Why can’t we all be a little more like Derek Jeter?

There are plenty of players throughout the years that have “slipped up” in front of the media. These comments and one liners are usually spoken out of true emotion. The latest blunder was made by New York Yankees newest acquisition Kevin Youkilis. It is still tough for me personally, as a lifetime Yankees fan, to imagine Youkilis in Yankee Pinstripes. Well, unfortunately that imagination will become a reality this April. Upon his arrival to spring training, Youkilis made it very clear where his heart still lies. Youkilis said, “I’ll always be a Red Sock.” My initial reaction was woahhh buddy what are you saying, but when I took the time to think about it, I realized that no one ever confused Youkilis with a rocket scientist. Listen Kevin(I’m not calling you Yoouuukkk), in reality you might feel that way in your heart, but you’ve been in the league long enough to know how this works. You need to talk to writers, reporters, and fans as if you are a politician. You need to answer questions without really saying anything. Reporters and fans alike love guys who are honest and speak the truth. It’s like giving them free ammunition for an empty gun. However, it usually ends poorly when a player says what’s really on his mind. Now, I know it’s a catch twenty-two when it comes to talking to the media, but Kevin needs to be smarter.

Every athlete in the world, not just baseball players, should take lessons from Derek Jeter. Think about it, have you ever heard Derek Jeter say something out of bounds? Has Mr. November ever been in hot water over a controversial comment? The answer is an emphatic NO. The other day, I heard a fan call-in to a radio show and suggest that Derek Jeter would have said the same exact thing if he signed with the Boston Red Sox. The host of the show quickly interjected and needless to say that was the end of that phone call. People like that anger me so much that I actually had to pull over to the side of the road while I was driving. Derek Jeter will NEVER wear any other uniform besides a Yankees uniform. For argument’s sake though, let’s just say that he got traded to or signed with the Red Sox. That doesn’t mean he is all of a sudden going to start talking out of his rear end. Everyone knows Derek Jeter is a Yankee for life, that goes without saying. But if somehow he found himself wearing the enemy’s colors, he wouldn’t be so brainless as to say that in his heart he’ll always bleed Yankees blue and white. He’s too smart. He’s too savvy. We should all take lessons from Derek. Another thing I love about Derek Jeter is his loyalty to his team. It is rare to see a ball player stay with the same team throughout their entire career. I think baseball needs more of that. Baseball needs more of the Barry Larkin’s, the Craig Biggio’s, and the Cal Ripken Jr’s. Free agency and the growth of players’ salaries has caused players to chase money rather than stay loyal to the team that drafted them. It’s really a shame that baseball is strictly a business, but it makes you appreciate the Derek Jeter’s and Mariano Rivera’s of the world even more. Now, in Youkilis’ situation he was traded and then signed with a team that had a need for him. It’s not like he chose to leave Boston to sign with the Yankees(only Johnny Damon was smart enough to do that). Youkilis is still not off the hook for putting his foot in his mouth, but at least we know he’s not a traitor. From a strictly baseball perspective Youkilis fills a need for the Yankees. With Alex Rodriguez caught up in whatever it is he’s caught up in and his injury, Youkilis should serve the Yankees well at 3rd base. His offensive production has slipped since the end of the 2010 season, but we all saw what a change of scenery did for him last season. I think he’ll give it his all out there on the diamond, but I’m still not calling him Yoouuukkk.

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5 thoughts on “Why can’t we all be a little more like Derek Jeter?

  1. Well hold on there just a minute son! Derek Jeter is not someone to idolize because of what he would or wouldn’t say. You present a hypothetical about him being traded to the “enemy” and what he would “never” say. All I have to say is- Never say never! You have no idea what he would or wouldn’t do. Just because YouuuuuuK said he was a Red “Sock” forever ( and demonstrated “loyalty” ) doesn’t mean that he won’t give his all as a Yankee. He has way too much class for that. The trade is not what he wanted but of course he has no choice if the “Man” wants to trade him and he wants to continue to play baseball. There’s a difference between being honest and being a fake “politician”. I would rather have someone be honest than wear a fake smile and pretend they are something they are not. As the old adage goes “beware of the wolf in sheep’s clothing.” Remember this line in the Devil’s Advocate -“Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.” Matthew 7:15.

    • You are missing my point. I’m not blaming Youkilis for being a Yankee. He didn’t leave under his own volition, so I understand how he ended up on my team. I don’t like fake people either, but the MLB is not reality. There are different rules there. You need to watch what you say because the media is filled with piranhas. You are speaking as a biased Red Sox fan, not as an objective party. Thanks for the comment as always.

  2. Obviously you have missed my point. Who says I am a “biased Red Sox fan”? I’m just reracting to the fact that there should be honesty and integreity no matter what profession or calling you are in. And….while the media may be “piranhas” – what are you? The unmedia?! I’m just sayin’!!!!! Happy blogging! 🙂

  3. I agree that Jeter has never gotten into trouble and he is a hall of fame player, and that is coming from a Mets fan. Over the years he has gone from one of the players I hated the most to someone I respect and like to watch play; however I think we go a little overboard when talking about how loyal he is. The other guys we compare Jeter to in terms of loyalty(Larkin, Ripken, Biggio) did not play in an era(for most of their career at least) where free agency and mega-contracts were a huge thing. Towards the end of their careers they probably could have switched teams for a little more money, but they were not that good anymore. My point is that Jeter was lucky enough to be drafted by the Yankees, the team with the most money. Great players are not loyal anymore because rich teams(Yankees, Red Sox, Dodgers, Angels, Tigers, etc..) can offer so much more money then other teams, and players cannot turn down that money, especially when they will only have one, maybe two chances to get paid like that. Since Jeter started his career on one of these teams, no one has ever been able to outbid the Yankees for him. Is he loyal for signing a $181 million dollar contract with them, or signing an extension before last year that no other team would have given him? If the Yankees would have only offered him a one year deal for $5 million last year, and the Tigers offered him the contract for 3 years and $36million at his age, you bet your ass he’d be in Detroit. And if the Padres drafted him first instead of Phil Nevin(I think that’s right), he would have had a few great years for the Padres, and then signed a huge contract with the Yankees. The great, loyal, Derek Jeter would not have been loyal to San Diego. Albert Pujols was as loyal as they come, but when someone give you THAT much money, you have to jump ship. Before we tout peoples’ loyalty, I think we need to realize how chance and cirmumstances play into it as well. Jeter’s production has made the Yankees loyal to him over the years, not the other way around. Hopefully he comes back strong this year off injury and Youuukk plays well, because in that division, we could have 2 teams in NY near the bottom of the standings.

    • Well said Matt. I agree with you that it was chance that he was drafted by the Yankees, and yes Phil Nevin was the 1st pick in the MLB draft that year to the Houston Astros. However, I don’t think Jeter would have jumped ship if he didn’t get the contract he was looking for a couple of years ago. He think at that point he had already made up his mind he was going to finish his career with the Yankees. Look at Kevin Garnett. He won’t waive his no-trade clause, even to play for a contender, because he wants to finish his career as a Boston Celtic. It’s rare now a days but nice to see. Thanks for the comment as always.

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