Monday, September 15, 2014

5 comments The Idea of Derek Jeter Not Being in the Playoffs During His Final Season Sends Kevin Kernan Into an Emo-Depression

There has been a lot of gritting of teeth and overall sadness among sportswriters that the 2014 season is Derek Jeter's last season. There has been a lot of commenting about how the game won't find another anti-PED face of baseball, the Yankee dynasty is over, and various other complaints about how baseball will never be the same again until it is the same again. Kevin Kernan takes a different approach. He tries a little emo-whining about how it JUST CAN'T end like this for Derek Jeter. It's not possible (kicks a wall), it's not fair (grits his teeth while fighting back tears) and this just can't be the end (puts on a Cure shirt and lights up a cheap cigarette while smoking silently on the curb).


It can’t end like this for Derek Jeter.

IT CAN'T! This isn't right.

Why God, why???????

The way the Yankees are playing, there will be no October in Jeter’s final season.

Cancel the upcoming MLB season. It's bad enough Jeter isn't playing baseball for the Yankees anymore after this season, but for Jeter to not make the playoffs in his last season? It's like God has punched Kevin Kernan in the balls and then torn up all the Derek Jeter posters that line the poorly-lit room that no one knows about behind Kernan's study, which has a bookcase sitting in front of it in order to block anyone from seeing there is a false wall there. It feels not good, like all of Kernan's dreams have been cruelly mocked.

The Yankees have lost four straight heading into Friday night’s game against the Rays at Tropicana Field. In those losses, they’ve managed to score seven runs.

Derek Jeter was 2 for 16 in those four games with two strikeouts and zero walks. I can't imagine how it could be partly his fault the Yankees had lost four straight games. It can't end like this. Jeter's teammates need to pick him up and help him make one last postseason. How can they let Jeter down like this while he's out there grinding and having the worst statistical year of his career? IT CAN'T END LIKE THIS! Kevin Kernan craves more Jeter mediocrity.

They are the world’s most expensive mediocre baseball team.

Led by their mediocre hitting shortstop who Kernan is bemoaning won't get an opportunity to play in one last postseason. Of course, through this entire article where Kernan bemoans how the Yankees won't make one last playoffs with Jeter as the starting shortstop, at no point does he point to Jeter's own performance as a possible reason for this. The Jeter is to be praised, not criticized.

They are eight games back of the Orioles in the AL East, that race is over. In the watered-down wild card, the Yankees are 4 behind and must jump three teams to make it to the “survivor’’ version of playoff baseball.

And of course, where does the blame lie? With Jeter's teammates who aren't doing a good job of playing well enough to get Jeter into the postseason one last time. If this article were about the unfortunate nature of Jeter's career ending like it is ending statistically, it would make sense. Unfortunately, it's an article of emo-whining about what a great player Jeter is in the playoffs and how he needs one last chance to be the ultimate October (and November, don't forget November!) hero.

Jeter has played 16 Octobers and knows something about November baseball as well. October is his time. In his first five Octobers the Yankees won four World Series championships, and Jeter was the MVP of the 2000 World Series win over the Mets.

Much like a pro-Jack Morris for the Hall of Fame article, a "Derek Jeter is retiring" article has to have the same key elements every time. It must mention The Flip, it must mention how super-clutchy great he was in the World Series, it must mention what a great guy he is, must bemoan he is leaving as if his performance hasn't declined, and it must completely ignore saying anything negative about Jeter in any fashion.

Not that I expect an article about Jeter retiring to be negative throughout it's entire contents. Any "Chipper Jones is retiring" article left out his rendezvous with a Hooters waitress in Michigan, but at least that's an off-the-field thing, while any article on Jeter doesn't seem to contain the truth that it's probably good he's leaving after this year if his on-the-field performance is any indication.

The Captain is at his best in October, where he carries a lifetime .308 postseason batting average.

Yes, but unfortunately The Captain and his team have to play well enough during the regular season to be in the postseason.

The Flip was made on Oct. 13, 2001. No play better exemplifies Jeter’s winning approach, his creativeness and his ability to be in the right place at the right time.

What if Jeter was planning on creating The Flip 2 in the 2014 playoffs? THIS CAN'T BE ALL THERE IS!

Instead of The Flip, here in 2014, the Yankees are giving us The Flop.

They can’t stand up to the challenge.

The challenge of what? Making the playoffs? The challenge of supporting a shortstop who may have made a great baseball play 13 years ago, but is now just a singles hitter who doesn't hit as many singles as he used to? The Yankees didn't make the playoffs during Mariano Rivera's last season either. Somehow, the world continued turning.

At the age of 40, Jeter was supposed to go out the right way, playing October baseball and letting the chips fall where they may.

So many emotions. That's how Kevin Kernan feels right now. It's turning him into a sad little Derek Jeter fan-boy. Jeter was supposed to go out the right way, with his team being eliminated by a superior team in the Wild Card playoff (which I still hate) or during the ALDS. No other legend, unless you want to count the majority of Hall of Famers, went out not being at the top of their game and winning a World Series. Derek Jeter deserves better than the fate he laid out for himself by choosing to play one more season for the Yankees.

Yankees fans dreamed of him going out the way he came in — his first full season in 1996 — a champion.

Very astute observation by Kernan. Yankees fans dreamed of winning the World Series this year. This is very different from past seasons when they didn't care if the Yankees won the World Series or not.

The Steinbrenners put a fortune on the table this past offseason to try to bring the Yankees and Jeter one more October after the lost season of 2013.


Jeter has played in 158 postseason games, essentially another entire season, and has accumulated 650 at-bats and a nice round Jeterian number of hits, 200, and a .374 on-base percentage in the biggest games of them all.

