Friday, March 27, 2015
JETER'S BIG MISTAKE
A while back, I suggested something bold. I thought that to show a true appreciation for forgiveness and moving forward, Derek Jeter should have allowed Alex Rodriguez to go on record in the pages of the Players' Tribune and clear the air. It would have been a brilliant move for an up and running website, sure, call it a gimmick if you'd like, but it would extend an olive branch to a guy that had gotten beaten over the head year after year, by his own admission, by the New York Media and ARod haters everywhere. It would show support, and it would help guide America's youth. Plain and simple.
I believed, and I still do, that if Alex Rodriguez wrote a commentary and all he did wrong, and turned it into a learning tool for young athletes everywhere, it would not only demonstrate human dignity, but would provide a new chapter in the 40 year old 3rd baseman's life. Plus, it would prove to me for ever and ever, that Derek Jeter is the greatest Yankee and LEADER of this generation. Just another feather in the cap of greatness.
JETER'S BIGGEST LEADERSHIP CHALLENGE: SIGN AROD was written in October 2014. In it, I wrote:
"You want to truly forgive? You want to truly have an open dialog about loss and mistakes and how to better ones self and express it player to fan? Derek Jeter should think about this one; Sign Alex Rodriguez to Players' Tribune.
Have Alex speak to the fans directly. Have Alex tell them that whatever mistakes he made are now passed him, and that he's ready to turn the page. But most importantly, tell the fans, the young kids like my son that the mistakes he made should be life lessons for those children and their own future. If Derek Jeter could do that, I believe his leadership role will become even stronger, and more memorable than many amazing role models in sports history."
It makes perfect sense to me. Who knows, maybe I'm too forgiving. Here's what I don't understand. It never happened. Will it? Who knows...
You know what did happen? David Ortiz appeared on the pages of the Players' Tribune instead. In his commentary, David Ortiz had an open forum to deny ever using PEDs. DENYING! Not educating. Not speaking to the fans about the dangers of PEDs. It was a forum to deny ever testing positive for PEDs. Wait... what???
"In some people’s minds, I will always be considered a cheater. And that’s bullshit. Mark my words: Nobody in MLB history has been tested for PEDs more than me. You know how many times I’ve been tested since 2004? More than 80. They say these tests are random. If it’s really random, I should start playing the damn lottery. Some people still think the testing is a joke. It’s no joke. Ten times a season these guys come into the clubhouse or my home with their briefcases. I have never failed a single one of those tests and I never will."
Now, look, I have my suspicions of David Ortiz, I always have, but I don't hate the man. In fact, my opinion of Ortiz is not the point of this. I actually think the guy is probably one of the nicer guys in sports, but there is no question he's divisive, he's manipulative, and he knows how to work the media... that's a fact. He also just wrote a piece about denial on a site that should be used to help the fans understand the PEDs epidemic, not used as a vehicle to be vindicated. What gives, Jeet?
I'm disappointed with how Jeter handled this forum. There are better ways to run this site. Think about it... this is a website that is used so professional athletes can speak to the fans directly. Here's the difference with someone like David Ortiz telling me he never did PEDs, I don't believe him. Sure, people will never believe Alex Rodriguez either, but if Alex were to explain why his mistakes should not be made by our youth because cheating doesn't pay, it's more rewarding. It goes further. It's more clear cut and understood by a kid who has a choice of working hard or shooting a needle in his ass. All Ortiz did was deny he used. OK.... AND?
I love Derek Jeter. I think he's the perfect role model. I think his new vehicle is wonderful for that Player / Fan relationship... but in this instance... Jeet... you're doing it wrong. This Ortiz denial is reckless. Give life lessons, make progress... make the fans think, not give more of the same. There is no conversation here. That's terrible.
I don't know, I found the whole piece ridiculous. Maybe it's just because it's David Ortiz. Maybe it's because I thought maybe Jeter was going to raise the bar. All this piece was, was a denial through a bullhorn. Ortiz is a loud mouth... he didn't need to do it here, he could have done it anywhere.
Players Tribune was watered down today. Not a fan of this approach at all.
By the way, shout out to Lisa Swan over at Subway Squawkers too. Be sure to check out: Fact-checking David Ortiz's PED-denial column in the Players' Tribune. Well done, as always!
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