(City Journal) -- I’ve often disagreed with Keith Olbermann’s politics, but I never questioned his baseball intelligence until Tuesday night, when I saw his 7-minute rant against Derek Jeter. Olbermann cited numerous “SABERmetric” statistics to make the case that Jeter was an average ballplayer who happened to play for a long time and compile a lot of hits. Yankees pitcher Red Ruffing—whose career began in 1924—had a higher WAR (Wins Above Replacement) average, Olbermann said. His point? Jeter is overrated.
Here’s what Olbermann failed to mention: of the thousands of men who have played Major League Baseball over the past century, only five have more hits than Jeter. His career .377 on-base percentage is best among shortstops since World War II. Also notable are his .309 lifetime batting average, .351 World Series batting average, five World Series rings, and five Gold Glove awards.