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Saturday, February 14, 2004

THE NEW MIKE SCHMIDT

Niles:

A deal with the Yankees makes a 1000% more sense than with the Red Sox, who, unlike Boston, need plenty of help in the infield. Besides, no matter how much it boils Selig's blood, you know any Texas-New York isn't going to be quashed by the Union. George will pay every penny A-Rod's owed.

I think you could make the case that A-Rod would be even more valuable as a 3B than as a shortstop. Not to say that he's not a very good defensive shortstop, but he's not Ozzie Smith. I think his skill-set (tall, strong arm, good instincts, good lateral movement), however, might make him one of the best defensive 3B of all time. (And we already know he can hit at least as well as Mike Schmidt.)

The problem is that Jeter is one of the worst, if not the worst, defensive shortstops in the game today. Only Christian Guzman is arguably worse. Jeter can at least hit. The problem is finding a place for him in the field.

Joe Sheehan points out that Jeter's flaws (no lateral movement, bad instincts, 0 reaction time) wouldn't be any better served at 3B than SS. But at least there'd be fewer balls hit to him at 3B than at SS. And with a SS of A-Rod's range playing beside him, he might actually look OK at the hot corner.

OH CHRIST, DEREK. GIVE IT UP.

I mentioned before that I thought the Yankees picking-up A-Rod would be a great move that would 1)make their team better, 2)show up Boston, and 3)finally allow them to move Derek Jeter to 3rd.

I am riled by the fact that arguably the greatest SS of all-time and the best defensive shortstop in the game this side of Edgar Renteria is going to be forced to take a lesser position because Derek Jeter (oh Derek!) might have his feelings hurt having to move to 3rd base or 2nd base. Well I guess we wouldn't want to hurt Derek's feelings.

Who is calling the shots over there in Yankee-land? Cashman seems like a smart guy, I can't imagine he is oblivious to Derek's limitations as a SS. Steinbrenner hasn't been shy about criticizing Jeter in the past, however unfounded, and Jeter's lack of range at SS is tremendously founded.

I'll stop foaming at the mouth now. It's never a bad thing to pick up a player of A-Rod's caliber. If he is going to be playing 3rd base then he'll be the best 3rd baseman in baseball even if all the while we'll be deprived of his marvelous play at SS. It's a shame.

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