Jeter…All-Star ridiculousness…

One word…nauseating.  Granted, I did not watch every second of this game.  Skimmed through it pretty good.  I actually watch the introductions though.  It’s kind of cool to see guys like Josh Harrison, Tony Watson and Charlie Blackmon get to take some bows among the greatest players in the game.  Cuz they had absolutely no business being there.  Story for a different day though.

Nope, this post is about our boy Jetes.  Now, full disclaimer…I am a Red Sox fan…haha, yeah, you had no idea.  And I will also preface this whole thing by saying that I do recognize Jetes as being a great player over a long period of time.  Certainly deserving of many of the accolades that come his way.  I do respect him.  But let’s cut it out with “the Captain of Baseball” crap everyone was saying.  Jetes and Jason Varitek are two of the most overrated players in the history of baseball.  The way they still talk in Boston about how Varitek “called a great game” in his day still makes me violently ill.  Please.  Had nothing to do with the fact that he caught Pedro, Schill, Beckett, D-Lowe, Lester, etc…with regularity.  Always loved when he got praised after great games, but when Buchholz sucked the year after his no-hitter, it was always “Bucky partied too much”.  Always got credit, never the blame.  Ok, off track…

As for Jeter, couldn’t get enough of him Tuesday night.  I have no problem with him being at the All-Star game at all.  In all seriousness, look at the shortstop crop in the AL this year anyway.  Maybe Alexei Ramirez starts, but he is no great shakes.  Erick Aybar makes the team?  Yikes.  Maybe if Stephen Drew is doing what he did last year and wasn’t hitting about a buck-forty, he makes it.  Double yikes!!  So Jetes actually had a legit case to start anyway.  That is, if he could actually play SS anymore.  Hasn’t had range in years…despite all the Gold Gloves.  And of course he almost makes a great play right off the bat.  That’s where his rep comes in…he always did elevate his game when the lights were the brightest.  More on that later…

But Jeter making the start, leading off and some hoopla?  Of course!  And who gives a rat’s arse that Wainwright grooved pitches to him so he got a hit?  That’s what you do in these exhibitions.  Whoops…this isn’t really an exhibition…this time it counts.  What a joke.  If it counts, why are the aforementioned stiffs getting into the game, no less getting multiple at-bats?  Why are we running as many guys out there as we can?  Etc.  Just a dumb idea to have this game count.  But that’s the kind of stuff you do at All-Star games.  Celebrate great players.

Make no mistake.  Jeter was fortunate as well.  What happens if he gets drafted by any other team?  Especially a smaller market team?  Does he have the same career?  OK, you could probably say that about many players.  But the fact is, he came up through a legendary organization that contends way more years than not.  A club that spends money.  He has been surrounded his whole career by perennial All-Stars and numerous Hall of Famers.  Are we even talking about Derek Jeter if he toils for the San Diego Padres his whole career?  Again, this may be unfair to speak of, because again, the fact is, he played for the Yankees and “it is what it is”.  But let’s not dismiss the environment.

As I said above, Jetes saved his best moments for when the lights were brightest.  That of course is the sign of a big-time player, I wholeheartedly acknowledge this.  But it’s pretty easy to do, since he was in the playoffs every year.  If he’s not surrounded by the talent he has always been surrounded by, the Yanks don’t always make the playoffs and his legend diminishes a bit.

Let’s look at some of his historic plays as well.  Two stand out in my mind…probably cuz I keep hearing and seeing the damn things.  The first was July 1, 2004, the game that greased the skids for Nomar’s exit from Boston.  In a pretty big game (for the regular season), an intense one anyway, Nomar sat…didn’t even pinch hit.  While Jetes bloodied his face diving in the stands to snare a foul pop up.  Sure it was a great play.  But to this day, it is probably overrated because his supposedly equal or better counterpart actually sat himself down in a game against a bitter rival.  THAT was what made the story.  My recollection is (though it could be a bit fuzzy) is that Pokey Reese made a couple of great plays that game as well.  But Pokey is no Jetes, so that part didn’t matter.

Second historic play?  Game 3, 2001 ALDS against Oakland.  Jetes is backing up way over near the first base line and tosses a backhand flip to the plate to nail Jeremy Giambi, who would be the tying run.  Give Jeter the credit for being in a good position to make a play.  His instincts took over and he made an accurate toss and an admittedly great play.  But if Giambi slides, he is safe.  Why did he not slide?  No idea.  Pretty obvious case.  Especially when the on deck hitter is right in front of you telling you to hit the deck.  If Giambi slides, are we even still talking about this play?  Of course not.  Giambi’s idiocy was more of a factor in that play than Jeter’s positioning and toss.  Simple as that.  Enough of that one please.

Couple thoughts about him getting praise about “what he has done for the game” and his leadership.  What exactly has he done “for the game”?  Showed up to play every day?  Not to get caught juicing (everybody cheats somehow!)?  Hugged some babies in the stands?  What has he exactly contributed to the game, besides being a great player?  Help me understand that.  I guess the best thing we can say about him is that he never got in trouble off the field (that we know of), like many of his clown teammates.  And that he seemingly acted professional around the game.  Some probably give him extra credit for all the hot chicks he has toted around too…

As for leadership, and coincidentally “clown teammates”, if jeter was really the leader everyone claims him to be, he would have moved positions when that fraud Alex Rodriguez came to town.  Juice or no juice, A-Rod was an infinitely better shortstop than Jetes, there is no debate about that.  It would have been better for the team if A-Rod played short and Jeter played somewhere else.  But “the Captain” would have none of that.

Bottom line, a little too much of the whole Jeter thing Tuesday night.  Surprised he didn’t win MVP.  Or get to hit in the Home Run Derby on Monday.  A little disheartening to see all of that and have no mention of another 15 time All-Star who left us too early several weeks ago…Tony Gwynn.  With all of this pageantry, I cannot wait to see what the next 3 months bring across Major League Baseball.  At least hopefully the Yankees will be out of it…





About mpdenton

I am a passionate and life long fan of the local teams...and by local I mean New England. I remember the days of Ray Bourque, Larry Bird, Steve Grogan and Wade Boggs...meaning I have lived the highs and lows of the Boston sports scene. With all this pent up Boston sports emotion, I clearly have a lot to say about the local teams and sometimes about sports in general. Maybe even the Revolution... I appreciate you reading my blog and hope you enjoy my rants.

Posted on July 17, 2014, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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