New York Times: Bad Call, Messing With Derek

We all know kids who pretended to believe the fairy tales, long after they were suspected to be untrue…Santa, the Tooth Fairy, the Easter Bunny,  (who, me?!). 

Partially because after about 5 minutes of feeling like the smartest kid in the world for figuring it out, we they realized how much smarter it was to keep believing.

The easy rationale is that the take would be bigger if the charade continued. Sometimes, we just don’t care about the reality. The sweeter story is that sometimes we just want to believe in people, and things that make us happy. 

Even mature grown ups. And yes, even New Yorkers.

Regular readers know baseball has a special part in my life: in general, and specifically. From spring training in mid-February, to the fall classic in late October-the rhythmn of the season, the rituals and the human dramas: it’s my wallpaper, for  two-thirds of  the  year.

You don’ t have to be from New York to know that longtime NY Yankee captain Derek Jeter is, at this writing, 2 hits short of reaching a career 3000 hits.  A milestone that  27 others have reached, but none whose entire career was in Yankee pinstripes.

Jeter is the Team Captain everyone likes. Grandmothers and babies wear his jersey. His low-key, always professional behavior makes fans proud, and he is just so darn cute, with those dimples and twinkley eyes.  Collectively, the town is happy to be rooting for a good guy, our hero.

Catching up on my reading the other day, I felt a knife went through my heart when I saw this cover on the NYT June 26th magazine section

Yes. On the day of Derek’s 37th birthday, on the cover of the magazine section,  they ran a cover with a his likeness as a lit birthday candle, covered in dripping wax.

You can read the big print.  And between the lines.

The covers’  fine print reads: “Derek Jeter turns 37, an age that for a professional athlete, is nothing to celebrate”;  Michael Sokolove’s lead on the article is “Forever Young, except on the playing field’.

The article looks at the aging of professional athletes in general, but even to a casual Jeter fan like myself, it was M-E-A-N.  And mean to us all.

To all those who participated in the decision to hawk this story now, and in this manner: cheap hit, and a bad call to deal with reality when we all just want to be happy for the guy. AND  keep our own happy places intact. 

BOO HISS>may you find out what really happened to your dog when you were a kid.