FanDuel - WFBC

October 14, 2012

Jeter Fractures Ankle in Yankees Game 1 Loss: New York Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter fractured his left ankle fielding a grounder in the 12th inning, ending his playoffs. The Yankees also lost the game, 6-4, spoiling an epic four-run ninth inning comeback. "We go from being elated -- we're back in this thing -- to losing Jeter," said Raul Ibanez, whose two-run homer tied the game in the ninth. On Sunday, the Yankees will play their first postseason game without Jeter since 1995.

posted by rcade to baseball at 11:55 AM - 14 comments

He broke it making an attempt on a ball that he hasn't been able to get to for about the last 5 years, he really sold out to get to it. Bad news for the Yankees as Jeter was one of their best performers this playoff year.

posted by cixelsyd at 12:09 PM on October 14

Four steps to his left on the glove side is a ball he hasn't been able to get to in 5 years? Hardly. While his range is less now than what it was, this had nothing to do with that. He appeared to be off balance attempting to quickly get his momentum going the other direction. Foot stuck, ankle locked and broke. Simple and unfortunate.

posted by dyams at 12:43 PM on October 14

He's been playing hurt on that ankle for some time. Wonder if previous injury played any part in this fracture.

posted by BikeNut at 12:52 PM on October 14

I'm going to wager on "undetectible hairline fracture" in the sore ankle for the past month, and finally the wear and tear causes it to go *crack*.

It think there was an equal chance he fractures in a celebration it if there was another Ibanez miracle home run that game.

posted by grum@work at 01:55 PM on October 14

Yeah, the undetected fracture makes the most sense. Every replay I've seen doesn't look like anything particularly bad happened, but if it was a break waiting to happen, it could have happened in September, or held out till he was banging some groupie in November.

But clearly Ibanez is the goat and Valverde the hero: Valverde, playing the 'long game', set a cunning trap that the fool Ibanez fell right into. A lesser closer would have just gotten 3 outs before giving up two, 2-run homeruns to titans like the aging slap-hitter Ichiro; a master like Valverde set the Tigers up for the win and ensured enough game would be played to trigger the season-ending injury of one of the Yankees' top offensive threats.

It's kind of awe-inspiring to watch a savant like Valverde work his magic in the glare of the October lights.

posted by hincandenza at 06:45 PM on October 14

The guy's also 38 years old. Granted, Vizquel was 45 when he finally retired, but still... I don't follow the Yankees but I hope they've started to build up their shortstop backlog. Can't bank on having Jeter forever.

posted by evixir at 06:48 PM on October 14

"undetectible hairline fracture" in the sore ankle

That's probably it, grum.

a ball that he hasn't been able to get to for about the last 5 years

cixelsyd, he actually did get to the ball last night, but after the fall, unable to get to his knees or anything else, he was barely able to toss it toward 2nd. True enough, his range was never really all it should have been, but 4 steps on a ball that wasn't hit all that hard was a very make-able play. It looked like he might have hung a spike or something, twisted the ankle beyond the fatigue point, and that was that.

Our pastor apologized for a somewhat disjointed sermon this morning, explaining that he had written it sometime in the wee hours after the Yankee game. He's a died in the wool NYY fan who constantly teases us Bosox fans. He had not heard about Jeter being out for the season, and when I told him after the service, his face fell. It's a blow to NYY fans, and something that shouldn't happen to one of the better people in the game.

posted by Howard_T at 10:53 PM on October 14

That is a shitty thing to see happen to any player. Jeter is a class act (wish he'd player for Boston instead of NY) and I wish him a speedy recovery.

posted by Joey Michaels at 03:22 AM on October 15

Well, I wouldn't say I wished he'd played for Boston instead of New York: I still think the 'holy trinity' of shortstops that arose in the mid-90's were ranked Arod, Garciaparra, then Jeter. Jeter was the weakest hitter of the three, and far and away the worst defender at that position in baseball. The Yankees made a mistake moving ARod to third when they got him; he'd have been a better defender than Jeter, and that probably cost them a couple of games a year. Not to detract from Jeter, but barring an injury he'd have been the third best shortstop of his generation instead of the second.

Honestly, if that douchebag Al Reyes hadn't hit Nomar on the wrist at the very end of the 1999 season, Nomar wouldd probably be a 1st ballot Hall of Famer. His wrist would go on to trouble him, and while he hit .372 the following year, it would flare up and cost him his 2001 season, and he never was the same afterwards. The bat speed and reaction time was gone, and he went from the unanimous Rookie of the Year, a guy with batting average and premiere power at a shortstop position, a guy who could hit .372 before his prime, to just a somewhat above average hitter who'd peter out in his early 30's. Go look at his baseball-reference page I linked above, if you've forgotten how good he was when he started.

So, really... Jeter is lucky he got this injury when he was 38, with plenty of titles under his belt and a Cooperstown plaque a certainty, and probably not many more seasons left on the odometer anyway. Unless I'm mistaken, he's been lucky in that he's never missed any major time due to injury, and even this injury will be mostly taking him out during the off-season.

posted by hincandenza at 05:02 AM on October 15

What strikes me as bonkers, Hal, is that in four of the five seasons Jeter won a gold glove, he had a negative defensive WAR. That's striking.

posted by dfleming at 09:33 AM on October 15

Unless I'm mistaken, he's been lucky in that he's never missed any major time due to injury, and even this injury will be mostly taking him out during the off-season.

Jeter missed significant time with a dislocated shoulder after Blue Jay backup catcher Ken Huckaby catcher fell on him while tagging him out at 3rd base in the first game of the year in 2003.

Otherwise, he's been the model of consistent health for his entire career, and I think that's a "skill" that is overlooked some times, but can be overblown other times.

posted by grum@work at 11:20 AM on October 15

AFAIK Jeter has always looked after his health with good off-season conditioning. If something was going to get him, it would either be a freak injury like the shoulder or something at the end of the season like this.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 01:46 PM on October 15

In the Red Sox forums at sonsofsamhorn.net, someone sagely noted (after the big LA trade) that "health" is the new moneyball stat. Most players stay in great shape (the three SS included; Garciaparra's SI cover photo was of him looking unbelievably ripped), and you can't ever predict a freak injury... but some players are more injury prone than others (Lowrie and Ellsbury on the Sox come to mind), and all the upside in the world won't matter if you don't take the field in peak health. It's the classic free agent mistake: you sign a guy after his best years, so you end up overpaying while he breaks down more often and heals less easily than in his 20's.

In any case, the media overplays the importance of Jeter and the Yankees as always- they asked Delmon Young how he felt about Jeter's injury after his team won!- but this isn't career ending. He'll heal up over the winter, put in 2-3 more seasons, and likely any ill effects will be indistinguishable from the aging process. The only thing he has left to play for is sheer counting stats.

posted by hincandenza at 02:59 PM on October 15

Most players stay in great shape (the three SS included; Garciaparra's SI cover photo was of him looking unbelievably ripped), and you can't ever predict a freak injury... but some players are more injury prone than others

Yeah, I don't buy the theory that Jeter has been almost injury free because of his off season conditioning, not in today's game. I'm sure he keeps himself in top shape, but I have no doubt a portion of his good health has relied on luck and natural ability.

posted by justgary at 03:46 PM on October 15

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