As nearly everyone who doesn’t work for the YES Network openly acknowledges, 36 year old Derek Jeter is off to a miserable start to the 2011 season, and with certain (possibly jealous) members of the bloggy elite referring to him as “Captain Groundout”, Paul Lebowitz — the self proclaimed, “Best Writer You’ve Never Heard Of” (much the way Stephon Marbury was the NBA’s “No. 1 Point Guard”) defends the talismanic Yankee shortstop ; “what’s the point of such short-sighted cruelty—without a solution—based on one month for a player who has been one of the best and most consistent players in baseball since 1996 and has played clean?”

OK, I added the emphasis, but even if you agree that Jeter’s 16 years as a solid citizen has won him the benefit of the doubt, surely we’ve seen enough iconic figures exposed as PED enthusiasts that touting Jeter as one of the game’s good guys might come back to bite you?  Especially if it turned out there was little evidence to confirm said cleanliness.  Maybe in addition to providing semi-hysterical apologies for Derek Jeter “Ruthless Baseball Analysis”, Mr. Lebowitz has personally sampled The Captain’s urine and can vouch for its effervescent properties.  In lieu of such testimony, however, we’ll have to turn to the following report from the New York Times’ Michael D. Schmidt :

Last Friday, Commissioner Bud Selig’s office, along with the union representing baseball players, quietly released a report detailing the sport’s out-of-season drug tests. The commissioner’s office and the players union decided to release the numbers in an effort to make the drug program more transparent.

The report, the first time the exact numbers of off-season tests had been released, said that slightly more than 10 percent of baseball players had been tested for drugs in the 2010 off-season.

For some experts on the testing of athletes, the report’s numbers undercut Selig’s claims about the rigor and effectiveness of baseball’s drug policy. Off-season drug testing is one of the most critical components of a meaningful program, experts generally agree, because it is aimed at monitoring athletes during the time they are most likely to use steroids and other drugs as they recover and build muscle for the coming season.

And so to have tested such a modest percentage of athletes during that time frame is, they say, less than impressive.

“We see in most parts of the world that the most effective programs have 50 percent of their tests in competition and 50 percent out of competition,” said David Howman, the director general of the World Anti-Doping Agency, which oversees the testing of Olympic athletes.

The United States Anti-Doping Agency, which is an independent body that oversees the drug testing of Olympic athletes conducted 65 percent of its overall tests out of competition last year.