May
27

Book Review: O Captain, my Captain

By

There is a book waiting to be written about the life and times of Derek Jeter. This book will explore what motivates him to excel on the field and how he behaves off the field where he was – and maybe still is – a king of New York’s social scene. In other words, it should delve into every aspect of Derek Jeter that makes him Derek Jeter. That book is not, however, Ian O’Connor’s highly anticipated biography The Captain: The Journey of Derek Jeter.

From the start, I knew that O’Connor’s book, at nearly 380 pages, would be a slog. The first sentence of chapter one read, “Like all good stories about a prince, this one starts in a castle.” That’s the way O’Connor has chosen to frame his biography. It’s not a critical look at Jeter; it’s not one with inside information about his social life; it excuses any short-comings; it is about a player O’Connor views as a prince.

After that, though, the book takes a turn for the better. The first 200 pages focus on Jeter’s background and early years with the Yankees. We learn about his grandfather’s youth in New Jersey as a foster child and how his work ethic shaped Jeter’s devotion to his eventual craft. We hear about the racial challenges Jeter’s parents faced as a mixed marriage at a time of less tolerance even in New Jersey and Michigan. We read about his youth as a start baseball and basketball player. As a scrawny teenager in the late 1980s, even then, Derek Jeter was destined for great things. He told his friends he would both be on the Yankees and date Mariah Carey, and everyone who knew him believed him.

As the tale progresses, O’Connor offers a glimpse back at the fateful draft of 1992. Somehow, Jeter, far and way the most productive player from that draft, fell all the way to the sixth pick. The Astros wanted Phil Nevin’s power while the Indians wanted Paul Shuey’s arm. The Reds’ advanced scouts and a young Jim Bowden urged the club to take Jeter with the fifth pick, but Julian Mock went the cheaper route. They picked Chad Mottola who appeared in just 59 games for the Reds, Blue Jays, Orioles and Marlins.

That draft was, of course, the first major turning point in Jeter’s life. He was expected to become the next great Yankee and had a signing bonus to match. He and Brien Taylor were due to lead the club into another era of greatness, but the game that came so easily to Jeter in Michigan proved challenging. At the age of 18, he hit .210/.311/.314 with 21 errors and would call home in tears every night. At age 19, his hitting improved, but he made 56 errors for Single A Greensboro. Already, Yankee officials were talking about moving Jeter out of short stop.

But as O’Connor notes, intangibles carried the day. Jeter, work ethic intact, turned himself into the sixth best prospect in baseball, and despite pressure from the front office to go with a more experienced short stop, he emerged as the team’s young spark plug in 1996. For his first five seasons, Jeter led a golden life. He won four World Series and dated Mariah Carey. After the 2000 World Series, Jeter was on top of the world, but even then, O’Connor had to position the second half of his book. “Derek Jeter, four-time champ,” he writes, “was the undisputed lord of the rings. He had no idea how much suffering he would endure in pursuit of his one for the thumb.”

The suffering, of course, came in the form of Those Other Guys. Once the synergistic energies of Paul O’Neill and Tino Martinez and Scott Brosius departed, the Yankees, says O’Connor, became a Me-First team. Jason Giambi, for instance, asked out of the 2003 World Series, much to Jeter’s chagrin. And then A-Rod arrives.

If this book has a villain, it is Alex Rodriguez. He’s the guy who kisses himself in the mirror, who slaps at baseballs, who cares too much about his image and manages to put his foot in his mouth. He’s the guy who dissed Jeter in an Esquire interview and who bears the full weight of the Yanks’ post-season failures from 2004-2007. He is the anti-Jeter, and this goes on for nearly 150 pages as O’Connor defines Jeter for what A-Rod isn’t as much as he does what the Yankees’ Captain is.

Using stories from Selena Roberts’ A-Rod expose and the Joe Torre/Tom Verducci memoir, O’Connor paints a familiar picture of A-Rod as a selfish guy. Perhaps that’s not an inaccurate picture of A-Rod, but he’s also a player who hit .303/.403/.573 with 173 home runs over his first four seasons in the Bronx. He certainly wasn’t embraced by Jeter who comes across as vindicative toward those who double-cross him, but he was a big part of the Yanks’ regular season success.

