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Friday, September 21, 2012

The really outrageous answer Derek Jeter gave in that Rick Reilly interview


ESPN's Rick Reilly took time away for writing apologias for Lance Armstrong to interview Derek Jeter the other day. (I do think it's amusing that Reilly, the same writer who once wanted to personally have Sammy Sosa drug tested, is all "I'll wear yellow in honor of Lance," but I digress.) And the talk with Jeter became a whole to-do because of what Jeter said about possibly playing elsewhere. But what I found even more interesting was the answer -- or non-answer -- Derek gave to another Yankee-related question.

Anyhow, Reilly's interview with Jeter is done in a format called Hit or Miss, where the athlete interviewed can say "miss" to a question he doesn't want to answer. Jeter gave that answer for a variety of questions, such as what was the weirdest thing a fan ever sent to him. But he also said "miss" to this "tough" question:
Me: Greatest Yankee of all time.
Jeter: Miss.
Really, Jete? This isn't actually a hardquestion, except for those sportswriters who say that Jeter himself is the greatest Yankee of all time, which he is not. The only correct answer to this question is Babe Ruth, by the way (he's also the correct answer to who is the greatest MLB player of all time.)

Even if Reilly was suggesting in his line of questioning that Jeter himself is the greatest Yankee ever, that is not worthy of a "miss" response, either. The answer is the same -- it should be that Babe Ruth, not Jeter, is the best ever.

However, the media brouhaha is not over that response. It's over Jeter saying the following answer to a Reilly question:
Me: Peyton Manning changed teams this season after 14 seasons with one team. Could you see yourself doing that?
Jeter: Well, if I wanted to keep playing, yes. It's a business. People forget that.
Aside from the fact that the analogy doesn't quite work -- the Yanks won't get the equivalent of Andrew Luck starting at shortstop if Jeter goes -- I don't think there is anything necessarily controversial in acknowledging that baseball is a business. But what nobody in the media is pointing out is that Jeter and his agent, not the Yankees, had a very different response two years ago during the contentious contract negotiations.

Remember when Jeter balked at the Yankees' initial three-year, $45 million offer, and Brian Cashman encouraged Jeter to "test the market"? And the captain and Casey Close acted so insulted and outraged, pointing out No. 2's value to the franchise and comparing him to Babe Ruth? Close told Mike Lupica back then:
"There's a reason the Yankees themselves have stated Derek Jeter is their modern-day Babe Ruth. Derek's significance to the team is much more than just stats. And yet, the Yankees' negotiating strategy remains baffling."

Then Close said: "They continue to argue their points in the press and refuse to acknowledge Derek's total contribution to their franchise."
Sure, baseball is a business. Then why didn't Jeter and Close acknowledge that two years ago, instead of playing the sentimentality card?

What do you think? Tell us about it!

12 comments:

baliboy said...

What do I think, Lisa? I think you've got to get over your childish, inane platonic love affair with Alex Rodriguez, which necessitates that you tie yourself in knots to trash his "rival" Derek Jeter at every opportunity (even if one doesn't present itself). Your schoolgirl crush and resulting jealousy has made you an unreadable, broken record. Get over it, already!

baliboy said...

What do I think, Lisa? I think you've got to get over your childish, inane platonic love affair with Alex Rodriguez, which necessitates that you tie yourself in knots to trash his "rival" Derek Jeter at every opportunity (even if one doesn't present itself). Your schoolgirl crush and resulting jealousy has made you an unreadable, broken record. Get over it, already!

Lisa Swan said...

Baliboy, your message is just as inane the second time. And if there is anybody who is carrying on like a lovesick schoolgirl, it would be you, not me. Any time I ever dare to note that Jeter isn't Jesus, you flounce in here to defend your man. Do you wear a "Team Derek" shirt to bed at night, too, baliboy?

You don't have facts or knowledge on your side, so all you can do is hurl pathetic insults. Guess what that means....I win again!

Backstreets said...

It's funny, I got so tired of the A-Rod love and Jeter hate from Lisa that I stopped reading this blog before this season began. So it's been almost an entire season since I checked in. For some reason I decided to do so today, and I thought to myself, "I wonder what anti-Jeter or pro-Alex story will be on today, or has she toned down this stuff." And the very first post I see is this nonsense. Wow, same old song.

As for Jeter passing on the greatest Yankee of all time question, I could imagine a number of reasons. Jeter loves Yogi, for example, and may not have wanted to mention someone other than him. Maybe he think Mariano deserves consideration, as he dominated his position like nobody else ever did. I agree with you that it should be Babe Ruth, but I wouldn't disparage someone for giving the question a pass.

But more importantly, wow, still the same incredibly strong, and by now very boring bias. Remarkable.

Lisa Swan said...

Geez, I guess I should be broken up that you haven't read the blog all year, then don't like what I have to say. Who are you again?

At any rate, somebody who has half of his image based on being Mr. True Yankee {without pinstripes, he's more like Alomar or Biggio, not Ruth or DiMaggio) ought to be able to answer that question. Folks like you act like Rick Reilly ambushed Jeter with that tough, fierce question about who the greatest Yankee of all time is. Spare me.

Backstreets said...

[Geez, I guess I should be broken up that you haven't read the blog all year, then don't like what I have to say. Who are you again?]

No, you don't need to care, of course. But you might gain a BIT of self-awareness about how incredibly one-note you are, that someone who hasn't read your blog in almost a year could accurately predict what you'd be going on about as soon as he checked in. But your defensiveness suggests that self-awareness isn't forthcoming.

