Lupica sees Jeter's importance
(Lupica, NY Daily News): "He (Jeter) will be in the Hall of Fame and still isn't the kind of baseball immortal that Mo Rivera is,
- because Rivera isn't just the greatest closer of all time,
- he is the greatest single pitcher the Yankees have ever had, with all due respect to Whitey.
But in all the important ways, representing what the Yankees used to represent before they became like some bank of baseball,
- Jeter has been the most important of them.
It is why I hope he stays at shortstop as long as he wants to and I hope he gets paid again when the time comes.
- George Steinbrenner is out of the picture now and Joe Torre is in Los Angeles. Maybe that is why the presence of the old Yankees and Jeter in particular seems more meaningful than ever before, as they try to do it one more time.
The main criticism of Jeter, before everybody moved in on his loss of range, is that he never said enough, that he wasn't a vocal enough leader or a fascinating quote. But he never signed on for that. He signed on to win, and after those first five years thought he was going to win as much as Joe DiMaggio did.
- He is still everything the Yankees want to be. He is old-Yankee class at a time when they open this monument to excess and act as if they have done something as noble as building a library, or a church. If A-Rod is the face of the excess of this decade, Jeter is the face of the last one. The fans liked the last decade better.
Jeter has made his money, you bet. Signed that contract for $191 million right after A-Rod got his $252 million off the Texas Rangers (before Hank Steinbrenner came along to show Tom Hicks, the Rangers' owner, that he could sign Rodriguez to an even dumber contract than that one). But somehow, because of all the winning, he has never been thrown in with the $200-million-a-year All-Stars who haven't won it all since the Subway Series of 2000.
It was the end of what will be the last great time in Yankee history, the four in five and three in a row between 1998 and 2000, the closest thing in the last half-century to the Yankees winning five World Series in a row between '49 and '53. Jeter's Yankees doing that
- in a world where you have to win three playoff rounds and
'Derek Jeter in a Class by Himself for Yankees,' by Mike Lupica, 4/4/09.
- (Everyone knows minuses exist. They have gone viral as bile and negativity do today. Some people use such activity to pitch paying jobs or at least appear hip and smart, members of a fraternity. This article is an exception and will of course be mocked). sm