Tuesday, May 30, 2006



May 30, 2006 -- DETROIT - Seeing Miguel Cairo at shortstop in the fifth inning yesterday wasn't a comfortable sight for the Yankees.

After all, Hideki Matsui could be out for the season, Gary Sheffield missed more than two weeks, Jorge Posada is battling a torn leg tendon, Johnny Damon is playing with a chipped bone in his foot and Carl Pavano and Tanyon Sturtze underwent arm surgery last week.

So, when Derek Jeter didn't make it out of the dugout for the fifth, who could blame anybody for expecting the worst?

However, the jammed right hand suffered by Jeter - who has no idea how the injury occurred - isn't serious. At least not according to its owner.

"I didn't want to come out," said Jeter, who vowed to play tonight.

Jeter said he suffered the injury - just below his index finger - either sliding into second to end the third inning or swinging the bat.

When he tried to bunt his way on base in the fifth, somebody in the dugout informed Joe Torre that Jeter's hand wasn't right.

"I tried to bunt and that didn't work out well," Jeter said.

Torre's biggest concern was Jeter's ability to throw.

"If it was the left hand I would probably have left him in," Torre said. "I was concerned about the throwing. It's possible he will miss [tonight] but it's probably more probable that he will play.

"When I went to him he said he wanted to stay in the game. But when I said I was going to take him out he didn't say anything. He understood if it came to making a double play he would have trouble throwing the ball."

Jeter, who started the day leading the majors in hitting with a .352 average, went 0-for-3 and is now batting .347. He did drive in the Yankees' second run in the third with a fielder's choice, that was aided by shortstop Carlos Guillen's wide throw to first on a double-play attempt.

Monday, May 29, 2006

Yankees' Jeter leaves game with injured hand

Updated: May 29, 2006, 5:15 PM ET
Yankees' Jeter leaves game with injured hand
Associated Press
Major League Baseball News Wire

DETROIT -- New York Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter injured his right hand Monday and left the game against Detroit in the fifth inning.

Jeter expects to play Tuesday.

"It's no big deal," he said after New York's 4-0 victory over the Tigers.

Jeter jammed the hand in the third inning while sliding into second base, the Yankees said, though Jeter maintained he wasn't sure how he did it. After batting in the fifth, he was taken out for precautionary reasons so that his hand could be iced.

"It's a mild sprain," Yankees manager Joe Torre said. "If it was the left hand, I would've left him in."

Jeter, who was 0-for-3 and ended a nine-game hitting streak, began the game hitting an AL-best .352.

This story is from ESPN.com's automated news wire.

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Mr. 2,000: Jeter becomes eighth Yank to reach mark

Updated: May 27, 2006, 2:03 AM ET
Mr. 2,000: Jeter becomes eighth Yank to reach mark
Associated Press

NEW YORK -- Derek Jeter got his 2,000th career hit Friday night, becoming the eighth player in New York Yankees history to reach the milestone.

Jeter beat out a roller in front of home plate in the fourth inning against the Kansas City Royals and advanced to second when catcher Paul Bako threw the ball away for an error.

With the Yankee Stadium crowd chanting his name, Jeter twice tipped his cap as he stood on second base. He stole third on the next pitch and scored New York's first run on Alex Rodriguez's single. The Yankees lost 7-6.

"I know he had to be uncomfortable having to tip his cap," manager Joe Torre said. "It's too bad we couldn't cap it off for him with a win."

Jeter felt the same way.

"A hit's a hit," he said. "But we should have won this game. We had some opportunities to score. We let a couple of opportunities slip away."

Jeter said he appreciated the crowd's reaction, but was more concerned about winning the game.

"Personal accolades, you look back when your career is over, when the season is over," he said.

Jeter finished the night with two hits, two walks and a souvenir baseball.

"I'm sure my mom will want it," he said.

The 31-year-old Jeter is in his 12th major-league season. The other players to get 2,000 hits for the Yankees are Lou Gehrig (2,721), Babe Ruth (2,518), Mickey Mantle (2,415), Bernie Williams (2,255 entering Friday night), Joe DiMaggio (2,214), Don Mattingly (2,153) and Yogi Berra (2,148).

Saturday, May 27, 2006




May 27, 2006 -- Yeah, it was a cheap hit and could have easily been called an error, but Derek Jeter won't ever give back the dribbler he turned into a single last night for his 2,000th career hit.

"A hit's a hit," he said.

Jeter reached base to lead off the fourth inning with a swinging bunt for his milestone hit. It was his second trip to the plate in last night's rain-delayed 7-6 loss to the Royals at the Stadium.

Off a mighty hack at starter Scott Elarton's 1-1 pitch, Jeter didn't quite get all of it and the ball dribbled and died just inside the infield grass near the third base line. Bill Shannon, the official scorer, determined he reached first and then took second on a throwing error charged to catcher Paul Bako, who overthrew first by Chuck Knoblauch-like proportions. The ball went into the stands behind first and later was presented to Jeter during the 110-minute rain delay.

Once he reached second, Jeter acknowledged the frenzied crowd that had been on its feet for his first two at-bats in anticipation of No. 2,000.

"It's nice," said Jeter, who seemed shy about accepting individual honors for his milestone. "But to be honest with you, we're trying to win games."

The Yankees captain brilliantly took advantage of the moment: With his teammates all on the top step of the dugout and the tune from "The Natural" having just blared through the park, Jeter stole third on the next pitch Elarton threw with Gary Sheffield at the plate. Three batters later, Alex Rodriguez knocked him home for the Yankees' first run of the game.

Jeter, whose first career hit came May 30, 1995 against Seattle's Tim Belcher, went 2-for-3 with a walk on his historic night before the game was delayed by rain, recording hit No. 2,001 with two out in the seventh inning. He was stranded on third as the tying run in the bottom of the ninth.

