Derek Jeter, iconic shortstop, is retiring. He had an emotional and narratively perfect final game at Yankee Stadium where he drove in the winning run in the 9th inning, largely because the Yankee's Mariano-less pen couldn't hold a three run lead, but who cares about the details? It was a lovely moment, precisely the sort of heart-warming Field-of-Dreams-esque narrative moment that baseball excels at in a way that no other sport does. Hell, I'm a total Derek Jeter agnostic - I think he was a great player, but I can't stand the hagiography, I think he kind of screwed A-Rod with the New York media, and nothing will ever convince me he could go to his left - and I thought it was pretty damn cool.
And then the nonsense started, because in the land of social media, there is absolutely nothing so important as getting your opinion on something out there, right now.1 So, in the interest of preserving the tiny shreds of something nice that remain, I would request that if you want to talk about:
- How Jeter's last game in Yankee Stadium was like the night Cal Ripken Jr. broke the all-time consecutive games streak
- How Jeter's last game in Yankee Stadium was way cooler than the night Cal Ripken Jr. broke the all-time consecutive games streak
- How Jeter's last game in Yankee Stadium was much less cool than the night Cal Ripken Jr. broke the all-time consecutive games streak
- How Jeter, like Cal Ripken, could have benefitted his team by sitting down more, changing positions sooner or doing other things that were not "playing shortstop"
- How Jeter really wasn't that good
- How Captain Jeets is the greatest player ever and don't you forget it
- How if Jeremy Giambi had just @#$W$#@ing slid, he would have been safe and that would have been one fewer World Series win for the Yankees, which would have totally changed the "Jeetah is a winnah" narrative beyond recognition
- How if Jeter had played for [insert non New York team name here], nobody would have cared about him
- How missing time with injuries kept Jeter from amassing the nearly 800 hits he needed to be the all-time leader and he coulda shoulda woulda
- How baseball is doomed without Derek Jeter as its "face"
Or anything else like that, please shut up now.
Enjoy the moment. A great player is leaving the stage in a way that feels fitting. A story is ending in a way that so few real-life stories do. There will be plenty of time for argument and debate and discussion and sports talk message board yowling and geshrying and moaning and animated gifs of Suzyn Waldman quotes taken out of context later.
For now, let's just watch. And listen. And enjoy.
1I am aware of the irony of blogging this sentiment. Shut up anyway.