He's had a great career, and the most recent Mr. 3,000 is a no-questions-asked Hall of Famer. But that doesn't mean he's not wildly overrated.
This year, Jeter has an OPS under .700 and less than 1.0 WAR to his name, yet the fans voted him the starting shortstop on the AL All-Star team. It's not just biased Yankees fans who are deluded—his selection was immediately praised by Cal Ripken Jr. and Dennis Eckersley, two guys who know a thing or two about baseball.
It's not just this year either. Jeter's been one of the worst fielders of all time, and anyone who says he deserves his Gold Gloves is demonstrating a fundamental misunderstanding about the meaning of defense.
He's praised as a postseason hero, even though his 124 playoff wRC+ is exactly the same as his career mark. He's also talked about in reverential tones in which similar-caliber players like Craig Biggio and Lou Whitaker are never mentioned.
Plus, Jeter is overrated off the field. He's constantly praised for his sportsmanship, yet his crybaby act when he pretended to get hit by a pitch last September, while legal, was undeniably an attempt to gain an illicit advantage in the game. It's also hard to make a case for his humility when he thought he was worth more than $100 million last winter.
That doesn't make Jeter a bad person. His actions are understandable, and it's hard to blame him for wanting to help his team or maximize his paycheck.
But can we stop pretending that he's a saint?
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