So long, Jeets
Derek Jeter will hang up his spikes after Sunday's season finale against the Red Sox. And when he does, he'll leave the game as the 88th-best player ever — at least per Baseball Reference's career WAR leaderboard.
Admittedly, that's a bit trollish. Evaluating Jeter's storied career based solely on a single number doesn't capture his full resume — sixth all-time in hits, tenth in runs scored, five World Series rings. And it ignores his mythic status in New York and in baseball in general over the past two decades. He's a first-ballot Hall of Famer for sure, and would be so unanimously if the voters weren't such capricious curmudgeons.
Yet the point remains that for all the bombast, Jeter does not grade out as one of the top-tier talents the game has ever seen. Among active players, Alex Rodriguez, Albert Pujols, and Adrian Beltre (!) all have higher career WAR totals than Jeter; none will get the same season-long funerary feting. (For A-Rod, the reason why is obvious.) Heck, Scott Rolen is a hair behind Jeter at 70.0 career WAR, and he seems like a longshot to make the Hall at all.