Monday, February 8, 2016
Posted by el duque at 6:53 AM
The record shows Jeet hit .256 with 4 HRs, 50 RBIs and 10 stolen bases. He didn't cover ground but didn't flub easy grounders, either. As the season withered, and we fell out of contention for even the one-game Wild Card, Joe Girardi never once moved Jeter from his perch atop the batting order. The team never considered a replacement SS. They honored him all the way to the final game, even though - who knows? - a lineup with him batting eighth might have scored more runs. It was a respect thing, and now that it's over, I'm glad we did it. But at the time, we were not so happy. Jeter grounded into 15 double plays that year, and every one of them was a kick in the nuts. What were you going to do, boo?
Which brings us to the 2016 Boston Pre-Dynasty Superteam, which will spend the season honoring its gaptoothed, smiling World Ambassor of Peace and Love, David Ortiz. On opening day, Big Papi will bat third or fourth, and receive the loudest applause that Redsock fans can make with their piglike voiceboxes. And, as we are learning from the Boston media, this will be the year the Redsocks win the AL East and prove once and for all how smart the city is. (Thank you, Food Stamps Steinbrenner, for letting them get Yoan Moncada.) This is also the year they will say give Papi a proper goodbye.
Speaking on behalf of the Yankiverse, I say this:
Good luck with that, Boston. And welcome to our world.
Remember: If you're going to honor such a fine chap as Big Papi, he needs to be in the lineup every day. And an all-time beloved DH cannot bat seventh, eighth, or ninth. He needs to be in the middle of the action, up there with the Panda and Hanley Ramerez, who I hear is the new reincarnation of Lou Gehrig.
Last year, Papi - at age 39 - hit .273 with 37 HRs. He also hit into 16 DPs. I'm sure Boston would love such numbers to be repeated. We'll see.
Farewell seasons are great for ticket sales and memories and mournful tunes on a classical guitar. But the trouble with farewell seasons is that they last the whole season. Welcome to New York, Boston.