Tag Archives: derek jeter

The Gift Basket Contents of Major Leaguers, Past and Present

Yankees star Derek Jeter, one of New York’s most eligible hunks since his split with longtime gal pal Minka Kelly, is bedding a bevy of beauties in his Trump World Towerbachelor pad — and then coldly sending them home alone with gift baskets of autographed memorabilia.

The Yankees captain’s wham-bam-thank-you-ma’am kiss-offs came to light when he mistakenly pulled the stunt twice on the same woman — forgetting she had been an earlier conquest, a pal told The Post. – NY Post, 12/13/11

ALEX RODRIGUEZ: small picnic basket filled with plush centaurs

STEVE GARVEY: a bad check and a lecture on fiscal responsibility

JOHN KRUK: three jars of his own homemade pomade/gravy

DAVID WELLS: A case of Natty Lite, a convenience store display of Slim Jims, and a gift card to Bass Pro Shops

CJ WILSON: Youth of Today compilation, large bottle of Dr. Bronner’s soap

DARREN DAULTON: step-by-step instructions on how to see into the secret, alien 7th dimension

JEFF KENT: a bag of Hall’s cough drops that happened to be left in the front seat of his car

OLD HOSS RADBOURN: tincture of laudanum, bone chilling stare on your way out of the hotel room

CURT SCHILLING: two-months of free gametime on World of Warcraft

JAMIE MOYER: hand-whittled doorstops–lady’s choice of duck or bear

ROGER MCDOWELL: can of “peanut brittle,” trick gum, pair of Bill Robinson’s cleats charred in successful hotfoot attempt

LUKE SCOTT: detailed manifesto on how the Illuminati and the Swiss bankers’ cabal are keeping evidence of Obama’s Indonesian citizenship from the American public

MANNY RAMIREZ: five pairs of tent-sized pants, several women’s hormone supplements

MIKE PIAZZA: Rush Limbaugh book-on-tape set, complete Cannibal Corpse discography

BABE RUTH: syphilis

The Church of Jeter

So, Derek Jeter then.

The Captain notched his 3000th hit in just about the most dramatic fashion possible. The only way it could’ve been more The Natural-ish is if hit #3K was a grand slam that simultaneously won the World Series and healed the sick. I tuned into the game, halfheartedly paying attention while trying to write. When Jeter reached down and pulled the ball into left field for a homer, despite the fact that I was alone in the house, I blurted out loud Are you fucking kidding me? Of course, Jeter followed it up by going 5-for-5 and knocking in the game’s go-ahead run. It was all just too perfect. You know those sickeningly sweet breakfast cereals that kids gobble but which are way too sugary for an adult’s tastebuds? This was the sports equivalent of that.

In this situation, as a non-Yankee fan, one’s first inclination is to mock and denigrate, which naturally I did. This is dumb, because it just comes across as sour grapes, and because it denies me a chance to enjoy something that should be enjoyable. As a rational human being (or at least a person who tries to be one) and a baseball fan, I have to concede that 3000 hits is in itself a remarkable accomplishment. I also have to admit that the way Jeter did it is so storybook perfect it would be rejected from even the tritest screenplay. Can’t I just take this in as one of those magical moments that sports hands to us once in a blue moon?

I won’t say no, I can’t, but there is something that prevents me from even allowing polite applause on this occasion. However, the more I think about this rationally, the more I have to conclude that any ill feelings I have toward Derek Jeter have almost nothing to do with him as a player or person.

Continue reading The Church of Jeter

We Need to Talk, New York Times

New York Times, can you come in here please?

I found this in your contents yesterday. You mind telling me what this is?

Won’t say anything? Fine, I’ll tell you. It’s an article about people who’ve named their dogs Jeter. Does that even remotely seem like news to you? Even for the sports pages?

It does? Really? How, exactly?

Because it’s a trend? C’mon, Times. In this article, you say there are 33 dogs registered in New York City with the name Jeter. What percentage of dogs in all five boroughs do you think that is? And don’t gimme that ‘I don’t know’! I thought we discussed this when you published that article about people hiring bartenders for house parties. Just because a couple of people do something doesn’t make it a trend, or interesting. We’ve been through this!

