Saturday, September 03, 2011

Saturday Afternoon (Low And Wet)

Sox/Tex 4:10

Yanks playing now, tied 3-3 in the 4th.

Hilarious Jeter article found by Joy of Sox. Has to be a joke. It's funnier than anything I could come up with in a Jeter parody article. See the genius of it is that his angle is "Jeter doesn't get enough credit." Why didn't I think of that?

I always get so pissed when there's NFL talk during the pennant race (Also, there seems to be a buzz-y movement among baseball fans that the season should end on Labor Day--jeez, guys, as long as you're talking about completely altering a sports season so it doesn't overlap with another, why not just move football back a month? Are you a fucking baseball fan or not?), but of course I am excited about Nebraska football in their first year in the Big Ten. In the past, game one against some patsy wouldn't even be broadcast at all, let alone on the east coast. I'd have to settle for highlights from a sideline cam probably held by someone from the A/V club. But with this whole Big Ten Network thing, I get to watch Nebraska vs. Tennessee-Chattanooga, on a station I already get, in HD. (Between pitches, of course.)

It's me, Allan. ... After CI got his 3000th hit, there was another column quite like this one (LA Times?), but not *quite* so bad (aka, good). Looks like I did not post it, but maybe I commented about it. It even had a bit just like "The man is peerless. He really is."
Found it!

Derek Jeter is a player to be celebrated
The Yankees' All-Star shortstop, who got his 3,000th major league hit with a home run July 9, has conducted his business with a style and consistency that is hard to maintain, Bill Dwyre writes.
August 2, 2011
By Bill Dwyre

He has plied his trade a continent away, and maybe that distance has dimmed our appreciation. But now that Derek Jeter has 3,000 hits, it gives us reason to say what needs to be said about this magnificent Yankee.

Wow. Well done. Impressive beyond words.

Also, thanks for being what you are and who you are.

In that magic early afternoon of July 9, with the memory and remains of old Yankee Stadium looming across the street ... Jeter went from legendary to mystical. He hit a home run for the 3,000th hit of his career. Not a Texas Leaguer that just cleared the shortstop's glove or a hard bounder off the pitcher's leg. A home run. ...

The number reached was phenomenal. The manner done so was otherworldly. ...

He plays in one of the rudest, pushiest cities in the world and is neither. ... He is good to his teammates, good to the fans and apparently good to the scores of beautiful women he has dated in his 17 years as a Yankee. ...

For those nearly two decades, he has conducted his business with a style and consistency that is hard to maintain, for many of his peers, for two months. He is good at what he does and good at being who he is. ...

(It goes on)
"Thanks for being who you are"?

That reminds me of when Lisa was having a dream and woke up yelling "I wanna help you, George Washington!" and Bart was right there, and says, "'I wanna help you, George Washington'? Even your dreams are square."

Also, Bob Costas once pointed out how "legendary" is tossed around when talking about modern-era players, which makes no sense. There's no "legend" to a man whose entire career has been documented with video.
Am I the only one who finds it odd the way writers mention the "scores of beautiful women he has dated in his 17 years as a Yankee?"

I don't recall similar comments about George Brett's love life (he was bachelor until the last year of his career) or mentioning Tony Gwynn's being married with children when they were approaching their 3,000 hit.
Yeah and that he's "apparently good" to them! They always take everything he does and make it seem like he's the best at it.

