A theory about Jeter’s frustration

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In today’s Daily News, Anthony McCarron would have us believe that Derek Jeter is frustrated with the Alex Rodriguez situation. That’s what the headline says, and that’s what his article intimates.

Upon closer reading, however, this concept utterly breaks down. Let’s excerpt only Derek Jeter’s quotes and not McCarron’s reporting/analysis.

“I’m not addressing Alex’s situation until everybody’s here…”

“I’m not going to do it every single day,” Jeter said… “Are things a distraction? It’s a distraction when you talk about it every single day…”

“Every year it’s something,” Jeter said Tuesday. “Last year…I’m sure you go back, there was something. It’s the Yankees, there’s always a story at some point. A lot of the guys who’ve been here, they’re used to it. Not something of this level, but used to answering questions about some other things. Once baseball activities begin, hopefully we can concentrate on that.

“I understand you guys have a job to do, I really do,” Jeter told reporters. “But we have a job to do, too, and it’s much better for me, much better for the team to address it one time and not continually address it day after day. If everyone (in the media contingent) was down here today, I’d address it today.

“A lot of times, situations where there’s controversy, guys pull for each other and pull together a little more. That’s what you hope for.”

That, my friends, is not Derek Jeter getting frustrated over Alex Rodriguez. That is Derek Jeter, after 13 seasons, unleashing his pent up fury over the New York media. It’s been a long time coming.

Derek, as Joe Torre and Tom Verducci make abundantly clear in their recent book, has been the even-keeled leader in the Yankee Clubhouse. While not as outspoken as many of his critics would like him to be, he leads by example. He certainly knows about and masterfully exploits the give-and-take surrounding the Yanks and the hyper-sensitive media. This is, in a way, the first real crack we’ve seen in Derek’s armor, and I applaud it.

At some point, the media is going to have to acknowledge its role in the steroid scandal through something other than misguided righteous indignation. These reporters were in the clubhouse every day; they saw the players; they must have known something about what was going on. Yet, none of them bothered to pursue the story ten years ago. So they resort to over-the-top coverage and attempt to sow dissent among the Yanks, the Giants, whichever player tests positive today.

Derek is right to take these reporters to task, and he’s doing today exactly what a captain should be doing. He’s protecting his teammates from what has turned out to be a rather vicious media machine. I certainly don’t expect the press to kowtow to baseball players. I’m a firm believer in the First Amendment and feel that a healthy press is a vital to the American democracy. But at some point, these reporters need a lecture like the one Derek gave yesterday. Good for him.

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  • UWS

    I agree with you, Ben. Too bad the media won’t see it that way, though.

  • http://www.new.facebook.com/home.php?ref=home#/profile.php?id=594331910&ref=name Jamal G.

    I can’t believe someone actually interpreted those comments as such what the article portrayed.

  • steve (different one)

    i agree also. i’m really liking this new, slightly testy Jeter.

    • Jack

      Someone’s got to take over for Moose.

  • usty

    Seriously. Buster Olney was in that Yankee clubhouse EVERY day to the point where he has quotes from players before the 2001 World Series and Mo’s “Just get me the ball and we’ll win” comment after Monaghan’s speech. How could he not have known ANYTHING? And there’s 100’s of guys like him, now sitting on a high horse browbeating everyone like they’re shocked. If they’re shocked about it, they’re pretty crappy reporters then.

    • usty

      and P.S. No Maas’ exclusive today is hysterical.

    • rbizzler

      In all fairness to Buster, he is one of the only writers I have seen who has actually acknowledged that the media was complicit in allowing the PED use (greenies especially) to go unchecked.

    • http://www.supertangas.com The man with 33 fingers

      Yes, agreed. But Arod was in Texas when this happened….so its not Busters fault on THIS ONE….

      • donttradecano

        Journalists shouldnt take the moral high road…how many of them probably once or twice have done something immoral to get a story?

        My guess is alot

        • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

          Journalists shouldnt take the moral high road…how many of them probably once or twice have done something immoral to get a story?

