As if Derek Jeter hitting .190 wasn't bad enough, three newspapers had to write stories on how he is hitting poorly. The Times and the Daily News both look at Jeter exclusively while Newsday also examines how Bernie Williams and Gary Sheffield are doing. They don't paint a pretty picture.
After an 0-32 slump earlier this year, Jeter is 5-45 in his most recent slump. Nobody is quite sure why he is hitting so poorly, but Jeter is well off his career average of .317. The Daily News reports talking to a scout that wonders if it could be Alex Rodriguez that is bothering Jeter, "It could be the guy alongside him. When you lose your kingpin status, it bothers you. I don't care what you do in life. But I don't know, I'm not him." In public comments, Jeter rejects this theory, "Why would that be? He's on the same team, I don't see how you can compete with someone on the same team, so, no."
The Times does a little math to see how much it would take Jeter, who has never hit below .291 in a full season, to get to .300. To Gothamist, it seems all but impossible at this point, but with the Yankees, you never know.
Jeter is in such a deep hole that he will have to overachieve to hit .300 for the season. If he maintains his current average of 4.28 at-bats for every team game, Jeter would have 509 remaining at-bats in 2004. He would have to get 173 hits - a .340 average - to hit .300.
If Jeter hits .317 (his career average before this season) the rest of the way, he would end up at .284.
Finally, Newsday takes a brief look at Bernie Williams, hitting a paltry .231, and Gary Sheffield, who has hit only 3 home runs. Could it be the "career's worth of nagging injuries" for Williams and Sheffield's spring training injury of his thumb. Whatever it is, it certainly doesn't help the Yankee situation.
It should be noted that Mondays are typically slow news days, so that might be one reason why all three papers ran articles on Jeter and friends. The state of the Yankees is semi-amusing to Gothamist - every year, they spend lots of money to win, and they do, but this year they spent lots of money and it has yet to pay off. It's still pretty early in the season, we just passed the quarter mark, but the Yankees trail the Red Sox in the AL East and have the same record as the White Sox, Twins, A's, and Rangers and the best team in the baseball is the Angels.