Derek Jeter had two hits last night, giving him 2,996 for his career. It’s become somewhat of the snark du jour to mock the New York Yankees shortstop’s pursuit of the 3,000 hit milestone, but I think it’s time to get over ourselves.

Yes, Jeter plays for the New York Yankees, and anyone who has ever picked up a New York Post knows that when it comes to the Yankees, things have a tendency to get blown somewhat out of proportion. And yes, Jeter is a human being, and not as good of a player as he once was. And yes, he’s overpaid. And yes, he probably isn’t as deserving of starting the 82nd All-Star game as the other players for whom MLB fans voted. However, that shouldn’t justify our scorn.

I’m not suggesting that we all get Suzyn Waldman up in here (you can’t see it, but I’m pointing at my eyes right now and putting on a pouty face), but there’s nothing wrong with exhibiting a healthy dose of respect toward Jeter as one of the longer lasting and better shortstops of his era. As a star in New York, he’s done a remarkable job of handling his public persona both on the field and off.

Derek Jeter isn’t Alex Rodriguez. After almost sixteen years of baseball, the worst thing you can say about Jeter is that he once pretended to get hit by a pitch that didn’t actually hit him. And yet almost every fan base outside of New York reserves a special brand of vitriol for Jeter.

As a fan of another team in the same division as the Yankees, I hate the team more than most, and find myself cheering against them without much thought when I end up watching their games on television or on MLB.TV. It’s ingrained, involuntary at this point in my life. But I can still maintain my hatred of the greatest franchise in baseball history while cheering on a great player in his pursuit of a milestone that should guarantee him a spot in the Hall of Fame.

Instead of mockery or disdain for Jeter’s achievement, I feel somewhat privileged as a fan of the game to watch Jeter get to 3,000 hits. While Craig Biggio was close, Jeter is the first player whom I’ve been able to watch from the very beginning his career reach a milestone like this. I had an understanding of the game when Jeter started playing, and now, as Jeter reaches the twilight of his career, that understanding has evolved to the point where I can appreciate his contributions.

He’s about to become the 28th player in the history of the game to reach 3,000 hits and some people are acting as though it’s just the byproduct of having a long career. This is a major accomplishment, and it deserves to be celebrated as such.

And The Rest

I know it’s kind of lame, but I like the way that MLB has recognized its All-Stars on the back of their jerseys and caps.

The participants for the 2011 Home Run Derby have been announced. Rickie Weeks over Wily Mo Pena? Really, Prince Fielder?

It’s one thing to go to every ballpark in baseball, but it’s quite another to bike to every single one.

If Tim Flannery is the wind beneath Andres Torres’ wings, where was he last night when Torres was tagged out at the plate after a Chad Qualls wild pitch didn’t go quite as far as it may have been initially believed. This is Qualls, a milisecond before he spiked the baseball like it was a football after getting the out. Stay classy, Chad.

Buzz Bissinger thinks that there’s a deficit of heroes in sports today. Also, get off his lawn and stop playing that loud music.

Bruce Bochy lays some hate down on the haters.

The Florida Marlins took Mike Cameron off the Boston Red Sox hands.

Newsflash: Kevin Youkilis doesn’t like getting hit by pitches. Oh, does the widdle baby have a boo boo on his back?

Jason Bay hit two home runs last night, but let’s not get too crazy just yet.

I guess that if I called the Barry Bonds trial a waste of time and money, the same should hold true for the Roger Clemens trial. However, I just can’t feel that way.

I put this video up on Getting Blanked’s facebook page last night (just “like” it already), but here’s one of the better public service addresses against underage drinking:

Comments (12)

  1. “Sometimes it’s an accident and sometimes people throw at you for no reason.”

    Or sometimes people throw at you because you are standing on the plate.

  2. heh, I thought you were “cheering for Jeter” so he could get to 3k hits before coming to Toronto immediately after the ASG.

  3. There wouldn’t be a Clemens trial if he wasn’t so goddamn stupid. He basically pushed the government into indicting him. I don’t feel any sympathy for the guy.

  4. “While Craig Biggio came close, Jeter is the first player to reach a milestone like this, for whom I’ve been aware of throughout his career.” Want to rethink those prepositions? Someday when Travis Snider gets to 3,000 I’ll be very happy…

  5. Very awkward. How about…

    ‘Jeter is the first player to reach a milestone like this that I’ve been able to watch from the very beginning of their career.’

    I understand I have misused ‘that’ (and perhaps even ‘their’) but man does ‘that’ really take the akwardness out of it.

  6. I think his off the field accomplishments are far more impressive. He wrote the book on how to be a swinging bachelor.

    Unlike most celebrities/athletes that get married at a young age, then get in trouble in the press for having multiple indiscretions, Jeter basically slept with every hot starlet there was before settling down with the hottest cheerleader on television.

    Forget 3,000 hits, Jeter deserves the Arthur Fonzarelli Merit Badge.

  7. “As a fan of another team in the same division as the Yankees, I hate the team more than most, and find myself cheering against them without much thought when I end up watching their games on television or on MLB.TV. It’s ingrained, involuntary at this point in my life.”

    I went to Cooperstown on Monday and found I had an involuntary revulsion towards anything Yankee-related there. And there’s a whole lot of things Yankee-related there. It was otherwise a wonderful experience, and if my only issue was “Too much Yankees, not enough Jays”, I am hopeful that this issue will be resolved on my next visit.

  8. I think part of the Jeter problem is he’s so recognized because he is a Yankee. He wouldn’t have gotten to 3000 hits if he played for another team, say, the Astros. He also would not be a “lock” for the HOF if he played for a different team. That said, it is definitely quite an accomplishment.

  9. Booooooooooooooo

  10. My two favourite World Baseball Classic Moments involve Derek Jeter. (Note: This was a USA/Venezuela game. I couldn’t make USA/Canada)

    #1. Before the game, there was an introduction video. Video starts with “Hi, I’m Derek Jeter” So, those in attendance boo.

    #2. Jeter comes to bat, and some guy maybe 8 rows behind my brother and I screams (imagine thick New York accent) “Jeter, you’re number 1″. Calmly my brother turns around and say, “Actually, he’s #2″. The guy was so befuddled, he just mumbled something and skulked into his chair.

  11. I hate the Yankees, but I’ve never been able to hate Jeter….especially not now after the movie gods gave us “you shot Derek Jeter, he’s a biracial angel, you shoulda shot ARod!”.

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