Thursday, February 13, 2014

By Glen McKee, Columnist & Satirist

So I’m sure you’ve heard the news already – Derek Jeter is retiring after the 2014 season.  Unlike death, taxes, and a Jeter morning-after gift basket, a baseball career isn’t forever, even one as remarkable as Jeter’s.   The news is all over the sports websites and they have shifted into an appropriate state of mourning.  These pictures were taken outside of ESPN headquarters in Bristol, Connecticut:
Let me get this out of the way up front: although it goes against my very nature to root for (or even say anything decent about) a Yankee player, I have the utmost respect for Derek Jeter.  His list of accomplishments off the field – you know what I mean – is just incredible.  I tip my bro cap to you, Jeets.  And you did it all without getting married or even being involved in any tabloid scandals.  That’s the mark of a truly great man. 

As for on the field, his accomplishments there are just about as noteworthy.  Something about the most games played as a Yankee, great in the postseason, one of the top 10 shortstops ever, one of the greatest ambassadors to the sport ever, blah blah blah.  It’s like Jeter treated the baseball diamond like he does his boudoir, and that guarantees him first-ballot Hall of Fame status.  Heck, he might even be the first unanimous selection for the HOF.  If the HOF voters think about the morning-after-voting gift baskets they’ll get, I’m sure they’ll cast their vote “aye”.  One more for the Captain!  That would be the perfect cap to a remarkable career. 

With this in mind, it’s obvious that 2014 will be Jeter’s “farewell tour”, just like it was for Mariano Rivera last year and also is for Motley Crue this year (although unlike Jeets, you know Motley Crue will be back sometime, because unlike Jeets, they’ll run out of money and attention).  And deservedly so, I say, for two reasons.  One, it’s well-earned.  Jeter certainly deserves it.  Two, it will serve as a year-long reminder to the Yankees that the only player they have that anybody outside of New York likes, is going to be gone after October.  I certainly take some sordid pleasure in picturing Brian Cashman figuring out how he can fruitlessly spend some more money in an attempt to replace the irreplaceable Derek Jeter.  If the Yankees had a farm system that was more than marginally better than that of the Angels, they could trade for Erick Aybar, the perfect replacement for Jeets – you’re not gonna duplicate him, so why not go 180 out?

May 5-7 is when the farewell tour will hit Anaheim stadium.  There are currently no promotions scheduled for those days because Yankee fans will always flood the stadium when they play here, and will even more so now that this is Jeter’s last appearance in Anaheim.  Now, you may remember the uproar that happened around September 10, 2011, when the Angels honored Derek Jeter for his 3,000th hit (and general awesomeness) with a plaque, or a statue, or an oil painting, or something.  Here’s a picture of the momentous occasion:

That’s Jeter in the middle, flanked by Torii Hunter and somebody else whose name escapes me at the moment.  Since the Angels have already honored Jeter with this beautiful picture/plaque, which undoubtedly hangs in his trophy hangar as we speak, what will they do now that he’s retiring?

  Mariano Rivera’s retirement tour of 2013 set the precedent for munificence from other teams around the league, as well as classiness from the retiree.  How will they top that painting?  I have a few ideas.

A statue of Jeter riding a centaur.  A statue is about the only way to go at this point, and a centaur has a certain meaning to the Yankees.  Jeter would have a bat in one hand and a glove in the other, and he’d be looking to the stars, awaiting the time when he has a constellation in his honor.

A gift basket.  Simple, yet too obvious.

The Angels retiring his number.  Take that, Tim Salmon and Garret Anderson!  And Troy Glaus too.  Speaking of that 2002 team…

Reuniting Sandfrog and having them play a concert in his honor.  No, I’m not making fun of Scott Spiezio.  I constantly wish for the best for him, which is why I’d like to see him on the field again, even if it’s just to play a concert.  I could even write some lyrics for them, in honor of Jeets.  Call me, Sandfrog.  And if Sandfrog isn’t available…

Reuniting Chase and having them play a concert in his honor.  I think a Chase reunion is more inevitable than a Sandfrog reunion.  Call me, Geoff.  I have some lyrics ready.  Finally…

Renaming Angels Stadium in Derek Jeter’s honor.  I have a few ideas: The Jeter Pleasuredome, Jeets Field in Anaheim, or DJ Stadium.

It’s up to the Angels from here.  I’ve given them plenty of ideas from May 5-7, and they can use them freely and without charge, although if they do use one the least they could do is give me a…well, you know.
Love to hear what you think!

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