          Tim Kurkjian stabbed a guy.

          • Colombo

            Kurkjian: Yeah, there were horses, and a man on fire, and I killed a guy with a trident.

      • usty

        I know, I was just throwing his name out as an example of a guy who had pretty damn good access (see “The Last Night of the Yankee Dynasty) and had 0 stories about anything regarding PED’s going on in the locker rooms. There were lots of guys like him was my point.

        • steve (different one)


          the dude was putting icyhot on his b@lls. did you really need to look further?

  • ceciguante

    you make a good point, ben. enough is enough. these media guys are just as rotten as everyone else — they think only about themselves and their bottom line, and i think fewer and fewer fans are buying their fabricated brand of righteous indignation. instead of having any journalistic integrity and letting a story run its course, they’re recession-addled sales freaks who try to wring weeks of coverage out of every scoop. it’s pathetic, and their industry has fallen from grace in my opinion.

    but i question when you say jeter is “unleashing his pent up fury.” i have to give DJ more credit than that: as usual, he appears to be calling it like it is here. i didn’t see any video of his quotes, but i don’t read them quotes as furious. i read them as direct and accurate, and i give him a hand for continuing to call it like it is. what he’s doing is sorely needed.

    • MattG

      Not to mention the timing of this incident. Can it really be coincidence that this story broke during the sport page’s slowest stretch of the year, in time for the Sunday edition, no less?

      I can just imagine scores of salesmen running around, “Listen, you’re gonna want to advertise in this issue coming up–I can’t tell you why, but we’re going to sell a LOT of copies!”

      The writers are pathetic pawns for other people’s agendas. Thank goodness for blogs, and thank goodness for the internet. The newspaper medium can’t die soon enough.

      • GoTerpsGo

        Maybe Jeter will now end up on a Bill O’Reilly ambush, which would then be followed by a tirade against the paparazzi following Christian Bale. :D

        I’m glad DJ told those guys to back off (in a nice way of course).

    • mustang

      Good points.

  • http://www.supertangas.com The man with 33 fingers

    It strikes me as odd that we ask tougher questions and demand more accountability of Baseball players then we do of Bank CEOs who we are handing Billions because they destroyed the economy.

    Well, now that I have that off my chest. Nice job Jete. Don’t let them dictate your response.

    • TheLastClown

      Agree wholeheartedly. If you like, I’ll take you down to Wall St. & you can start pointing some of those 33 fingers!

      • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

        Bring some of your friends from your blog with you, please.

    • mustang

      So true.

      • Bo

        that almost makes too much sense

        We got politicians wanting to bring in steroid users into hearing but nothing from the CEO’s of Fannie and Freddie.

        • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

          Tuesday, December 09, 2008
          Committee Holds Hearing on Collapse of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac
          The Committee held a hearing titled, “The Role of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in the Financial Crisis” on Tuesday, December 9, 2008, in 2154 Rayburn House Office Building. The hearing examined the extent to which the actions and policies of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac may have contributed to the ongoing crisis.
          A preliminary hearing transcript is available for download.
          The following witnesses testified:

          o Leland Brendsel, former CEO, Freddie Mac
          o Daniel Mudd, former CEO, Fannie Mae
          o Franklin Raines, former CEO, Fannie Mae
          o Richard Syron, former CEO, Freddie Mac
          o Charles Calomiris, Arthur Burns Scholar in International Economics, American Enterprise Institute
          o Arnold Kling, adjunct scholar, Cato Institute
          o Edward Pinto, former Chief Credit Officer, Fannie Mae; real estate financial services consultant
          o Thomas Stanton, fellow, Center for the Study of American Government at Johns Hopkins University


          • Bo

            Good thing they brought them in years after they had Sammy Sosa and Mark McGwire and Palmeiro and Clemens. Nevermind all the warning signs and experts who cautioned against sub prime.

            Then again when they are the ones lining the politicians (dodd, frank) pockets why bring them in for hearings to get the truth?

            • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

              But, just like they started steroids hearings years after the steroid era, they started Fannie and Freddie years after their bad actions necessitated investigations. There’s a natural lag regardless of the issue.

              And, your attempt to smear the Democrats and the current administration for the past is again historically inaccurate. The majority of the subprime lending and shady practices of Fannie and Freddie occurred at the beginning of this decade, pre-2006, when the Republicans controlled Congress. Dodd and Frank weren’t committee chairs back then, they didn’t have subpoena power or control over the hearings calendar. If you’re upset that Congress didn’t act sooner to stop the subprime mess earlier, you have to blame Hastert, Lott, and the GOP too…

  • A.D.

    Probably added to his frustration is that for once there has been more negative or at least not positive media attention toward Jeter with his upcoming contract, play in the field, should he move positions then there ever was for years.

    • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

      Jeter’s internal monologue

      Hmm… contract’s coming up… looks like it’s time for me to finally put on the ol’ “Capt. Intangibles” hat and see if I can use the media to guilt Hal and Hank into making me indispensable…

  • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

    A theory about Jeter’s frustration

    He probably needs to get laid more.

    • mustang

      I’m not to sure, but I don’t think thats it.

    • A.D.


    • Sweet Dick Willie

      If he gets laid any more often, he may just as well change his occupation to “porn star”.

      • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

        Number 2… Derek… Jeter… Pornstar… Number 2…

  • mustang

    Same old same old its the media trying to develop a Jeter vs. A*Rod thing playing on a good vs. evil theme. This is the kind of garbage that the Yankees will have to deal with all year. But like Jeter said nothing new if not this it would be something else.

    • Bo

      Arent two teammates allowed not to love each other like brothers?

      Do they really need to be hand in hand?

      • mustang

        No they don’t I agree with you.

  • WhizzoTheWize

    As the story goes on, the media looks worse and worse.

    Give Whizzo the box scores and shut up!

    Whizzo has sworn off PeteAbe because of this.

    • Ryan S.

      I’ve lost some respect for Pete myself. The fact that he advocated a scorched earth policy really pissed me off.

      • Bo

        You had respect for him?

        The guy has proven to be non objective. If he has an axe to grind, he grinds it. See Girardi. If its the other way, book, pals, etc. He takes easy shots. See Wang, Hughes.

        Hes probably pitching an A-Rod book as we speak.

    • Nady Nation

      George likes his chicken spicy!

      • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

        Is this guy a dentist or Caligula?

  • jesus

    I went on th NYdailynews website and did a simple search of the articles of the two most righteous sports writers in NYC (Lupica and Madden): I simply typed “bill Madden”+steroids and refiined the dates from jan 1 1998 to jan 1 2002 (the supposed “heart of the roids era”). Bill Madden had one or two article about the issue during this time. Lupica proved his articles are based on the direction of the trade winds, had one article about the issue shortly after the andro was seen in Big Mac’s locker.

    • Bo

      Can we vote these writers out of the BBW union because they didn’t properly report on this???

  • Scottof 3 Kids Tickets

    Sorry to get off subject..

    Favre has retired….


    • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

      Saw that. As a Jets fan, I couldn’t be happier. We needed Favre’s money to go upgrade the defense. Goodbye, Brett, hello Bart Scott.

    • Andy In Sunny Daytona

      It’s not really news. Brett Favre has “retired” every year for the past 10.

    • A.D.

      As a Packers fan, I’ve heard this before

      • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

        Good point. But, as the Jets and not the Packers where he has a legacy, we don’t really give a shit about Brett. If he changes his mind in July, we’ve got no qualms about kicking his sorry ass to the curb or trading him to the Tennessee Titans for a future 2nd rounder.

        Oh, you’re having second thoughts, Brett? Fine. Best of luck; don’t let the doorknob hit ya where the good lord split ya.

      • Chris

        But this time he’s serious!

  • George

    Honestly, it sounds more like McCarron is frustrated that Jeter wasn’t giving him anything. He needed to fill a column and it was either going to be what Jeter told him, or the fact that Jeter didn’t tell him anything. Cue the “we don’t have dinner together every night anymore” stories.
    The lines that Jeter gave are lines that I’m sure he always gives them (they’re Jeterian “no comments”), they just never report them, because what he *doesn’t* say usually isn’t a story (unless it’s one of Jimmy Traina’s interviews where he grills him about Minka). But in this case it’s something that he will have to make a statement on, and he realizes that unlike A-Rod, he can put this to bed for himself (and for anyone in the clubhouse without a cute, hyphenated, four-letter handle) once and for all with one statement, while if he started taking it piece-by-piece, it would drag on for months.
    It’s a smart PR move, and it frustrates the intentions of the media who are trying to get it while it’s hot. Jeter wants to serve it up cold and bland and that’s the best thing he can do for the team.

  • RCK

    Yes, I thought Jeter went out of his way not to single out Alex. He’s also been along long enough to know that if he says anything now he will be asked to comment on his comments every day for the next many days. He’s trying to limit some of the harassment he gets, and also I think he’s being kind to Alex here, trying to at least limit the number of stories written about Jeter’s reaction, etc. I mean, you see how desperate they are to spin it into a (negative) story, they’ll even write about comments as innocuous as these!

  • Yankee1010

    Jeter lasted a whole lot longer than I would have. If I had to look at the likes of King, Kernan, Madden, etc. every day AND listen to things like “Joba should be in the bullpen,” they would have had their teeth in their throats at least 10 years ago.

  • m.o.

    Three People I Dont Want to see as the 104:
    Derek Jeter

    • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

      It will only break your heart if you tell yourself that it means something.

      It doesn’t really have to mean anything one way or the other. The whole era is tainted, but every era is tainted. If everyone is doing it it doesn’t matter which people are actually doing it and which ones aren’t. It sucks, but that’s life.

      If they didn’t take steroids, I love them. If they did take steroids, I still love them just as much. Everybody is both innocent and guilty and thus, everybody gets a pass.

      • Bo

        Would it really affect your daily life if one of those guys tested positive for a form of juice?

        I think back to a Bronx Tale.
        “If your dad needs money, go ask
        Mickey Mantle. See what happens. Mickey Mantle don’t care about
        you. Why care about him?”

        • skeleton coat

          Mickey Mantle would be too drunk to care. Either that or he’s hitting home runs and sleeping with all the women in your family.

          Anyway, I bet Jeter takes his frustration out on the baseball and goes Mr. Hyde all the way to the postseason.

      • SmittDogg

        Couldn’t agree more. It’s all essentially a non-issue. I would bet that in the years between 95-04, more than 50-60% of MLB/MILB players took something that would today be considered a PED at least a handful of times. It happened. And far more people than we will ever find out abused it. The same way we will never know how many homeruns Hank Aaron would have hit in the current small ballpark era and the same way we will never know what Bob Gibson’s ERA would have been with the mound at it’s current height. Times change and baseball has changed with it. I applaud the efforts to get these PED’s out of the sport, but trying to discredit accomplishments because the guy who achieved them did so under specific circumstances is ludicrous. You still gotta square the ball up and put a good swing on it no matter how big your biceps are.

        • Ryan S.

          Not to mention legends like Honus Wagner, Babe Ruth and Ty Cobb played in the segregated era. To me, that’s just as “asterisk worthy” as anything else that’s happened in baseball (not that I think anything needs an asterisk next to it in the first place).

  • John NY

    Good post Ben. Jeter needs to be that kinda guy/captain for the rest of the year. He’s pissed and has every right to be. It’s always something and they (media) keep coming every day beating down the story.

    Jeter is a ballplayer. He leads by example the same way Mattingly did. Mattingly was not a talker but a doer. Jeter is cut from the same cloth.

    I hope the Yanks find solace in playing baseball….and shut out this vicious attack from the media.

