Let’s face it, he is one classy dude.
During the Friday night Boston Massacre, Red Sox starter Josh Beckett hit Jeter with a pitch. Several Yankee players took a step up in the dugout, glaring at the Boston pitcher. Jeter? He shrugged it off completely, showing his free flowing and easy going knowledge of the game with a simple explanation; “Nobody’s going to hit you with the bases loaded,’’ said Jeter. “Especially after I’d had so much success [two strikeouts and a ground out] earlier.’’
No drama, no fuss, nothing to see here folks, move along. Jeter should consider a political career, you know, if he ever hangs up his cleats. Did you notice when Bill Hall slid in to second to break up a double play in the same game, Jeter danced out of his way and then patted him on the back as he popped up out of his slide. He said something, they laughed, and the game moved on without incident.
It isn’t just his actions around the diamond.
How incredible is it that a rich, eligible, high profile bachelor like himself, existing in the often insane media circus that is New York has left not one shred, not one tiny morsel of a crumb of evidence of anything other than exemplary behaviour? Nothing. He is the anti Ben Rothlisberger.
Type the words ‘Derek Jeter controversy’ into Google. Nothing. Nada. Zilch. Try a Google image search with the same three words. Absolutely nothing. The acid test as far as any athlete is concerned is the following. Enter ‘Derek Jeter drunk’ in a Google image search. Nothing at all of consequence. Now try the same with Josh Hamilton. Cue endless pictures of the Rangers slugger cavorting with semi clad teens in a collection of various bars and parties. Try the same with Ben Rothlisberger, and your computer will explode.
Derek Jeter either has the most efficient, amazing Bag Man at his side, of all time, or he basically is as ‘clean’ as he looks. It is not just in the high profile, high energy New York market that Jeter manages to carry himself with such grace. On the diamond, he is a classy and respectful competitor. He plays the game the way it was meant to be played.
What is most interesting of all, Derek Jeter plays for the Red Sox greatest and most hated rival, and yet the vast majority of Red Sox fans would have to admit, they would love to see him patrol the hallowed turf between third and second base at Fenway Park, not as a Yankee, but in the home whites.
Us lonely Red Sox fans are left to wonder when his current contract runs out..
As the Yankees look like they might run over the horizon with the Rays, far out of reach of the struggling Sox, all you can do in terms of Jeter and the player and individual that he is, is tip your cap, and say, ‘well done, Sir.’
Let’s face it, it’s what he would do.