LADY AT THE BAT: Derek Jeter: Power Hitter

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Derek Jeter: Power Hitter

Years ago I watched a TV sports report about Alex Rodriguez. I remember seeing Derek Jeter in the piece, making a comment about his then best friend: "I envy his power." Jeter was talking about A-Rod's home-run power, of course. He may envy that, but Jeter has power of his own. I'm not talking about his clutch performance on the field or his leadership as Yankee Captain, although these have contributed to it. I'm talking about the power to prevent being challenged.

Whenever the Jeter & A-Rod Saga rears its ugly head, the members of the media ask the same question, to each other and to themselves:

"Jeter publicly supported both Chuck Knoblauch and Jason Giambi when each was going through his problems and being booed by the fans. Why doesn't he do it for A-Rod?"

We've all read the quotes and seen the clips of Jeter saying that he can't tell the fans what to do in regards to A-Rod. However, we haven't heard this question from the media:

"You did it for Chuck Knoblauch and Jason Giambi. Why is it so different for A-Rod?"

We don't hear the media challenging Jeter by asking this question:

"Shouldn't you be the Captain to all your teammates, not just to the ones you pick and choose?"

Now, maybe I'm wrong. Maybe Jeter has been asked these questions and I was just under a rock at the time. However, I don't think so. I hear the media asking these questions out loud on the air and I see them in print. Each time I see/hear them, I ask myself, Did you ask Jeter these questions?

What are they all afraid of? That the Yankees will have them barred from the Yankee Clubhouse? That they'll be fired (if they work for the Yes Network)? Possibly. Just this week Yankee Announcer Michael Kay said on his radio show that Chad Curtis' career with the Yankees ended because he publicly admonished Jeter for not joining a Yankees-Mariners brawl, choosing instead to stand off to the side with A-Rod, where the two of them laughed at the goings-on.

I know that when you've accomplished as much as Derek Jeter has you earn the right not to be challenged by the media. It just bothers me to think that the media might be backing down from challenging him out of fear. If it's true, it's not their fault, I guess. I couldn't blame them for wanting to avoid the unemployment lines. What I can blame them for, though, is even bothering to talk and write about these things at all if they can't follow-up by contacting Jeter. Don't whet my appetite if you can't feed me. It's just not fair.

The Lady

No comments: