If you could be any major league shortstop in his prime, would you rather have the career of Derek Jeter or Cal Ripken Jr.?
It’s an intriguing question and Dan Patrick put it to the Baltimore Orioles’ Hall of Famer on Wednesday.
“I’d rather have Derek’s, and for this reason: a bad year for Derek is losing in the first round of the playoffs,” Ripken said on “The Dan Patrick Show.” “I was totally jealous of the fact he had a chance to perform and play in the playoffs as everybody’s wish and dream is. I had a few chances, which was great, but I wanted a whole lot more than that.”
Jeter, of course, has won five World Series with the New York Yankees and has a career .598 winning percentage in his games with the team. He has played in 158 postseason games — almost an entire season’s worth. Ripken had a .501 winning percentage and played on one World Series winner.
“We’re two different type of players. I personally think it’s much easier to play on a winner because the focus is on that day at the game, each at-bat and what you are trying to do to help your team win,” Ripken said. “Playing for a losing team is a miserable effort and you have to rearrange your goals and try to keep yourself pure each and every day and the season takes forever.”
Who adds up to the better shortstop? Ripken was diplomatic.
“There’s advantages that Derek has and there’s advantages that I have and we’ll leave it at that. I couldn’t steal a base and make things happen with my legs.”