Given the pomp and circumstance the Mariano Rivera retirement tour generated last summer, it’s mildly surprising how low-key Derek Jeter’s final season in pinstripes has been. Take away the Nike “Re2spect” commercial during the All Star Game and it’s been business as usual for The Captain as the makeshift Yankees lineup tries to make the playoffs. This shouldn’t be all that surprising since despite dating a bevvy of high-profile women during his career in New York, Jeter remains fiercely private and guarded at all times.
Even so, teams are still making a point to fete Jeter with parting gifts as he jump-throws his way into retirement. Monday night the subject of these gifts came up during Orioles’ manager Buck Showalter’s pregame chat with reporters at Oriole Park. Showalter, who briefly managed Jeter at the beginning of his career, had a fun suggestion for a retirement gift: a framed photo of the “Jeffrey Maier play” a/k/a Jeter’s controversial home run against Baltimore in the 1996 playoffs. (This assumes Jeter doesn’t already own one hanging above the fireplace in his den.)
“I would give him a big picture of the home run,” Showalter said. “Well, it wasn’t a home run. We know that. That’s what I’d give him. A big picture and have the whole Baltimore Orioles team sign it.
“That’s a good idea. That’s cheap, too, right? Make it in bronze or something. Not that we remember that at all.”
MLB.com’s account noted it was a “playful” exchange by Showalter and reporters. Given Showalter’s reputation, people might not have been willing to give him the benefit of the doubt. Either way, the Orioles won 11-3 Monday night and stretched their lead over the now third-place Yankees to seven full games.
Re-watching the Maier play for the first time in a couple years, a few things jump out:
- Bob Costas and Bob Uecker calling a playoff game?! (oh yeah, that happened.)
- Are the foul-line umpires for playoff games completely useless or totally useless?
- Twitter/social media would have been a total shitshow.
- Who would be the first face photoshopped into the ensuing memes?
- If replay were allowed what would the umpires rule? Catch? Ground-rule double? (Re: shitshow.)
- Nobody still beats the Wiz.
- The 90s, man.
Hopefully Tony Tarasco was sufficiently calmed down.
(This has sort of been Yardwork!)