in North Arlington, New Jersey, before moving to Kalamazoo, Michigan, when he was four years old. As a child, Jeter and his sister spent summers with their grandparents in New Jersey, who took them to Yankees games, making him a passionate fan of his future team. Jeter was inspired to play baseball by Hall of Famer Dave Winfield.[12] In high school, Jeter was a star baseball player at Kalamazoo Central High School, where he also played basketball, earning an All-State honorable mention. Years later in 2003, Jeter was inducted into the Kalamazoo Central High School Athletic Hall of Fame. Jeter had batting averages of .557 as a sophomore and .508 as a junior. As a senior, he batted .508; had 23 runs batted in, 21 walks, four home runs, and 12 stolen bases (in 12 attempts); and struck out only once. Jeter collected many awards at season's end, including the Kalamazoo Area B'nai B'rith Award for Scholar Athlete, the 1992 High School Player of the Year by the American Baseball Coaches Association, the 1992 Gatorade High School Player of the Year award, and USA Today's High School Player of the Year. Jeter was discovered professionally by Hal Newhouser, who was working for the Houston Astros as a scout. Newhouser advocated his selection with the first pick of the 1992 Major League Baseball Draft to Astros' management, convinced that Jeter would anchor a winning team. Jeter received a baseball scholarship to attend the University of Michigan, and the speculation was that he would insist on a salary bonus of $1 million or more to sign.

During the 1999 season, Jeter had a confrontation with a teammate. Teammate Chad Curtis, an outspoken Christian, approached him about discussing his faith, but Jeter declined. When Curtis approached Jeter again, he became offended. Later in the season, a mid-game bench-clearing brawl with the Seattle Mariners occurred. After the brawl ended, Jeter was seen engaged in friendly chatter with his good friend (and future Yankee teammate) Alex Rodriguez, who then played for the Mariners. Upon returning to the dugout, Curtis chastized Jeter for being friendly with an opponent during a bench-clearing brawl, which violated an unwritten rule of baseball. After the game, Curtis approached Jeter in the clubhouse, with beat writers present. Jeter commented that this was not an appropriate time for a confrontation. Curtis later apologized. During the 1999–2000 offseason, the Yankees negotiated with Jeter, tentatively agreeing to a $118.5 million, seven-year contract.[25] Yankee owner George Steinbrenner did not want to set a salary record, delaying until the acceptance of a $143 million, eight-year contract extension between the Detroit Tigers and Juan González. When that proposed deal fell through, Jeter's tentative deal fell through, and he agreed to a one-year deal for $10 million. Jeter batted .339, with 15 home runs, 73 runs batted in, 119 runs scored, and 22 stolen bases in 2000. He batted only .211 in the Division Series but rebounded to bat .318 against the Seattle Mariners in the Championship Series and .409, with two home runs, a triple, and two doubles in a five-game series against the New York Mets in the World Series, the first Subway Series since 1956. In 2000, Jeter became the first player ever to win the All-Star Game MVP award and the World Series MVP Award in the same year. Jeter became the first Yankee since Yogi Berra, in 1959, to hit a home run in the All Star Game.

