Trying something new again with the Assorted Weekend Thoughts this week: it’ll come at you as a series of smaller posts on a mostly-single topic (i.e. what normally would have gone under one sub-heading), rather than one big slog through it all that I don’t publish until 4:45 PM. Let’s see how this works, shall we? (Yes, we’ll get to the call-ups).

I guess I should have something to say about the whole Derek Jeter farewell tour stuff, eh? It certainly was a central part of the weekend series, and an especially a central part of three rather excellent JaysTalk episodes on the Fan 590, as Mike Wilner tried — not so much by choice, but because every single person, it seemed, wanted to talk about it – to straddle the fine line between “I think Jeter is a clear, inarguable Hall of Famer” and “I don’t think Jeter is as good as everybody else seems to,” with some hilarious results.

Maybe not quite Pre-Taped Call-In Show hilarious, but I still got a kick out of it.

This really isn’t the space to have a lusty debate about Jeter’s legacy, but I’m generally with Wilner on the idea that Jeter’s accomplishments don’t quite stack up to the myth that’s been created around him — and, really, it’s the myth, and not the player that Mike is pushing back against. Everybody acknowledges that Jeter’s career has been really, really good — to not do so would be absurd. Saying, as Wilner did over the weekend, that he’d take Jose Bautista’s last five years over any five year sample of Jeter’s career is less absurd — per FanGraphs, Jose’s last five years have produced 25.9 WAR, while Jeter’s best (1998-2002) come in at 27.0, and by the Baseball Reference version of the metric Jeter leads 28.9 to 26.9 over the same spans — but it’s maybe still a little bit out there, even for those of us who agree with the basic point it’s attempting to serve.

What Mike spent most of his time railing against, though — at least before he had to start defending himself from the confused masses, always looking for space to take a pot shot, acting as if they thought he was running the great hero down — and rightly so, was just how over the top the multiple standing ovations Jeter received this weekend seemed.

Fans pay for tickets, they’re allowed to do what they want, but my first reaction was… um… holy fuck, people.

On reflection, though, maybe I get it. Almost.

The big spectacle of a farewell tour thing is relatively new — or at least relatively rare — so it’s maybe more difficult to gauge what might be an appropriate reaction than those of us up in arms over it tend to believe. Mariano Rivera pitched out of the bullpen, so obviously it’s hard to compare the ovations he received to the ones Jeter did. I don’t remember such fanfare when Cal Ripken Jr. played his final games here, even though he’d announced in June of 2001 that he was retiring, while someone like Paul Molitor — who would have deserved all that Jeter got and more from Jays fans — announced in December of 1998 that he was walking away, so Jays fans never had a chance to give him this sort of send off.

For a guy like Jeter, it doesn’t hurt that there were so many Yankees fans in attendance — as there always are — or that we’re so close to the Yankees stronghold in Western New York. Or that so many pre-1977 fans in this area had been Yankees fans. Shit, for what it’s worth, I said myself at the start of the weekend that it would be nice to see Jeter cheered a bit, rather than being showered with boos by Jays faithful for the sin of being the most recognizable name in the visiting dugout.

I imagine the fact that he is one of baseball’s few active household names has a lot to do with the reaction this weekend as well. It’s easy to bitterly say, “Well, if he wasn’t a Yankee it wouldn’t be like this,” or, “They wouldn’t do this for any other player,” but I think that’s actually the point. He’s a celebrity. He is what he is. And fans here probably wouldn’t do it for anyone else. Ortiz? Pedroia? Pujols? Cabrera? Felix? I doubt it. Not quite, at least.

So I don’t exactly think it’s going to lead to a new era of Jays fans welcoming opposing stars with open arms. It’s an exception. Though it certainly becomes an off-putting one when it seems as though going to the Rogers Centre is like a damn trip to the cottage for Yankees fans — a rustic building by the lake where they can feel comfortable in what should otherwise be a hostile environment — or when Derek Jeter of the New York fucking Yankees gets a better fucking reception on his farewell than Carlos goddamn Delgado got when he returned for the first time after being lowballed out of town. And it’s certainly weird when Rogers, with their awesomely kinda-shitty gift, seemed to really nail the more-appropriate thanks-for-nothing response (I mean… Jeter can buy Banff if he wants to, right?).

But I don’t know… if people want to be a part of something, and they think its appropriate to salute an opposing player as emphatically as they did… uh… maybe whatever?

Comments (91)

  1. do only Yankees get farewell tours? I hate clapping for other team’s players, except maybe their final game. Jeter is good, but his winning and rings make him great, winning can turn good players into legends.

    • Most players typically choose to retire in the off season, rather than at the start of their final. So a ‘tour’ isn’t usually an option. I think any great player would harness respect in similar fashion, even if they weren’t Yankees. There is also a Yankees fan presence in just about every MLB city though, which provides greater outpours…

  2. My question in regards to Jeters retirement tour is why did Rogers/Blue Jays give him a gift?

    I get it if you want to cheer him or even have a little salute to him on the big screen but why get him a gift? that part seems rediculous to me

    • yeah that kind of flies over my head as well.

    • All teams do. Or they are with Jeter and did with Rivera. At least I don’t think any other team has dared be an exception.

    • It’s a thing. It’s a dumb thing, but it’s a thing. And what the Jays gave him was no more or less craptastic than some of the other stuff. Cowboy boots? A tour of Napa Valley? Blechh.

    • It probably has to do with the negative fallout that would come with not getting him a gift.

      If, for some reason, they were the only team not to give him a parting gift there would be tons of (undeserved) backlash.

      That being said, I totally agree that the non-gift of a trip to Banff was a great idea

    • That really annoyed me every time it happened.

      It’s one thing to donate to charity in his name, but do we really need to give him a trip to Banff that he could afford with the change between his couch cushions?

    • I don’t mind the idea of a gift if it’s something thoughtful or creative, like some of the gifts to Rivera last year…the Twins’ rocking chair of broken bats or the Indians’ “Enter Sandman” gold record. While that vacation in Banff legitimately sounds awesome for you or I, it comes off as a bit generic. It’s also weird that every team the Yankees faced had to pony up for a gift. Maybe the AL East teams, sure, since they’ve faced Jeter so many times over the years, but why do the Royals or the Mariners or the NL teams have to bother with this charade?

      Wilner’s five-year sample argument is ludicrous. The whole point of Jeter was that he was awesomely consistent for so many years, not to mention delivering a good bat from shortstop. Also, Jeter’s best five-year sample tops Jose’s because Bautista spent a big piece of both 2012 and 2013 on the DL.

  3. It was, IMO, an embarrassing display. A nice polite standing O during his final at-bat ever, acknowledge a fine career, I could stomach that I guess, but the tongue bath Jeter got was a bit much.

    And yes, the fact that someone like Carlos Delgado got a much less enthusiastic greeting when he returned says something about this fan base (some portion of it, anyway) that creeps up in comments here too. I can’t quite put my finger on it, it’s hard to articulate, but it sucks.

    • You could argue that there are more Jeter fans in the City of Toronto than there are Delgado fans… Shouldn’t be surprising at all.

      • Not surprising, maybe, but still undeniably shitty.

        • True… To me, it stems from a fan base (certainly not all, but far too many) that is predominantly clueless about the sport. They’re the same fans that only show up to Red Sox/Yanks games, because those were the teams to beat throughout the 00s. They still think the O’s and Rays dwell at the bottom of the division, because that’s where order was the last time they actually tuned in to a season lol.

  4. My wife’s response: “He doesn’t even go here!”

  5. I don’t quite understand all the hand-wringing and navel gazing about the whole Jeter farewell tour and how he should be feted (or not). I completely agree that the myth of Jeter doesn’t jibe with Jeter the player but whether you like it or not, he has been the face of MLB for almost two decades. While you may not be a Yankees fan (I’m sure not), as a baseball fan it seems only appropriate to give the guy his due. I was at Sunday’s game and he received a polite reception during the pre-game ceremony, no more no less in my opinion. There was another standing ovation in his last at bat but that had more to do with the occasion than anything else. Top of the ninth, two outs with the tying run on third and up steps Captain “Clutch” (gag me) who promptly hit a soft liner to Tolleson for the final out. There was cheering during the at bat (I didn’t hear any Jeter chanting but it supposedly happened) but the loudest cheer came when he made the final out. Anyway, it seems much ado about nothing. Finally, I was also at Delgado’s first game back after being run out of town for making too much money. He received a very warm, heartfelt standing ovation before his first AB so I don’t get the unfavourable comparison.

