Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Yankees not overrated, just overpaid

Alex Rodriguez, Joba Chamberlain and Derek Jeter took the top spots in the annual survey of overrated players conducted by Sports Illustrated. But I suspect it has less to do with their talents and more to do with their paychecks.

It seems clear that many players are jealous of the millions of dollars the New York Yankees pay ARod and the Captain and that’s driving some of the negativity. Sure, neither ARod nor Jeter is the player he used to be, but I wouldn’t call them overrated. No one is still saying that ARod is the best player in baseball – that pretty much ceased after the steroids revelations —and Jeter is among the most criticized players in baseball these days, especially when it comes to his defense.

Joba makes less money than ARod, Jeter and most other players on the Yankees so that’s not driving the overrated comments. But it seems that players on other baseball teams are still annoyed by all the press he received when dominating out of the bullpen in 2007 and his old antics on the mound. But he has since tempered his emotions – perhaps he is just growing up –and nobody is talking about Joba the phenom anymore so I can’t understand why those bad feelings would linger.

Lighten up, Captain! ARod and Joba seemed to have fun with the poll results, with Joba mocking ARod for taking the top spot away from him. But Jeter was apparently bothered and it was hard to tell whether he was annoyed at being named to the list or just about answering the questions. But either way, he usually is good at deflecting such issues. Perhaps Jeter was just having an off night.

I do agree with Jeter’s annoyance that SI still allows this poll to be anonymous. I would have more respect for players who were willing to put their names to it and explain why they think this or that guy is overrated. But I get why they don’t want to admit that they think these guys are overpaid. Maybe they should just stick to that old saying: if you don’t have something nice to say, don’t say anything at all.

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