The sports world is oversaturated with "look at me" athletes who
thump their chests, refer to themselves in the third person and tweet
the world they didn't win a championship because God didn't
want them to.
In this ESPNation, athletes who go on profanity-laced tirades
or commit some egregious act are glorified, some even get
their own reality show. The more "outrageous" they are, the
more attention they seem to get.
There are liars like Jim Tressel, cheaters like Manny Ramirez, and
narcissistic players like Alex Rodriguez, who get photographed kissing
themselves in the mirror, or photograph themselves standing naked in
front of it like Greg Oden.
And then there is Derek Jeter. In this day and age of self-absorbed
self-centered athletes, the Yankees captain is everything right about
the game and this world. God, if I see another story on that Congressman
and his Weiner, I'm going to vomit. We seem to be a nation obsessed
with that kind of garbage.
Jeter has carried himself with grace, dignity, and class, which seems
to get lost in a sports world filled with philanderers like Tiger Woods and
Rick Pitino. He's never failed a drug test, tweeted his weiner to to the world,
or had seven kids by five different woman. Jeter would never think of
putting himself before the team like Jorge Posada did when he asked out
of the game like a petulant child after learing he was going to bat ninth.
Jeter is the role model parents are thankful for, because really, who
can they tell their kids to be like? Randy Moss? LeBron James? Tiger
Woods? When you think about it, there just aren't that many athletes out
there who is as polished, respectful, and well-mannered as Jeter.
Oh, Jeter has his critics, but they attack his stats, not his style His bat
is slow, he grounds into too many double-plays, doesn't have enough
range at shortstop, no power, doesn't get on-base enough
for a lead-off man. It seems to go on and on. At a time when we
should be appreciating Jeter and his career, the so-called experts want
to whack him around like a Pinata.
At 37-years old, Jeter can't beat Father Time, nobody can. His pursuit
of 3,000 hits got put on pause because of a calf strain, which the critics
say is another sign of Jeter breaking down. Jacoby Ellsbury of the Red
Sox missed most of last season with an assortment of pulls and strains,
yet nobody talked about his age, which is what, 26?
Jeter will soon become the 28th player in major league history to amass
3,000 hits. With three and half years to go on his contract, the Yankees
shortstop will move into the top 10 in MLB history in hits. The top 10!
His detractors say that Jeter is a singles hitter. So what? So was Peter
Rose, Ty Cobb, and Tony Gwynn.
He has five more championship rings than Lebron James, Andre Dawson,
and Dan Marino have combined. We hear all these arguments that you
can't be considered a great player unless you win a championship, if that's
the case, what kind of player is Jeter?
When Jeter comes off the DL and gets the 6 hits needed to reach the
magical milestone, the critics will turn into chameleons and praise him
for being the ultimate Yankee and the perfect role model.
They'll go back to carving him up once he goes into a 1-for-26 slump.
That's just the way it is in this, what have you done for me lately, world.
People won't get a real appreciation for Jeter until he hangs up the cleats
up for good and the Yankees have to find a shortstop who is half as good
as the captain was.