  6. Ive said it many times, a nice farewall tour to Jeter would be throwing at him low and inside back to back at bats. How dare the toronto blue jays honour a player with gifts and congratulate him for destroying us year after year for the 15years+ .

  7. this why the toronto blue jays dont have an advantage when they play at home.
    they’re to soft.

  8. Hey does anyone know if MLBTV Premium is blacked out in Nova Scotia? I am wondering if it is worth buying for the rest of the year

  9. An inside source of mine was over heard saying
    “In my opinion throwing at Jeter even high ‘n’ up get him to duck from ‘sum hhaaigh heat’ then hit em in the ribs would get the toronto blue jokes all jacked up to make a playoff run, show some emotion for once”

  10. As much as I hate to admit it I partially agree with Wilner as well. I couldn’t even watch this series because the totally over the top Jeter love and circle jerking were unbearable. Even Howarth on the radio was unbearable. FFS Jeter is a baseball player not the guy who discovered penicillin. About 30,000 people at the game wanted to line up and suck Jeter off on homeplate.

    The Bautista comparison from Wilner is pretty damn stupid though. Jeter isn’t a superstar because of 5 good years, but rather because he was so consistent good over 15+ years.

  11. Missed all the Jeter Hooplah. Went up to revelstoke for a camping weekend and let me tell you there is some beautiful hiking up there.

    Jays won a couple games? Dope.

    Jeter probably has herpes.

  12. ryan dempster good ol Canadian boyy , showed Aroid who was ‘the boss’ upon his recent roid return.

  13. Maybe its because I’m old, but I do get the sentiment.

    I bought tickets for the weekend specifically because it was Jeter’s last trip in
    and; if I know its coming, will do the same for Miggy, Pujols, Ichiro; and,
    If I live long enough, Trout.

    I took part in the 1st AB standing O’s for each game
    and then cheered just as loud when we got him out.
    Did not applaud his 1st inning hit on Fri night..not during the game, son.

    The standing O was for the career.
    Cheering the out was for the game at hand.
    Seemed to me like most of the crowd had it figured out.

    It has been expressed by others, but maybe the point is valid.
    Maybe this whole tour thing is more of an MLB publicity initiative
    that Jeter is expected to support rather than anything he actually wants.
    So yeah, just enjoy the moment for what it is and let it go.

  14. [Garbage from a moron].

  15. Anyone who should be a lock first ballot hall of famer deserves what our fans gave to Jeter this weekend.

    I hate the Yankees as much as anyone (living in an area where NY is 2nd closest team & as soon as Phillies stink – everyone becomes Yankee fans), but I would cheer Jeter on his final game in Toronto if I was there

    • I think it’s because of the endless verbal fellating that has been going with Jeter this season that it has been incredibly anoying.

  16. On Jeter- you have to separate the baseball nerds from the rest of fans. Baseball nerds will look at WAR etc. and say he is not close to a Molitor for example. However, Jeter like him or hate him (I booed him every time he came to the plate including his last one), he has been one of the faces of baseball with tremendous crossover appeal. That is why we fuss over him. He’s not Bobby Orr certainly but a Wendel Clark or Cam Neely with much broader fan appeal because of where he played.

    • No, we don’t have to say utter horseshit about “nerds” and “fans.”

      • Its not an either\ or proposition. Sorry if I offended by using the term “nerd”. He’s a HOF’er and an icon, there is a difference. Maddux for all his accomplishments can’t hold a candle to Jeter’s legacy.

        • It’s not about the term itself, it’s about thinking in the terms of that phony dichotomy.

          That Maddux comment is nonsense.

    • you’re dumb, baseball “nerds” know he was fantastic player and is a no doubter hall of famer.

      No need to separate the 2.

  17. Full disclosure: I went to Cal Ripken Jr.’s last game in Toronto, and gave him a standing ovation during each at-bat. It’s the only time I’ve done so for an opposing player, and I’m fondly looking at the bobblehead from that game as I type this reply. I don’t know how things were in the preceding games, but in Ripken’s last game, I’m quite sure that the entire stadium stood and clapped during each of his at-bats.