Jeter became the eighth Yankee to record 2,000 hits, joining the legendary list of Lou Gehrig (2,721), Babe Ruth (2,518), Mickey Mantle (2,415), Bernie Williams (2,250), Joe DiMaggio (2,214), Don Mattingly (2,153) and Yogi Berra (2,148). He joined the elite club in just his 1,571st game, the second fastest in club history behind DiMaggio, who did it in 1,537 games.

"I knew he'd feel very uncomfortable tipping his hat," Joe Torre said of Jeter's moment. "Too bad we couldn't cap it off for him tonight."


Tuesday, May 16, 2006

The Captain

The Captain

NEW YORK, N.Y., Sept. 25, 2005

(CBS) At a time when the reputation of professional sports has been tarnished by stories of spoiled and troubled athletes, of steroids and bad behavior, we have a story about an athlete who sets the standard for excellence and sportsmanship, on and off the field. 60 Minutes correspondent Ed Bradley profiles Derek Jeter.


Derek Jeter is the cool, confident captain of the New York Yankees whose remarkable talent and All-American image place him in a league of his own.

At 31, Jeter has already led the Yankees to four World Series wins, and has guided them to the playoffs for each of the past nine years. But this year is different: With one week to go in the regular season, the team is in a heated battle for a playoff spot. It’s unfamiliar territory for the Yankees and their shortstop Derek Jeter, who believes that anything short of winning it all is unacceptable.

“The expectation level when you play for the Yankees is, you win a World Series,” Jeter told 60 Minutes. “That’s it. It’s not winning the division. It’s not making the post-season. It’s not getting to the World Series. It’s you win a World Series. Otherwise the season’s a failure.”

He insists he expects to win every year. Just as he expects to get a hit every time he comes to the plate, although, he says, “It doesn’t happen, obviously (laughs). It doesn’t happen a lot of the time, but it’s something that you have to expect. You have to have a lot of confidence. If you don’t have confidence in what you’re doing, you might as well not even go out there.”

Jeter loves his job. “It’s a blast!” he says. “When you win it’s fun. When you lose, it’s magnified.”

Derek Jeter’s uncanny ability to make the big play -- especially when the game or the season is on the line – has defined his ten years with the Yankees.

He does it with his bat and his glove, catching the uncatchable, surmounting obstacles with his trademark combination of nonchalance and relentlessness. No play says more about Jeter than the now legendary diving catch he made last year in which he placed his body -- not to mention his $20 million salary — at risk.

Recalling that wild dive into the stands, Jeter says, “You know, the thing is, in 2001, I fell in the stands in the same area, but it was in the photographers’ pit, which is all cement, and it didn’t feel too good. So, when I was catching that ball, I knew I was going to fall in the stands because I was too close, but I figured if I jump over the photographers’ pit maybe I’ll run into someone and feel a little bit better…” Unluckily for Jeter, no one was there to cushion his fall. “Fifty-seven thousand people and I picked the seat that no one was in,” he says with a laugh. “So that didn’t feel too good either.”

Jeter emerged from the stands bloodied and beaten up. After a trip to the hospital, and seven stitches in his chin, he insisted on playing the following day, and he did.

He’s had this passion for baseball since the age of five, when he told his parents that he would one day play shortstop for the New York Yankees: “I was born in New Jersey, grew up in Kalamazoo, Michigan,” he says. “And I’m going around telling everyone I’m gonna play for the New York Yankees. And I think a lot people, a lot of parents, maybe, would tell their kids, ‘put some real thoughts in your head.’”

Jeter’s parents Charles and Dorothy are his most devoted fans. Dorothy is a teacher, and Charles, a former college shortstop, is a social worker. Derek never starts a game until he finds where his parents are seated. It’s a habit he has had since Little League. And as soon as he spots his mom, he says hi.

“We communicate,” says Dorothy Jeter. “Sometimes, you know, he’ll just stick up his head and go like that” [she glances up]. “It means he’s going to try to hit a home run. I shouldn’t give that away, should I?”

We asked Charles Jeter if his son reminds him of himself at shortstop. “Yeah, a little bit, you know,” he says, adding with a laugh, “Doesn’t have the defensive abilities I had, but…”

His son attributes his own competitive nature to his father. “It’s his fault,” he jokingly insists. “He used to beat me at everything we played. I remember I was going to afternoon kindergarten and we used to watch The Price Is Right. Now, I’m five years old. And he used to beat me at the Showcase Showdown and send me to school.”

He claims his father enjoyed beating a five-year-old at a game. “It made him feel good,” he says. “You know, he’d win and send me on my way!”

Charles Jeter responds that his game-playing had a purpose: “Just teach him to be competitive, and nobody’s going to let you win anything. It’s not going to be fair all the time.”

And Derek got the message: “I think the lesson was, things don’t come easy. You’re going to have to work at it.”

And work at it he did. Every year from the time he was 12 until he graduated high school, Derek had to sign a contract drawn up by his father. He would be permitted to play baseball only if he complied with all 18 clauses, including “no arguing,” “no alcohol and drugs,” and “respect girls.”

What happened if he violated one of the clauses in the contract? “I didn’t,” Jeter insists. “I was pretty good. I was always afraid of disappointing my parents.”

So, who does he think was tougher to negotiate with when it came to a contract, his father or George Steinbrenner? “The Boss,” says Jeter, “is definitely harder to deal with.”

Yankee boss and owner George Steinbrenner chose Derek Jeter right out of high school as his number one draft pick in 1992, and paid him $800,000. As a lonesome 17-year-old kid who had never been away from home, Jeter didn’t get off to a flying start. He made 56 errors in his first minor league season.

