Wednesday, August 27, 2014
“the day we proclaim the King of the Universe”... wait, that’s what I thought Jeter’s last game at Yankee Stadium was.
This year, Derek Jeter dons his stripes at Yankee Stadium for the final time on one of the holier days of the Jewish calendar, Rosh Hashanah. It also gives me a chance to pose a question to all of the media members. The tables have turned, punks. For those of you who are also members of the tribe, will you be covering this game?...
Granted, I’m not Sandy Koufax. I’m not even Kevin Youkilis or Shawn Green. Hell, I’m probably not Scott Feldman. The likelihood of my being in the lineup on any given Jewish holiday was roughly the same as the odds of a left-handed pitcher (or Kent Bottenfield) being on the mound.
That didn’t stop the reporters from asking. “Gabe, what’s your plan? Will you play?”
My reply was always the same.
“I’m ridiculously proud of my Jewish heritage. I have a Star of David tattooed on my body for that reason. That said, I don’t practice Judaism. It would be awfully hypocritical for me not to be available to my manager and my team if I wouldn’t be attending synagogue. I’m just as likely to be setting my fantasy football lineup as reading from the Torah.” ...
This isn’t an article about whether to play (or work) or not to play. Nor is it a discussion about Jewish holidays. Instead, it’s just a chance to ask the media the question I was always asked. There are lots of Jews in the New York media who will be deciding whether to be loyal to their synagogue or to the Captain on September 25th. I won’t be in Yankee Stadium the day Jeter waves goodbye; I’ll be in Los Angeles. What will you do? Before you answer, I have your rabbi on speed dial. How’s that for some good old-fashioned Jewish guilt?
Tuesday, March 04, 2014
Derek Jeter has been described in a variety of ways during his career.
Joe Namath brought something new Monday.
“Knowing the scrutiny that he’s had over the years,” the Jets Hall of Famer said at Yankees camp, “I can’t imagine how the guy could be an angel like this over the years. He’s to be respected for every phase of his life, it seems.” ...
“Over the years, I’ve learned to respect what teammates and coaches have to say about the guys they work with, and I’ve only heard wonderful compliments about him,” Namath said. “And then we get to see him in person or on the television and how he conducts himself away from the game or off the field . . . Many of us fell short with some of that, but you learn to bounce back. It’s human to error, and I know about that. We do our best to come back. Derek hasn’t made many errors that I’ve been able to witness.”
Told of Namath’s “angel” description, Jeter smiled.
“Puts a lot of pressure on me,” he said…
Despite his status as a New York legend, Namath said he cannot relate to Jeter.
“Only if I had a big enough head to try to,” Namath said. “No, he’s special, I can’t relate to him. Some of the things that athletes, people in the public eye [go through], I can relate to a bit. But his career and where he’s been, what he’s done, I can’t relate to all that.
“We accomplished a goal when I was a part of a couple of teams in my career and we won championships. Well, he’s done quite a bit more. So no, I don’t relate to what he’s been able to do.”
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