He probably should be. Because if you just substitute wholesome family dude for cool bachelor dude who dates supermodels, Buster Posey is pretty much leading Derek Jeter's life -- from a decade and a half ago.
Like Jeter, from almost the minute Posey showed up in the big leagues, his team started treating the World Series as if it were the annual (or at least bi-annual) family trip.
Like Jeter, Posey's awards and accolades have been flowing, just about nonstop, since he went out and won a player of the month award in his first month as a regular in the big leagues.
Like Jeter, there's a comfortable, easy-going, understated, but intently competitive air about Posey that makes him easy to like but a monster to play against.
And like Jeter, let's just put it this way: Buster Posey can move some merchandise.
So it's no surprise then that, on the eve of Posey's third World Series appearance since 2010, when you use everybody's favorite new baseball adjective, "Jeter-esque," to describe the Giants' trusty catcher to the people who know him, they all get that look on their face that says, basically, "Bingo."
"Yeah," said Giants assistant general manager Bobby Evans, flashing that very look. "I mean, when you talk about Derek Jeter, I don't know how Buster's story will be written or how history will play out in terms of his career, but he's certainly got a foundation for that. When you think about what Jeter has stood for -- respect for the game, and playing the game the right way, and providing quiet leadership -- at some level, Buster has all those qualities."
Then, as this concept began to swirl around Evans' brain, he found himself checking one "Jeter-esque" box after another.
"You can't be a catcher on three postseason teams, like Buster has been, and not provide leadership," Evans said. "He's obviously a leader on the field and in the clubhouse, but the way he carries himself in the public is exemplary. Very dignified. Very strong family man. Well respected. Very professional with the media."
Right. Right. Right. Right. And right. But hang on. There's more. Bobby Evans was just getting rolling.
"He loves the game," Evans went on. "He plays it hard. He's had MVP seasons. Won two World Series in a three-year span, with a chance to win a third. He was the rookie of the year. Won a batting title the year he won the MVP. Coming out of college, he won the Johnny Bench award and the Golden Spikes award. An All-Star, multiple times. And in terms of jersey sales, he and Jeter are one-two, I believe. So in terms of national popularity, he's got that national visibility. That's a lot of similarities."
Yeah, you might say that. In fact, he just did say that.
Posey was once the fifth pick in the first round of the amateur draft. Jeter was the sixth. Posey had an .866 OPS in his first five full seasons. Jeter had an .865 OPS in his.
Five full seasons into Jeter's career, he'd already won four World Series. And Posey can't top that. What the heck. Nobody since -- well, who? Yogi Berra? -- can top that. But Posey has already won more MVP awards (1-0) and batting titles (1-0) than Jeter. And, in a related development, Posey did something in 2012 that Jeter never did and, for that matter, that only two Yankees in history (Joe DiMaggio and Mickey Mantle) ever did -- win a World Series, an MVP award and a batting title in the same season.
But the key word in all of that is one we've already used many times in this opus: win. It's the word that best defined Derek Jeter. And it's rapidly becoming the word that most eloquently defines Buster Posey, too.
After the Giants won the NLCS on Thursday, to advance to their third World Series in the past five seasons, Posey stood on the field, watching the fireworks explode over AT&T Park, and showed a side to him that Jeter tried never to reveal:
Emotion. Genuine, human, passionate emotion over what had just happened.
Witnesses said he had actual tears in his eyes, over both the winning itself and the way in which his team had just won -- on a cinematic walk-off home run by his good friend Travis Ishikawa, a guy who had lived out a baseball-reincarnation saga Posey will never have to worry about reenacting.
"I'm emotional about all of them," Posey admitted afterward. "But I might have maybe just showed it a little bit more after this one. I've known Travis Ishikawa for a while. I've seen him have his ups and downs. I couldn't be happier for a guy like that to have a moment like that."
Like Jeter, Posey prides himself on not often displaying this side of his persona. But "at moments like this, I'll let it go," he said. "These are once-in-a-lifetime moments. ... We get to go back to the World Series."
Well, they're once-in-a-lifetime for most people. They're thrice-in-a-lifetime for him. And considering he's 27 years old and he plays on a team that seems to have this October thing down cold, who knows how many more are to come?
But that brings us back to the part of this saga that matters most. When we use that word, "Jeter-esque," to describe Buster Posey, it's the "winning" part of that profile that means the most -- to him and to the people who watch him do his thing every day.
"He's always been The Guy," said Giants bench coach Ron Wotus. "And I think it's something he's very comfortable with. He's not necessarily comfortable with all the hoopla that goes with it. But the pressure to perform while being The Guy is not something that fazes him. ... In my opinion, he actually performs better when the games are more meaningful than when they're not. I think he's that talented. And I think the person, much like Jeter, knows how to handle the pressure. And he elevates his performance because of it.
"If you look at the things that he's accomplished and how he performs on the stage, that's who he is," Wotus said, gathering steam now. "He's always been in these situations as The Guy who has performed ... because he's not fazed by any of this. He's got a calm about him. He's got a quiet confidence, I guess I should say. And I bet you he's had it his whole life, because he's been that successful as a baseball player."
But Posey also has what Giants broadcaster/guru Mike Krukow describes as "an aura" to him that exudes winning. And it's that aura, Krukow said, that leaves its mark on the players around him.
"This guy is just an instinctive baseball player," Krukow said. "He eats it, lives it. He doesn't want the accolades. He doesn't want the limelight. He just wants to play the game. ... I have nothing but admiration for the guy. And as long as he's here, we're going to win.
"He's just one of those players. He reminds me, in a way, of Pete Rose, from when I played with him [in Philadelphia]. There was an aura about him that just filled your gas tank every day. It's all about baseball. It's all about winning that day. ... And that's Buster Posey."
But clearly, there's far more of the smooth, well-behaved Derek Jeter in the Giants' mega-talented catcher than there is the rough, always edgy Pete Rose. Like Jeter, Buster Posey's team never has to worry about anything he says or anything he does, on or off the field. And when you add that quality to the rest of the package -- the winning, the awards, the leadership, the aura -- is there anyone in this sport right now who has more rightfully earned the magic adjective, "Jeter-esque?"
That answer, with all due respect to the Mike Trouts and Yadier Molinas of this game, is no.
"I like it," said Evans. "I think it's got legs. But time will prove it, right? That's what it will take."
Time? Hey, Buster Posey has plenty of that. But first, he has another World Series to win.