“Fifty-six,” Jeter recalls. “I was actually at shortstop two weeks into the season saying -- it’s a true story -- ‘Maybe they won’t hit me another ball the rest of the year.’ Sure enough, they hit the next one to me and I missed it.”

So, how did he get from there to here? “A lot of work,” Jeter says. “I work extremely hard. I like to be involved. I like to be in the middle of things, and I’m not afraid to fail.”

Yankee Manager Joe Torre and Derek Jeter started their careers on the team together in 1996, and he says Jeter “handles the stress of this game as well as anybody.”

But Jeter still calls him Mr. Torre, out of respect for someone he considers almost a second father.

“I think he’s shortened it to ‘Mr. T’ now. We’re getting there,” Torre says.

Along the way, Derek Jeter has learned some tough lessons, as the son of an African-American father and an Irish-American mother. He and his younger sister, Sharlee, were teased and taunted as kids for being bi-racial. Jeter says it continued even after he had been drafted number #1 by the Yankees and returned to Kalamazoo for a homecoming celebration.
“It was disappointing because I was very proud of the fact of what I was able to do, you know, I am living my dream,” he says. “Come back, see my friends for the first time, and… you still had to deal with ignorance.”

It wasn’t the first time he had had the “n” word thrown at him. But he remembers it, he says, “just because of the moment... It’s just – I was so proud – It was just the first day back home.”

He has not heard that word from the stands as a Yankees star. Early on, he thinks it may have been “people didn’t know what race I was. Most people thought I was Spanish, so I’d go up to hit and be on deck and people’d be speaking Spanish to me. I had no idea what they were saying!”

But these days, Derek Jeter is treated like royalty by the fans. And he treats them as if he truly appreciates their adulation.

In a city usually unfazed by celebrities, Jeter is hardly able to walk the streets of New York without being mobbed. In the time it takes him to order a java chip frappucino, Jeter poses for eight photos snapped by owners of camera phones, shakes five hands and signs seven autographs, never losing his gracious manner.

Nevertheless, Jeter admits he’s been wary of people since he was a kid. “I wish I trusted people more,” he says. “But when I meet someone, the first thing is, ‘What does this person want?’ And I put up a defense mechanism. But I’ve always been that way.”

But when he is not playing baseball, Derek Jeter is still a player -- one of the most eligible bachelors in New York. He’s dated singer Mariah Carey, a Miss Universe and an assortment of models and actresses. But he says he has yet to find “Ms. Right.” And that’s about all he has to say on that subject, although his parents hint – and he agrees – that he probably will settle down “sooner than later.”

Meanwhile, Derek Jeter shows up in fashion spreads and the gossip columns almost as often as the sports pages. And while he enjoys the nightlife, that has gotten him into some hot water with his boss, George Steinbrenner.

“The Boss” has been mostly complimentary about Derek throughout his career, except for one flap three years ago, when he found out that Jeter had been out late to a birthday party. Steinbrenner suggested that Jeter “better pay more attention to the ball game than he does the women.”

They later made a comic Visa commercial together, poking fun at the resulting spat. Not that either has given way.

“But it’s during the season, see,” insists Steinbrenner. “And I want him completely devoted to the team during the season.”

“He’s told me that every year I’ve been there for the last ten years,” Jeter says.

But he denies that criticism from Steinbrenner motivates him. “I don’t need any extra motivation,” Jeter says. “My motivation is to win.”

And win fairly. Baseball has been rocked in recent years by allegations of steroid abuse by some if its biggest stars, including Jeter’s teammate Jason Giambi. While Jeter condemns steroid use and runs a foundation committed to steering kids away from drugs, he stands firmly by his fellow Yankee.

People make mistakes, he reasons, and “That doesn't mean you run away from them. And, you know, Jason goes out of his way to support everyone else, whether he’s going good or going bad. So he's an easy person to root for and support.”

Derek Jeter fields uncomfortable questions as artfully as he fields tough ground balls. The only place he’s comfortable causing a stir is on the field. The rookie of the year at age 19, who is now destined for the Hall of Fame, has “mastered the game.” His eye is always on the ball.
His family, teammates and friends agree that Derek Jeter has his priorities straight. What does he think they mean by that? “I know how I want to treat people,” he replies. “I know how I want to be treated. And I enjoy life. You know, you’ve got to have fun. And I have fun every single day, and the number one priority is to be a good person, and I’ve always tried to be that.”

© MMV, CBS Worldwide Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

100 Reasons to Hate Derek Jeter

100 Reasons to Hate Derek Jeter
Jim Turner - January 17, 2006

Before we start, let's make a couple of things clear; nowhere here will you read that Derek Jeter sucks. That's the kind of simplistic, if passionate, thinking best left to Red Sox fans. So let it be said:

Derek Jeter is a championship-quality major league baseball player.

He will one day be inducted into the baseball Hall of Fame.

He has never committed a criminal act.

He is not a member of NAMBLA

That said, if you're not a Yankees fan - that is, if you have a soul - there are plenty of reasons to despise Mr. Jeter. Let us count the ways:

1. The Fist-Pump - Jeter's trademark celebration for a home run, key single, stolen base, finding a nice parking spot...

2. The Number - When he joined the Yankees, Jeter wanted a single-digit number, noting that there weren't many left, and insinuating himself into such company as Ruth, Gehrig, Mantle, DiMaggio and Berra. Not shy, our Derek.

3. His range - and lack of it - By almost any measure, Derek Jeter is a below average defensive shortstop. He consistently ranks near the bottom of the league in most defensive categories. The debate about Jeter's defense isn't about good or bad, it's whether he's merely below average or the worst in the league.

