The Derek Jeter Farewell Tour has begun and is in full swing, which means the "Constant Updates about Derek Jeter on his Farewell Tour" has begun as well. This means never-ending updates on what Derek Jeter is doing, how he feels and whether his last meal in Houston as a member of the Yankees was memorable or just super-memorable. Today, Johnette Howard informs her readers that Derek Jeter has feelings and he isn't a superman, but just a typical man. I think maybe she and her media brethren who fawn over athletes such as Jeter for any little thing they do might be better served to heed this reminder as opposed to being the ones handing out this reminder. Jeter is just a master of hiding his feelings, no matter how many times these brainless sportswriters ask him about his feelings. These sportswriters like Johnette Howard want Derek Jeter to open up to them so badly, it's borderline pathetic. Just give us a tear Derek, just one tear!
knows full well a great swath of his legend is built upon the idea that
he's superhuman when it comes to shrugging off the feelings or pressure
that rock other players.
This legend was created and furthered by the national media, who feel the need to subscribe professional athletes the personal characteristics they feel these athletes should have, regardless of whether these personal characteristics are true or not. It's all about making sure the attributes the media wants that athlete to have are reflected in how the public sees that athlete. That's why the downfall of an athlete like Tiger Woods or Lance Armstrong is met with such vitriol and shock, because the attributes the media has subscribed to them are not seen as being true anymore. Armstrong is a cheat who dragged other people down in his efforts to continue cheating, while Tiger Woods isn't a family man who is dedicated to his lovely model wife. Woods' competitive nature apparently extended to off the golf course where he tried to have as many mistresses as possible, while Armstrong's competitive nature led him to using PED's. Those aren't the attributes the media had subscribed to these two athletes though.
So it was interesting that Jeter took great pains to make something
clear before he took the field Monday for his last Opening Day at Yankee
Derek Jeter stated something of substance! Quick, let's report on it and over analyze what he said!
He was asked twice about the assumption that the fanfare around his
season-long goodbye tour would be a pain, not a joy, for him. And it
seemed uncharacteristically important for Jeter to correct public
He's probably tired of being asked about it. I'm annoyed with all the stupid questions about whether he enjoys the fanfare so I can only imagine how he feels.
"The perception is wrong -- I will enjoy it," Jeter said. "Every city I
go to, every game I play, I will enjoy it. So what they think, how they
'think' I feel, they're wrong on that one. But at the same time, I get
the fact that I have to play a game,
Now Johnette Howard must immediately parse out what Jeter REALLY means in making this statement. Much like how Bob Klapisch took comments Jeter made about PED's in the way he wanted to perceive these comments in order to make Jeter an anti-PED's poster boy, Johnette Howard tells us what Jeter really means in order to inform us that Jeter has feelings and describe what Jeter is really meaning to say. Because, his comments can't just stand alone, they have to have a deeper meaning other than "I enjoy the farewell tour and will miss baseball."
It was Jeter's roundabout way of telling people not to underestimate how
much he loves baseball or how badly he's going to actually miss
playing, even if he hasn't yet wiped away a tear.
Oh, is that what he was saying? Because it sort of sounded like Jeter was saying, "People think they know how I feel but they are wrong. I try to focus on playing the game." The irony that Jeter's statement was basically saying other people think they know how he feels and Johnette Howard is currently stating that she knows how he feels is too much for me. Howard is parsing what Jeter was really saying by ignoring what Jeter was really saying and doing exactly what Jeter states "people" are doing. I might pass out from this irony.
He's smart enough to know that every day marks more steps in his long goodbye.
But Johnette Howard isn't smart enough to know that she's doing exactly what Derek Jeter has stated sportswriters tend to do by assuming they know how he feels.
It was the last first day of hearing the Bleacher Creatures call out his
name -- just a little louder than usual -- during roll call.
"The last first day." Not that this year is going to be interminable with the countdown to Jeter's final game or anything.
It was seeing Andy Pettitte, Jorge Posada and Mariano Rivera
walk out in street clothes for the ceremonial first pitch to honor him,
struck by the sight of him being the last of them still in uniform --
another reminder of the passage of time.
These are all things that Derek Jeter feels because this is how Johnette Howard would like to believe this is how Derek Jeter feels.
And it was the sight of Jeter at the pregame news conference microphone,
patiently listening to someone remind him how Joe Torre, his longest
big league manager, told him not to let success go to his head after he
had a terrific season and won his first World Series in their first
And Jeter did not let success go to his head. He upgraded the quality of the attractive brunette he dated and that's the only big change Jeter made after winning his first World Series. Well, there was also that whole situation where George Steinbrenner thought Jeter was staying out too late at the clubs and not focused enough on the Yankees, but that's to be forgotten during the farewell tour. Only good memories allowed.
Smirking a little now, Jeter cracked, "Well, the part of the story
you're missing is that I told him the same thing: 'We won a
championship, you had a great year managing. Don't screw it up after
Please Johnette Howard, translate what Jeter actually meant when he said this. We must know.
But Orioles manager Buck Showalter, the Yanks' manager the first year
Jeter arrived in the big leagues, put a lot into perspective before
Jeter went 1-for-4 in the Yankees' 4-2 win over Baltimore. Like current
Yankees manager Joe Girardi (who said, no, he didn't look at Jeter the
rookie way back when and just know he'd get 3,000 hits), Showalter
scoffed prior to Monday's game about "these scouts who say, 'I knew
exactly what he [Jeter] was going to be.'"
