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June 21, 2003

by Larry Mahnken

Derek Jeter Revisited - Baseball Primer
Although I certainly don’t think one can draw a definitive conclusion from half a season’s worth of data, and there are likely biases in the data for which I haven’t tried to account (quality of opposition, for one), I think the evidence so far suggests that Jeter’s defense has slipped a notch. It might be, as one Yankee fan on a discussion list that I frequent has suggested, that Jeter has become tentative in the field in an effort to prevent reinjury to the shoulder. Or it might really be that he’s starting to slide to the point to which his defensive performance will indeed match the reputation for terrible fielding that he has achieved among the statistical analytical community.
Or maybe the ball hates him.