4. The fact that many (Yankees fans) think he has great range - Jeter is a very good player, so there is a tendency for his supporters to think he is good at everything. He's not. If the stats don't convince you, just watch him. Ground balls up the middle go for base hits at an alarming rate - hence the joke: "What do you call a slow roller to Derek Jeter's left?" "Single up the middle!"

5. The Jump-Throw - Exhibit A in case of the illusion of Derek Jeter's fantastic defense. Here, he ranges to his right, backhands the ball, leaps into the air and fires the ball to first. Hey it looks nice, never mind the fact that if he just planted and threw, he'd still nab the runner by 20 feet.

6. Wristbands - complete with a little silhouette of Sir Derek himself, either jumping or watching a slow grounder roll past him for a base hit - it's hard to tell on TV.

7. Be like Derek? - Nike gear with silhouettes of athletes was first made famous by Michael Jordan. That Jeter has such a line implies that he could be considered the Michael Jordan of baseball. That's just spooky...

8. Mariah

9. Born in 1974 - the same year that gave us the Watergate scandal, Dungeons and Dragons and the Volkswagen Golf.

10. His middle name is Sanderson

11. Has played in an appalling 23 post season series - 22 of the 30 major league franchises haven't played in that many.

12. He's really quite overrated - Yes, Jeter does a large number of things well on a baseball field. But to justify the adulation he receives, he needs to add about 20 homers a year, 30 walks and a Nobel Peace Prize.

13. Overrated does not mean bad - Yankees fans flip out when the "o-word" comes up in relation to Jeter. But Tony Gwynn was overrated, too. So was Joe DiMaggio, in that he's a top 20 all-time player, rather than a top 5. Both are still deserving Hall of Famers.

14. Has never missed the Playoffs in his career.

15. Salary - $19 million per year. Jeter has ranked in the top 5 in salary for the past 4 seasons. It's the only category in which he has placed in the top 5 for those four seasons.

16. Fox sports - They've given us baseball playing robots, and glowing pucks, and they are the undisputed world leaders in Jeter worship.

17. Guest Commentator - The first time Jeter misses the playoffs, Fox will hire him as an analyst.

18. The body armour - the huge elbow pad, shin guard, hand guard for running the bases - this guy comes with more accessories than Metrosexual GI Joe.

19. Not even the best shortstop on his own team

20. Yankees fans - you know them. The bluster. The obnoxious sense of entitlement. The cute way they pretend that their team has faced adversity. They are Jeter's most ardent defenders, but at least they follow the team with the same degree of misguided passion.

21. "Yankees" fans - these are the people who aligned themselves with the Yankees when they started winning in the 90s. They buy the camouflage Yankee hats and think that Shawn Chacon is a blend of coffee offered at Starbucks.

22. Jeter fans - a subsection of "Yankees" fans; These people identify the Yankees entirely through Jeter, generally pay little attention to baseball and have actually tried to order a Shawn Chacon at Starbucks.

23. Originally from New Jersey

24. "Mr. Clutch" - well, not really. Jeter's career numbers are .314/.386/.461. His postseason numbers are .307/.379/.463, which is about what you'd expect. Yes, he was MVP of the 2000 World Series, and has batted .400 or better in 7 post season series. He's also batted under .250 in 7 post season series.

25. Moved ARod - to 3B, despite the fact that he was both the reigning AL MVP and Gold Glove shortstop. Not a very Captain-like move, especially considering that Jeter's strengths - a strong arm and the ability to track pop ups - would make him a good third baseman and thus improve the team.

26. 2004 Gold Glove - Thanks to Nomar being dealt to the NL, incumbent gold glover ARod being moved and the highlight of Jeter's face plant catch against the Red Sox being played ad nauseum.

27. Gold Glove voters - With their lemming-like tendencies (see Palmeiro, Rafael) and now that Jeter has been honoured, he'll probably win another one.

28. 2005 Gold Glove - aw, crap...

29. "The Play" - The infamous Oakland flip-throw in game 3 of the 2001 ALDS. A nice play, but A) I'm curious to see what would've happened if he hadn't cut off the throw, since it looked like it might have been on line anyway, and B) it wouldn't have mattered if Giambi had SLID!!! Probably didn't want to break the family vial of testosterone in his back pocket.

30. Comparing "The Play" - to Willie Mays' robbery of Vic Wertz in the '54 Series, or any other famous post season play. Such comparisons overlook one important thing: the Mays ball didn't have the option of SLIDING!!! Freakin' Giambi...

31. "And you are?" - on the Giambi play, there is no mention of the catcher who A) held his position, B) fielded the flip-throw and C) slapped a perfect tag on Giambi. Jorge Posada gets zero credit for this play.

32. Top step dugout Cheerleading - Whenever a Yankee gets a hit, or - God forbid - a home run, cameras will inevitably catch Jeter leaping onto the field like a dugout Whack-a-mole - pumping his fist, naturally.

33. "Talk to the hand" - Cocky little gesture he gives the plate umpire prior to every pitch of every at-bat to signal time. Can't wait for someone to quick pitch him when he does this. First, an umpire will have to remind him that you don't call time in baseball, you ask for it.

34. Gum chewing - Hey Derek, it's gum, not cud - close your mouth once in a while.

35. Jeffrey Maier - Part of Jeter's clutch status is owed to a 12-year-old little leaguer with bad hands. Without Maier, Jeter's first big clutch hit - in game 1 of the 1996 ALCS, would be a long fly out. Umps didn't make the interference call and the legend was born.

36. Grounds into DP - double figures in every season of his career. They are all "clutch" double plays, naturally.

37. Game 4 of the 2005 ALDS - Jeter sends a dribbler to 3B Chone Figgins, who comes up throwing to the plate - the throw is offline, and routine grounder turns into heroic game-winning RBI.