The beginning of the 2004 season saw Jeter mired in a slump; on May 25, he was hitting only .189. This included a personal career record 0-for-32 skid in April. In June Jeter broke out of his slump. He hit nearly .400 for the month and set a personal best with 9 home runs. He finished the season with a .292 average; 23 home runs, the 2nd most of his career; 78 runs batted in; 111 runs scored; and 44 doubles, a career best.[23] During a July 1, 2004, game against the rival Boston Red Sox, Jeter made a play that furthered his reputation as a clutch player. In the top of the 12th inning, with the score tied at 3, the Red Sox had runners on second and third with 2 outs and right fielder Trot Nixon up at bat. Nixon hit a pop fly down the left field line. Jeter ran from his position at shortshop and made an over-the-shoulder catch. In dramatic fashion, he launched himself over the third-base side railing, landing three rows into the left-field seats, and lacerating his chin and bruising his face in the process. Jeter was later taken out of the game. This catch ended the inning, and later the Yankees went on to win the game in the bottom of the 13th inning. The "Dive" was awarded Play Of The Year in the This Year In Baseball awards competition, as voted on by fans at In 2006, Jeter was second in the AL in both batting average (.343) and runs scored (118); was third in hits (214), stolen base success percentage (87.2), and batting average with runners in scoring position (.381); and was fifth in infield hits. He finished second in American League Most Valuable Player Award voting to Justin Morneau of the Minnesota Twins (320 points to 306 points). Jeter has finished in the top 10 in the MVP balloting 6 times in his 11 full seasons through 2006 (including also a third-place finish in 1998). In 2007, Jeter was third in the AL in hits (203), his sixth season and third-consecutive season with 200 hits, tying Lou Gehrig. He was also fourth in both at-bats (639) and plate appearances (714), sixth in times on base (276), and ninth in batting average (.322). In the field, he was involved in a career-high 104 double plays.

In 2008, Jeter's slugging percentage was .410, his lowest since 1997. One possible cause was a prolonged slump that he suffered after being hit by a pitch on his wrist. Before the injury, Jeter was hitting .324 with a .774 on-base plus slugging (OPS). After the injury, his batting average dipped to as low as .269 by the end of the month. His offense took an upward turn after May as he hit .322 with a .824 OPS after June 1. Jeter was elected to his ninth All-Star game as the starting shortstop. Jeter tied Lou Gehrig for the most hits at Yankee Stadium (1,269) with a home run off Tampa Bay Rays pitcher David Price on September 14, 2008. On September 16, he went on to break the record off of Chicago White Sox pitcher Gavin Floyd. In 2009, Jeter was named #8 on the Sporting News' list of the 50 greatest current players in baseball by a panel of 100 baseball people, many of them members of the Baseball Hall of Fame and winners of major baseball awards. For the 2009 season, Yankees manager Joe Girardi switched Jeter and Johnny Damon in the batting order, with Damon moving to second and Jeter becoming the leadoff hitter, based on the rationale that Jeter has a higher on base percentage than Damon, but grounds into double plays more often.[36] Jeter batted .334 (third in the AL), with a .406 on-base percentage, 18 home runs, 30 stolen bases (caught only 5 times), 107 runs scored (in the top 10 in MLB), and 212 hits (second in MLB). On August 16, 2009, against the Seattle Mariners, Jeter doubled down the right-field line for his 2,675th hit as a shortstop, breaking Luis Aparicio's previous record for the most hits by a shortstop in major league history.[37] Jeter became the all-time hits leader as a member of the Yankees (2,722), passing Lou Gehrig on September 11, 2009. The hit was a single off Baltimore Orioles pitcher Chris Tillman in the 3rd inning.

Despite winning five Gold Glove awards, Jeter's defense has been the subject of criticism from a number of sabermetricians, including Rob Neyer and the publication Baseball Prospectus. The book The Fielding Bible by John Dewan contains an essay by James in which he concludes that Jeter "was probably the most ineffective defensive player in the major leagues, at any position." A 2008 study by researchers at the University of Pennsylvania found that, from 2002 through 2005, Jeter was the worst defensive shortstop in the Major Leagues. Jeter responded to this criticism by saying "I play in New York, man. Criticism is part of the game, you take criticism as a challenge." Jeter committed 18 errors in 2007, his highest total since finishing with 24 in 2000. After the season, Yankees' general manager Brian Cashman and his staff saw Jeter's defense as an area that needed to be addressed. At the Yankees' request, Jeter embarked on a rigorous training program to combat the effects of age, by focusing on lateral movement and first-step quickness. Jeter's Ultimate Zone Rating (UZR) improved from worst in the American League for shortstops in 2007 to close to league average in 2008. Two sites that rely on advanced defensive statistics, and, rated Jeter below middle-of-the-pack status in 2010, despite his receiving his fifth Gold Glove Award that season.[58][59] Jeter — like many players — asserted that many defensive factors cannot be quantified.

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