Wednesday, July 16, 2014
Posted by el duque at 6:41 AM
There is nothing cheaper than a gift that turns out to be stolen property. Last night, that's what you gave the world, by handing Derek Jeter a "pipe shot" and then - inexcusably - talking about your great and noble generosity.
You gave Jeter nothing more than what he already has, a legacy.
Something you attempted to hijack.
Did you really expect baseball fans today to thank you?
After leaving the game, you said this: "I was going to give him a couple of pipe shots. I didn't know he was going to hit a double, though, or I might have changed my mind. I thought he'd line a single to right, or maybe a ground ball."
I believe I speak for the Yankiverse in saying: Go. To. Hell.
Have you, by chance, followed Jeter's career? If so, you'd know he's the consummate pro, grinding every pitch, running out every grounder. He didn't deserve to have someone play patsy - and then publicly crow about it.
Listen: As Jeter stepped to the plate, I loved how you stood off to the side and applauded. That's where it should have ended. Jeter didn't need a handout. But then... dear God... to tell everybody? Have you no shame? Have you no shame?
I am old enough to remember Denny McClain grooving a gopher ball to a fading Mickey Mantle, so the Mick could pass Jimmy Foxx on the all-time HR list. I hated McClain for that - hated him ever since, long after I made peace with the other players who ruined my life during the Horace Clarke era. (I even forgive the Hoss!) Great players do not need charity, or for the opposition to take a dive. It is the cheapest, most insincere form of magnanimity - to give someone what they already earned.
But OK, my bad... Last night, I broke my personal policy, which is to never watch the All Star Game. (I always end up shouting at the TV, when somebody interviews Bud Selig and asks - as a Fox pipsqueak did last night - for him to list his greatest achievements.) Last night, because of Jeter, I broke down and watched. I won't make that mistake again.
Yesterday, I found myself imagining Jeter's final dugout speech, when the moment comes to take the field for his final game. I was thinking it would be an epic rouser, straight from Game of Thrones, every phrase a show-stopping home run. Then I thought... nah. All Jeter would say is, "Come on, boys! Let's go out and give them a game!"
Last night, you didn't give him a game. For shame, sir. For shame.