Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Red Sox Jeter Tribute: Respect, Not Worship

There has been much discussion about the nature of the Red Sox tribute to the retiring Derek Jeter at the end of this month. Jeter—assuming The Evil Ones miss the post-season—will play his final game on Sunday, September 28th at Fenway Park. Charles ('The Mad Dentist') Steinberg is already concocting the gala tribute—although apparently it's still a work in progress. Some in the New York media are "warning" the Red Sox not to re-do the Mariano Rivera "roast" from a year ago. Hopefully, Dr. Charles (like us) doesn't give a crap what the New York media thinks. In any event, the Red Sox tribute should be respectful of one of the few Yankees who deserves respect. Jeter has always played the game right—and he is clearly a first-ballot Hall of Famer. Many of Jeter's achievements have been over-blown—the "dive" play being the most egregious. Boston's Pokey Reese made a much more daring catch in the stands—during the same game— and got no recognition. But, to be truthful, Jeter's "flip play" against the A’s in Game 3 of the 2001 American League Division Series, was truly iconic. So, why not bring back the other principal—former Red Sox player Jeremy Giambi—to re-enact the play at Fenway? This time, Giambi could slide in safely. This would honor Jeter's tremendous effort on the play, but also recognize that if Giambi did the right thing, the play is forgotten. Respectful, not worshipful.