Eventually, Jeter and A-Rod reconcile as the Yanks’ Captain brings Alex “back into the fold.” He is embraced, and the Yankees win the 2009 World Series. It was Jeter’s crowning moment. “Jeter did not just embody the pride of the Yankees as much as any mythic figure before him,” O’Connor writes, returning to his favorite metaphor. “He proved a prince can become a king without lusting after the throne.” Mostly, the book is as saccharine and sterilized as it sounds.

Yet, buried within this tale of the prince of New York is something more interesting, and now and then, it shines through. While Jeter didn’t fully cooperate with O’Connor, he clearly gave his blessing for some of his closest friends — including Tino Martinez, David Cone and one-time Yankee farmhand R.D. Long — to sit with O’Connor. When they talk, Derek becomes more human and less princely. It slams the Mets for allowing the Baha Men to perform “Who Let the Dogs Out” before the 2000 World Series at Shea Stadium. He is absolutely frigid toward those who slight him or friends who do him wrong. He dumps Mariah Carey and kicks her to the curb with a brutal efficiency. He yells at Bernie Williams and Jay Witasick behind closed doors and is a far more vocal captain than many fans think. He parties as a youngster during Spring Training and courts starlets for decades.

To me, that’s what would make a Derek Jeter biography more interesting. It doesn’t have to be all wine and roses. We know about his on-field accomplishments; we have seen them day in and day out. But O’Connor’s book leaves Jeter’s private life well enough alone. The book rehashes the 2003 dispute with George Steinbrenner that eventually lead to an amusing VISA commercial and mentions Jeter’s extreme secrecy concerning the women he has dated. But Minka Kelly, for instance, is mentioned on a whopping six pages, and Joe Torre’s reluctance to push his favorite pupil to improve his defense gets very short shrift.

As an epilogue to the 2009 World Series, O’Connor provides some behind-the-scenes glimpses at Jeter’s contract negotiations, and here, the book does what I want to do. Jeter, painted as proud and not always receptive to criticism, did not take kindly to the Yanks’ suggestion that he wasn’t worth a nine-figure deal or $20 million a year. This is the excerpt that ESPN New York ran a few weeks ago as a teaser for the book. The Yanks pushed hard, and Jeter got upset. Eventually, Randy Levine settled the dispute by offering Jeter more money than he otherwise would have gotten and a player option, and everyone became friends — or at least frenemies — again.

Yet, even here, the book seems incomplete, and that’s because it is. Derek Jeter’s story is far from over. We have yet to see how Jeter, long accustomed to exploiting his natural talents to win World Series titles and not receptive to moving position, will respond to the inevitable and ongoing aging process. We don’t know what’s going to happen when he does have to move from short stop, and we haven’t seen how the Yankees and their fading star will address his anemic bat. That isn’t just an epilogue to the softcover edition of O’Connor’s book; it’s an entirely new section that can’t be written for years. We might know Jeter a little better after reading O’Connor’s biography, but Jeter might not know himself until he faces the adversity on the baseball field that inevitably comes with age.

Categories : Reviews
  • http://www.yankeeanalysts.com/ Matt Imbrogno

    Excellently done, Ben. Great job.

  • http://www.twitter.com/vscafuto Vinny Scafuto

    Great job, Ben.

  • http://nyystadiuminsider.com Ross

    I nominate Ben Kabak to write the REAL Derek Jeter biography!

    Seriously, though – great review. I think I’ll wait for the complete Derek Jeter biography and skip this one. Still don’t forgive O’Connor for his famous Cody Ransom/A-Rod comment.

    • http://www.yankeeanalysts.com/ Matt Imbrogno

      What are you talking about?! That article isn’t online!

  • Pat D

    I’d love to read a complete biography of Derek Jeter someday, and while it sounds like this one has some interesting tidbits, I don’t feel like reading 150 pages of the same old ARod bashing.

    Why’d he yell at Bernie? Why didn’t he like the Baha Men, other than the fact that the song is horrendously terrible?

