Thursday, February 20, 2014
Posted by el duque at 7:30 AM
But I dunno if I can take it either.
Listen: This is not about Jeter. He seems to have the right perspective about his place in baseball and maybe the universe. But it's quite clear that the nation's sporting media never will. If every time Jeter speaks about life after baseball, the assembled Gammonites must weep into their keyboards, as they did yesterday, none of us will escape 2014 without a tick of Tourette's.
Again, the problem is not with Jeter. The problem is with the story, which is to say there is none. There is no plot, no character arc, no development. You simply have a player who has given his life to the Yankees, made a boatload of money, screwed a small city's population of supermodels, and still avoided scandals in the most scandalizing place in the world, who is trying to retire in the most graceful way possible, but it won't be easy, because we're going to re-live this non-story 1,000 times between now and October, and we just finished a similar one with Mariano, and dammit, I dunno if I can take it.
There are short stories, and there are novels, and there are screenplays and there are verses sung around campfires by the ghost of Harry Chapin - there are many ways to tell a tale - but every one requires a plot and a character, and the Jeter story - folks - has neither. It's not his fault. He has kept his dignity for 20 years, and he is desperately trying to hold it for one more. We are sad to see him go, and we won't see another one like him in our lifetimes. We hope he finds the happiness in retirement that he gave us as a player. But, friends, that's all there is to say about Derek Jeter, and we're going to have to hear it repeated endlessly, while tears the size of paint balls are raining down from the press box.
It's going to be a long, brutal year. Odds are, the next time you hear that Derek Jeter is hitting .320 and fielding his SS position for the Yankees, you will have Alzheimer's.
I dunno if I can take this.