Buck Showalter looks like he scoffs at least 30 times per day, so I'm not sure this really means something.
But as for how Jeter did turn out, Showalter deadpanned, "We're excited to see him retire. Same as Mo." Was he happy to be here for such a memorable occasion?
No, he's not happy at all. "Fuck Derek Jeter," says Buck Showalter. Showalter has no interest in being there for this occasion. Great question. This reader feels more informed.
Another Showalter wisecrack: "I'd rather him not be playing today. I
mean, seriously. It's like your grandmother making you go out and get
switches to whip your own butt with."
Great point. My grandmother always shops for her own switches and would never trust me to go get a switch at Target that would be used to whip my own butt. I would just choose the Switch-o-matic 3001 which has the rubber grip but a soft coating around the actual part of the switch used to beat my ass. That switch is useless when it comes to teaching me a lesson.
And everyone laughed.
Heartily? Did everyone laugh heartily?
But Showalter's overarching point was an important one: To take for
granted that Jeter was always destined to become great ignores the rest.
So basically this entire column about Jeter having feelings is really about Johnette Howard wanting to do the typical cookie-cutter fluff piece on Jeter. Great.
It wasn't dumb luck that made Jeter great. Nor was it some total absence
of what Jeter called "nerves" or "butterflies" in the "wow moments" of
his career. Rather, Jeter emphasized Monday, it was that he felt all of
that, but "I hide it well."
WHAT DOES JETER REALLY MEAN BY THIS? TELL US JOHNETTE HOWARD!
"You know, I came up in a culture where you were never promised a job,"
Jeter reminded everybody. "We had to perform in order to keep our job.
Which differs from today's environment how again? I didn't realize baseball players, especially rookie prospects, were promised jobs without earning those jobs. I must have missed this happening.
That's the mindset that we had going into every season. ... If you
didn't do your job, The Boss would get rid of you. So every spring
training, every offseason, we trained and prepared.
Again, how is this different from today's game again? I must be missing something. Perhaps this is why Derek Jeter doesn't say much all the time, because if he did then what he did say would sound like the typical cliches coming from an athlete.
There are folks who wonder if a star as big as Jeter can really be as grounded as all that sounds. Him, have to win a job?
Jeter is talking about when he was a rookie, not talking about right now, you dipshit. Jeter wasn't a big star prior to his first season when he had to fight to win a job. It's like Johnette Howard isn't even listening to what Jeter is saying, probably because she KNOWS what Jeter really means.
Not invoking his superstar privilege Monday when confronted with
repeated questions about initially not running hard out of the box in
the fifth inning when a ball he hammered down the left-field line turned
out to be a double off the wall, not the home run he thought it was?
That's probably because the media didn't batter him into the ground for not hustling because they are too busy deciphering what he really means whenever he speaks and asking the same questions about how it feels to be retiring after this season.
Rather than preen like a sacred cow, Jeter instead acknowledged he
screwed up with a series of droll jokes -- each of them funnier than the
It seems Robinson Cano's downfall was that he didn't know any jokes. If he knew jokes, the New York media would have totally laid off him for not hustling every time ran to first base. Tell jokes, make the people happy so they lay off you. That's apparently the rule.
The best one? Responding to an unrelated question about whether it's
going to be awkward to see fans applaud him just for grounding into a
double play. Jeter circled back to the ribbing for having to leg out the
double and dryly cracked, "Maybe they were cheering for me hustling."
Oh Jetes, you kidder! Let's all have a good laugh, go get a drink and hope the 40,000th question about his retirement will get Derek Jeter to cry a little. THE SEASON DOESN'T END UNTIL THE JETER IS CRYING LIKE A BABY!
But Jeter has said self-deprecating things like that forever. And it's hard to fake being something you're not for 20 years.
Which is why Jeter is clearly a robot without feelings, despite Howard's protestations to the contrary. For 20 years Jeter has been an unemotional robot. It can't be an act. He must really be a robot who has no emotions. I'm just glad Johnette Howard has gotten to the bottom of this issue and this article wasn't just an excuse to write a fluff piece about Jeter.
Jeter has feelings, all right. And high personal standards.
Especially in women. If he wakes up one day looks at Minka Kelly, sees the beginning of fat around a thigh, then it's onto the next attractive brunette. The Jeter doesn't play around with bitches wearing cellulite. Cellulite is never in fashion.
Like those other Yankees icons, he has loved this ride. He will dearly miss this. He gets how special it's been.
Jeter doesn't even have to say this, Johnette Howard knows it's true because that's what she wants Jeter to say. Now cry, Jeter, cry and make Johnette Howard happy. It's all that's left to give the people, just one tear.
"Everybody's human," he said. "It's just ..."
Yeah, we know.
"I've got a job to do," he repeated.
I think what Jeter is really wanting to say is, "Stop asking me the same dumbass questions about whether I will miss baseball."
So even if this is his long goodbye, the takeaway Monday was this: Jeter is just determined not to let it become maudlin.
But even so, the media will be damned if they don't write the same "Jeter is going to miss baseball even though he won't say he will baseball" column that is just a cheap excuse to write a boring, by-the-numbers Jeter fluff piece.