    • http://www.secondavenuesagas.com Benjamin Kabak

      He yelled at Bernie before Game 6 of the 2001 World Series because the Yanks’ CF was late to practice. He yelled at Witasick after the game because the pitcher said he “had fun” getting tattooed by the D-Backs. As for the Baha Men, he thought it was foolish and disrespectful of the game.

      • Pat D

        Thanks for the info.

        Yea, I’d have yelled at Witasick, too. Mostly for being thoroughly mediocre, but…yea.

      • Esteban

        I’d yell at anybody for allowing the Baha Men to play anywhere

        • JohnnyC

          But, to be fair, the Mets were and are a bunch of dogs.

  • eddieperez23

    Excellent review…reading this almost makes me want to barf. I can’t take O’Connor seriously…real life facts must fit his narrative, not the reverse. ARod wasn’t suppose to have “championship DNA” and Jeter was born with the “winning” gene is the type of stuff that makes me dismiss much of his work.

  • gc

    I’m not really interested in reading this book, or any book on a sports celebrity for that matter. For all the talk about this particular book glossing over the man’s shortcomings and glorifying him beyond belief, there will be others eventually that will go out of their way to show every bit of ugliness the man has inside of him. In the end, I don’t care. He’s a human being just like the rest of us, flawed, imperfect. As a baseball player he is just as flawed and imperfect as well. Nobody here will ever really know who Derek Jeter is, no matter how many books are written about him.

    The only thing I’m interested in as a fan is in cheering for him and rooting for him because he has been a terrific player for this organization and has given me so many amazing memories over the years. I see his struggles, and I wish it didn’t have to be this way, but that’s life. If anything, the enormous good will I have for the man which has built up inside me all this time simply makes me root for him even harder to succeed, knowing that those opportunities will become fewer and fewer as time goes on. He will fail a lot more often the next few years, and as a fan I have to deal with it. It’s not easy to watch, as it wasn’t easy to watch players like Cal Ripken and Don Mattingly in their waning years. What I absolutely will not do is hold it against him, or go out of my way to tear him down, or talk about how much he sucks, because I think he’s earned better treatment than that in my eyes. I know a lot of people around here will think I’m foolish or overly sentimental, but that’s just the way baseball fans are sometimes. Irrational. Over-sentimental. Especially about their favorite players. And I will never apologize for that.

    I fully expect there will be many posts below from people talking about how they never really liked Jeter all that much anyway, always thought he was overrated and didn’t deserve whatever accolades he was given. That’s fine. They are entitled to that. In the end, baseball fans are a strange lot. For as much as I need to get used to seeing Jeter be less than he was in the past, a lot of other fans around here better get used to seeing Jeter become even more of a sentimental favorite as he gets closer to retirement. Even with him putting up meager numbers and being a shell of what he once was. The fans will still cheer, they’ll still shower their love for the man down on him. Those moments when he does come through will become more emotional as well. You think people overreacted when Jorge Posada walked the other night as a pinch hitter? That’s nothing. So, all I can say to those lining up to get your shots in at “the Prince of New York City,” the great Captain himself…get ready to be disgusted at all the adulation this man will receive as his career comes to a close. More than you could possibly imagine he deserves considering the numbers he puts up. It will probably sicken you. All I know is that I will gladly and proudly and unapologetically be standing and cheering with those irrational over-sentimental fans. We’ll be pretty loud, I can guarantee that.

    • Yankee Fan 1

      A+.

    • Bobby two knives

      well said, gc. And you will be standing right next to me, cheering and thankful for the joy of all those special Derek moments and years, as i did for Mickey and Roger and Yogi and the Scooter and Bernie and Paulie and Donnie and Tino.

      • Mike HC

        I just read a great Micky Mantle book. Never saw him play. I don’t get why people would be against books written about sports legends.

        • Mike HC

          This is probably a reply more to gc.

          I agree with the part about appreciating Jeter.

