Writing at his blog over the weekend, NBC Sports columnist Joe Posnanski, founder way back in 2008 of the playful phrase “Jeterate” (“to praise someone for something of which he or she is entirely unworthy of praise“), continued to take aim at those who have long mistaken Derek Jeter for King David:
There has been some high quality Jeteration lately — Rick Reilly recently wrote a letter to Derek Jeter’s unborn children that had some doozies like, “He was the best player in baseball for 10 years straight,” and called him “A kind of prince in baseball cleats” and remarked, “If there was a better man in sports, I never met him.” I didn’t think that was going to be topped.
But in a simple box, I think this little scouting report roars past any story written so far. If you were doing something resembling an actual scouting report for Derek Jeter in 2014, it might look something like this:
Instead the three bits on the scouting report are:
1. Consummate pro and leader.
2. Plays the game the right way.
3. Example to players of all ages.
After dreaming up a humorous mound visit where the “scouting report” is dissected with great care, Poz continues his dissection:
Of course, this wasn’t actually a scouting report for the players … it was a scouting report for those viewers who apparently were unaware that many consider Derek Jeter to be the consummate pro and leader who plays the game the right way and is an example to players of all ages. Those viewers who did not know that would be … I have no idea.
Part of me thinks this was a joke pulled off by some very clever graphics people. And if that’s the case . . . I’m raising a glass to you because nobody could have told the end story better. Derek Jeter has been a very good baseball player. He might have been the best player in baseball around 1998 or 1999 . . . after that he certainly wasn’t the best — not in the age of Bonds and Pujols and A-Rod and Utley — but he was good. I have him as one of the four or five best shortstops of the last 100 years, which is a pretty great thing to be. He hit well and fielded . . . he hit well. He managed to stay controversy free in the age of controversy. He was never caught or suspected of using steroids in the age of steroids. He played shortstop and served as captain for the dominant team of the era. It’s a career worth celebrating.
And the rest . . . well, the rest is Jeteration. I can only hope the next scouting report looks like this:
The rest here.