100 Reasons to Hate Derek Jeter
Jim Turner - January 17, 2006

Before we start, let's make a couple of things clear; nowhere here will you read that Derek Jeter sucks. That's the kind of simplistic, if passionate, thinking best left to Red Sox fans. So let it be said:

Derek Jeter is a championship-quality major league baseball player.

He will one day be inducted into the baseball Hall of Fame.

He has never committed a criminal act.

He is not a member of NAMBLA

That said, if you're not a Yankees fan - that is, if you have a soul - there are plenty of reasons to despise Mr. Jeter. Let us count the ways:

1. The Fist-Pump - Jeter's trademark celebration for a home run, key single, stolen base, finding a nice parking spot...

2. The Number - When he joined the Yankees, Jeter wanted a single-digit number, noting that there weren't many left, and insinuating himself into such company as Ruth, Gehrig, Mantle, DiMaggio and Berra. Not shy, our Derek.

3. His range - and lack of it - By almost any measure, Derek Jeter is a below average defensive shortstop. He consistently ranks near the bottom of the league in most defensive categories. The debate about Jeter's defense isn't about good or bad, it's whether he's merely below average or the worst in the league.

4. The fact that many (Yankees fans) think he has great range - Jeter is a very good player, so there is a tendency for his supporters to think he is good at everything. He's not. If the stats don't convince you, just watch him. Ground balls up the middle go for base hits at an alarming rate - hence the joke: "What do you call a slow roller to Derek Jeter's left?" "Single up the middle!"

5. The Jump-Throw - Exhibit A in case of the illusion of Derek Jeter's fantastic defense. Here, he ranges to his right, backhands the ball, leaps into the air and fires the ball to first. Hey it looks nice, never mind the fact that if he just planted and threw, he'd still nab the runner by 20 feet.

6. Jeter the Base Coach - He's not the only major leaguer to wave his fellow baserunners around as he crosses the plate, but he's the only one who does it like a windmill in need of Ritalin.

7. Be like Derek? - Jeter's wristbands and shoes are part of Michael Jordan's Nike "Jumpman" line. That Jeter is part of such a line implies that he could be considered the Michael Jordan of baseball. That's just spooky...

8. Mariah

9. Born in 1974 - the same year that gave us the Watergate scandal, Dungeons and Dragons and the Volkswagen Golf.

10. His middle name is Sanderson

11. Has played in an appalling 23 post season series - 22 of the 30 major league franchises haven't played in that many.

12. He's really quite overrated - Yes, Jeter does a large number of things well on a baseball field. But to justify the adulation he receives, he needs to add about 20 homers a year, 30 walks and a Nobel Peace Prize.

13. Overrated does not mean bad - Yankees fans flip out when the "o-word" comes up in relation to Jeter. But Tony Gwynn was overrated, too. So was Joe DiMaggio, in that he's a top 20 all-time player, rather than a top 5. Both are still deserving Hall of Famers.

14. Has never missed the Playoffs in his career.

15. Salary - $19 million per year. Jeter has ranked in the top 5 in salary for the past 4 seasons. It's the only category in which he has placed in the top 5 for those four seasons.

16. Fox sports - They've given us baseball playing robots, and glowing pucks, and they are the undisputed world leaders in Jeter worship.

17. Guest Commentator - The first time Jeter misses the playoffs, Fox will hire him as an analyst.

18. The body armour - the huge elbow pad, shin guard, hand guard for running the bases - this guy comes with more accessories than Metrosexual GI Joe.

19. Not even the best shortstop on his own team

20. Yankees fans - you know them. The bluster. The obnoxious sense of entitlement. The cute way they pretend that their team has faced adversity. They are Jeter's most ardent defenders, but at least they follow the team with the same degree of misguided passion.

21. "Yankees" fans - these are the people who aligned themselves with the Yankees when they started winning in the 90s. They buy the camouflage Yankee hats and think that Shawn Chacon is a blend of coffee offered at Starbucks.