  • JeffG

    Ben you are exactly right. As Jeter said he’d be happy to talk about baseball. I think that is totally fair. I don’t blame him on bit for not wanting to spend his time on things that really don’t mean much. Whether it is Torre’s book or A-Rod’s admission, there is nothing there that should have bearing on the season other than both those things could cut down on the team’s focus. His attitude is helpful in that it goes against possibility of the circus stories derailing the season before it gets started. Screw the media.
    As a fan I get sick of the same old same old BS as well. If more journalists spent time on the actual game instead of the sensational magazine stories, people that really care about their team (which are the same people that follow spring training) might actually be able to learn something worth knowing.

  • donttradecano

    dunn to washington

    • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

      ‘Bout damn time. Two years, too… good for him.

      • http://actyankee.blogspot.com Matt

        Now I can root for him without fear of it hurting the Yankees!

    • Ryan S.

      Two years, eh? Just short enough for his time in Washington to be absolutely meaningless. I’m really glad he’s staying the NL.

  • Reggie C.
    • Bo

      Good thing Washington is spending some money. Not like they are in one of the largest markets with a rich owner in a new state built ballpark or anything. I guess some fans love a team with John Lannan as the ace.

  • Rob S.

    What kills me about these New York tabloids is that they will very mean-spiritedly make fun of Jessica Simpson for gaining a couple of pounds as if it’s perfectly acceptable to to ridicule people’s physical attributes. Then they will turn around and get all high and mighty and relentlessly vilify someone else for comitting some minor infraction. These papers we’re licking their chops when A-Rod was linked to steroids. These same papers once famously trashed A-Rod for taking his family to Central Park before a Yankees game…the scandal!!! These papers are disgusting rags and Jeter should be frustrated with them. I cringe everytime someone suggests that an ability to “handle the New York Media” is a necessary attribute to managing here. I say screw the media, Girardi can tell the media to go jump in a lake everyday for all I care. Unless of course he made some in game decision that I disagree with and he needs to answer for…ha ha.

  • Januz

    I am no lover of the media in any way shape or form (They are some of the weathiest and most biased individuals in this country (In most cases, they represent the hard left)). That said, many of these celebrities and athletes put themselves in positions where every move they do gets examined (Heck they even have television shows for that such as Entertainment Tonight). When you make millions of dollars a year, you become a very easy target. When I think of people like Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie selling BABY PICTURES, for more money than I will ever see in my entire life (And I graduated college with a Bachelors Degree in Finance), it tells me everything is out of control.
    I have no more sympathy for Jeter or Alex Rodriguez, and their feelings, than I do for Burress, TO or Chad Johnson and their clown acts, which causes themselves to lose millions of dollars, than I do for John Thane (Former head of Merrill Lynch, who puts $82,000 rugs in his office), politicians in BOTH parties who gave hundreds of BILLIONS in bailout money, and movie stars. If these people were more like Ben Roethlisberger, who played the Super Bowl with cracked ribs, and kept his mouth shut, and WON, we would all be better off.

    • LiveFromNY

      OKAY we’ll crack Jeter’s ribs and make him play the Super Bowl. That’s it. It is SETTLED.

  • LiveFromNY

    I saw him do this during the Cleveland playoff series two years ago. They kept asking if Arod could win and he kept saying “Can WE win. It’s more than about one person.” Every time they went back to ask a question about Alex he would get testy.

    Jeter has never said he won’t talk about baseball (though to get Jeter to say anything of substance is impossible. He gives no one tag lines and since he’s been in the business a long time, that’s quite an accomplishment). He said he won’t talk about Arod.

    I remember when they interviewed him before the Giants parade last year someone said do you wish it was you guys and he looked at the reporter as if she had lost her mind. He was like, “It’s their moment. Let them have it.” Sheesh.

    So I would like Derek to keep hammering them. The problem is when you hammer the media, they don’t show your clips over and over again because they look like idiots. I’ve seen so many testy Jeter moments that air ONCE and that’s it.