Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Sporting News: Yankees privately pushed Jeter to improve defense

Yankees general manager Brian Cashman had dinner with shortstop Derek Jeter following the 2007 season and informed him that his defense must improve, according to the New York Post.

At that time, Jeter was being criticized by statisticians for his eroding defensive ability, and the Yankees also were privately concerned, according to the newspaper. There was even some thought of a position change.

So, Jeter worked out that offseason at the Athletes Compound in Tampa with the director of the facility. His defense improved some in 2008 and returned to Gold Glove level in 2009.

"The player Derek is, he took to it and said, 'Watch, I will prove you wrong,' " Cashman told the newspaper.

Interesting, I've never heard about this before. Although I'd dispute the phrase about 'returned to Gold Glove level'. Public pronouncements by the Yankees were generally in the tone of "you can't trust those damn statistics. You need to use your eyes."

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