38. More post-season games - than Ruth, Cobb, Aaron and Mays... combined

39. The face of baseball - Jeter can be found in virtually every ad, montage and highlight package for Major League Baseball.

40. 2002 ALCS against Anaheim - Slow grounders up the middle repeatedly ended up in centre field and the Angels pounded the Yankees.

41. Jeter the Foxbot? - For the black helicopter conspiracy theorists, you can make an argument that Jeter is in fact an android built in secret by Rupert Murdoch's minions. Consider that his rookie year and first World Series win took place in 1996, the first year Fox had MLB broadcast rights. It would also help to explain Tim McCarver's raging Jeterphilia.

42. Man-love from other broadcasters - Pat Tabler, who is otherwise completely likeable, is particularly nauseating when it comes to this, and will even lapse into speechless admiration.

43. "Catalyst" - Say Jeter leads off an inning with a routine grounder and reaches on an error. Two batters later, Gary Sheffield belts a 3-run homer. The announcers will invariably trace the rally to Jeter's inherent "clutchness."

44. Face-plant catch - Jeter's snag of a foul pop up in extra innings vs. Boston. Nice play, but he took about three full steps before leaping into the stands. Dude, pull the chute! This play did clinch the 2004 Gold Glove for him, but Juan Uribe made a better catch in the '05 World Series, and he managed to save his face, too.

45. Derek Jeter: sex symbol. Sure, he's clean cut, but he also looks "like the Rock had sex with a muppet." This quote is actually from Jeter himself, in drag as a Yankees fan during a Saturday Night Live sketch. Granted, he gets a little bit of credit for poking fun at himself. That said...

46. He hosted Saturday Night Live - Consider the athletes from other sports who've done this: Wayne Gretzky, Michael Jordan, Joe Montana. Is Jeter really considered in the same sphere as those guys?!? Why not Barry Bonds? Now THAT would be some comedy.

47. His contract - The Yankees will be pay $21 million for a 36-year-old Jeter in 2010. That kind of deal will have even the Yankees hollering "Albatross!" louder than John Cleese at the Hollywood Bowl.

48. World Series rings - more than Hall of Famers Ernie Banks, Ted Lyons, Gaylord Perry, Luke Appling, George Sisler, Jim Bunning, Bobby Wallace, Billy Williams, Rod Carew, Jack Chesbro, Elmer Flick, Harry Heilmann, Fergie Jenkins, Addie Joss, George Kell, Ralph Kiner, Nap Lajoie, Ryne Sandberg, Robin Yount, Carlton Fisk, Carl Yazstremski, Robin Roberts, Bob Feller, Nolan Ryan and Walter Johnson combined.

49. Captain of the Yankees - the Yankees didn't need a captain during the DiMaggio or Mantle eras, and they seemed to do just fine.

50. #2 Jeter jerseys - the Yankees have always insisted it's the name on the front of the jersey that matters, but the fans are so insecure that they need the name plastered on the back, for fear that someone might not know who they're supporting.

51. Pink #2 Jeter jerseys - Dressing your daughter in one of these isn't child abuse per se, but it's close.

52. Tim Kurkjian Man-Crush - The ESPN writer named Jeter "The Face of Baseball" in part citing the following: "Jeter has a nice face, a rugged face, a handsome face." That's some fine baseball journalism there, Tim.

53. Derek Sanderson Jeter - is an anagram for "A Rendered Jerk So Sent"

54. "Why would he have MY cell number?" - Jeter's jerk-athlete response after being injured on Opening Day 2003 by Jays' catcher Ken Huckaby, and being told that Huckaby had called to apologize. The play was exactly the hard working type that has made Jeter a deity in New York, but how dare a career minor leaguer lay his hands - and shin pads - on the Derek.

55. Will likely one day manage the Yankees - we'll have to put up with him for another 20 years after his playing career ends.

56. If not, he'll go into politics - President Jeter, anyone?

57. Jeter on-base reaction cam - Fox has taken to showing slow-motion replays of Jeter on base after a team mate's home run, which he celebrates with a fist-pump, naturally.

58. Jeter-looking-thoughtful-in-the-dugout-cam - Fox once spent a solid 30 seconds panning in on a pensive Jeter sitting on the bench while the game was in progress. This wasn't Jeter sharing sage advice with the manager, or having words with a team mate, mind you - he was literally just sitting there. Sadly, they had to go back to the field for the next pitch, but as soon as it was delivered, presto! - right back to Jeter.

59. "Mr. November" - He did hit the first home run in the history of November baseball in 2001, but he also hit .148 overall in the Series - not exactly Reggie-like.

60. Mr. Yankee? Not so much - Has been the best player on his team exactly once in 11 full seasons - 1999, when he led the club with a .990 OPS.

61. Inclusion in the Shortstop Trinity - which could more accurately be described as "Alex Rodriguez and a couple of guys who aren't nearly as good."

62. Never won a Silver Slugger Award - that's right, despite being a shortstop whose value is largely tied to his offense, he's never been the best offensive shortstop in his league.

63. 2006 Gold Glove - Bobby Crosby and Miguel Tejada better start throwing themselves into the stands with reckless abandon.

64. Born in June - same month as Kenny G., Barry Manilow, John Dillinger. I'm not drawing any conclusions here, I'm just sayin'...

65. The Short Porch - the perfect spot for Jeter's particular brand of middling, opposite field power. 12 of his 19 homers were at Yankee Stadium in 2005.

66. Derek the Homer - Jeter has hit a Hall of Fame-like .334/.405/.505 at Yankee Stadium, but just .280/.350/.411 on the road over the past three years.

67. Home cooked scoring - Jeter would have to hoof the ball off ARod's noggin' and toss it into the 3rd deck before getting an error from the Yankee scorekeeper.

