In almost any other case, all of this would be delicious. Except, dammit, it’s happening to Derek Jeter, who stands at No. 2 behind Mariano Rivera on the Least Intolerable Yankee list.
Yes, Derek Jeter does awful or irritating things. Slide for no reason. Hang out with Jorge Posada. Pump his arms and clap like a Little League coach saying, “Make some noise out there!” Mariah Carey. And, yes, he will never let go of his eternal tendency to throw absurd jump balls—leaping up and further into the outfield to somehow assist the ball’s flight downward and back into the infield, the second most bafflingly counter-intuitive act of baseball physics after sliding into first.
But the thing to remember about Jeter is that almost everything about him that sends fans of other teams crawling up the walls is not his fault. Jeter didn’t decide that he singlehandedly won the 2001 ALDS against the A’s. He never said that he has calm eyes, and he never said that he has an unparalleled sense of the moment. It is physically impossible for Derek Jeter to give himself the kind of lavish, passionate multi-tongued bath that is rigorously applied to him by Tim McCarver, Joe Buck, Orel Hersheiser, John Kruk, Curt Schilling and a cast of thousands. Likewise, Derek Jeter is in no way responsible for the nationwide announcer tendency to use, as a cue to discuss Derek Jeter during ballgames in which his team is not playing, literally any word, phenomena or event detectable within the boundaries of the known world.
That’s what makes Jeter’s abortive comeback so difficult to process. All the circumstances but one are perfect for shameful joy. If you’re a fan of practically any team but the Yankees, the Yankees are getting everything that they so richly deserve. Announcer blather aside, the only guy who doesn’t deserve it is Jeter.
Posted: July 15, 2013 at 05:53 AM | 19 comment(s)
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