During last night's Yankee game in Fenway Park Boston Yankee captain and icon Derek Jeter dropped a routine pop fly for an error and an unearned run. Red Sox fans cheered. That was not unexpected but what was surprising was that the cheering persisted and clearly turned into mocking Jeter.
I am a Yankee fan but I realize that the baseball deification of Derek Jeter is premature, unwarranted and overdone. Still, the guy plays hard and almost always says the right thing, no matter how boring. See:
Thursday, September 16, 2010 Derek Jeter behaved badly and should apologize.
So why mock Jeter? Was it Boston's parochialism that led it to abuse its greatest athlete, Bill Russell of the Celtics? Was it the insulation of having more black people on the two baseball teams combined than in the Fenway stands?
I've seen his before. In 1978 Boston fans mocked Yankee pitcher Catfish Hunter when the Red Sox drove the clearly ailing Hunter from the mound. What satisfaction did they derive? Catfish, who stoically took the abuse, was another noble warrior who never offended them except that he played for the Yankees. Jeter does not merely play for the Yankees. Derek Jeter is a Yankee. Always was. Always will be.
New York's not perfect. To quote myself:
I never met a Met fan who knew what he was talking about ... or a Boston fan of any sport.