I think a good case could be made for Derek Jeter for a MVP season this year, but Alex Rodriguez is by far the superior player, and the choice to make if you had to choose a shortstop to build a team around.
I'll assume everyone is familiar with this topic. :)
Contrary to popular belief, I do not hate Derek Jeter, nor do I think that Alex Rodriguez is just simply the bestest guy in the world. However, I feel that the media, fans, and broadcasters are making a false comparison when they put these two players up against each other. Derek Jeter and Alex Rodriguez are in two different classes of baseball players; one is a very, very good hitter, and one is in a class of the most elite players to ever play the game. The Yankees may attribute their success over the last couple of years to Jeter's intangibles, and to be fair, having a player that hits so well on your team is not a bad thing in your lineup, but I would argue that without the presence of A-rod, it would have been glaringly obvious that as good of a hitter as Jeter was, he simply wasn't enough to take the Yankees anywhere, even with all the web gems in the world.
A-rod's career numbers stack up like this:
There is no way to make those numbers look anything other than what they are; monster offensive numbers from one of the best. And even in his so-called 'terrible season of '06', he still hit .290, with 35 HRs, a .392 OBP, and .523 SLG. By contrast, and although it's rather ironic that although I do believe Jeter is a valid choice for MVP this year (note: not the best choice, but it certainly wouldn't be as big a travesty as some years) with his own monster season, I still will not believe that he is anywhere even in the same class as Alex Rodriguez.
Jeter's 2006 numbers: He hit .343, with 14 HRs, a .417 OBP, and .483 SLG.
Jeter's career numbers:
In my mind, there's no argument. Congratulations to Derek Jeter for his amazing season of hitting .343. But in my opinion, it still doesn't even put him in the same competition as A-rod, much less as the winner.