Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Handicapping the Seven Final Voyages of the Captain

Everybody knows your basic string theory of reality: Seven alternate universes. Now, I don't want to get too technical - because readers will rightfully say, "Jeez, El Duque, this is a Yankee blog, and here you go, speaking to those egg-heads at Stanford who study dynamic metaphysical particle interactions again!" Well, I'll keep it simple: We inhabit one of seven worlds in which the final Jeterian reality shall unfold.

So which one is it? I wrote up some code and created a few computer Holodeck simulations and offer these mathematical projections.

1.  Jeter magically returns to greatness.  Hey, you never know. He's done it before. Maybe he'll get hot.  Maybe with Brendan Ryan as caddie, he can rest up, push himself back to greatness. They'll surely name him to the All-Star team. Maybe he'll earn it. My simulation: 15 percent chance of this happening.

2. Jeter goes full season at current pace. What we see is what we get. He doesn't cover much ground but makes most plays - which means he passes the Yankee Farm System Bar: Still better than Eduardo Nunez. He hits .240, no power, and kills many rallies while batting second. If we get into August, still competitive, Joe would have to drop him in the batting order. Keep in mind, ninth is off-limits. That could get ugly. My simulation: 25 percent chance.

3. Jeter benched. This only happens if Jeter pulls himself from the lineup. Even then, Joe might not go for it. The Yankees have invested a lot of money in promoting Jeter's final month. He has to play. My simulation: 5 percent.

4. Jeter full-time DH. This keeps him on TV. Maybe it keeps him fresh. (Though, maybe not.) He could hit .290 - little power - and hopefully fewer DP grounders. He steals at-bats from Soriano and Gardner, which isn't the end of the world, considering how they've been hitting. Simulation: 25 percent.

5.  Jeter moves to third. Nahh. This could have worked in March. Again, Jeter would have to suggest it - even volunteer. A bunch of gruesome games at SS could launch whispers. Kelly Johnson hasn't locked down the position, and Yangervis' average continues to shrink. Consider this a cry in the darkness: I think Jeter would make himself into an excellent third-baseman within three weeks. Ahh, but why kid ourselves? Simulation: 1 percent.

6. Jeter retires early. Saddest scenario: If he falls into a pit, he's hitting - say - .210 at the All-Star break, he might call a news conference and just say, "That's it, everybody, farewell." He's got pride, and he wouldn't let himself be embarrassed. He'd go directly into the YES booth. Can you imagine John Sterling calling a game with him? The Master would melt. But would Jeter concede? If we know anything about him, it's that he's no quitter. Chance: 4 percent.

7. Jeter on crutches. Does everything end on a Disabled List? Sort of. That's what coaxed Mariano back for one last year, and if Jeter had played poorly in 2013, he might have retired last winter. The truth is this: He's likely to tweak something, and at his age, tweaks are twicky. If it's the ankle, he's done. If it's a broken bone, he's done. Chance of an injury: 25 percent.


KD said...

Even Cal Ripkin played a lot of 3B late in his career. I just don't understand why Jeter wouldn't do the same for the good of the team. It would only confirm his greatness, wouldn't it?

KD said...

Derek, we love you, man. we will still love you even if you play 3B. we're your irrational, deluded, whack-job fanboys. we all want to know what it would take to get one of those gift baskets you dole out. I could hook you up with my mom. 92 yo AND ambulatory. plus, she's gained new capabilities and talents since her guard mule, Blossum, kicked out all her teeth. Mom would love to meet you and I'd hide her dentures. Just try playing 3rd base for a week and you're in! Older gals are more inventive and experienced. They instinctively know what to do with a toothless maw.

KD said...
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