Kevin Kernan of the New York Post gives us one of your more barf-inducing pieces of Jeter-worship in a year that has already seen many (and which will see many, many more over the next month and a half):
It can’t end like this for Derek Jeter.
The way the Yankees are playing, there will be no October in Jeter’s final season . . . At the age of 40, Jeter was supposed to go out the right way, playing October baseball and letting the chips fall where they may . . .It can’t end like this for Derek Jeter . . . It can’t end like this for Derek Jeter.
Those last two refrains of “It can’t end like this for Derek Jeter” are what sends this over the top. Three total, which turn a column about Jeter’s October exploits into a fanboy bit of hand-wringing. Or is it wishing? Or maybe praying? To be honest I have no idea what this is all about. I’m not sure if Kernan — who normally does not tend to skew sentimental — is merely trying to serve the Yankee homers who do or if he’s actually letting his guard down and is getting genuinely verklempt.
Either way, he would have done well to explain to us why Jeter is so damn special that he deserves to go to the playoffs when so many other greats did not get to end their careers on high notes. Indeed, you can probably count the ones who did on one hand. Babe Ruth quit in May while playing for a team that lost 115 games. Mickey Mantle’s last year saw the Yankees finish in 5th place. Yogi Berra ended his playing days with a 112-loss Mets team. Ted Williams finished with a great personal season, but on a team that lost 89 games.
That’s usually how it goes in baseball. Why Derek Jeter should be an exception is beyond me. That people argue with a straight face that he somehow deserves to be is what aggravates the holy hell out of people about folks in the media who write about Derek Jeter.
A wise man once said that everything ends badly. Otherwise it wouldn’t end. Maybe that’s not 100% true, but it’s true often enough that wishing otherwise is just that. Wishing. And wishing is not a great look for the sporting press.