There is absolutely no doubt about it. No competition. No debate. The New York Post is the worst newspaper in America. It's funnier than The Onion. I read it semi-regularly for kicks, but this…this one broke me. Even by Post standards, with their stated goal of maintaining a 7th-grade reading level and their editorial policy against compound sentences, this is excruciatingly bad. It crystallizes their stupidity, their no-fancy-book-learnin' populism, and their very twisted idea of "reporting."

Don't worry, in honor of NPF this is from the sports page. At a reputable newspaper, the journalistic standards are the same for sportswriters. As the Post has none it is not an issue here. Even if you don't care about baseball you should take a look at this trainwreck. As my buddies at FJM put it, this is what we're up against. "We" of course being the literate world.

If you can't plow through it, here's the premise. UPenn researchers/baseball nuts conducted a side project in which they created a quantitative method for measuring a player's fielding skills. They determine that former Mariah Carey fucktoy/Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter is the worst fielder in baseball. They video analyzed every single ball hit into play between 2002 and 2005. Think about that. The Post is incredulous, as he has won three Gold Gloves (an absolutely meaningless sportswriter-voted popularity contest masquerading as an award). What can those eggheads at Penn be smoking? (actual quote, sadly) Look at Jeter's Gold Gloves! This is roughly equivalent to arguing that Titanic is a great film because it won an Oscar or that Jethro Tull's Grammy makes them a top metal band.

So the basic point of the article – "SCIENCE IS FOR STUPID HOMOS. TYPICAL EGGHEAD BULLSHIT BY A BUNCH OF FAGS, PROBABLY BOSTON FANS, WHO DON'T REALIZE HOW FUCKIN' AWESOME JETER IS." – is typical Post fare. Now let's move on to the journalism and see how they defend their position. Bring on the experts!

"That's preposterous. I completely disagree. Jeter's a clutch player." said Yankees fan Mike Birch, 32.

"It's ridiculous," said fan Jay Ricker, 22. "Jeter is all-around awesome."

"He has intangible qualities that can't be measured with statistics," said East Village bar owner Kevin Hooshangi, 28.

Ladies and gentlemen, these are the Post's sources. So let's summarize the debaters.

Team Science: a group of PhDs with a large research project which included quantitative analysis of every single ball hit in play for three years (!!!)

Team Post: Three semi-literate Yankees fans who watch about ten games per year, at which they are blind drunk, slurring, bellowing nonsense, probably shirtless, and irritating the living shit out of everyone in earshot by the bottom of the third inning.

I know that baseball is not important. But let's not pretend that the rest of the Post is any different or better than this article. Just remember that this is what we're up against: facts are for stupids, science is fuckin' gay, and everything you hear that doesn't confirm your existing beliefs is biased and wrong.

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  1. cerb Says:

    Haha, yes! Jeter has been consistently rated as the worst or close to the worst shortstop in all of baseball by just about every defensive metric. Just watching him try to move to his left shows anyone that Jeter has no range and makes up for it with his unorthodox jump throws.

    Let's put it in a different context. Remember when Juan Uribe, who admittedly sucks at just about everything in baseball, made play after play in game four of the World Series in 2005? If Jeter makes the crowd catch and the clincher like Uribe did, he'd have a fucking movie out about those two plays.

    While Jeter certainly is a great hitter, he's easily the worst regular shortstop in all of baseball over the past decade.

  2. Ed Says:

    Yes! I've made that point about Uribe to anyone who will listen. Watch the end of Game 4 in that series – his crowd-diving catch and his barehand throw to 1st for the final out are two of the most incredible defensive plays in Series history. Certainly both in the top 20. Too bad he doesn't play in NY or Boston. If he did, someone might actually have seen them.

    I'd take Jeter on my team any day of the week, but he certainly shouldn't be winning any awards for his glove "work".

  3. cerb Says:

    Amen, and it's nice to find another Sox fan on the IU campus.

    Oh, might be at the TremFu show tomorrow as well. Hopefully I can drag some guys along and I can tell them tales of how Ed Burmila is pretty much the biggest badass IU's PoliSci department has ever seen.

  4. J. Dryden Says:

    But without the NY Post, we wouldn't have the great headlines: HEADLESS BODY IN TOPLESS BAR, KISS YOUR ASTEROID GOODBYE, and, their all-time greatest, on the death of Mr. Turner: IKE 'BEATS' TINA TO DEATH. Truly, an awesome talent lies behind such wit, and it would be a loss for American humor were they to be silenced. Gotta take the good with the incredibly, soul-crushingly bad, is all I'm saying.

  5. j Says:

    Rejection of proven facts in articles like this are just a by-product of our society's obsessive fascination with everyone's point of view being regarded as equal. I think that you posted a logical fallacy about this phenomenon earlier. Though this fascination usually results in a positive impact (e.g., general decrease in racism over time in our society, at least overtly), it also has unintended consequences when laypeople question experts that can be marginal in value (e.g., this Jeter article) or downright pernicious (e.g., the rejection of evolution by the general public).