On the heels of the Mariano Rivera farewell tour, here comes Jeets. Gone are the days where players finish the season, then slink quietly off into retirement. Now, it’s an event. A six-month epic saga, full of ceremonies and highlights and kind words. And the last game at each opposing team’s ballpark? It will be like the opening ceremony at the Olympics.
As far as Yankees go, I actually find Derek Jeter fairly tolerable. He treated the game and its players with respect, and he played his ass off. He somehow managed to keep his name out of the papers, except to report which hot piece of ass he was tapping that week. The likes of Jessica Biel and Minka Kelly topping the list, in my humble opinion.
Jeter has been a constant for the Yankees since becoming a starter in 1996. Jeter missed most of last season with a fractured ankle. He also missed 30-something games in 2003 with a shoulder injury. Other than that, if there was a ballgame, you could find Jeter in his place between second and third base.
Jeter’s prowess at the plate cannot be denied. He averaged 16 homers and 79 RBI while batting .312 for his career. His postseason numbers are equally impressive. His fielding? Eh. This is where the Jeter fanatics and I part ways. I’d call him average at best and that was a lot of years ago. The Gold Glove awards were based on his batting and his popularity, not his fielding skills.
Jeter’s final game will be played Sunday, September 28th…at Fenway Park. Somebody better take Tim McCarver’s belt and shoelaces.