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Who Should Lead Off For the Yankees?

Derek Jeter or Johnny Domon

Author: Peter Portero
Date: 03/06/06
Articles Category: Baseball News

When the news broke that Johnny Damon would be leading off for the Yankees, there were more than a few mouths that fell open. While some experts agree Johnny Damon is a great choice, they are not all agreeing that he is the best choice. When placed in a lineup with Derek Jeter, Johnny Damon’s star quality doesn’t shine quite as bright. However, the management seems to think that the team needs a link like Damon to win.

The main problem some experts see is that the numbers are just not with Damon. When the two players were compared by their 2005, Jeter won hands down. Johnny Damon came in with 621 AB and .367 OBP, making him third in the league after Jeter and Brian Roberts of the Orioles. Jeter led the pack with 638 AB and .391 OBP, making him the number one lead off in the entire league.

Now that camp has rolled around and the lineup is being discussed throughout the world, it is becoming very clear where things stand in the Yankees locker room. Critics complain that the poor record for the Yankees should not be related in any way to Jeter being their lead off batter. Instead the critics say the entire problem should be targeted on Tony Womack, who was a suggestion by General Manager Brian Cashman.

Of course, the batting order has been said to mean less than what some would think. It obviously doesn’t mean that runs will be scored. But, if it could give the Yankees even the slightest advantage, then it would be worth it for them to get this one right. So, as the season begins, everyone will be able to see exactly what Johnny Damon is made of, and the guess is that he is not great lead off material when compared to Jeter.

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Updated: 10/27/12

NEW: Pitcher Home/Road Disparities

Bold indicates team falls into that angle today.

Overall
Orioles 93-69 +41.76
Athletics 94-68 +40.30
Nationals 98-64 +27.78
Giants 94-68 +23.57
Reds 97-65 +20.87
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Home
Athletics 50-31 +20.95
Orioles 47-34 +14.14
Nationals 50-31 +12.19
Reds 50-31 +8.39
Giants 48-33 +8.34
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Road
Orioles 46-35 +27.62
Athletics 44-37 +19.35
Braves 46-35 +16.83
Nationals 48-33 +15.59
Giants 46-35 +15.23
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vs Righty
Athletics 64-39 +34.98
Orioles 67-52 +28.93
Braves 65-38 +25.38
Nationals 70-45 +21.99
Reds 65-49 +6.64
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vs Lefty
Giants 41-20 +24.22
Reds 32-16 +14.23
Orioles 26-17 +12.83
Cardinals 31-17 +9.96
Nationals 28-19 +5.79
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