Derek Jeter has four World Series rings, but has always been surrounded by a better supporting cast. Nomar Garciaparra has better overall offensive numbers, but has never won the big one.
And while most baseball fans agree that they're two of the best in the game, our
contrarians have room in their hearts for only one.
Urban: Nomar's numbers don't lie
Give them a read, then let us know what you think.
Jeter comes through in the clutch
Baseball is a game of numbers.
| Doug Miller|
Playoff baseball, or, even more important, championship playoff baseball, is about a heck of a lot more than that.
That's the main reason why Derek Jeter is better and will always be better than Nomar Garciaparra.
If you're one of those seamheads who lives and breathes baseball statistics, sure, Nomar's your shortstop.
He's got a higher lifetime batting average than Jeter, he's hit more home runs, driven in more runs, and has higher OPS, OBP and other three-letter abbreviations that mean nothing when it comes to getting it done in October.
If the Yankees make it past the Red Sox in this American League Championship Series and go on to win the Fall Classic, Jeter will be able to put a World Series ring on every finger of one hand.
He'll have led his team to five world titles in his first eight seasons in the big leagues, all the while ably handling the bright lights and intense media and fan scrutiny of the Big Apple.
Nomar, on the other hand, has a lot of learning to do in Beantown.
Jeter could start teaching Garciaparra right away by giving him a quick lesson is in his dealings, or should we say non-dealings, with the media.
Jeter is always available to talk to reporters before games and usually is the first one to sit down at his locker to greet the media after the games.
He recognizes his importance as a team spokesman and delivers thoughtful answers to questions ranging from personal issues to team-oriented subjects.
Good luck getting the same response out of Nomar, who has made it very clear that he'd rather be anywhere else.
Sure, Jeter has hardly been the only guy to power the recent Yankees dynasty. He's done his part, but he's just one part of a great legacy of talent.
But how many more hits and RBIs would Jeter have amassed if all he had to do was hit a 250-foot fly ball to left field to get a double or triple in 81 games each year?
There's no doubt Nomar's a great player, but Derek Jeter's name just has a certain ring to it.
Make that four rings.
Doug Miller is a reporter for MLB.com. This column was not subject to approval by Major League Baseball or its clubs.
Nomar's numbers don't lie
BOSTON -- It's a little like trying to decide between filet mignon and Chateaubriand, this
| Mychael Urban|
The Ritz or the Four Seasons? Cristal or Dom? Laffy Taffy or Abba Zabba?
Nomar Garciaparra or Derek Jeter. You really can't go wrong. But if choose you must, you'd
be wise to choose Nomar.
Why? Because as good as Jeter is, Nomar is just a little bit better.
Take a look at their career numbers. In virtually every significant stat, Nomar has
outperformed his more-celebrated colleague. It's right there in black and white, and
numbers don't lie.
Granted, Jeter is probably the better base runner, and he always seems to be in the right
place at the right time on the field. Well, guess what? He was in the right place at the
right time when the 1992 draft came along, too, and if he wasn't, this argument might not
be taking place.
Here's the basic premise of the pro-Jeter side: He's got four championship rings to
True. But if you honestly think the Yankees wouldn't have won those titles with Nomar up
the middle, you've been staring at the message board on luisgonzalezgotlucky.com for far
If you can separate yourself from whatever loyalty you have to Jeter and whatever disdain
you have for Nomar, though, you have to admit that Nomar is the more complete player.
Jeter has better postseason numbers, of course, but don't think that doesn't have a little
something to do with being surrounded by true Bronx Bombers his entire career. Nomar was
-- until this year -- surrounded largely by a bunch of Beantown Bleeders.
Who's going to get more pitches to hit? Someone in the same lineup as guys like Bernie
Williams, Paul O'Neill and Tino Martinez or guys like Jose Offerman?
And sure, Jeter is far more media-savvy. Maybe a bit too media-savvy. He seems to
have recovered nicely from that Opening Day shoulder injury, hitting .324 and all. But
whenever he noticed the dugout camera during the ALDS, he'd wince and rub that same
shoulder like he'd just given himself a tetanus shot with a rusty fork.
It's simple. Jeter is a very, very good player who's been upgraded to superstar by a
superior supporting cast, a series of TV ads and the fawning Gotham press. Garciaparra is
a great player who's earned superstar status with nothing more than his bat and his glove.
Mychael Urban is a national writer
for MLB.com. This column was not subject to approval by Major League Baseball or its