    But in Cal’s case, he deserves his legendary status; Jeter, not so much. Jeter was indeed very, very good, but Ripken broke a record that was long believed unbreakable. Ripken is genuinely a baseball legend, but Jeter is more of a Yankee legend, and there’s the difference for me. Polite applause is all Jeter rates, and I think the over-the-top fellating of Jeter was driven largely by Yankee fans who came to Toronto from upstate New York.

    In Ripken’s case, we were applauding the record; in Jeter’s case, they were applauding the myth. In this sense, I think Wilner was 100% correct.

    • You’re talking about probably the two best shortstops of the past 100 years. I would porbably put CR ahead of Jeter, but Jeter is in the same conversation.

      • With all due respect, I think that Ozzie Smith, Barry Larkin, and even A-Rod (who would be ranked #1 by JAWS in the past century), have a legitimate claim to the position you’ve afforded Jeter:

        Again, this is part-and-parcel of the Derek Jeter myth, which makes a very good player seem like a legendary one.

        In non-partisan terms, it’s like saying that Joe Carter, while definitely a Blue Jays legend, isn’t quite a baseball legend. Due to his one incredible feat, Joe was believed to be far better than his numbers rated, and I’m sure there are Jays fans who think he was much better than he was. He’d definitely deserve a standing O if he came back to the SkyDome, but in other parks, polite applause is all he should expect.

        (It’s not an exact comparison, but illustrates how single events and team loyalty colour our attitudes about players; I think Jack Morris’ 1991 World Series as the basis for his Hall of Fame candidacy is also an apt display of this phenomenon).

        • I can’t exactly knock those names you’re throwing out there and will happily expand the conversation to include a few more names – Although I struggle to consider Arod a shortstop at this point.

          How about this: Jeter is one of the top 3 (maybe 5) offensive shortstops of all time and definitely no worse that top 10 overall…. And when you remove the people from the list who weren’t really Shortstops their whole career… well…. He’s in pretty elite company.

          • Most of them were team players enough to accept a move off of shortstop when they could no longer handle it defensively.

          • IMW – If I accept your premise (which isn’t totally unreasonable, though advanced metrics may or may not support it) that’s only part of the question. The follow-up questions would be, a) does that performance justify the fanfare? and b) would the other shortstops in this discussion warrant the same level of appreciation?

            To reduce it to a simple question: Do you think that Barry Larkin would have (or should have) received the same treatment during his last year?

            I think that most would answer no; and therein lies the effect of the Jeter mythos.

            • I gave him a standing O but it was for all the Herpes he’s spread. Quite an accomplishment from a very classy dude.

            • I think I’ve managed to misrepresent my position here. I absolutely think that the “Myth of Jeter” is way over the top and no representative of reality. I also absolutely think this whole retirement tour thing is over the top B.S….I just happen to ALSO ALSO think that Jeter is one of the best shortstops of all time.

  18. Fuck em. Glad he’s gone. But this “tour” BS was more from MLBs “holy fuck we can make a ton of money off of this shit” department, so I wont fault him for that. I’ll fault em cause he played his career for the Yanks, and, fuck the Yanks, therefore I dont like Jeter.

    The gift giving is a pain though. We should have given him an “un”gift. You know a gift thats not REALLY a gift. Like one of those gigantic parrots that live a hundred years, and caw and shit all the tine.

  19. It was Jeters consistency over his 20 year career that impressed me. His clutch-ness, oh and his world series rings. Thats why the fuss. Amazing player, although good to see him go as a jays fan…

  20. Does Wilner not have a fucking screener at Fan590? It was fucking nauseating to listen to that obnoxious debate, typical Wilner radio. His screener should have said ” we’ll talk about the awesome 1-hitter by Hutchison/Sanchez, or the great re-awakening of the dormant Jays HR bats, but we won’t talk about Jeter, AGAIN.” But no, same old shit for three games.

  21. That woman looks like melting wax.

  22. Was at the game with my 61 year old father – die hard Yankee and and Jeter fan. Nice moment. Sure. Nice for Dad. Sure. Over the top? Yup. I’ve been to probably 100 Yankee/Jays games in T.O. and NYC and I swear we have played .100 ball so you know what?? Fuck you Jeter. Nice pop out to end it Mr. Clutch. Sorry Dad – I didn’t feel bad. Fuck the fucking Yankmees.

