Monday, September 22, 2014

Breaking Jeter: The Matt Lauer Interview

I find him hard to crack. Maybe he won’t until he’s played that last game and really breaks open and shares his emotions.”
- Matt Lauer, on interviewing Derek Jeter -

First, Mr. Jeter, thanks for stopping by. We’re all huge fans here at NBC, and it’s an honor to have you. Can I call you Derek?

Thank you. You know, I was reading up about you - so much has been written and said - and I learned that you’ve never been thrown out of a major league baseball game. Not one. That speaks to how you respect the sport, and it’s one of the reasons why you’re such a great role model. Still, I was wondering, didn’t you ever feel a need to argue with the umpires?

Yes, I understand they won’t reverse a call. But I shouldn’t you, as the Yankee captain, protest a call, at least once? For twenty years, the umps were always right? You never saw fit to speak out? Were you scared of them? Or were you above it? I say this respectfully, but were you just too high and mighty to get thrown out of a game?

No need to be defensive. Whatever your reasons, that’s fine. So... when the umps blew a call, you just decided to sit back and take it? You figured, “It doesn’t matter. I’ll get paid, anyway. If I just keep my mouth shut, everybody will admire me, and when I retire, they’ll shower me with gifts.” Is that what you thought?

Well, whatever you thought, it worked. This season, opposing teams lavished gifts upon you. The Angels gave you a paddleboard. The Astros gave you a pair of pinstriped cowboy boots. Do you ever wear them? When you’re sitting around the mansion, do you ever pretend that you’re a cowboy? Do you prance around, wearing chaps and pantaloons, and rope an imaginary steer? No? Of course, you don’t. What was I thinking? You couldn’t care less about their gifts. Just more crap for the yard sale, right? More trash for the bin! Did you throw your special boots into the dumpster, along with the paddleboard?

Yes, we will edit this interview. But, frankly, that’s not your business. Excuse me - EXCUSE ME FOR INTERRUPTING - but I guess we are quite pleased with ourselves, aren’t we? “Look at me, everybody! I’m Captain of the Yankees! I own a pair of special cowboy boots!” But you didn’t care enough to argue one single call, not one!

No, you just figured that if you respect the umps, avoid scandal and hustle out routine grounders, you’d never have to answer any questions. Nobody would care. Everyone knows how Derek Jeter always runs out routine grounders. Oh, he’s perfect! But maybe this isn’t about hustling out grounders, Derek. Have you thought of that? Maybe people don’t care if you hustle out routine grounders. When you hit a routine grounder, you’re out. Did you think of that before you hit it?

No, we’re not stopping the interview. This isn’t a game, where you can call time-out. I’m not Bryant Gumbel. The cameras are rolling. We’re wasting valuable electricity. Sit down.
You never grew a beard! You supported the Yankees’ ban on facial hair. You didn’t stand up for any teammate, not one, with a mustache. Oh, no, not you! Not the Captain. The Yankee ownership said, “SHAVE!” and you said, “HOW CLOSE, SIR!” Do you have a problem with self-expression? Do you hate freedom of choice? Oh, you’re clean-shaven, all right. No stubble on Derek Jeter’s chin. Everybody loves you. But who are you?

Stop sniveling, damn it! I don’t need another Ann Curry. OK… here, take this Kleenex. Now, I’m going to ask you one question, DEREK, and I want you to think very carefully before you give an answer. Take a deep breath. Ready?

Now... if you could be one "Star Wars" character, who would it be? And dammit, don’t say “Hans Solo,” because everybody does! What? You don't know? That’s it! CUT HIS MIKE, EDDIE. WE'RE DONE. JETER... YER OUT!


KD said...

Creepy Matt Lauer is a Cano fan, obviously.

John M said...

Jeter has been a hell of a player, but he's always been an incredibly boring interview.

I wonder if any of those girls who got the morning-after gift baskets have anything to say about what a sterling gentleman he is, a role model for all mankind. I wonder if the high-profile, beautiful actresses he's dumped over the years think he's just the best thing since sliced bread walked on water. You know, the ones he cut off like they had leprosy when they did or said something he didn't like, never to speak to them again.

The wife thinks he's actually an android with amazingly lifelike human appearance. She may be right.

But 'the flip,' and that dive into the seats, and those clutch inside-out hits to right, the ballet move throwing from deep in the hole...nice stuff. A great player, but scant evidence of being a great human being, which is what the press, MLB and their minions keep pounding at us. On the other hand, he's definitely no A-Rod, which is something to be thankful for these days.

KD said...

John, if you were here, I'd point at you and do that creepy high pitched scream that we Yankee pod people do when we see regular folks.

Alphonso said...

Geez, I hope he doesn't throw out those cowboy boots. I could use them, big time.

What size shoe does he wear?