Since this is a fantasy sports blog, and Derek Jeter is probably the biggest baseball news during a very slow week, I figured now would be a good time to break down all things Jeter.
1. THE 3,000th HIT
Jeter, for the first time in as long as I can remember, is getting some serious negative press. The weird thing about it is that it's on the heels of his popularity sky rocketing in the games leading up to him notching No. 3,000. I think pretty much everybody knows the story of his epic home run to level up into DJ3K status, and the debacle that followed.
Jeter is yet to compensate the fan who caught his homer last weekend, but the Yankees have generously given him four seats that even Don Draper couldn't sell and a couple pieces of merchandise. Not a bad deal - for the Yankees, that is.
Better yet, the (un)lucky fan will wind up owing the IRS thousands because of the luxury box seats he was given by the Yankees.
I've heard the ball could have gone for anywhere from $250,000 to $500,000 and up. Either way, Jeter has to compensate 23-year-old Christian Lopez.
Because of who he is, and the fact that he has played in New York for so long without getting into any trouble, I am willing to give Jeter the benefit of the doubt. I'd like to think that his reason for not cutting Lopez a check yet is because he didn't want the media to turn it into a story about how Derek Jeter thinks he is more important than the All-Star Game and the rest of the league. Just like some tried to do when Shaq retired during the NBA Finals.
Obviously, he hasn't kept his nose clean for this long without a good publicist, so maybe he was told that waiting was the best idea. Maybe. But I wouldn't be shocked if in 50 years Lopez is telling his grandchildren about the time he threw away a winning lottery ticket.
2. WHAT HAVE YOU DONE FOR ME LATELY?
Derek Jeter was selected to start at shortstop for the American League in Tuesday night's All-Star Game. That's nothing new.
He was, however, far from the best shortstop in the first half of the season. In fact, he was more like the 7th best shortstop in the AL. Here is a look at how his numbers compare to other American League shortstops:
|Asdrubal Cabrera (CLE)||107||.348||15||56||53||12|
|Elvis Andrus (TEX)||96||.336||3||57||33||26|
|Jhonny Peralta (DET)||92||.362||14||40||50||0|
|Erick Aybar (LAA)||87||.315||6||37||38||18|
|Alexei Ramirez (CWS)||96||.331||9||52||40||3|
|Yunel Escobar (TOR)||95||.368||9||49||32||3|
|Derek Jeter (NYY)||79||.331||3||43||24||8|
After looking at the numbers, his selection should have meant that much more to him. Fans thought that his entire career spoke louder than a few bad months. They don't know how much longer he'll be around, and they wanted to make sure that if this was his last season that he went out as an All-Star.
3. THANKS, BUT NO THANKS.
Then the unthinkable happened. Derek Jeter waved his middle finger at all the fans who took the time to vote him in as a starter in the All-Star Game, despite his numbers being far from stellar.
Jeter pulled out from the All-Star Game, citing physical and emotional stress. Furthermore, the stress was so overwhelming that he couldn't even hop on a private plane and fly out to Arizona for a few hours to be introduced and acknowledge the fans for their support.
Between the 3,000th hit fiasco and this whole All-Star Game thing, Jeter is in serious need of some good press.
Many people have offered their opinion on how Jeter should compensate Lopez. I think I can do one better. Here is my advice for Jeter:
Derek, take the $500,000* bonus check you received for being voted into the All-Star Game, and give it to Lopez.
That way, you can diffuse both situations at once. Everyone's happy. You look like a genius, and you are back to being the big apple of the New York media's eye.
Also, pick up your game or I won't be able to protect you from the angry mobs of fantasy owners who overspent for you in the draft.
*No extra info here. I just wanted to point out the absurdity of that number.
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Matt Mullin is a sports producer at philly.com. You can reach him by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow Matt on Twitter: @matt_mullin