22. Jeter fans - a subsection of "Yankees" fans; These people identify the Yankees entirely through Jeter, generally pay little attention to baseball and have actually tried to order a Shawn Chacon at Starbucks.

23. Originally from New Jersey

24. "Mr. Clutch" - well, not really. Jeter's career numbers are .314/.386/.461. His postseason numbers are .307/.379/.463, which is about what you'd expect. Yes, he was MVP of the 2000 World Series, and has batted .400 or better in 7 post season series. He's also batted under .250 in 7 post season series.

25. Moved ARod - to 3B, despite the fact that he was both the reigning AL MVP and Gold Glove shortstop. Not a very Captain-like move, especially considering that Jeter's strengths - a strong arm and the ability to track pop ups - would make him a good third baseman and thus improve the team.

26. 2004 Gold Glove - Thanks to Nomar being dealt to the NL, incumbent gold glover ARod being moved and the highlight of Jeter's face plant catch against the Red Sox being played ad nauseum.

27. Gold Glove voters - With their lemming-like tendencies (see Palmeiro, Rafael) and now that Jeter has been honoured, he'll probably win another one.

28. 2005 Gold Glove - aw, crap...

29. "The Play" - The infamous Oakland flip-throw in game 3 of the 2001 ALDS. A nice play, but A) I'm curious to see what would've happened if he hadn't cut off the throw, since it looked like it might have been on line anyway, and B) it wouldn't have mattered if Giambi had SLID!!! Probably didn't want to break the family vial of testosterone in his back pocket.

30. Comparing "The Play" - to Willie Mays' robbery of Vic Wertz in the '54 Series, or any other famous post season play. Such comparisons overlook one important thing: the Mays ball didn't have the option of SLIDING!!! Freakin' Giambi...

31. "And you are?" - on the Giambi play, there is no mention of the catcher who A) held his position, B) fielded the flip-throw and C) slapped a perfect tag on Giambi. Jorge Posada gets zero credit for this play.

32. Top step dugout Cheerleading - Whenever a Yankee gets a hit, or - God forbid - a home run, cameras will inevitably catch Jeter leaping onto the field like a dugout Whack-a-mole - pumping his fist, naturally.

33. "Talk to the hand" - Cocky little gesture he gives the plate umpire prior to every pitch of every at-bat to signal time. Can't wait for someone to quick pitch him when he does this. First, an umpire will have to remind him that you don't call time in baseball, you ask for it.

34. Gum chewing - Hey Derek, it's gum, not cud - close your mouth once in a while.

35. Jeffrey Maier - Part of Jeter's clutch status is owed to a 12-year-old little leaguer with bad hands. Without Maier, Jeter's first big clutch hit - in game 1 of the 1996 ALCS, would be a long fly out. Umps didn't make the interference call and the legend was born.

36. Grounds into DP - double figures in every season of his career. They are all "clutch" double plays, naturally.

37. Game 4 of the 2005 ALDS - Jeter sends a dribbler to 3B Chone Figgins, who comes up throwing to the plate - the throw is offline, and routine grounder turns into heroic game-winning RBI.

38. More post-season games - than Ruth, Cobb, Aaron and Mays... combined

39. The face of baseball - Jeter can be found in virtually every ad, montage and highlight package for Major League Baseball.

40. 2002 ALCS against Anaheim - Slow grounders up the middle repeatedly ended up in centre field and the Angels pounded the Yankees.

41. Jeter the Foxbot? - For the black helicopter conspiracy theorists, you can make an argument that Jeter is in fact an android built in secret by Rupert Murdoch's minions. Consider that his rookie year and first World Series win took place in 1996, the first year Fox had MLB broadcast rights. It would also help to explain Tim McCarver's raging Jeterphilia.