    • Slugger27

      This was awesome, and I agree with every word of it. He may be the worst player on the team, but he’s my childhood hero and a big reason why im the diehard yankee fan I am today. Hell never stop being my fav player, and ill never stop rooting for him

    • Esteban

      You expect lots of posts saying how Jeter was overrated, on a Yankees blog? Really? Really?

      or talk about how much he sucks, because I think he’s earned better treatment than that in my eyes

      I understand where you’re coming from, but I’m not sure what your solution is then for what to do when Jeter is not playing well, like he is now. I guess you would go the ‘if you have nothing nice to say, don’t say anything route’ but for someone like me, who cares about the team more than individuals players, if Jeter is playing poorly and his position in the lineup is hurting the team, I will say it. Seeing Jeter decline is tough for me too because he was a great player from the time I was able to appreciate baseball, but damnit, he sucks now and it needs to be said.

      • mike c

        or repeated ad nauseum

        • Nigel Incubator-Jones

          This

      • gc

        “You expect lots of posts saying how Jeter was overrated, on a Yankees blog? Really? Really?”

        On most Yankee sites? No. On this one? Yes. I’ve seen it before.

        And hey, I have no problems if people want to debate his position in the lineup or how much playing time they think he should get. Go for it. I want to see the team do well, which is why this kind of thing is always difficult emotionally. I see that he’s struggling. I’m watching him decline just like everyone else is. It won’t stop me cheering for him or rooting for him, however, and I choose not to go out of my way to tell everyone who will listen that he sucks, because I think he’s earned more respect than that. Is that unfair, in that I would have no problems calling out another player for underperforming? YES. Is that a double standard that I would hold Derek Jeter in a different light than, say, Boone Logan? ABSOLUTELY! And as I said, as irrational as it may sound, I won’t apologize for that (or be made to feel apologetic for it). So by all means, if you or anyone else feels the “need” to shout from the rooftops that Derek Jeter sucks, I won’t stop you. I also will never be joining you.

        • Klemy

          Agreed with both of your posts. For all Jeter’s shortcomings at this point, a lot of people have sure taken every opportunity to kick him while he’s down. It’s become pretty fashionable to take shots at every at bat he has in game threads. That’s not to say it isn’t funny once in a while to pick on a double play or infield hit.

          Whatever. Everyone is entitled to what they want to say/think and have their opinion.

          He was my favorite player and I’m sad to watch him decline. I’m still going to root for him until he retires. I’ll continue to cheer his accomplishments as well.

          I don’t really give a shit what he does off the field, because I have my own life to live vicariously through there.

          • YanksFan in MA

            Its made even worse by the fact that 1 of the writers of this site feels the need to do it constantly as well. It just validates the attitude.

          • Esteban

            a lot of people have sure taken every opportunity to kick him while he’s down

            I’m sorry, as much as I like Jeter and appreciate how awesome he was for so long, if making $17 mil a year and playing SS for the Yankees is ‘down’, I want to be ‘down’ everyday of my life and I will never feel bad for him (in the baseball realm anyway). Secondly, Derek Jeter does not read blogs, so making critical comments of him on RAB has zero effect on him. Therefore, I don’t see how anyone here is ‘kicking him while he’s down.’ Besides going off topic to bring up Jeter (which is dumb), are many people off in their criticisms of his play this year?

      • http://youcantpredictbaseball.wordpress.com bexarama

        You expect lots of posts saying how Jeter was overrated, on a Yankees blog? Really? Really?

        While I don’t quiiiite agree as fullheartedly with what gc said above – he needs to be criticized, definitely – acting like this shit isn’t everywhere is burying your head in the sand. There’s also this sudden rash of people who omg never liked him anyway!

        It’s sad to see Derek like this. I won’t lie, and if you want to judge me and call me a crazy Jeter defender fine (I know I’m not, the guy sucks right now) – the fact that seemingly every comment section devolves into Jeter bashing, when posts are completely unrelated to Jeter, really turned me off from the comment sections here. It’s like people can barely wait to bash one of the better Yankees of all time (who again, sucks now. I’m not saying he doesn’t), and they’re so nasty about it, and I don’t get it.

        • Slugger27

          Yes, exactly. Monteroisdinero shoehorne some jeter bashing in a CC thread a couple days ago, completely unprovoked. That’s the type of shit I can’t stand. Nobody likes seeing derek like this, and we all know he’s struggling. However, there’s no denying that on this site in particular, ppl go way out of their way to trash him, and seem to take joy in it. To me, its insufferable.