I've never seen Jeter's statistics recited before. How come no other sportswriter has ever done this? But wait, there's more! Jeter isn't just about tangibles, he's also completely about intangibles. Those things you can't measure that he has more of than other baseball players. Those immeasurable attributes the sportswriters find a way to measure and explain Jeter has more of than others.

His game, though, always has been about heart and hustle and finding ways to win, not cold numbers. As he said last week, it’s not about “formula baseball,” it’s about winning.

Except, maybe not ironically, Jeter is all about winning and this entire column is written about how Jeter can't win enough to make the playoffs in his final year. So maybe Jeter is about the statistics he has put up and his team as a whole is about winning. But that's right, sportswriters manage to give Jeter credit for the Yankees winning games, but dismiss the idea any credit should be taken away from Jeter when the Yankees lose games. He's a winner, but this whole column is based on him not being enough of a winner this year to make the playoffs one last time.

It can’t end like this for Derek Jeter.


Jeter has been at his best in the ALDS, where he has a lifetime .343 average over 66 games. In seven World Series, he has hit .321.

Boy, for someone who doesn't think Jeter has always been about cold numbers, Kevin Kernan sure is reciting a lot of cold numbers that Jeter has accumulated through the years.

Will Jeter suffer the same fate as Mariano Rivera, who did not have one final October last season, when the Yankees finished third in the AL East?

If there is a God or any spiritual being watching over the world, then no, it will not end that way. By the way, Chipper Jones' career ended (partly) on an infield fly that was a routine Texas Leaguer to left field in a one game Wild Card playoff after the Braves had a better record over 162 games than the Cardinals (the team they were playing). I guess Jones was such a piece of shit and wasn't enough about winning that this doesn't really matter nor does it serve as evidence Hall of Famers don't always have their career end in fairly tale fashion.

Rivera had his long goodbye that night. He did not bother to pick up a baseball that final series in Houston.

It was over for Mo.

Exactly, Derek Jeter isn't above Mariano Rivera and there is no grand law that says Derek Jeter must be granted one last playoff appearance before he retires.

After Jeter played in just 17 games last season, this year was supposed to be different — with the addition of expensive bats of Jacoby Ellsbury, Brian McCann and Carlos Beltran, plus the monster signing of Masahiro Tanaka and the re-signing of Hiroki Kuroda. Brian Cashman spent $465 million on those parts.

Tanaka went down with an elbow injury and the punchless Yankees have managed to win just three more games than they have lost.

Tanaka was really, really good when he was healthy. Ellsbury hasn't been terrible. Otherwise, I think there is plenty of information that says signing players on the wrong side of 30 to long-term contracts isn't the most brilliant idea (McCann) and Carlos Beltran is 37 years old. Three years and $45 million for a 36 year old, how could that not work out?

I would also add once again that Derek Jeter isn't exactly hitting the cover off the ball and he's making $12 million this year.

The last October memory of Jeter is a painful one, his left ankle breaking as he screamed out on the infield dirt at Yankee Stadium. Jeter had to be carried off the field that night by trainer Steve Donohue and manager Joe Girardi in the 12th inning of Game 1 of the ALCS, a 6-4 loss to the Tigers.

Well, then don't remember Jeter's postseason career that way. Remember him as the guy who helped (and that's the key word, "helped") his team win five World Series. It's not hard, you just have to be less of a fan-boy about it.

That was Oct. 13, 2012. Exactly 11 years to the day of The Flip.

What symmetry! This must mean something! If not, let's make it mean something.

As Jeter was helped off, fans began to chant his name, making it the saddest of chants.

That is the final memory of Jeter and October baseball.

Would Kevin Kernan rather the final memory of Derek Jeter be him sitting in his dugout or standing on the edge of the railing in the dugout as the Yankees lose their final game in the playoffs? Would it better for that to be the final memory of Jeter in the postseason? I'm betting Kevin Kernan doesn't want Jeter's career to end, no matter what...well, unless Jeter's career ended with the Yankees winning the World Series.

It can’t end like this for Derek Jeter.

IT CAN'T END LIKE THIS! It isn't fair!

This article just felt like it was worthy of a gif-heavy post to me. A sportswriter acting like a fan-boy throwing a tantrum that Derek Jeter may end up retiring without making one last playoff appearance. One would think a professional writer would be above this, but Kevin Kernan proves me wrong. He states multiple times that "it can't end like this" referencing Derek Jeter. There has to be more to this article than some whiny fan-boy writing. This article can't end like this.


Chris said...

Kernan with this article would fit right in with the Goth kids on South Park. Every team that makes the playoffs this year are such conformists

Slag-King said...

The last October memory of Jeter is a painful one, his left ankle breaking as he screamed out on the infield dirt at Yankee Stadium.

This sentence is terrible! He broke his ankle because he screamed at the dirt?

Bengoodfella said...

Chris, that's one of my favorite episodes. Butters falls in love with a waitress at a Hooters knock-off and then owns the Goth kids when they mock him for crying.

Slag, the infield at Yankee Stadium is very angry and takes it's wrath out on Yankees players who dare to smite it with their own anger.

jkfan87 said...

Do people REALLY still write blogs these days? Even when it is clear that no one reads them? It'd be one thing if you had a following and actually made some money off it. Or thought that maybe you could make it a career. But that is obviously not the case.

Bengoodfella said...

JK, some people do it because it's fun and they enjoy it. It's not always about making money or making it a career. Thanks for the hate though...also isn't it interesting how you read my fucking blog and then talked about how no one reads blog....hmm...