68. Fox Sports director's instructions - The shot list during a typical Fox playoff broadcast:

Jeter close-up
Star of brand-new-soon-to-be-cancelled-Fox series
Billy Crystal

Note: does not necessarily have to be a Yankees playoff game.

69. Never been the best player at his position - for even a single season. This would seem to be a prerequisite if you're going to be a legend.

70. Pyrite Glove, part 1 - Among AL shortstops who qualified, Jeter ranked dead last in Range Factor (putouts + assists divided by innings) in 2001, 2002 AND 2003.

71. Pyrite Glove, part 2 - Among AL shortstops who qualified, Jeter ranked dead last in Zone Rating in 2001, 2002 and 2003.

72. Pyrite Glove, part 3 -Jeter's range factor and zone rating have improved over the last two seasons. It's almost like he has a gold glove shortstop playing next to him...

73. Strikes out a fair bit - More than 100 Ks 6 times, and 3 more seasons with exactly 99.

74. "Strike three? Surely you jest" - The look of disbelief he gives umpires EVERY TIME he's rung up on strikes, a mixture of "that almost hit me" and "don't you know who I am?"

75. Name rhymes with "cheater."

76. That almost hit me! - His exaggerated little dive out of the way whenever a pitch comes remotely close to him.

77. Jeter the Guru - Here's a quote from Jeter's 2004 Playboy interview: "has a knack for elevating the play of his teammates." What exactly are they basing this on? ARod came to the Yankees and immediately had his worst season. Randy Johnson declined in his first season in pinstripes. Pavano, Weaver, Rondell White. Not that Jeter's to blame, but where are the guys who improved dramatically because of him? And what exactly did he do?

78. Premature Ejeterlation - this is when a broadcaster, oh let's say Tim McCarver, forecasts a Yankee rally before Jeter even steps to the plate.

79. Jeter the owner - It's one of Jeter's post-baseball goals. He won't have the money, even given his ridiculous contract, but who knows? Steinbrenner is volatile - he could become estranged from his own children, and he's always treated Jeter something like a son.... you see where this is going...

80. Tim McCarver Man-crush - There are a few dozen quotes that could be cited here, but I think I'll go with "Jeter has the calmest pair of eyes under pressure." Where's Deion Sanders with that bucket of water?

81. First guy to the Dog pile - makes sense, since he's the first guy to the top of the dugout. Just get him some pom-poms already.

82. 2.62 million hits on Google - That's more than ARod, Bonds, Pujols, Sosa, Clemens or any other player in Major League Baseball.

83. Visa commercial with Steinbrenner - only St. Derek could turn a criticism from his owner - partying too late - into a marketing opportunity.

84. "Past a diving Jeter!" - Your defensive rep suffers less when you dive for everything that's going to roll past you. Slowly.

85. Astrological sign is Cancer - Just like David Duke, OJ Simpson, Lizzy Borden. Once again, I'm just sayin'...

86. Intangibles - Jeter fans and most announcers will tell you that it's his intangibles that separate Jeter from everyone else. Of course, you can't measure intangibles - that's why they're intangibles - and so you can credit Jeter with anything without being able to prove or disprove it. Fall of Communism? Jeter. Human Genome Project? also Jeter. iPod? That's right...

87. "Jeter makes that play" - Actually, unless you're talking about beer league softball, he probably doesn't. See also "Jeter woulda' had it."

88. Will one day be on the Yankees all-time team. Meanwhile there's only room for one of Mickey Mantle or Joe DiMaggio and one of Bill Dickey or Yogi Berra.

89. The Yankees $200 million payroll - See, it's this, and not Jeter's leadership that makes the players around him better. It turns Aaron Boone into Alex Rodriguez and Raul Mondesi into Gary Sheffield.

90. "Knows how to win" - perhaps the single most oft-cited and utterly ridiculous of Jeter's mystical abilities. Apparently the secret formula is a 200-HR offense, mercenary Cy Young winner de jour and the best closer in the history of baseball.

91. Bat toss - the way Jeter discards his bat as though it contains anthrax whenever he draws a walk.

92. John Kruk Man-crush - In his 2004 article "Jeter is the Ultimate Winner," Kruk wrote that he would take Jeter over Rodriguez. He repeated these thoughts later on radio: ""Right now, Derek Jeter is the best player in the game today. Hands down. I would take him over Alex Rodriguez any day." In terms of accuracy and lucidity, this quote ranks just behind "Brownie, you're doin' a heckuva job!"

93. 15,000 or so - the number of Yankees fans who pack the Rogers Centre every time the Yankees are in town and cheer obnoxiously as Jeter flawlessly handles grounders hit right at him.

94. Endorsements - for Nike, Gatorade, Fleet Bank, MasterCard, Visa, Skippy Peanut Butter and XM Satellite Radio among others. Miguel Tejada, meanwhile, can't score a deal for "Time Life's Polka Hits of the '70s."

95. Forbes 100 - Jeter ranks 38th on the Forbes list of top 100 Celebrities, tops among all baseball players.

96. Derek Jeter.com - hosted by mlb.com. Chock full of stats, highlights and of course, you're greeted by a fist-pumping Jeter.

97. Most Marketable Baseball Player - Jeter was so-voted by the 2005 Sports Business Journal. This has to be a concern for Major League Baseball, when they have more talented young stars out there. This is kind of like Chauncey Billups being named the NBA's most marketable player.

98. "Jeter's Journal" - Guess it sounds a little tougher than "Derek's Diary." This is the spot on Jeter's website where you can be treated to such pearls of wisdom as "You play one game at a time," and such whining as "it's always an easy thing for people to say, 'They have a high payroll, which is why they win.'" Yep, it's awful when people latch on to the truth like that.