          • Esteban

            Ok, I agree with this. Going out of your way to mention Jeter (or really anyone) when he’s not the subject is annoying. I won’t ‘bash’ Jeter, but I don’t have a problem acknowledging that he’s not a good hitter anymore and shouldn’t be leading off.

    • YanksFan in MA

      I am with you 100% on this. I can’t stand the here comes captain groundballs comments and the constant bashing of his defensive abilities which I still hold Joe Torre responsible for. Anyone who has ever played the game (yea I am going there) knows that on groudballs especially the plays that stick out are the ones you make actual errors on. The ball that barely gets by you isn’t going to bother you as it just seems routine and a part of the game. I personally don’t want my players pouring through advanced statistics, as baseball is an extreme mental game and over analysis can often be detrimental. If Jeter, who rarely makes physical errors, didn’t know about his deficiencies then I don’t blame him for not pushing to improve his defense. He knew he turned a nice DP, rarely made errors and won Gold Gloves, which probably further reinforced that he was a solid defensive player. If Torre then was given the task to push Jeter into working on ranging to his left and didn’t, then that is completely on Torre. We’ve seen, whether you want to believe it or not, that the Jeter of the last 3-4 seasons after being asked to work on his defense is much better. Advanced stats support that. His 2008-2011 UZR #’s show a slightly below average shortstop in total. The problem now is everyone assumes Jeter is terrible defensively, so every ball that gets by him is met with criticism and derision with no regards to any other factor could have prevented him from reaching a ball. It strikes me, quite frankly, as whining and an overwhelming sense of entitlement. But whatever, I’m sure I’ll just be labeled an idiot by a certain faction here.

      • Esteban

        I personally don’t want my players pouring through advanced statistics, as baseball is an extreme mental game and over analysis can often be detrimental.

        Can be, but every player is different. There are players that look at advanced stats now, and David Cone just said in an interview that he wishes he had advanced stats while he was playing.

        Maybe Jeter just never had the ability to have a lot of range for a SS, maybe Torre did tell Jeter to work on his range to his left. We don’t know and we’re just speculating, so blaming Torre for Jeter’s shortcomings is off I think. What we do know is that yes, Jeter’s a surehanded SS with an accurate arm but has lacked range, especially to his left.

        Honestly, I think the comments about Captain groundball or whatever are because Jeter was so great for so long and that it’s jarring and frustrating for people. His incredible play for so long gave people high expectations and now that he’s not meeting those expectations, the criticism is harsher than if he were a lesser player.

    • YanksFan

      +2.

      Great comments. We all know he’s older & we should lower our expectations accordingly. We should also know that a lesser Jeter is still in the top third of SS’s in MLB. Yes, he’s overpaid but don’t hold that against him in his declining years since he still sells.

      Dan Lebatard was always critical of him. God knows what he says about him these days. We do not have to hear about it all on a NYY blog the way it’s been at times this season.

  • Billy Mumphrey

    Great and honest review, wish the book was that way but it sounds like it’s just a fluff piece. Those lines about princes and kings are cringe worthy. Jeter doesn’t deserve a lot of credit for the 09 WS win. A-Rod was outstanding in the playoffs and the pickups of CC, AJ, and Teix played a much larger role than Jeter.

    • Yankee Fan 1

      Derek’s 2009 post season line was pretty damn good. As was Alex’s. Newsflash – they both contributed and were excellent!

      Year Team G AB R H HR RBI BB SO SB CS OBP SLG AVG
      2009 NYY 15 64 14 22 3 6 10 11 0 1 .432 .563 .344

      • Mike HC

        People here get pissed because the ARod books dish out too much dirt on him, and are thus unsubstantiated crap, and also pissed that the Jeter book has not enough dirt on him, and is thus a fluff piece. There is no winning.

        I will enjoy both type of books. The lovefests and the hatchet jobs.

    • http://youcantpredictbaseball.wordpress.com bexarama

      Jeter doesn’t deserve a lot of credit for the 09 WS win.