42. Man-love from other broadcasters - Pat Tabler, who is otherwise completely likeable, is particularly nauseating when it comes to this, and will even lapse into speechless admiration.

43. "Catalyst" - Say Jeter leads off an inning with a routine grounder and reaches on an error. Two batters later, Gary Sheffield belts a 3-run homer. The announcers will invariably trace the rally to Jeter's inherent "clutchness."

44. Face-plant catch - Jeter's snag of a foul pop up in extra innings vs. Boston. Nice play, but he took about three full steps before leaping into the stands. Dude, pull the chute! This play did clinch the 2004 Gold Glove for him, but Juan Uribe made a better catch in the '05 World Series, and he managed to save his face, too.

45. Derek Jeter: sex symbol. Sure, he's clean cut, but he also looks "like the Rock had sex with a muppet." This quote is actually from Jeter himself, in drag as a Yankees fan during a Saturday Night Live sketch. Granted, he gets a little bit of credit for poking fun at himself. That said...

46. He hosted Saturday Night Live - Consider the athletes from other sports who've done this: Wayne Gretzky, Michael Jordan, Joe Montana. Is Jeter really considered in the same sphere as those guys?!? Why not Barry Bonds? Now THAT would be some comedy.

47. His contract - The Yankees will be pay $21 million for a 36-year-old Jeter in 2010. That kind of deal will have even the Yankees hollering "Albatross!" louder than John Cleese at the Hollywood Bowl.

48. World Series rings - more than Hall of Famers Ernie Banks, Ted Lyons, Gaylord Perry, Luke Appling, George Sisler, Jim Bunning, Bobby Wallace, Billy Williams, Rod Carew, Jack Chesbro, Elmer Flick, Harry Heilmann, Fergie Jenkins, Addie Joss, George Kell, Ralph Kiner, Nap Lajoie, Ryne Sandberg, Robin Yount, Carlton Fisk, Carl Yazstremski, Robin Roberts, Bob Feller, Nolan Ryan and Walter Johnson combined.

49. Captain of the Yankees - the Yankees didn't need a captain during the DiMaggio or Mantle eras, and they seemed to do just fine.

50. #2 Jeter jerseys - the Yankees have always insisted it's the name on the front of the jersey that matters, but the fans are so insecure that they need the name plastered on the back, for fear that someone might not know who they're supporting.

51. Pink #2 Jeter jerseys - Dressing your daughter in one of these isn't child abuse per se, but it's close.

52. Tim Kurkjian Man-Crush - The ESPN writer named Jeter "The Face of Baseball" in part citing the following: "Jeter has a nice face, a rugged face, a handsome face." That's some fine baseball journalism there, Tim.

53. Derek Sanderson Jeter - is an anagram for "A Rendered Jerk So Sent"

54. "Why would he have MY cell number?" - Jeter's jerk-athlete response after being injured on Opening Day 2003 by Jays' catcher Ken Huckaby, and being told that Huckaby had called to apologize. The play was exactly the hard working type that has made Jeter a deity in New York, but how dare a career minor leaguer lay his hands - and shin pads - on the Derek.

55. Will likely one day manage the Yankees - we'll have to put up with him for another 20 years after his playing career ends.

56. If not, he'll go into politics - President Jeter, anyone?

57. Jeter on-base reaction cam - Fox has taken to showing slow-motion replays of Jeter on base after a team mate's home run, which he celebrates with a fist-pump, naturally.

58. Jeter-looking-thoughtful-in-the-dugout-cam - Fox once spent a solid 30 seconds panning in on a pensive Jeter sitting on the bench while the game was in progress. This wasn't Jeter sharing sage advice with the manager, or having words with a team mate, mind you - he was literally just sitting there. Sadly, they had to go back to the field for the next pitch, but as soon as it was delivered, presto! - right back to Jeter.

59. "Mr. November" - He did hit the first home run in the history of November baseball in 2001, but he also hit .148 overall in the Series - not exactly Reggie-like.

