You might have tuned into NBC Sports last night and thought, “Damn, this is a long Derek Jeter commercial.”
And you wouldn’t have been entirely wrong. Reality twisted into fiction at Yankee Stadium on Thursday night, with real life taking on the facile shimmer of an advertising fairy tale.
Viewers watched as Derek Jeter—the Captain—saved the day with a walk-off single in his last plate appearance in the Bronx. Fans cried, his nephew tipped a “RE2PECT” cap, and somewhere, a Nike exec shed a single tear into a wheelbarrow of $100 bills.
The sap-mongers of the Jeter Farewell Tour couldn’t have written it any chunkier if they tried. The 40-year-old shortstop would’ve needed to run the bases under a hail of exploding light bulbs to tailor a more absurdly Hollywood ending.
But it was real. It happened. And according to one keen-eyed observer, it was a complete sham.
Barstool’s Smitty brings us the news of one Barstool reader who watched the ending of Jeter’s last game and said, “Nope. Not on my watch.”
The reader in question isn’t named, but he or she went to work immediately to disprove the authenticity of Jeter’s walk-off single. And while the reader may not be the lone Jeter truther out there, he or she is the only one who created a graph citing the table of Standard Normal Distribution in the name of proving Baltimore pitcher Evan Meek grooved the shortstop a meatball in his final at-bat.
Titled “Jeter’s Final Rigged Moment,” the reader’s research posits that the 86.1 mph fastball Meek threw to Jeter rests outside the acceptable limits of possibility.
Being the math technician most former journalism students are, I can tell you that this research includes green and red, among other colors. I can’t tell you what “Avg speed delta of mean variance” means, but the ultimate takeaway, it would appear, is that Jeter had a .9 percent chance of getting a hit off Meek's pitch.
Here's the reader's breakdown, for those of you versed in numerical hieroglyphics.
Variance: 8.909 / 7 = 1.272
Standard Deviation = Sq. Rt of 8.909 = 2.984
91.457(Average FB) – 86.1(Jeter FB) = 5.357mph
5.357mph (Delta of Avg FB and Jeter FBs) / 2.984 (Std. Dev) = 1.795 Standard Deviations from the mean
1.8 Std Deviations = .96407 %
1 – .96407 = .03593% Chance
Jeter’s BA: .255 Std. Deviation %: .03593
.255 (Jetere BA) = 1 in 3.921 .03593 (FB @ 86.1 mph %) = 1 in 27.831
Chances of Derek Jeter Getting a hit on a 86.1 mph Fastball from Evan Meek: 1/109.12 chance
Derek Jeter had a 0.9 % Chance of doing that naturally last night
Can you argue with that? No, you can't. It's math, and it proves that while the Orioles had all the reason in the world to win Thursday night, they likely colluded with powers unknown to intentionally drop the game. Why else would they throw to a struggling 40-year-old in the trough of his career?
I also don’t think it’s a stretch of the imagination to believe that the Yankees gave up three runs in the ninth to force a final Jeter at-bat. And I don’t believe that Nike co-founder Phil Knight is above pulling multiple levers at Buffalo Wild Wings if it means sending off his company’s golden boy in style.
We’re on to you, Jeter fixers. And we’ll prove your treachery if it takes all the Texas Instruments in the Staples store.
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