      This isn’t bashing but it’s the kind of thing I was talking about. Those pickups were all huge but Jeter deserves a ton of credit for 2009 – a ton. And I’m not talking silly intangibles here. He led the team in WAR in the regular season, then hit .344/.432/.563 in the postseason.

  • Jared

    Sounds like someone got a free copy. Honestly, this book sounds like a very boring read.

    • Bunting?…More like Punting If You Ask Me

      …and copied and pasted it into the article above. holy long winded.

      • Esteban

        You would have preferred a brief and unthorough review?

      • http://www.secondavenuesagas.com Benjamin Kabak

        It’s not even 1400 words. What’s your attention span anyway?

        • I am not the droids you’re looking for…

          <1400 words apparently.

  • Accent Shallow

    So, probably not worth reading?

    Tough to be surprised there, but it’s tough to fault O’Connor for not having more access, right?

  • Mike HC

    Very solid review. My guess is that I will most probably enjoy this book a lot, even if it is not a true in depth look.

  • Mike HC

    If the biggest criticisms of a guy is that he is too vindictive of people who double cross him (and really, would you act any differently) and that he is literally a star fucker, that is not bad at all.

    • Accent Shallow

      It’s not starfucking if you’re a star.

      • Mike HC

        disagree

    • JohnnyC

      Everyone on this board, for example, is a saint. We would never dream of holding grudges or being petty and small-minded. That’s the way we roll.

  • JohnnyC

    Looking forward to the Mike Lupica book on Jeter. I just eat up everything that man writes.

    • Esteban

      LOL?

    • Klemy

      Excellent placement of this joke! /applause

  • Guest

    Thanks for the review, Ben. Great work.

    Books like these — which are just longer winded versions of the “columns” written by the mainstream sports media’s leading lights — are EXACTLY why sites like RAb are such a breath of fresh air.

    This book, aside from providing little new insight into Jeter, appears to describe sport as a narrative. One complete with characters that represent both “good” and “evil,” “strong” and “weak.” Given the state of sports writing, this is not surprising.

    For some reason, most of those who get paid to provide sports analysis feel the need to squeaze every event in sports into some narrative-based pigeon hole. And if the facts bely their narrative, well the facts are just plain wrong. Narrative must trump reality.

    And my question is: why? Are sports, devoid of narrative and morality tales not sufficiently exciting? Do they suddenly not become worthy of our time, energy, and money because there is *gasp* no such thing as a clutch gene?

    I disagree with that view. Wholeheartedly. Sports are thrilling — the most important things that do not matter — even without the baseless fairy tales that many sports writers value over the actual events.

    RAB recognizes this, and that’s why it is the Sh–.

    • Esteban

      I agree wholeheartedly, with everything you just said. I hate “narrative” columns, especially when the authors make uniformed guesses as to what’s going on in the heads of players.

  • http://twitter.com/firstheart42 Hannah Ehrlich

    yay for ben, because he is amazing and wonderful, and also, good at things. i, for one, could not get through that much a-rod hate at once, nevertheless write somewhat objectively about it.

    • mike c

      if you can’t deal with a-rod hate, just wait until his skills start declining like jeter’s. it’ll be the same thing, like rats jumping off a sinking ship… except he’s getting paid a lot more so they’ll be extra vicious

      • Esteban

        Yeah, if people could hate Arod while he was winning two MVPs with the Yankees, people are going to vicious when he declines.

        • Esteban

          And holy shit, ARod getting blamed for them not winning ’04-08′ is crazy. Yes he had his playoff struggles, but he hit .303/.401/.573 and averaged 42 HRs in the regular season in that span.

      • http://twitter.com/firstheart42 Hannah Ehrlich

        Yep. :/

  • AnthonyD

    I read the book and thought it was an absolute fluff job. Everything Jeter did well somehow was based on his great upbringing, related to how he came from a mixed race background. Everything he did was right and clutch and everything A-Rod did was wrong and dumb. Even when quasi-non-captain-ish actions are brought up they are quickly glossed over and or excused (e.g. Jeter defending Giambi and telling the fans to lay off him, but not doing the same for A-Rod). There is even some dumb quote at the end that says A-Rod was happy finding out about the contentious Jwter negotiations while he was catching rays w Diaz on a boat in the Caribbean or something – completely unsubstantiated I’m sure and unnecessary. All that being said, it was interesting to hear the draft story, his trip through the minors and relationships with teammates.

