Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Higher standard

So, I was talking about how we put celebrities on pedestals - and how I think one particular celebrity is perfect. I've often said that Jeter has never done anything to let me down - he carries himself with such class that I can't help admire and respect him. In fact, I said as much in a comment on this blog, and was quoted in this article.

But I have to admit, his reaction to the Jorge Posada situation last week sort of disappointed me.

I'm not an athlete (which is undoubtedly the biggest understatement you'll probably ever see on this blog), so I can't relate to a team mentality, or what it feels like to be the captain, or how it feels to have your role on a team diminished. I don't know what it's like to be in the club house, or understand the bond that's formed after playing with someone for 15 years.

I may not know any of that - but I sure know what a temper tantrum looks like. Posada behaved the way I did as a child, when I didn't get the doll I wanted at my friends house; he stamped his foot, and said he wanted to go home. That's not cool - it's not cool to the fans, to the management, or to his teammates

To his credit, Posada realized that, and apologized. I feel like Jeter should have left it at that - maybe said that he understood how Jorge felt, that things haven't been falling into place, but that he respected the offer of an apology, and that he thinks the team is ready to move on. Period.

Usually, Jeter seems prepared for this sort of thing. It's not as though he doesn't know when he'll be asked about something - it's pretty predictable. Usually, he seems ready. I suspect he has someone (or several someones) who draft a response, so he has an idea of what to say - and what to avoid saying.

But not this time; this time, it was more raw, more emotional. Maybe because, as was pointed out to me in a bar the other night - Derek knows that this will be him soon. He'll start moving down the lineup, and his role will be diminished.

I suppose we're all guilty of that - we let something get too personal, and react emotionally instead of rationally. Work is work - but everyone has their limits.

People will say it's not fair to hold Jeter to a higher standard  than the rest of us. He is, after all, just a guy. But the thing is - he's not just a guy to me. Like I said in my comment - Jeter is everything that's good about baseball. He's the class we all want to see, that's missing from the game.

Do I hold Jeter to a higher standard? Yes. Is that fair? Maybe not. But it works both ways. If he wants the admiration and respect - he has to keep up the image that earned it in the first place. The Jeter I know (and love) would agree.


  1. What Jorge is REALLY mad about is that Minka has all but eliminated his special "batting practice time" with 3.

  2. Mr. Dark Side!! I think you're right. But isn't that what Cameron Diaz is for?

  3. Aging professional athletes... the ultimate double-edge sword. On the one hand, the fire and competitiveness help them compete, year in and out, on a high level. But too mny fighters stay in the ring too long. I think Mike Schmidt set the gold standard for All-Stars knowing when to hang it up: he realized his skills had diminished and quit during a mid-season homestand. I like Jeter, too. But he's not immune to the entitlement and self-denial that comes with being a HOFer.