Look, I know everyone’s trying to ride the Jeter bandwagon. MLB is selling the dirt from under his feet and letting fans fondle his balls, for crying out loud. I know it’s the week after Fourth of July and all your best reporters are still in the Hamptons. But this…this is just unacceptable.

I know you can do better than this, Times. I know you can! I wouldn’t have pushed you to take those advanced classes. You just need to apply yourself is all!

I’m not mad. I’m just disappointed.

Bud Selig Lays Down The Jeter Rules

In the wake of the tragic news that Derek Jeter has injured his calf, I declare a temporary suspension of play throughout Major League Baseball as a sign of respect and mourning, until such time as The Captain is able to play to the fullest of his gritty, gutty abilities. Without the game’s most beloved player, we at the MLB front offices figured there was just no point to playing any of these games. Everything seems kind of pointless without his bright, shining face to light the way. Why bother, really?

For those fans who want to keep track of Jeter’s medical progress–and really, what true baseball fan wouldn’t?–we have created a revolutionary Calf Cam. With the use of cutting edge nanotechnology, MLB has inserted a tiny subcutaneous HD camera in Jeter’s leg so that all fans can watch his muscles healing in real time. I’m sure it will be even more entertaining than the MLB Amateur Draft!

Once Jeter is ready to return to action, there will be a celebratory parade down Fifth Avenue, followed by a resumption of the regular season schedule at Yankee Stadium. Henceforth, all Yankee games shall be played in the Bronx until the legendary shortstop gets his eagerly anticipated 3000th hit. Opponents shall be compensated for loss of home games with complimentary “Jeter: Mr. 3000” t-shirts and a coupon for half off one order of fries at NYY Steak.

If Jeter is sitting on 2,999 hits, and a ball off of his bat is hit too close to the foul line to be called by an umpire’s naked eye, I shall allow a video review to take place. The import of such a moment would be far too great to allow human error to enter the equation. I mean, we’re not talking about a playoff game here!

All stadiums will be required to show Yankees game on an appropriately sized jumbtron visible to all patrons until this historic moment finally occurs. Failure to do so will result in serious fines and loss of draft picks.

With your help, we can get through this trying time. Huddle close with your loved ones and offer up a silent prayer that we can weather this storm. God help us all.

Up the Middle with Skitch Hanson: I’d Like to Know Where You Got the Potion

We welcome back Skitch Hanson to the Scratchbomb pages. You may know him from his nationally syndicated sports column, “Up the Middle”. You may have also seen him on the ESPN roundtable discussion show, The Loudeners! Or you may have read one of his 107 books, such as Everything You Know Is Right. Without further ado, here’s Skitch to talk about Derek Jeter’s free agent talks.

Thumbnail image for jeterhero.jpgI’m not an excitable person. Just ask anyone who knows me–my kids, my editor, that one guy at the newsstand where I get my USA Today and orange Tic-Tacs. It takes a lot to get me riled up. If I get the wrong order at Taco Bell, I roll with the punches and just eat whatever’s in the bag, even if I get a hard-shell taco. (Crunchy foods make me uncomfortable.) I didn’t even raise a fuss when that strange man showed up in my house and said I couldn’t sleep in my own bed anymore. Oh, I thought about making a scene, but then my wife said he was with her and there wasn’t a damn thing I could do about it. Boy, my face would’ve been red if I’d tried to kick him out!

But when I heard about what the Yankees were doing to Derek Jeter, that was enough to send me off the deep end. I’ve been quite cranky and snapping at people all week. Although it may also have to do with the small amount of sleep I’ve been getting lately. The Barcalounger in the den is not too comfortable to sleep on, and it’s hard to nod off with all the noise coming from my bedroom upstairs.

In case you’ve been living under a rock, or sleeping on a recliner, here’s the latest chapter in the Derek Jeter Free Agency novella. (Presumably, it will soon be a saga, but I think only qualifies as a shorter work of literature right now.) Word leaked out on Monday that the Yankees think their beloved shortstop is asking for too much money and needs to “drink the reality potion” before negotiating with them any further.

Derek, let me give you a piece of friendly advice: Don’t you dare drink that reality potion! Or truth serum, or factual elixir, or any other sort of mystical beverage that will alter how you perceive this universe. I don’t think we could bear it!