  • mike c

    I love now that the jeter detractors’ biggest gripe with him now is the “a-rod bashing”… I didn’t hear about these things before jeter started hitting .270, but now in the eyes of many fans he’s become an underhanded egomaniac who purposely hurts players on his team. it’s funny how that works

    • AnthonyD

      He never really bashed A-Rod, he treated him differently than others and contradicted himself w/ regards to how the fans should treat players. This was pretty well documented prior to the precipitous post 2009 decline.

      • mike c

        you don’t think that has anything to do with st. a-rod being “different” than other players? when he came to the yankees he was the definition of a diva superstar… if all this was true than jeter was right to treat him differently, a-rod seems like he’s become a better person since then

        • Mike HC

          Yea, ARod himself has admitted as much. Basically every single person has the same account as well. Torre. Selena Roberts. And everyone else who has spoke on the topic,ha. I mean, come on. The ARod defenders here have no evidence to the contrary, they just attack the writers credibility and morals.

          • AnthonyD

            I’m not defending A-Rod and not attempting to bash Jeter – the implication of your original post was that this all came out once Jeter’s skills began deteriorating and I was just pointing out that it had been documented and many had thought un-captain like prior to now.

            As a Yankee fan, I would have preferred he say to the masses of idiots in the stands that they not boo A-Rod, as it was clearly unproductive. It’s not the end of the world though.

            • Mike HC

              Mike c is not me. But I can see the confusion.

              I agree with you that the Jeter criticism came out before he fell of the cliff.

  • steve s

    If your a Jeter fan a better choice than the O’Connor book IMO is another recent book that consists of a compilation of NY Times articles about Jeter through his career to date.

  • http://youcantpredictbaseball.wordpress.com bexarama

    I haven’t read the book so this might be unfair, but from what I’ve heard, I gotta agree with the first paragraph. I think there is a very interesting book to be written on Derek Jeter, some day. It may be many, many days from now. Heck, maybe it’ll be after he’s dead. Maybe it’ll never be written, just because he’s so secretive and who knows if we’ll ever get much original information. This just doesn’t sound like it; it sounds pretty much like the same ol’ stuff.

    Also, said book won’t devote like 50% of its content to unoriginal A-Rod bashing that’s basically lifted right from The Yankee Years. Just sayin’.

    • steve s

      I agree that the better book is still to be written. I don’t see how it could be written without Jeter’s cooperation and/or after he’s dead though. I am skeptical about any books written about someone after their demise as they seem to typically be based on info supplied by those with their own unique hidden agendas about the subject matter.

  • CMP

    Great review Ben.

    I’m so tired of people painting ARod as the villain. If he and Jeter had switched places when their careers started, the Yankees would not have won any fewer World series and could possibly have won more.

    When Arod came to NY, he was the superior SS both offensively AND defensively but he was the one who had to change positions, not Jeter.

    People just aren’t gonna appreciate how great Arod has been until he’s gone.

    • http://youcantpredictbaseball.wordpress.com bexarama

      To be fair, I think he’s an incredible, incredible player, one of my favorites ever. And he still very well could have been a complete arrogant jerk. (And that’s not relevant to his career, and it doesn’t mean Derek wasn’t either.)

      • CMP

        Many people say the same thing about my favorite all time player, Reggie Jackson too.

        These players are human beings. The media tries to paint them black or white and it’s not fair or accurate a lot of the time.

        • Xstar7

          Reggie Jackson is your favorite player of all time?

          +100000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000

          • CMP

            I guess am old but I was a kid during 77 and 78 and his postseason performances were something I’ll never forget.

            When the Yankees let him walk, I was totally devastated. I actually rooted for the Angels over the Yankees until Reggie retired.

        • http://youcantpredictbaseball.wordpress.com bexarama

          Yeah, that’s very accurate. I think there’s also probably a verrrry interesting book to be written about A-Rod but it’s certainly not Selena Roberts’.