60. Mr. Yankee? Not so much - Has been the best player on his team exactly once in 11 full seasons - 1999, when he led the club with a .990 OPS.

61. Inclusion in the Shortstop Trinity - which could more accurately be described as "Alex Rodriguez and a couple of guys who aren't nearly as good."

62. Never won a Silver Slugger Award - that's right, despite being a shortstop whose value is largely tied to his offense, he's never been the best offensive shortstop in his league.

63. 2006 Gold Glove - Bobby Crosby and Miguel Tejada better start throwing themselves into the stands with reckless abandon.

64. Born in June - same month as Kenny G., Barry Manilow, John Dillinger. I'm not drawing any conclusions here, I'm just sayin'...

65. The Short Porch - the perfect spot for Jeter's particular brand of middling, opposite field power. 12 of his 19 homers were at Yankee Stadium in 2005.

66. Derek the Homer - Jeter has hit a Hall of Fame-like .334/.405/.505 at Yankee Stadium, but just .280/.350/.411 on the road over the past three years.

67. Home cooked scoring - Jeter would have to hoof the ball off ARod's noggin' and toss it into the 3rd deck before getting an error from the Yankee scorekeeper.

68. Fox Sports director's instructions - The shot list during a typical Fox playoff broadcast:

Batter
Pitcher
Jeter
Batter
Jeter close-up
Manager
Pitcher
Star of brand-new-soon-to-be-cancelled-Fox series
Jeter
Batter
Billy Crystal
Jeter
Jeter

Note: does not necessarily have to be a Yankees playoff game.

69. Never been the best player at his position - for even a single season. This would seem to be a prerequisite if you're going to be a legend.

70. Pyrite Glove, part 1 - Among AL shortstops who qualified, Jeter ranked dead last in Range Factor (putouts + assists divided by innings) in 2001, 2002 AND 2003.

71. Pyrite Glove, part 2 - Among AL shortstops who qualified, Jeter ranked dead last in Zone Rating in 2001, 2002 and 2003.

72. Pyrite Glove, part 3 -Jeter's range factor and zone rating have improved over the last two seasons. It's almost like he has a gold glove shortstop playing next to him...

73. Strikes out a fair bit - More than 100 Ks 6 times, and 3 more seasons with exactly 99.

74. "Strike three? Surely you jest" - The look of disbelief he gives umpires EVERY TIME he's rung up on strikes, a mixture of "that almost hit me" and "don't you know who I am?"

75. Name rhymes with "cheater."

76. That almost hit me! - His exaggerated little dive out of the way whenever a pitch comes remotely close to him.

77. Jeter the Guru - Here's a quote from Jeter's 2004 Playboy interview: "has a knack for elevating the play of his teammates." What exactly are they basing this on? ARod came to the Yankees and immediately had his worst season. Randy Johnson declined in his first season in pinstripes. Pavano, Weaver, Rondell White. Not that Jeter's to blame, but where are the guys who improved dramatically because of him? And what exactly did he do?

78. Premature Ejeterlation - this is when a broadcaster, oh let's say Tim McCarver, forecasts a Yankee rally before Jeter even steps to the plate.

79. Jeter the owner - It's one of Jeter's post-baseball goals. He won't have the money, even given his ridiculous contract, but who knows? Steinbrenner is volatile - he could become estranged from his own children, and he's always treated Jeter something like a son.... you see where this is going...

80. Tim McCarver Man-crush - There are a few dozen quotes that could be cited here, but I think I'll go with "Jeter has the calmest pair of eyes under pressure." Where's Deion Sanders with that bucket of water?

81. First guy to the Dog pile - makes sense, since he's the first guy to the top of the dugout. Just get him some pom-poms already.

82. 2.62 million hits on Google - That's more than ARod, Bonds, Pujols, Sosa, Clemens or any other player in Major League Baseball.

