On Tuesday afternoon, the winners of the American League Gold Glove Awards were announced, and as sure as day follows night, the words "Derek" and "Jeter" were right there next to the word "shortstop."
Look — everyone and their grandmother will be complaining about Jeter winning the award, to the point that it will become white noise. But that's only because it's that ridiculous for Jeter to continue to win awards for defensive excellence when his best days in the field are five or 10 years in his past.
You can look at all those fancy, newfangled statistics to tell you that, or you could just watch him play baseball. Both will tell you that Jeter is at best an average fielder these days, making the routine plays and not a whole lot else.
He's also getting helped out quite a bit with any wide or short throws to first base, thanks to Gold Glover Mark Teixeira. That part is more forgivable, though, given that Jeter spent years throwing to Jason Giambi.
Still, when Jeter won the award in 2006, it was kind of a joke. Four years later? It's not funny anymore.
Frankly, it wouldn't matter exactly who won the award in Jeter's place. Alexei Ramirez? Sure. Elvis Andrus? Why not? Heck, give it to Cliff Pennington, solely for his rocket arm.
Just don't give it to Derek Jeter.
He's the most important player on the most popular team in the sport, but that doesn't make him the best shortstop in the American League. Some day, the voters will realize this, but that day may not come until Jeter has retired. Even then, you have to wonder if some will continue to vote for the Yankees' captain, just out of habit.
Did Derek Jeter deserve to win this year's Gold Glove Award? Share your thoughts below.
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