Sunday, September 7, 2014


I'm in agreement with Yahoo Sports guy Tim Brown for his piece about the honoring of Derek Jeter with a patch. Maybe it's not so weird that the team will be wearing the patch. But it's weird that Jeter will. That's not the Yankees style... it's not Jeter's either.

Tim Brown writes: "Have a day for him. Have a whole season for him. Sell his name, his story, in the team stores. Retire his number while he’s still wearing it (which apparently isn’t happening). Hoist a plaque. Hell, bat him eighth, if you must.

But don’t make him wear his own patch."

So true. The irony of the patch is Derek's name is on it.  Now, if you know anything about Derek, you know he's about team.  If you anything about the Yankees, you know they don't place names on the back of their uniforms.  The reasoning is simple; We're a team of 1, there are no individuals. That works for us as Yankee fans. We appreciate the tradition.  We see the numbers and we know who's who, but names on jerseys, well... we just don't do that.  That would be wrong. 

And much like Tim Brown suggests, having Derek wearing a patch that reads "Derek Jeter" makes no sense at all.  While the patch is gorgeous, do one better, for Derek and for the Yankees pocketbook.  Retire Jeter's #2 today... and sell the patch to fans entering the stadium, or at Modells or where ever you want for $19.99, a collector's item. A true treasure.  Half of the money could go to the Yankees. Half could go to the Turn 2 Foundation.  

The idea of the players wearing the patch is neat on paper, but Derek Jeter didn't die... Derek is alive and well... and playing... with a patch of himself on his sleeve.  "Strange" doesn't begin to explain how I feel about this.  Much like Bald Vinny's idea to have "Jeet Street" somewhere around Yankee Stadium, it would be just as strange for Derek to be wearing his own patch.  

"When I read that bleacher creature Bald Vinny wanted to now have a street named in Jeter’s name, I cringed alittle... In his mind, and many fan's minds, the idea of a Derek Jeter Street around Yankee Stadium is a good idea. While I appreciate the gesture as a fan, and while I understand the "want" and "need" to celebrate this great Captain, it’s not Jeter's style at all... and it never will be.   That's because the honoring of Jeter is already standing in the Bronx. It's Yankee Stadium, the unofficial “House that Jeter Built.” That’s sacred.  That’s already there. "

And that's very true.  The reality is, Jeter's about the team, and while today he'll follow Yankee protocol and wear the patch to match his teammates, it doesn't mean he's going to feel comfortable doing it... and he shouldn't, because that's Derek.  Again, never about himself, always about the team.

Bottom line, and I'll keep saying this as long as I live; Jeter's biggest wish and happiness in pinstripes is what he does on the field with his teammates.  He doesn't need the fanfare, the gushing, the honors.  He wants his team as a whole to be the best on the field.  He wants championships for the 25 acting as 1. While he appreciates his individual achievements, the 5 rings are the most important to him.  While it will be debated for decades whether or not he should have been on the first base line on that "flip play" to Posada, he'll go to his grave telling the Yankee universe that it's a "practiced" play... "the TEAM does that."

While he will smile nervously at the highlight video today of his individual achievements... his speech will no doubt be about the great "teams" he's been apart of, and he'll thank George Steinbrenner for "giving him the opportunity."  Derek Jeter is not only a great player, but he's a great man. He has class.  He is a living legend... and he's humble too.  So yeah... the streets named after him... the patch that Tim Brown and I don't like... Jeter doesn't need that stuff.  Jeter wants more rings with the other 24 guys he plays with.  That's Derek... that's why we love him.  

Sure, today's Derek Jeter Day in the unofficial "House that Jeter Built", but if he had his way... it would just be a regular game day... a game the Yankees need to win.  

That's Derek... that's why we love him.

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