Ben Kabak of River Avenue Blues has a good review of the new Ian O’Connor book about Derek Jeter. Which I haven’t read and I don’t really plan to, on the basis that no really good biography can be written about someone whose story is not complete. Which is basically where Ben comes down too.
As I said in an interview a couple of years ago, the Derek Jeter book I want to read is a salacious tell-all book of interviews of Derek Jeter’s doormen, personal assistants, maids, butlers, valets, neighbors, and pharmacists over the past 15 years. And sure, I want it to be fair and accurate too — we’re not savages here — but I do think that when it comes to major figures like Jeter, you’re not going to get the full story from someone who still needs to maintain access to the Yankees as a featured columnist for ESPN New York.
Which is not, by the way, a slam on O’Connor. I think Ben is fair with his review about the good points and the bad points about O’Connor’s book, and the good points do sound good. It’s merely an observation about the inherent difficulty of covering a current player from the inside like O’Connor is trying to do. Lips get looser as time goes on. Publicists and handlers become fewer and farther between. In other words, the stuff people really want to know becomes much more easy to come by after the figure has left the limelight.