Instead, keep quaffing deeply of that heady brew that makes you think you’re worth a $25 million/6 year deal. As for you, unnamed Yankee front office person, perhaps you’re too quick to drink that Reality Potion. This isn’t reality we’re talking about. It’s baseball, where men get paid millions of dollars to hit balls with sticks. If we all dealt in reality, we’d all be horrified that the Jeters of the world are billionaires and teachers are on food stamps. Do you want to live in a world where we are cognizant of this terrible truth? I sure wouldn’t!

Sports are so wonderful because they keep us from having to drink Reality Potion. Potion? Yuck, sounds too much like medicine. I’d rather eat a big bowl of Hero Sauce, which I imagine looks and tastes a lot like rocky road ice cream. (One of my weaknesses! That and collecting vintage airline pillows.)

If I drank too much Reality Potion, I’d know Derek Jeter is not as quick as he used to be and he’s coming off one of his worst offensive years ever. But that potion’s not the kid of late night snack I crave when it’s 3am and I have to turn the fifth rerun of SportsCenter up extra loud to drown out certain sounds.

I prefer the tasty, calorie-rich Hero Sauce that tells me Derek Jeter is forever young, making spinning catches and getting clutch hits and rescuing a kitten from the Yankee Stadium rafters. I’m not sure that last part actually happened, but as long as I stay away from Reality Potion, I can believe it did.

Reality Potion must also be avoided whenever it looks like Brett Favre is on his last legs, or Michael Jordan might retire. Some might say Favre is already finished, and Jordan has really been retired for years. To those people I say, Why would you want to know what’s really happening? If you want a sour spoonful of Reality Potion, watch the news. If you want the delicious taste of Hero Sauce, you read me.

I found out long ago that when you write a nationally syndicated sports column, reality is usually not your friend. That may seem silly to you, but I didn’t wind up in the same number of newspapers as “Funky Winkerbean” for nothing!

For instance, the Yankees offered Derek Jeter a three-year contract at $15 million a season. Now, if I had Reality Potion with every meal, I might think that this was an insane amount of money, and that paying a baseball player that kind of money when so many people are starving borders on the obscene. And then I might also remember the time my son brought his own special friend named Steve home for Thanksgiving.

That’s why I feast on Hero Sauce, so I can remember that time Jeter flipped the ball to Posada. Hero Sauce tells me he’s worth every single penny the Yankees can spare. He’s worth every penny all of us can spare, and more! I have an old plastic water cooler tank filled with pennies in my basement, Derek. Sometimes I count them to distract my mind when it’s filled with too much Reality Potion, like my wife’s special friend walking through my house wearing only a towel, but you can have it, Derek. You’re worth every single penny in that bottle, which was 7,493 the last time I counted.

Don’t get me wrong: Reality Potion’s fine in small doses, like when I’m doing my taxes or writing a very special column about the dangers of t-shirt cannons. But sometimes you want to curl up with a big bowl of Hero Sauce and forget your troubles. Of course, sometimes “sometimes” turns into a potentially unhealthy length of time. If that ever worries you, you know what the best cure for worries is? More Hero Sauce! Works for me, as far as I know!

Jeter and the Yankees: Who Completes Whom?

jeter.pngDerek Jeter is a free agent the way your car is in Delaware while driving down I-95. It is a necessary but temporary state of affairs and will not last long. No sane person thinks Jeter will be anything but a Yankee when all is said and done. Everyone accepts that the Yankees will overpay to keep in the Bronx, and I have no problem with that. Hell, it ain’t my money. Give him a billion dollars a year for all I care.

However, the technical possibility that Jeter could play for another team, like any mention of Jeter period, is enough to set off sports scribes, like a gritty whistle only they can hear. Just witness the harrumphing when some folks dared suggest his Gold Glove award might not be justifiable. Professional moron Craig Carton got his panties in a knot and protested angrily that Jeter had made only 6 errors in 2010, blissfully unaware of just how useless the error stat is to assess a player’s fielding ability.