[Folks like you act like Rick Reilly ambushed Jeter with that tough, fierce question about who the greatest Yankee of all time is. Spare me.] What did I say to even imply that Reilly ambushed him with tough, fierce questions??? Here is a perfect example of how off-the-charts biased you are. Reilly's question was perfectly fine, and like I said, I would have said Ruth too.

It's really too bad. On other fronts you are (or at least used to be) reasonable, but this A-Rod vs. Jeter thing has so dominated your thoughts that it's simply comical. Of course, you'll interpret this as being criticized for not equating Jeter with Jesus, so that will make you feel better. But you've become almost a cartoon villain, begging the Mirror on the Wall to confirm that A-Rod is awesome and Jeter is the devil.

Ask your readers if they agree or not. Don't take my word on it, because, I know, who am I?

Enjoy your crusade. It seems to give you great purpose in life. Too bad it interferes with writing about baseball.

Uncle Mike said...

Without Pinstripes, Jeter is more like Alomar or Biggio?

Well, Craig Biggio did get over 3,000 hits, and he did help his team reach the postseason 6 times, though with only 1 Pennant. And he did need Andy Pettitte to win that 1 Pennant, so I suppose the comparison is apt.

But Alomar? I must have missed those occasions when Jeter whined his way off several teams, spit at an umpire, and then nearly played his way out of Hall of Fame consideration. I know he's in now, but I wouldn't have voted for him. He's not nearly as good as the other HOF 2nd baseman of my lifetime, Joe Morgan (NOT a HOFer as a broadcaster) and Ryne Sandberg, or Biggio (who becomes eligible in January and hopefully will be elected with Astro teammate Jeff Bagwell).

As for A-Rod, well, he may now be one of the Top 10 players of all time, but he'll never been either the greatest shortstop or the greatest 3rd baseman, because his career was split between the positions. Whereas Jeter is the greatest shortstop in American League history (yes, better than Cal Ripken), and trails only Honus Wagner among all shortstops.

baliboy said...

Lisa, this will be my last comment, because you are a petulant child. Actually, it is only my THIRD comment ever, yet you accuse me of "Any time I ever dare to note Jeter isn't Jesus, you flounce in here to defend your man." Huh? I barely read you, and almost never comment, so I don't know what defensive gibberish you're talking about. And how adult of you to begin with "your message is just as inane the second time," when I only had to try to post it twice because I received no indication from your site that it had been accepted the first time, and didn't show up online. So the glitches of YOUR site are MY fault as well? Interesting that another reader, Backstreets, just happened to notice your same "one-note" harangues as I did. Guess we're all just imagining it. And so you attack us personally, when you know nothing about us--while we know all about you and your bias from your years of blogging. You chose to "put yourself out there," but have fits of fury if others question your columns? So, I'll never read you again (why bother, when I know what you'll say), but maybe you should have the courage to take up Backstreets on his challenge and have a totally open and anonymous poll of your readers to answer the question: "Do you feel I have a bias in favor of Alex Rodriguez and against Derek Jeter?" And maybe a second question: "Do you think this has become repetitive and negatively affects the value of my blog?" And then ACCEPT your readers' answer without personally attacking anyone who makes a comment about your writing. Where did I ever equate Jeter to "Jesus" as you allege, and what in my brief comment that you routinely "trash his 'rival' Derek Jeter" has me "carrying on like a lovesick schoolgirl"? Your typical "over the top" reaction serves no purpose but to send me and other potential readers away. Do you really have SO MANY visitors that you can afford to insult them for the "sin" of disagreeing with you? You need a new act. Or maybe a new gig...

Lisa Swan said...

It's amazing how I get slammed about talking too much about Alex Rodriguez in an article where I NEVER MENTIONED HIS NAME!

And sorry, Backstreets, I'm not a trained seal. If you don't like what I have to say, don't read me. I'm not doing a reader poll or any such nonsense. I write for myself and for nobody else. The day I write this blog to please other people is the day I stop writing this blog.

Incidentally, Backstreets, the last time I wrote an article defending A-Rod? June, when I wrote about the double standard on PEDs between him and Andy Pettitte.
http://subwaysquawkers.blogspot.com/search/label/A-Rod

The last time I criticized Derek Jeter on anything before this article? December, when I mocked his booty call gift baskets.

http://subwaysquawkers.blogspot.com/search/label/Derek%20Jeter

It's funny, I've hardly written about either of them the entire year, yet I get accused of, in Backstreet's words, being "one note" with this "comical" obsession that has "dominated" my "thoughts." Thanks for that trenchant analysis, buddy.

Oh, and baliboy, when you say sexist things about me and schoolgirl crushes and describe me, as you once did, as a "little old lady who lives with her cats and spews venom at everybody," you shouldn't be surprised that you don't get a sweet-as-pie response in return. Don't act like you are a victim.

Lisa Swan said...

Uncle Mike, I agree with you that Jeter is no Alomar, personality-wise. But according to Baseball-reference.com, that is the player he closest matches up to, statistically.
http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/j/jeterde01.shtml

baliboy said...

You must have me confused with someone else. I never made the comment you attribute to me. You really should seek professional help.

Subway Squawkers said...

No, I don't, baliboy. This is your Blogger ID listed right there. Busted!

http://subwaysquawkers.blogspot.com/2010/11/sweeny-murti-tells-charming-but-telling.html