Allen Barra lays the lumber to Derek Jeter:
This will be Jeter’s 14th season (not counting 1995, when he only played 15 games), and judging from the blogs and radio call-in shows, Yankee fans are assuming that he is a walking Hall of Famer, but I don’t necessarily think that’s true. If he pulled a Thurmon Munson, I think he’d get in. His credentials are pretty good.
Jason, in turn, lays the lumber to Alan Barra:
Sorry, you cannot even suggest, in jest, that anyone “pulls a Thurman”. This is about as low as you can go, the hackiest of hacks. What sort of person would even consider this an option in a published piece? Second, you simply cannot spell Thurman’s name wrong. Inexcusable. How an editor can let either slide by? Maybe if Barra “pulls a Thurman”, he can win a Pulitzer.
And saying that Jeter’s credentials are merely “pretty good” is just an example of a writer trying to rearrange the facts to suit his angle. Jeter will be at 3k hits by the time he’s done, or darn close if he doesn’t feel like hanging around to reach that lofty total. And, by all accounts, he’s done it the right way (on all fronts, though we obviously are going on faith that he’s been clean). He’s won 4 World Series rings. I know I am more biased than most of you not in the metro NY area, but I think Jeter’s a lock, even without 3k hits.
I’m with Jason here. Barra is normally all aces, but I think the Munson comment — while maybe being something a bombthrower like me might write from time to time — is in poor taste and beneath Barra’s considerable stature. More importantly, I think Barra is crazy if he thinks that Jeter wouldn’t go into the Hall of Fame today absent a plane crash. Jason lays out his credentials nicely in his post. Jeter is no Steve Garvey (i.e. a guy everyone thinks is a Hall of Famer while he’s playing only to reconsider years later). He’s an elite historical talent at his positon for the league’s marquee team, and the fact that he owns four World Series rings and an enormous — even if outsized — reputation as a leader and a winner doesn’t hurt his cause.