  23. Jeter won 5 WS, seemingly without PEDs, slapping a woman or doing coke. He is liked by casual fans of opposing teams because of those factors, so who cares if a little mythology has emerged around him?

    It’s much less annoying than the Peyton Manning as the greatest QB of all time myth. Guy has a weak arm and performs poorly in the playoffs (often as the heavy favorite)

  24. I was at the game on Sunday and happy to see Jeter make a chip shot in the ninth for the final out. What a way to end a perfect day.
    In hind site if it only took a trip to Banff and 10K to get rid of him we should have ponied up 10 yrs. ago.

  25. Nailed it.

  26. Talk about WAR all you want baseball hipster nerds. The guy is a winner. A leader in the dressing room can’t be measured by your silly stats. They made a movie about the king of you douche bags (Billy Beane) and that nerd was beaten by Jeter. What’s the stat that accounts for the plays he made in that series?

    We’ll see how the Yankees do without him once he’s replaced by a shortstop with a better WAR. Play the game at a high level before you debate it you bearded fatties!

  27. I have always been a big Jeter fan, I agree that his legend is bigger than his reality but thats what you get when you play 150+ playoff games on good teams, you have so many chances to make a deciding play in which grants you eternal life (a la joe carter)

    What i dont like is this farewell tour, give him 1 loud applause, maybe on his last at bat but thats it.

    I dont see why a yankee should retire with a tour, gifts etc when there have been plenty of great players to just fade away in to the backround.

  28. Every sport needs a guy to wear the white hat, and when they find him they put him on a huge pedestal.

    But in Jeter’s case there is a ton of substance behind the myth, if you saw him in his true prime and you are a baseball fan you got to see a rare and elite talent.

    Don’t let his lack of range over the last 5 years fool you, he was once a very good shortstop (not a great one like Ozzie Smith but plenty good enough given his bat)

    • No, he was never a very good defensive shortstop. He had a couple really valuable years — four seasons above six WAR — but while that’s elite, it’s not crazy elite. Mike Trout has three of those years already. Barry Bonds had fifteen. A-Rod has ten. Frank Thomas had six and a 5.9 with pretty much only his bat providing the value. Larkin had three and a 5.9, which is probably closer to what we’re talking about with Jeter — and which is still great. It’s just the myth suggests he’s more like those other guys, and while WAR isn’t everything, it makes a very strong case that he’s not.

  29. The good news is he’ll be the last Yankee to do this for a long while

  30. People are idiots. He was like the face of baseball for how many years? Let the man live. He played the game right and was classy. Never a dick to people. Smh get over yourselves.

  31. Banff is fucking expensive I tired to buy it a while ago, and couldn’t quite swing it…

  32. Johnny Bench and Carl Yastrzemski retired the same year. Bench cheerfully did a farewell tour, and was honoured at every stop. That wasn’t Yastrzemski’s style, so nothing similar happened. But everyone was aware of it, everyone acknowledged it.

    It;’s not just Yankees. Jeter’s a pretty accomplished guy: all the championships, first shortstop in 100 years to get 3000 hits, etc etc

    • Being a short stop and playing short stop are too different things. He hasn’t been a passable short stop for 4 to 5 years now.

  33. Derek Jeter is 6th on the all time hits list. In the last 138 years, only 5 people have had more hits. I think that kind of accomplishment is worthy of a respectful standing O upon his retirement.

    • It’s a function of how many games he played, partly. I mean, yeah, he’s very good, but him moving up the all time hits leaderboard while continuing to be trotted out there as a replacement level shortstop isn’t exactly applause-worthy in my book. His career is, yes — one standing ovation, that is. Not, like, five huge ovations or whatever it was.

      • @Andrew
        Jeter’s got a 972 fielding percentage, which puts him 6th in the AL. Just because he’s not as good as we think he was in the past, doesn’t mean he is “replacement level.” Well, except for the five guys in front of him.

  34. The only cheering I’d ever do for a Yankee is when they get out. Fuck the Yankees

  35. Andrew, stop perpetrating the myth that Carlos got a less than great ovation when he returned here. I was there and people stood and cheered and he tipped his cap. It was awesome.

    • I was there too. There were some boos mixed in, but mostly you’re right about the first at-bat. Remember his second?

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