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Yankee fans luv them some Jeter

There was a statistical analysis done, evaluating every ball in play from 2002 through 2005, to determine what defensive players were the best fielders during that period.

Not a Surprise #1: Derek Jeter was the worst shortstop

Not a Surprise #2: Yankee fans are pissed

Not a Surprise #3: The New York Post is running with it

How's this for junk science - even with three Gold Gloves, Yankees captain Derek Jeter has been labeled the worst fielding shortstop in baseball.

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"The Yankees have one of the best defensive short stops playing out of position in deference to one of the worst defensive shortstops," said Jensen.

But New Yorkers scoffed at the notion.

"I don't know what they're smoking down at Penn," said Yankees fan Mike Birch, 32. "That's preposterous. I completely disagree. Jeter's a clutch player."

"It's ridiculous," said fan Jay Ricker, 22. "Jeter is all-around awesome. He's better than A-Rod any day. Character has a lot to do with it. He's out there for his teammates, not just himself. He does it for the good of the team. That's the kind of guy you want on the field."

Ricker added that "A-Rod's only out for the money. For him it's not about baseball, it's just about banking."

Fans said Jeter's greatness goes beyond the numbers he produces on the field.

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

"He's he ultimate teammate. It doesn't matter what his percentages are when he's making big plays in big games. He's the one with four World Series rings."

"I would disagree [with the study] of course, Jeter does a good job," said Pam Lips, 28. "Rodriguez is OK but I would take Jeter over A-Rod."

However, Frank Angelo, 50, gave A-Rod his due. "He's the best shortstop in the American League playing third base," Angelo said.

But Jeter as one of the worst?

"That's not true," Angelo said. "He's a good fielding shortstop." He even said he would keep Jeter at short. "Jeter's the captain, he was there before A-Rod," said Angelo.

* * *

But as Yankee fan Brittnay Thompson, 32, said, it's about who's good in May, and who's good in October.

"In big situations A-Rod drops the ball, no pun intended," said Thompson."

What makes this article so (unintentionally) hilarious is that most of the fans don't even address the specific issue -- that Jeter is a bad fielder.

Instead, they talk about his clutchness, his intangibles, his leadership...

It is like there is a Yankee fan autopilot that kicks in, whenever someone talks bad about Jeter...