Skip Please SayLess


Skip Bayless recently recklessly insinuated that Derek Jeter has been taking steroids. His proof was:

Bayless said, “I am shocked by what I’m seeing from Derek Jeter right now. They all said he was washed up. All of a sudden, this man has turned 38 years of age in June and already he has more hits than he had last year. … I’m seeing a whole new guy this year from last year … Are you kidding me? You would have to have your head in the sand or your head somewhere else not to at least wonder, ‘How is he doing this?’ “

Now, before we even go into whether there could be reasonable speculation that Jeter is taking steroids, I just want to start by saying it is extremely irresponsible as a reporter to accuse anyone of using steroids with 0 concrete evidence. It seems like the recent suspensions of PED users Melky Cabrera and Bartolo Colon turned Bayless into Joe McCarthy. As for his argument, he just doesn’t seem to understand that ball players don’t linearly decline when they older but instead their mean declines and they can end up on either end of the mean. What I mean by this is that let’s say Jeter’s skill level last year was 9 home runs and this year it was 8 home runes (picking random numbers), last year he was unlucky by 3 home runs and this year he was lucky by 4. Over the long run he will decline but that doesn’t mean each season he will get slightly worse. Essentially, in 2009 Jeter had an MVP-esque season and in 2010 he had the worst season in his career. In reality, he was somewhere in between and in the last two seasons regressed towards his mean of probably about a .310 avg, .360 OBP .420 slugging player. I mean Skip’s main argument is that he doubled his home runs from 6 to a whopping 12 this season after never hitting fewer than 10 in his career before 2011. Ball players bounce up and down and the fact that he has come back from one of the worst drops in history for a player isn’t surprising. Furthermore, his OBP barely increased even though his average is up a lot because the main reason for all this is his extremely high BABIP (and by the way, after all this even if in 5 years it comes out Jeter is using, what Bayless did is still wrong since he has no evidence).

But let’s all be real here, we know Skip Bayless isn’t serious. If he was, he would accuse someone like David Ortiz who has been known to use PED’s before and has went from a .238 average to a .316 average  and a .462 slugging to a .609 slugging while getting 3 years older (and I am not saying Ortiz does either, just you’d have a better argument). What Bayless is doing is trying to get his name in the news by accusing the “Golden Boy” of the MLB of doing steroids. Let’s just go through a few other times Skip has recklessly said obviously untrue statements to gain attention:

  • Said that white fans root for the white QB.
  • Constantly saying for a month that Westbrook sucks because he is a shoot first PG (he definitely is a shoot first PG but it is his style) even though he is “a Thunder fan”. Perhaps as a Thunder fan he should notice that the Thunder were 20-4 in games Westbrook takes more shots than Durant, or that Westbrook is the only other real option to score with the starting unit on and KD can’t shoot every time, or that Durant is too weak to get himself in position to score on every play. Or maybe he could just listen to Durant who said, “We’re worse when I take more shots. Like I said, that guy doesn’t know a thing. I don’t think he watches us. I think he just looks at the stats. And traditionally, a point guard is not supposed to take more shots than everybody else on the team. But we’re better when he does do that and he’s aggressive. And I’m better when I’m out there facilitating, rebounding, defending and being more efficient on my shots with less shots.”
  • Said Romo is more clutch than Eli Manning.
  • Lied about his own basketball career.
  • Even Charles Barkley hates him.
  • Said Phelps isn’t a top athlete.
  • Said the Bulls lucked into the one seed.
  • Said Lebron will never win a ring (already wrong 2 years later, plus how could you be positive he would never win it depending on his team).
  • Lebron didn’t deserve the 2012 MVP.
  • Said Carmelo was top 5 in the league but Lebron wasn’t.
  • And all this is just after a very short google search of his stupidity in the last 12 months.

And here is a great video of Cuban just taking Skip to town followed by some quotes from the video (from awful announcing). The only reason I assume Skip aired this is because Cuban ripping him to shreds gets ratings (pathetic, I know).

“You guys like to talk in complete generalities where no one can question you, you don’t ever use facts, you don’t ever use substance.” 

“You have the presumption that people care what you say, they don’t… when guys get ready to play they’re not thinking, ‘ok what’s going to be written, what’s being said’ right?  They’re getting prepared.”

“Miami wanted it more or less, that is just such horse you know what… it’s not that Oklahoma City don’t want it more, I think Miami was better prepared to play the game than Oklahoma City in terms of adjustment and changes.”

“That is the most ridiculous thing any sportswriter has ever said.”

“That’s exactly right Skip, that’s all you saw, you didn’t look.” 

“This is a Skip Bayless special: LeBron lost last year because he was paying attention to Skip Bayless.  LeBron won this year because he wasn’t paying attention to Skip Bayless.”

Look, I understand that it is best to not talk about a clown like Skip Bayless, because he is either is the most clueless sports fan ever or just says things to be outlandish. He loves using buzzwords instead of saying anything of substance. But it is one thing to be a shoddy reporter and another to accuse Jeter with no evidence of using steroids. ESPN really has to fire Bayless to redeem some credibility.


About Zachary Neugut
I am attending Columbia University

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