99. Irony, thy name is Nike - The Derek Jeter Nike shoe is called the 6-4-3, despite the fact that Jeter is consistently below average in turning double plays. Coming soon, the Shaquille O'Neal Free Throw 5000...

100. Jeter the Leader - Hannibal, Churchill, Washington - rank amateurs compared to the Yankee captain. No player gets more credit for his leadership. Not that leadership is non-existent, but where's the love for Bernie Williams, who's been a Yankee just as long and hit just as well in the post season? And where was Jeter's leadership in 2001? Or when the Yankees collapsed against Boston? Incidentally, the Yankees haven't won the Series since Jeter was named captain.

Thanks to Sean Doyle for his editorial suggestions

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Derek Jeter: All-Star ladies' man

Wednesday, December 15, 2004
Updated: February 14, 11:33 AM ET

Derek Jeter: All-Star ladies' man

By Jason McIntyre
Special to Page 3

Editor's Note: In the spirit of Valentine's Day, Page 3 thought it'd be fitting to re-visit sports' most eligible bachelor's dating history.

At this point, we shouldn't be surprised by anything Derek Jeter does on the field, or more precisely, anyone he is spotted with off of it.

Comes up with a game-winning home run in the World Series? Yawn.

Dates former Miss Universe, Lara Dutta?

Well, that one staggered just about everybody -- let's be honest, we're not talking the cute ticket girl at the local cinema. This is Miss Universe -- tiara and all. How can you top that? Miss Solar System? The contest may not yet exist, but you just know Ryan Seacrest would host it.

And when word quickly spread out of Los Angeles that the All-Star shortstop was spotted with actress Scarlett Johansson -- albiet briefly -- you had to pause, gently finger your goatee and think, ''Damn, he did it again.''

It's impossible to nail down a timeline of Jeter and his many lovelies, but let's give it a try:

April 1996 -- In his first major league game, Jeter homers and makes spectacular over-the-shoulder catch in victory over Cleveland. That's about the extent of his career accolades we'll get into. A star is born.

December 1997 -- In one of his first boldface-name mentions, Jeter mysteriously pops up on the set of a Mariah Carey music video. Those with half a brain recall Jeter saying she was his ''favorite artist'' back in 1996 and the wheels begin in motion. Hmmm.

March 1998 -- The authorities are alerted. Mariah Carey, fresh off a quickie divorce from music mogul husband Tommy Mottola, turns up at Yankees spring training in Florida. The media incessantly hounds Jeter while teammate Tim Raines jokes in the dugout, ''Is this baseball or 'Entertainment Tonight?'''

March (later) 1998 -- Yeah, she stayed for all of spring training. You couldn't walk into a Waffle House or Steakhouse in Tampa without seeing the lovebirds cuddling. And Mariah, quite the sexpot back in the day, was notorious for wearing daisy dukes everywhere she went. One newspaper calls in Dr. Joyce Brothers to weigh in on the relationship (yes, seriously).

June 1998 -- The romance crumbles under the harsh spotlight of unrelenting media scrutiny. Publicists on both sides give the standard-issue ''the media pressure got to them'' line. Jeter's stats are slightly down across the board -- fewer RBI, more strikeouts, lower batting average. Manager Joe Torre notices.

November 1998 -- At a party hosted by Puff Daddy in New York City, newspapers report that Jeter brushes off Carey, turning his back to her at one point, when she tries to talk to him. He is overheard telling her, ''You're crazy.'' This, my friends, is the end of celebrity relationship No. 1.

May 2000 -- While watching Regis and Kathy Lee (who knew?), Jeter supposedly falls in love with the women who just captured Miss Universe, Lara Dutta. Jeter would have asked Kathy Lee for advice on how to maintain a celebrity-athlete romance, but we all know about Frank's propensity for flight attendants.

May (later) 2000 -- Days after her appearance on Regis, Miss Universe mysteriously appears at a Yankees game (along with Miss USA). Supposedly, Jeter sent her a pair of tickets, but 2:1 odds says his agent made this one happen.

November 2000 -- Jeter and Miss Universe don't watch the bizarre election on TV. Instead, they party at a club in NYC and newspapers claim they spend all night ''canoodling'' (which, in case you're new to all this, is something between mushy love talk, hand-holding, and making out like high schoolers).

May 2001 -- As Jeter and Miss Universe approach their one-year anniversary, none other than Tiger Woods is said to have made a move on the shortstop's squeeze. As the story goes, Tiger (or people from his foundation) invited Miss Universe to the Tiger Jam IV Benefit in Las Vegas. Tiger's people deny. Jeter scratches his head. My brother graduates from college.

August 2001 -- Miss Universe who? From left field, we are hit over the head with this shocker: Jeter's pal, Alex Rodriguez, had recently begun hanging out with singer Joy Enriquez (or perhaps you know her like I do ... from ''7th Heaven''); but when he introduced her to Jeter, it was curtains.

Jeter steals his best friend's girl! Oh my high school, Batman! (This is the second time in recorded history this has happened -- nobody has forgotten the Tim Couch-Heather Kozar-Cade McNown disaster that got McNown banned from the Playboy Mansion). Clearly, Jeter has a hankering for singers.

July 2002 -- Despite a one-year hiatus from the world knowing who he was dating (although there may have been a non-celeb or two in there), word begins to spread of Jeter's new love interest, a personal favorite of mine, actress Jordana Brewster. Who can forget her epic turn in ''Fast and Furious?'' She was robbed by the Academy, I tell you.

December 2002 -- The lovebirds are spotted Christmas shopping in NYC. It's been slightly more than six months, and people begin to wonder ... could Jeter get serious with her? Is she - gasp!- the one? Gorgeous, Yale-pedigree, gorgeous, actress, always smiling ... did I mention gorgeous?

