- Matt Meyers
Some of our younger readers might not remember this, but back in the 1980s there was an ad campaign for Head and Shoulders shampoo that featured the following slogan: "Because you never get a second chance to make a first impression."
I'm reminded of this campaign every time someone brings up the career playoff comparison of Derek Jeter and Alex Rodriguez. Why? Because first impressions die hard, and since Jeter performed spectacularly during his playoff debut in New York, he's been thought of as "clutch" ever since. A-Rod, however, flamed out during his first few postseasons in the Big Apple, and has been pegged with another "C" word (one that rhymes with joker). And because of their fame, positions and perceived feud, these two are inextricably linked, with Jeter viewed as the beloved hero of New York, and A-Rod the outsider who finally came through for once in 2009.
Yet even with Jeter in the midst of the worst season of his career, there seems to be a sentiment that he'll come through in the postseason, because that's what Jeter does. But in reality, if there is anyone the Yanks should want up in a big spot in October, it's A-Rod.
Matt Meyers looks at a very conventional argument -- Derek Jeter is a clutch hero, A-Rod is a huge choker -- and breaks it apart using statistics and previous A-Rod October showings. In the end, a Yankees fan wants A-Rod at the plate when it matters most.