Some media folks love to posit Jeter and A-Rod as opposite poles, but really they are the same shiny clean-faced product designed for mass consumption. Jeter is just better at being Mickey Mantle.)
Alex says that is should read Jeter is better at being Joe DiMaggio. I considered that when I wrote the post, but decided to go with the Mick. Here’s Alex’s reasoning. I’m starting to think he’s right:
Because Jeter IS Dimaggio, cool, calculated, meticulously guarding his image. Mantle was the natural, all raw talent, and is known now as much for being a drunk womanizer–a mess like A Rod–as he was for being an icon like Marilyn Monroe and Jack Kennedy.
So is that the right analogy? Jeter is to DiMaggio as A-Rod is to Mantle? Could we do better? Is this a futile waste of time, in the same way that comparing players on the field to their predecessors is a waste of time? Or is it actually more apt than the statistical business?