Most of the ink spilled has been along the lines of what Peter Gammons tweeted last week: “The Yankees need Jeter’s brand. Jeter needs the Yankee brand”. He repeated this nearly verbatim when appearing on Mike Francesa’s show last week. I heard Jared Max, the sports update guy on WCBS News Radio (the Yankees’ flagship station), talk about how the Yankees would benefit from, among other things, having Jeter get his 3000th hit in pinstripes.

Would they? Is this really a partnership of equals? I would say not, and I think the early returns would indicate this as well.

Jeter definitely needs the Yankees, but the Yankees do not need him–and this has nothing to do with his worth as a player. It has to do with legacy. Jeter has one to protect, and the Yankees don’t. Or rather, their legacy can not be dented by anything Jeter related. Sign him for a 100 years or trade him to the Yakult Swallows–either way, the Yankees will remain the Yankees.

When I hear people insist otherwise–that the Yankees need Jeter as much as he needs them–it reminds me of a line from The Simpsons, when Krusty tried to pawn off his long-lost daughter’s violin: “It isn’t worth much money, but the sentimental value is through the roof!”
Continue reading Jeter and the Yankees: Who Completes Whom?

The Video Game Community Protests Derek Jeter

mario.jpgHey, Derek! It’s-a me, Mario! Whassamatta for you with these-a comments in-a the newspaper? People say these-a advanced metrics show you can’t play-a the shortstop no more, and whatta you say? “I don’t know. I don’t play video games.”

This makes-a the Mario very sad. Why you gotta tell-a the lies? Mario remembers you used to come home from-a school everyday and play with him. You used to blow in Mario’s cartridge when-a he wasn’t working right. You even did-a that thing with the Q-tip and the alcohol, even though you knew it didn’t-a work.

And you used to play with all of Mario’s friends, too. Samus, Kid Icarus, Simon Belmont, those two meatheads from-a the Bad Dudes. We all had such a great time together! Why you turn-a your back on us? You think playing the video games makes you a nerd? You think it’s-a something you outgrew now that you’re such a big shot, playing the baseball with-a your fancy buddies?

Maybe you so-a defensive because you really are a nerd! Mario remembers you getting a subscription to-a Nintendo Power every year for-a your birthday. You filled in all-a the blank squares on your Legend of Zelda map! You memorized all-a the fatalities in Mortal Kombat! You used to have-a the poster for Maniac Mansion taped to-a your wall! You beat Final Fantasy III in 10 days and bragged to your friends at school about it!

You had-a the TurboGrafx 16. Nobody had-a the TurboGrafx 16!

Mario even has a picture of you playing the video games with-a your good friend Tiger Woods. Take a good look, Derek. Try and deny me again after you see-a this!

jetertiger.jpgmario.jpgSure looked like you played video games back-a then, Derek!

I am so angry at-a you right now! I feel just as-a small as I hit by a hammer thrown by a jumping turtle! Your betrayal, she hits me in my soul, burning me up like a flaming barrel!

Alla you old friends is-a mad at you too, like-a the Donkey Kong. I remember you used play-a the Donkey Kong Country all day long, and now you stab-a that poor monkey in the back. Go ahead, Donkey Kong, tell-a him how you feel.
donkeykong.jpg[Donkey Kong and all permutations of the phrase Donkey Kong, images of the character Donkey Kong, and any other likeness in a medium now existing or yet to be developed are the exclusive property of Nintendo of America, and any unauthorized use of Donkey Kong in any form even in the form of a dumb catch phrase, will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law]

Tonight, the Iron Horse May Finally Be Slain

gehrig.jpgNEW YORK–Derek Jeter knows what’s at stake. If he can get just one more hit in tonight’s game versus the Orioles, he will not only take sole possession of first place in the all-time Yankees hit list. He may also finally erase all memory of the tyrannical Lou Gehrig, history’s greatest monster.

The fearsome first baseman, who played for the Bronx Bombers from 1923 to 1939, amassed 2,721 hits during a major league career that nearly brought a nation to its knees. Jeter’s next hit could very well remove the stain of his name from the Yankee record books for evermore.

