Slanted Sabr: A moment of reflection on Derek Jeter
The first half (and some change) of the baseball season has come and gone, rather fast in my humble opinion. But isn’t that always the case with things that we love. For one player, this signals the halfway point of the last season of his marvelous career. And while it seems like just yesterday I was sitting with my Family and watching opening day, the truth is we are closer to the end of the season than we are the beginning, which means for one player in particular, the run is almost over. Please stay with me for a few moments as I throw the numbers and metrics out the window and pay some respect, or “RE2PECT” to the Captain, Derek Jeter.
I hope by now that everybody reading this article has had the chance to take a look at the wonderful video done by Nike and the Jordan brand showing how everybody including his most bitter and hated rivals realize that now is the time to pay respect to Derek Jeter. If you have not watched the short video, please give it a view here. Tear jerking huh? It is fine to admit it, I felt a little emotional watching that video, not because I’m some huge Derek Jeter fan, but because I know that more than anybody in my life time, Jeter has played the game the right way and I’m not sure if I’ll ever see another player, leader and Captain like him again.
There are a few haters and morons that have wrote today on blogs and various other publications about how Jeter doesn’t deserve to be in the All Star game tomorrow, and how he should not be batting bat lead off. These people are the bane of my very existence. Can we not as a sports loving nation take one night and throw stats and metrics out the window and appreciate one of the greatest players of all time? I’m glad that Jeter is batting lead off and playing shortstop tomorrow night for the American League. I don’t care if he was slashing at a .200/.300/.400 clip this year, he absolutely deserves it and if you have any doubt about that, watch the ovation that not only the fans, but the players from both sides give him tomorrow night when he is introduced. It will be electric and you will see players like David Ortiz, Jon Lester and David Price, sworn bitter rivals standing and applauding the Captain, as they should.
Look around at the league, the biggest stars also seem to be the biggest ego maniacs and show boats, and I say this with all respect but players like Yasiel Puig, Jose Bautista and David Ortiz taunt and trot more times in one week than Jeter has done his whole career. And no I’m not saying the antics of players like Puig and Bautista are bad, I’m just saying that Jeter always kept the same agenda, work hard, play harder and treat the game with respect.
Derek Jeter will leave the game no worse than a 5 time World Series Champion. A 14 time All- Star, a 5 time Gold Glove winner. Jeter will finish with 5 Silver Slugger awards, 2 Hank Aaron awards and a Roberto Clemente award. He is already the all time leader for hits by a shortstop, but most importantly to me, he will finish his career as a role model and somebody that I would have no problem telling my children about if they ever asked me to name some of the greatest players of all-time, and even more importantly if my child was looking for a big league player to mimic and learn how to play the game from, Derek Jeter would be my first choice.
I know this is brief and far from the articles that I normally write, but I just wanted to pay my RE2PECT to Derek Jeter. From a kid raised in Kalamazoo Michigan to the true Captain America of baseball, Thank you Derek Jeter for everything you have ever given to this game. Baseball is in a better place because of you. Tomorrow night should be a celebration of your career, and a reminder that we may never ever see another one like you ever again. Thank you, Captain.
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