Posts Tagged ‘Jeff Bagwell’

#2, Derek Jeter . . . Jeter

Thursday, September 25th, 2014


The simple truth is this: if you write a story on your blog about the New York Yankees (even on a blog that is focused on the Washington Nationals), people will read it. Not just some people, a lot of people. Put simply: a lot more people are willing to read about the Yankees than about the Nationals.

How do we know that? Because we tried it. Earlier this season we posted a pic of a baseball card of Joe DiMaggio on CFG’s “Facebook” page and received five times as many views as a normal posting. Yes, it’s a “single data point” (as they say in Washington), but it’s compelling. But why?

“Americans love a winner and will not tolerate a loser,” General George Patton told his troops during World War Two. “Americans play to win all the time. I wouldn’t give a hoot in Hell for a man who lost and laughed.” Patton’s right of course, which explains the appeal of the Gothams — and why people are paying so much attention, just now, to Jeter.

There’s no way to prove this, but we believe it’s true: if the Yankees had spent the last twenty years in last place, Jeter wouldn’t be getting the kind of attention he is now. And if the Yankees weren’t the Yankees (if, say, they were the Mets), they wouldn’t be America’s teams. The Yankee are the Yankees because they’re winners.

Yes, yes, yes. Of course. Jeter’s retiring and he’s had a great career, but we doubt if as many people would be paying attention to Jeter if he’d spent twenty years with the Astros, or even the Cubs. Face it: the Braves, Cubs and Dodgers (or anyone else, for that matter) aren’t America’s team, the Yankees are. And there are statistics to prove it.

Then too, it’s not as if Jeter didn’t have something to do with those five World Series rings he owns. We would even claim that while it’s likely that many, many baseball fans agree with what Keith Olbermann said the other day, people remain fascinated by him (and his Yankees) because . . . well, he’s a Yankee.

And, for the record here, in part, is what Olbermann said: “Contrary to what you have heard, Derek Jeter is not the greatest person in human history. He did not invent baseball, he did not discover electricity, he is not the greatest shortstop who ever lived.”

We agree with the gist of this, while noting that extolling the greatness of people is a current media fixation, a kind of art form. Talk show host Larry King once said that he thought there was no musician who ever lived who was better than Michael Jackson. One of the guests on his program furrowed his brow, shook his head — and offered this: “Well, there’s Mozart.”


Flores, Gomes Lead Nats Against Reds

Friday, August 19th, 2011

Jesus Flores homered and Jonny Gomes drove in two runs with a clutch single to left to lead the Washington Nationals over the Cincinnati Reds, 3-1 at Nationals Park on Thursday. The Flores homer was his first since May of 2009, while the Gomes hit came against his former team. “Against the Reds or not against the Reds, it would bring a smile to my face,” Gomes said.

The Flores-Gomes tandem helped righty starter Jordan Zimmermann to his eighth win of the season. Zimmermann, who will apparently be shut down after his next start (or the one after), did not have his best stuff, but gutted out an impressive 5.2 innings while giving up six hits. Zimmermann’s ERA now stands at 3.11 — and his 2011 campaign has to be considered a success, which sets him up as a major contributor (and likely #2 starter) in 2012.

Gomes two run single in the sixth was the difference in the game, but Zimmermann’s outing was saved by a quartet of Nationals’ relievers. Ryan Mattheus, Henry Rodriguez, Tyler Clippard and Drew Storen threw a combined 3.1 innings, while giving up just two hits. Clippard notched his 32nd hold, while Storen added his 33rd save. Storen continued to build on his steady reputation — if he wasn’t before, he must now be considered to be one of the best closers in the game.

Those Are The Details, Now For The Headlines: It seems like old news now, but it’s good to note, if just for the record. Former Nats’ veteran righty Jason Marquis was supposed to provide another needed starter to help the Diamondbacks overcome the Giants in the N.L. West, but he’s out for the season with a fractured leg . . . the Marquis injury (as we remember) came against the Mets, after the former Nats’ starter had two rocky outings with his new club . . .

Now it appears, that other semi-big name for the Nationals at the trade deadline, Denard Span, continues to suffer the effects of a concussion that has sidelined him for much of the 2011 campaign. Span had returned to the Twins’ line-up, but yesterday he was put back on the disabled list after suffering from migraines. Which is only to say — sometimes it’s the trades you don’t make that matter. If Mike Rizzo had pulled the trigger on a Span trade, the needed centerfielder would have been spending time on the D.L. in D.C. . . .  and the Nationals would have been without one of their key (Drew Storen or Tyler Clippard) bullpen arms . . .