The example I've used here before is how when he talks to kids in the crowd while he's on deck, he's an ambassador for the game, a genuine guy who appreciates everything he has and cares more about the fans than money. When Manny Ramirez does it--look, Manny's not even paying attention to the game!
"Anon here"
don't you think it's enough with the Jeter hate? You are angry cause people respect him, seriously? A bit of genuflecting, yes. But seriously, to get all angry about it doesn't make any sense. Think about it this way: when Aaron was going for the career homerun record, I'm sure there were people that wrote really nice articles about him. There were probably people hating him and those articles for reasons that would make a lot of people today in age cringe. It just makes you look petty, I think. It's totally irrational. It may seem stupid to you, but getting to 3,000 hits is a big achievement and people will write a lot of nice things because of that achievement. Twenty-eight players have reached that milestone, and he's the first Yankee to do it too. This isn't Ty Cobb we're talking about, he's treated people with dignity and respect, has been extremely private in a city like New York, and he's been very successful. Sorry to burst your bubble, and the JoyofSox for that matter, but these are things that should be written about and celebrated. If he was Albert Belle, then the narrative would have been way different. I don't get how someone like this can generate such a negative reaction. Is Nelson Mandela less for human rights because he was a serial cheater? Is Jeter that bad a human being just because he plays for the MFY? Hate him all you want, but to hate the achievement and the articles written about him seems a bit beyond the pale. Let's say the inverse applies, the player that reaches 3K is Dustin Pedroia and those same articles are written about him. Is your reaction going to be the same? Just asking. Ok, this was a bit too long-winded already.
If anybody ever calls Dustin Pedroia mystical I'll give you a hundred million dollars.

A home run on your 3,000th hit is "otherworldly"? I've seen it done--in THIS world--a few years ago. It was a coincidence. That guy throws an outside pitch, Jeter Jeters one to right field for a single. Then let's say on the next at bat he hits the homer. For his 3,001st hit. You think these articles would be any different? Some people just love this guy in a way that's, to use your word, irrational. He's not a special player. He's fundamentally sound (except for that decade of catching pop-ups one-handed), a good hitter (though if you take away his bloop hits he has about a thousand less) and a not very good fielder, who benefited from being on great teams. Put him in Kansas City and make his face 35% uglier and NOBODY GIVES A SHIT.

But I guess what you and these writers are saying is how great a person he is. And they really don't know shit about him. We do know he cheated on his taxes. We do know he pretended to get hit by a pitch when he didn't. We do know he sticks his butt out and straightens the knees (the Jeter Jackknife) to make it appear to umps that a pitch was way inside when it was actually on the corner. We do know he "sells" the call on tag plays at second base every time. We do know he appears in commercials constantly, as if he needs more money, and is even so vain as to have his own PERFUME. Every one of these things is something "Jeter would never do." He is not special!

Let's review: Not special as a man, not special as an athlete. Gets called mystical. It's maddening.
Oh! And skips All-Star games to frolic with models or whatever. Always thinking of the fans.

You write, correctly, that Jeter's 3,000 hit is a big achievement, which it is. As you mention, only 28 other major league players have done it, a list that doesn't include such losers as Ted Williams, Mike Schmidt, Mickey Mantle, Frank Robinson, oh, and some fat guy named Ruth. 3,000 hits is an accomplishment, but compare the coverage Jeter received for it with that awarded to Jim Thome, who hit his 600 home run this year, a feat only seven (and if you're a believer in asterisks, four) other players have ever managed. Why is that? As far as I know, Thome has never been compared with Ty Cobb either. (Note that the article doesn't read, "Not a Texas Leaguer that just cleared the shortstop's glove or a hard bounder off the pitcher's leg, like so many of Jeter's other hits.")

As Jere mentions, it's not a matter of Jeter not being a great player, it's the press' insistence on taking everything he does and proclaiming that it is great, even when it's clearly not. Christy Mathewson had a reputation so sterling umpires supposedly used to ask for his take on a play in games against the Giants. That is legandary. Hitting a home run for your 3,000 hit, that's just like Wade Boggs.

It's the reason they write and remember his home run in the 2001 World Series while forgetting that Captain Clutch hit .167 with 9 strikeouts in the Series. Maybe if he hadn't been saving his "intangibles" for worn-out relief pitchers and focused on Johnson and/or Schilling the Yankees might have won the Series and not just the games in New York.

