LEGENDS FIELD, FL â€“ As rumor and innuendo swirled in the gusty wind with the odd peanut bag and empty soda cup, Derek Jeter finally looked tired. He looked human. Like DiMaggio kicking the dirt in that one shockingly uncharacteristic instance, todayâ€™s Joltinâ€™ Joe at last allowed his guard to drop, if only for a minute.
The Yankee Captain, the man whose #2 will one day be retired with all the greats before him and has made it a point to act with class and dignity while always maintaining as private a personal life as one can when they are the centerpiece of the most storied franchise in sports, playing on the worldâ€™s biggest stage. He rubbed his face and ran his hand over his head. That was his kick of the dirt; it was our glimpse of the person inside the baseball machine.
â€œItâ€™s always something.â€ he said, as if having some mini, yet therapeutic epiphany.
That something, of course, is Alexander Emmanuel Rodriquez, the man he stands next to at the office â€“ the man who became a third baseman just to have that privilege. They are simultaneously similar and different:
-They are both good-looking, star athletes yet only one is a winner.
-They are both well-paid but one will never live up to his monstrous contract while the otherâ€™s value can never be accurately assessed.
-They both date beautiful women but while one does it with decorum, one seemingly begs the spotlight.
-One is a divorced dad, the other remains single and gives the impression that once he does marry, it will be for keeps.
-Both are on the All-Century Team â€“ and a slew of other superlative sports’ lists. They are on many lists together.
And this is where we hope – for the sake of our pastime and our need for role models – that Derek Jeter and Alex Rodriquez differ yet again â€“ that List 103 omits baseballâ€™s ambassador. Take A-Rod. Take Ortiz. Take Schilling. Take anyone else but please… Just donâ€™t let it be Jeter. That’s all for today, please chime in below and watch for black cats.
Our thoughts are with those affected by the crash in Buffalo