Collectively as a professional fraternity, sports journalists seem to think they are an extremely bright and witty bunch. Whether engaging in snarky Twitter wars with perceived imbecile readers or not allowing comments on their pristine works of art (looking in your direction, Mike Lupica), they seem to sit high atop their soapbox completely invulnerable of public criticism and immersed in their superior infallibility.
However, Derek Jeter seems to have them scrambling for bold font letters whenever he says something outside of his stale vanilla routine. Yet he always ends up playing them like a fiddle.
Self-absorbed jerk and Lance Armstrong fanboy Rick Reilly recently sat down with the Yankee shortstop for a hokey segment titled “Hit and Miss” for ESPN. It’s basically a rapid-fire question-answer game of Reilly’s that’s supposed to conjure up revealing and unexpected responses.
Reilly zapped out the normal fluff that Jeter is used to, swatting it away until one question-and-answer exchange shook the world.
Reilly relayed to Jeter that “Peyton Manning changed teams this season after 14 seasons with one team. Could you see yourself doing that?"
"Well, if I wanted to keep playing, yes," Jeter replied. "It's a business. People forget that."
Of course, he’s right. Baseball, like every professional sport, is a ruthless business that circulates around cash money. But, we're supposed to actually believe that Mr. Yankee is going to play for another team?
First of all, Peyton Manning is a football player who controls a team’s entire offense. Jeter is one of eight other daily starters who bring different attributes to the game. Yet in Reilly’s defense, I see the correlation revolving around the veteran star with one lone solitary tenure angle.
Two years ago when Jeter was a “free agent," he said he was looking at other options if he and the Yanks couldn’t come to contract agreement. To no one’s surprise, it was all a ruse and Jeter signed again with the only home he’s ever known. And to make the fabrication more solid, it was reported that no teams contacted Jeter. Even he revealed he never even picked up the phone.
But the media has a short memory in certain aspects and decided to dangle a tempting morsel in our faces, hoping for blind bites.
All in all, Jeter knows what he’s doing. At the end of next season, he’ll be right back at the bargaining table with Brian Cashman and his money purveyors angling for a new deal. If Derek declares his undying and eternal commitment to the Bombers, the front office has him right where they want him: With absolutely no wiggle room.
Can't you just imagine the Cheshire cat grin on Cashman's face after hearing Jeter's undying love for everything with the Yankee brand from here to eternity?
It appears the delicate geniuses with their “Press” hats tried to pull the wool over our eyes as if we were dense. But in the end, all of us (minus the mouth-breathers) realize the sensational headlines about him wearing another uniform are a joke, including Jeter.
On Friday when hearing about the hoopla regarding his statement, Jeter once again captivated the media with words of wisdom.
“Man, you guys must be bored”
Derek, you would be too if you knew EVERYTHING.