My favorite episode of “The Simpsons” is “Last Exit to Springfield.” That’s the one where Homer leads a strike on the nuclear power plant. During negotiations with Mr. Burns, Homer’s stupidity and buffoonery is mistaken for tactical brilliance and, ultimately, Homer wins back the dental plan and everything else for the union. The kicker quote from Burns: “Smithers’ I’m beginning to think that Homer Simpson was not the brilliant tactician I thought he was.”
Over the course of his career, Derek Jeter was likewise thought of as a brilliant tactician with respect to the media. He never revealed too much. Never caused or stoked controversy. I’m sure he was referred to as a “master” in this regard many times.
But what if — and it’s just an “if” — he wasn’t some zen master of media relations? What if, in reality, he was just . . . painfully dull?
We can never know what Jeter was truly like as a 25-year-old superstar, but based on his responses to his first ever mailbag over at The Player’s Tribune, he seems . . . something less than riveting:
Favorite breakfast cereal? -Victor, Albany, NY
Frosted Flakes, next question.
What are your thoughts on the Meek Mill/Drake beef? -Gabriel, Houston
I have no thoughts on it.
If you were stranded on a desert island, what three things are you taking with you? -Michelle, Toronto
Food. Water. And … a boat. Get me off that island.
Some questions and answers are somewhat more interesting. And I give him major, major Internet credit for his answer to the last question. But overall, Smithers, I’m beginning to think that Derek Jeter was not the enigmatic and charismatic figure we thought he was.