September 22, 2012

Sometimes, even Derek Jeter messes up

I have seen many credible writers write that Derek Jeter always says the right thing. Until a couple days ago, the writers were dead on. Media trained? Of course. He gives smart answers, and then dodges anything that he think might create a stir. You can't break the "Jeter Aura."

But when I saw Rick Reilly's Q&A with Jeter a couple days ago, one back-and-forth popped out at me.
Me (Reilly): Peyton Manning changed teams this season after 14 seasons with one team. Could you see yourself doing that?
Jeter: Well, if I wanted to keep playing, yes. It's a business. People forget that.
Talk about candor. He's 100 percent correct.

But, in this case it was the wrong answer. I didn't have time to blog about it when I first saw it, but I'm glad I didn't. The Daily News followed up on the small gaffe, and Jeter came back with the right answer. (Yes, I'll purposely link to that site as much as I can now because of my new job.)

“I think it’s comical that we’re talking about it after I’ve told you guys time and time again that I can’t picture myself playing anywhere else,” Jeter said. “Have fun with it.”

Reilly conducted the interview in a format that allowed Jeter to simply say "miss" instead of coming up with a bogus answer to dodge a question. Looking back, I bet Jeter wishes he had said "miss" to that question.

“It was joking around during the whole interview,” Jeter said. (He was, kinda.)

Jeter's explanation is valid, but you have to wonder if he could really say what he said to Reilly about playing for another team in a joking manner.

Here's more of his explanation...
“I’m going to tell you what went down,” Jeter said. “I was asked about Peyton Manning going from Indianapolis to Denver, and the question was in reference to if the organization doesn’t want you around any more and you still want to play, you’d have no choice but to go to another team. I think it’s common sense.

“You understand what the reference is, that Peyton had no choice so if he’s going to continue to play, he’s got to go somewhere else,” Jeter later added. “It seems pretty obvious though, when you’re talking about that situation what I’m talking about. It’s a business. There’s two sides to a business. That’s what the reference was. If I thought it was going to be a big deal, I would have said, ‘Miss’ on the question. I’ve been asked this question a hundred times and I’ve told you guys the same thing.”
So, will Jeter ever play for another team besides the Yankees? If you think that is a bogus question, then just say "miss" and answer this: Will Jeter ever play any other position besides shortstop or DH? If you include today, Jeter has played 2,521 games at short and nowhere else in the field.

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