83. Visa commercial with Steinbrenner - only St. Derek could turn a criticism from his owner - partying too late - into a marketing opportunity.

84. "Past a diving Jeter!" - Your defensive rep suffers less when you dive for everything that's going to roll past you. Slowly.

85. Astrological sign is Cancer - Just like David Duke, OJ Simpson, Lizzy Borden. Once again, I'm just sayin'...

86. Intangibles - Jeter fans and most announcers will tell you that it's his intangibles that separate Jeter from everyone else. Of course, you can't measure intangibles - that's why they're intangibles - and so you can credit Jeter with anything without being able to prove or disprove it. Fall of Communism? Jeter. Human Genome Project? also Jeter. iPod? That's right...

87. "Jeter makes that play" - Actually, unless you're talking about beer league softball, he probably doesn't. See also "Jeter woulda' had it."

88. Will one day be on the Yankees all-time team. Meanwhile there's only room for one of Mickey Mantle or Joe DiMaggio and one of Bill Dickey or Yogi Berra.

89. The Yankees $200 million payroll - See, it's this, and not Jeter's leadership that makes the players around him better. It turns Aaron Boone into Alex Rodriguez and Raul Mondesi into Gary Sheffield.

90. "Knows how to win" - perhaps the single most oft-cited and utterly ridiculous of Jeter's mystical abilities. Apparently the secret formula is a 200-HR offense, mercenary Cy Young winner de jour and the best closer in the history of baseball.

91. Bat toss - the way Jeter discards his bat as though it contains anthrax whenever he draws a walk.

92. John Kruk Man-crush - In his 2004 article "Jeter is the Ultimate Winner," Kruk wrote that he would take Jeter over Rodriguez. He repeated these thoughts later on radio: ""Right now, Derek Jeter is the best player in the game today. Hands down. I would take him over Alex Rodriguez any day." In terms of accuracy and lucidity, this quote ranks just behind "Brownie, you're doin' a heckuva job!"

93. 15,000 or so - the number of Yankees fans who pack the Rogers Centre every time the Yankees are in town and cheer obnoxiously as Jeter flawlessly handles grounders hit right at him.

94. Endorsements - for Nike, Gatorade, Fleet Bank, MasterCard, Visa, Skippy Peanut Butter and XM Satellite Radio among others. Miguel Tejada, meanwhile, can't score a deal for "Time Life's Polka Hits of the '70s."

95. Forbes 100 - Jeter ranks 38th on the Forbes list of top 100 Celebrities, tops among all baseball players.

96. Derek Jeter.com - hosted by mlb.com. Chock full of stats, highlights and of course, you're greeted by a fist-pumping Jeter.

97. Most Marketable Baseball Player - Jeter was so-voted by the 2005 Sports Business Journal. This has to be a concern for Major League Baseball, when they have more talented young stars out there. This is kind of like Chauncey Billups being named the NBA's most marketable player.

98. "Jeter's Journal" - Guess it sounds a little tougher than "Derek's Diary." This is the spot on Jeter's website where you can be treated to such pearls of wisdom as "You play one game at a time," and such whining as "it's always an easy thing for people to say, 'They have a high payroll, which is why they win.'" Yep, it's awful when people latch on to the truth like that.

99. Irony, thy name is Nike - The Derek Jeter Nike shoe is called the 6-4-3, despite the fact that Jeter is consistently below average in double plays. Coming soon, the Shaquille O'Neal Free Throw 5000...

100. Jeter the Leader - Hannibal, Churchill, Washington - rank amateurs compared to the Yankee captain. No player gets more credit for his leadership. Not that leadership is non-existent, but where's the love for Bernie Williams, who's been a Yankee just as long and hit just as well in the post season? And where was Jeter's leadership in 2001? Or when the Yankees collapsed against Boston? Incidentally, the Yankees haven't won the Series since Jeter was named captain.

Thanks to Sean Doyle for his editorial suggestions