April 2003 -- Jeter is no-show for Brewster's 26th birthday party. Guys around America (OK, maybe just me) rejoice because she's back on the market; women do, too. The autopsy doesn't reveal a cause -- they never do in these athlete-celebrity relationships.

May 2003 -- The superstar is spotted hanging out at 4 a.m. with a hostess from the famed strip club Scores. She tells a newspaper that her Jeter paired off, while his wingman Jeff Weaver (Jeff Weaver? Are you kidding me?), hit it off. Yada, yada, yada, and the girls left at 8 a.m.

November 2003 -- Court side at a Knicks game, Jeter is photographed with former Miss Teen USA, Vanessa Minnillo. She doubles as a host on the MTV teeny-bopper show, Total Request Live. It's a puzzling connection to many, until they google her and come upon some rather racy bathing suit photos. This begins an off-and-on relationship between Jeter and Minnillo, which lasts up until this very day.

July 2004 -- Word begins to spread of Jeter cozying up to Jessica Alba, the actress who starred in ''Honey.'' If for some inexplicable reason you missed ''Honey,'' kindly TiVO it, and enjoy it on Saturdays, and twice on Sundays. Reports say that Jeter has long had an interest in Alba, and they finally connected on one of his West Coast road trips in early summer.

November 2004 -- Although there wasn't a press release about a breakup with Alba, a sighting of Jeter and Minnillo in New York lets everyone know that he's back to old standby. Not that she's a standby to scoff at. If such a thing exists.

December 2004 - The biggest playboy in all of sports -- with apologies to Patriots quarterback Tom Brady -- is spotted at an LA restaurant (supposedly for the Microsoft Christmas Party - go figure) with 20-year-old actress Scarlett Johansson. As if Jeter needed to add to his legend, the ''Lost in Translation'' star had been in a months-long relationship with Jared Leto, the guy who made a name for himself as a brooding loner in ''My So Called Life'' (I only know this stuff because women cannot stop talking about him). One can only wonder what starlets Jeter will romance in 2005.

Jason McIntyre covers sports and entertainment in New York City. He can be reached at jasonrajmcintyre@yahoo.com.

Friday, May 12, 2006

Low-key Jeter leads by example

Mark Herrmann

Low-key Jeter leads by example

April 28, 2006

He does not have the American League Most Valuable Player plaque, as one of his teammates does. He did not have the winning hit last night, he did not have the lion's share of publicity this spring, he maybe does not have as much of his team's hopes on his shoulders as the closer does.

What Derek Jeter does have, though, is the Yankees in his hands.

No matter who they get or what those players do, this still is Jeter's team. He is the captain, the undisputed leader, the people's choice. He also happens to be batting .408.

"Man, he is in a zone," said Shawn Chacon, the winning pitcher who benefited from Jeter's three hits and a walk at Yankee Stadium last night. "You hope he stays that way for a long time."

No one expects Jeter to hit .400 for the season, but it is a sure bet that he is going to be the same Jeter tomorrow and July 4 and Oct. 1. In terms of personality, he is pretty much the same guy he was two years ago today, when he was in an 0-for-28 slide and batting .169. He is pretty much the same Jeter he was in 1996, only better.

"I go back and think of him as a 21-year-old kid," Joe Torre said, recalling 1996, his first year as manager and Jeter's first year as the starting shortstop. "How confident he was, and how he handled mistakes and misjudgments and stuff like that. I was very impressed.

"Derek has been very special here. High expectations as soon as he got here, replacing Tony Fernandez, an All-Star shortstop. He certainly has handled just about everything that was thrown at him."

Jeter went 3-for-3 last night, including the double that produced the final run in a 4-1 win over the Devil Rays. He and Torre were most taken by the walk he worked in the sixth inning against starter Mark Hendrickson, an at-bat that set up a three-run rally. Torre recalled that the young Jeter never would have been that selective.

The player sloughed it off. "I'm getting older," he said. "I can't swing as much."

He did admit that he is getting good at-bats. "When you get good at-bats, the hits will come," he said. But that was about it, in terms of ruminating. Introspection is not his thing.

"Nope. As soon as you do that, you don't get any more hits," said the man who is batting .591 on the current homestand, which continues tonight with a visit from the improved Blue Jays.

He does fine with honesty, even better with modesty, lousy with insight. Part of what makes him special is that he is able to shine while being so darned low-key. Fact is he still does stand out, which is no easy feat on this team.

Alex Rodriguez has the MVP plaque, which he received at the Yankees' request on the field before last night's game from Pete Caldera, chairman of the New York baseball writers chapter. Johnny Damon has had the lion's share of attention this year, and will get more as the Yankees visit his old team in Boston next week.

Hideki Matsui punched his way out of a slump with a key hit last night. Mariano Rivera secured the save, one night after he took his second loss of the season. Kyle Farnsworth threw 100 miles per hour.

And Jeter stole the show.

"When you watch him play, you see what he does on the field," said Chacon, who became a Yankee last summer. "Off the field, when you get over here, you see it's not about him getting on people and being that loud kind of leader. He leads by example. His energy, his positive attitude is contagious. He's just always trying to pick guys up, whether he has a good or bad night."

Jeter is a quietly commanding presence from that cubicle on the far side of the clubhouse, the one next to the permanently vacant locker of late captain Thurman Munson. It is where Jeter says stuff like this after he reaches .408: "We've only been playing a couple of weeks . . . It's really not any different than any other season . . . Everybody goes through stretches . . . "

"I don't overanalyze things like some guys do," he said.

No kidding. Might that just be part of the key to having such a handle on things?

"Probably," he said. Then he smiled and left.