Gehrig bullied his way into the starting lineup for the first time in 1925, pushing aside beloved first baseman Wally Pipp and selfishly refusing to share the position. At the time, a shaken Yankee manager Miller Huggins told The New York Times, “He simply overpowered me. It’s out of my hands now.” Huggins was later found brutally murdered in a ritualistic manner that haunted the nightmares of all the policemen called to the scene.

Gehrig also formed the infamous Murderer’s Row that menaced American League pitching and slashed throats on its way from one major league park to another in the 1920s and 30s. He was nicknamed The Iron Horse for his cold, steely, inhuman gaze, and is rumored to have inspired many of H.P. Lovecraft’s Cthulu tales.

The first baseman might have remained unstoppable, were it not for an experimental government bio-terror project that sapped him of his strength. While weakened, Gehrig was tricked into entering a parallel dimension, the gate to which is in an undisclosed location, kept under constant guard by armed servicemen.

Before game time, Jeter was as humble as ever. “I’m just grateful to have had such a great career and to have this opportunity,” the shortstop said. “My only professional regret is that I was born too late to drive a stake through Gehrig’s monstrous heart.”

Baseball World Shocked, Outraged by Blown Jeter Call

jeter_steal.jpgNEW YORK (AP)–All of Major League Baseball came to a standstill Monday afternoon, when future Hall of Famer and titan of a man Derek Jeter was called out in an attempted steal of third base. Replays clearly showed that, though the ball beat the immortal shortstop to the bag, Blue Jays third baseman Scott Rolen did not apply a tag prior to Jeter’s blessed hands reaching the base itself.

Yankees manager Joe Girardi stormed out of the dugout, rending his garments in grief and disgust. “My Father, why have you forsaken us?!” he cried toward the seemingly deaf heavens. Third base umpire Marty Foster, an insensitive monster who surely has no soul, ejected the skipper for his insolence.

Mr. Jeter, ever the picture of calm and poise, pleaded his case respectfully to Foster, a pitiful excuse for a man, but to no avail. He walked back to the dugout, as grown men wept openly over his grace at a moment of such grave injsutice.

A candlelight vigil was held outside Yankee Stadium Monday night to mark this horrific event. “We have been shaken to the core,” said Dennis Ramirez, a Yankee fan from the Bronx, “but together, we can make it through this dark, dark time.”

A visibly shaken Bud Selig acknowledged the grievous error in a post-game press conference. “I realize this happens often,” he told reporters. “Umpires frequently call a runner out if the ball beats him to the bag, regardless of whether a tag was applied in time or not. But this has never happened to Derek Jeter before, and must never happen again.

“Therefore, I hereby award today’s game to the Yankees, regardless of the final score. In compensation for their pain and suffering, the Yankees shall also be awarded two games of their choosing which have already been played.

“I would also remind our umpiring crews that when Mr. Jeter does not swing at a pitch, it is not a strike.”

Following the game, Jeter calmed down a frothing mob of angry sports reporters with a gentle wave of his hand, and with words of profound wisdom that could have been spoken by the Dalai Lama, or perhaps Gandhi: “I just want to do my best and help this team win,” he said.

Up the Middle with Skitch Hanson: Jeters Always Prosper

Today, Scratchbomb hands over the reins to nationally syndicated sports columnist Skitch Hanson. You may know him as the author of the highly popular column “Up The Middle,” recipient of the 2006 Mitch Albom Award for Most Self-Righteous Moralizing in a Single Sports Column. You may have read his best-selling books “Numbers Prove Nothing Except When They Do” and “No One Will Ever Be Better than Willie Mays Because I Said So”. He’s also a frequent guest on ESPN’s sportswriters panel show Four Paunchy White Guys . Without further ado, here’s Skitch.

Many Yankees fans are calling for Joe Torre’s head, now that he’s failed to deliver yet another World Series title. But if you cut off Torre’s head, then the Yankees will literally lose their head as well.

No, make that figuratively. Figuratively lose their head. In any case, it would be bad.

But since there’s no way that Cleveland was simply a better team than the Yankees, someone must be to blame. If you want to know who’s really responsible for the Yankees’ postseason failure, there’s only one man you need to look to. And I know this won’t be a very popular opinion, but I have to say it anyway.

That’s right: Alex Rodriguez.

Continue reading Up the Middle with Skitch Hanson: Jeters Always Prosper