How's this for junk science - even with three Gold Gloves, Yankees captain Derek Jeter has been labeled the worst fielding shortstop in baseball.
But the numbers prove it, researchers at the University of Pennsylvania said yesterday at a meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, in (of course) Boston.
Using a complex statistical method, researchers concluded that Alex Rodriguez was one of the best shortstops in the game when he played for the Texas Rangers.
When Rodriguez became a Yankee in 2004, he moved to third base while Jeter stayed at short.
But that may have been a mistake, said Penn researcher Shane Jensen.
Researchers looked at every ball put in play from 2002 through 2005 and recorded where the shots went.
Jensen said a player's success de pended on his range as well as how effectively he made decisions and positioned himself on the field.
Players were then ranked in each position from best to worst, with Mr. New York Baseball - Jeter - coming in dead last among major league shortstops during the research period.
A-Rod, who won two Gold Gloves as a shortstop, was ranked No. 2.
"The Yankees have one of the best defensive shortstops playing out of position in deference to one of the worst defensive shortstops," said Jensen.
Of course, the article goes on to quote scoffing Yankee fans, but what do they know - they haven't won a championship in 8 years!