Welcome back, everybody! Sorry, I've been neglectful with my blog, but I promise to have more insight and less self promotion over the next few weeks. Today, I want to discuss Derek Jeter, the captain of the New York Yankees...
I am not a Yankee fan. As a matter of fact, I hate the Yankees, for no other reason than they beat the crap out of my Braves during the 1996 and 1999 World Series. Yet, there has been one Yankee that I have never been able to hate-Derek Jeter. I have always been a Derek Jeter fan. Mostly because he is my age (only a month older than me), and he always looked like that goofy friend that you secretly had a crush on. What I liked most about Derek, is how he goes about his life.
Unlike many athletes, including many of his former and current teammates, there has never been a whiff of controversy surrounding Derek Jeter. No steroids, no arrests, no baby mommas, you catch my drift. One of the biggest complaints was George Steinbrenner calling out Jeter's partying into the wee hours, which they cleared up between themselves, and even made fun of in a Visa Commercial.
He always says the right thing. He doesn't whine that A-Rod is making more money than he is (even though Jeter has more rings). "This is the only organization I ever wanted to play for. This is where I want to be," Jeter told reporters, whose 10-year, $189 million deal expires at the end of the season. "I never envisioned myself playing anywhere else and hopefully I don’t have to."
Those are the words of the Yankee Captain as he began the season, and he is quietly putting up the consistent numbers that he has always posted over his career. He's currently batting .300, with 6 HR, and 33 RBI. Consistent. Awards? He's got plenty...
- 11× All-Star selection (1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2004, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009)
- 5× World Series champion (1996, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2009)
- 4× Gold Glove Award winner (2004, 2005, 2006, 2009)
- 4× Silver Slugger Award winner (2006, 2007, 2008, 2009)
- 2× AL Hank Aaron Award winner (2006, 2009)
- 1996 AL Rookie of the Year Award
- 2000 All-Star Game MVP Award
- 2000 World Series MVP Award
- 2000 Babe Ruth Award
- 2009 Roberto Clemente Award
- 2009 Sports Illustrated Sportsman of the Year
- New York Yankees team captain (2003–present)
If I were the Yankees, I'd go ahead and give him whatever he wants. Mayor Bloomberg, instead of lobbying for LeBron, rally to keep Jeter.
Off the field, Jeter started his Turn 2 Foundation. The program's Mission Statement reads
"To create and support signature programs and activities that motivate young people to turn away from drugs and alcohol and "TURN 2" healthy lifestyles. Through these ventures, the Foundation strives to create outlets that promote and reward academic excellence, leadership development and positive behavior. Turn 2's goal is to see the children of these programs grow safely and successfully into adulthood and become the leaders of tomorrow."
Don’t get me wrong, we all know Derek is a player (on and off the field). He ex-girlfriends read like a who's who among Maxim's Top 100, but unlike most of the guys you here about in the news-he has never married. So, like any young man he has dated a string of beautiful women. Why not? He is SINGLE. That said, most of these girls were for the most part in the entertainment business, legitimately. I'm not talking about strippers, host girls, or car models. Most recently, he's been linked to Minka Kelly of Friday Night Lights.
He has had endorsement deals with Nike, Gatorade, Fleet Bank, XM Satellite Radio, Visa, Ford, Avon, and Gillette, to name a few. He doesn't don gaudy suits and swagtastically blinging jewelry at press conferences. Most of the time, he appears to still be in his uniform. Yes, Derek Jeter has realized something most athletes don't realize. Yes, you may be human, but you, as an athlete, are a product. You are a product of your actions on and off the field. He is a role model, and while he may encourage parents to play a larger role in their children's lives, he has carefully watched his steps throughout his career. Sure, he is often on Page 6 of the New York Post because of his celebrity status and the current lady on his arm is usually a celebrity.
New York is a city known for chewing up athletes and spitting them out, but Jeter is still universally adored in New York. He needs to really bottle whatever essence he has and sell it to today's athletes who seem to have lost their way. Once again, I'm not a Yankee fan, but if I were the Yankees, I would give the man whatever he wants. He has impecably represented your organization both on and off the field, especially when there have been members on your team have tarnished the pinstripes. He will almost assuredly quietly lead the Yankees back to the Playoffs in all likelihood to another World Series. Great Job, Jeter. Good Luck, with your contract, and thanks for being my fantasy Shortstop, too. Oh, Go Braves!
Dedicated to of my favorite Yankee Fans @sportychic56 and @TeritaTweets...Enjoy the pictures of Jeter, ladies...