Sunday, March 19, 2006

Stupid Mainstream Media

Ever since Johnny Damon put ink to parchment, the mainstream media has done nothing but gab about how the Yankees finally have the "true leadoff hitter" they've been lacking since the days of Chuck Knoblauch.

I'll admit, it's nice to have a guy batting ahead of Jeter. He's a versatile hitter who has found success in the No. 1 and No. 2 holes. But please, Mainstream Media, don't forcefeed me garbage about Damon being a better leadoff hitter than Jeter. Want proof? Thanks to Dave Pinto's Day to Day Database over at Baseball Musings, we can now calculate things like, say, highest OBP for guys hitting leadoff over the past five years (actually, Pinto links right to that very statistic on his main page).

Okay, I'm being rather longwinded, so I'll cut to the chase. Derek Jeter is No. 1 on the list. And he's 31 points higher than Damon. And when we sort the list for Slugging Percentage (min 1000 PA), Jeter is second only to Alfonso Soriano. He's also 56 points up on Damon.

So while I (kind of) agree that Damon batting first and Jeter second is the optimal arrangement for this lineup, I don't want to hear how Damon is a better leadoff hitter. It's not true. These aren't just their stats from 2000-2005, they're the stats as a leadoff hitter from 2000-2005.