To promote his upcoming book on Derek Jeter, Ian O’Connor has slowly been releasing the jucier excerpts for a public that enjoys baseball gossip. Over the weekend, we read about how Derek Jeter’s relationship with A-Rod went sour, and then we heard about Jeter’s contentious negotiations with the Yankees over his contract this past winter. It almost seemed as though O’Connor’s book was designed to knock down some myths about Jeter.
Worry not though for the latest installments do anything but that. ESPN New York today ran an extensive excerpt on the great thaw between Jeter and A-Rod and how the two became friends, thanks to Jeter’s magnanimity, as the Yankees were facing down the Twins, Angels and Phillies in October 2009. The not-so-subtle lesson O’Connor seems to imply is that Jeter’s decision to make nice with A-Rod contributed to the chemistry that led to the Yanks’ World Series win. And I always thought it was great pitching and an oppressive offense.
Meanwhile, I’ve gotten my hands on the four-page introduction to the book, and it’s, well, saccharine. O’Connor opens up with an anecdote from 2009 when John Hirschbeck, an umpire, defended Jeter after the Yankee captain blew up after a bad call at third base. It goes on to cite Jeter’s “common acts of decency” and how he is a “patron saint of clean players in an era defined by performance-enhancing drugs.” With an introduction like that, the rest of the book could just write itself.