And if you want a recent example of ridiculous, look no further than the 2009 MVP race. Despite Joe Mauer's truly amazing season, members of the press still tried to insist that it was Jeter, and not the acquisitions of Sabathia and Teixeira and the emergence of Robinson Cano, that led the Yankees to first place and thus was more worthy of the award.
"Anon here"
Here's the thing, you guys are killing him for the circumstances he was put in. It's not like he manipulated any of that. Yes, I agree 100% the media coverage he gets can be over the top, but you act like the Red Sox aren't from this same market. All of a sudden no Red Sox player ever tries to sell a ball vs. a strike when they are batting.

And Liam, they call Big Papi clutch when it most matters, but he's had some pretty bad clunkers in 2008 and 2009. People remember how he performed in 2004, how he was hitting all those game winning homers. People have a right to write their own narrative, even though recent history no longer makes it relevant.

Everyone knows that Jeter is not the guy producing all those runs, but he has contributed and contributed mightily.

And it's so easy to say put him in KC and let's see what coverage he gets there. For that matter, let's put all of our players there and let's see if you feel the same about Pedroia or Ellsbury. Ben Revere would be great in Boston, how about him over Ellsbury? Billy Butler would be in the MVP race if Gonzalez and him swapped places, no?

And Thome reaching 600 homeruns is a great feat, but I think the recent influx of asterisk (*) players getting to 500, 600 and 700+ has kind of diluted that list. A-Rod wasn't even celebrated, but he's part of the asterisk (*) group too. 3,000 hits is usually not the group for the big homerun boppers.

Hate the coverage all you want, but I don't get how you guys try and act like you don't benefit from the same exact thing. If Pedroia reaches the 3,000 hit club, then I am more than sure there will be a few articles praising his abilities that have nothing to do with baseball. If Alex Gordon does it, people will be saying who is Alex Gordon.
"All of a sudden no Red Sox player ever tries to sell a ball vs. a strike when they are batting."

I never said that, but this illustrates my point perfectly: Jeter does the same stuff everyone else does but is treated as if he were a god. (Exaggeration on the "god" thing? See "otherworldly" and "mystical.")

And in the "you can't have it both ways" department, how can you say the Boston market is the same as the New York market? If you wanna say that, fine, but then when talking about how great NYC is (which is something I happen to agree with), how about just casually throw in Boston and act like it's just as good, or just basically the same city as New York, see how well that goes over.
"Anon" Jere, I love Boston, but let's be honest, they are not the same city. You would never say NYC has the same # of prestigious schools as Boston. It's just not true. Boston is far superior there. The cities are different with respect to diversity and uniqueness. They both have a lot to offer, but I think NYC is a far superior city. I love Boston, and I appreciate it for what it is. A different NYC. For example, comparing the North End to Little Italy then I like the North End much better, there are some things Boston does better but as a whole NYC wins out. The same way Chicago is different. We can go down the line and list out great things about each city, but the list will be longer for NYC. Bottom line. Does that mean Boston is bad? Absolutely not. Comparable? To some extent, but not at a macro level.
You seemed to have missed my point--I am a person who loves New York and thinks it's the best city there is. There's nothing like New York.

But in assuming I'm anti-NYC because I'm a Sox fan, you brought up exactly what I was talking about. When asked about comparing the two, you said New York was better--but earlier, you said that the Red Sox and Yanks are in the "same market." Which is why I said they are different. Billy Butler would have more of a chance at MVP in Boston than KC, but in NYC, he'd be a celebrity. (Well maybe not Butler per se, but that's the concept.)

The problem with comparing Ortiz and Jeter is that Ortiz is that reputation and narrative are part of baseball, but Ortiz isn't getting a slew of articles written about him insisting that he is the reason the Red Sox are winning and thus is the AL MVP this year despite the superior numbers being put up by Jose Bautista.

Two years ago there were quite a few making that case for Jeter.

I've never heard anyone argue that he hasn't contributed to the team's success, but in '09, when he wasn't even the best player on the Yankees, people were arguing he deserved the MVP. Why? Because, he's Derek Jeter, and the press clings to the narrative that as he goes so go the Bombers.

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