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Nice guy.  Have some blogs.  Do baseball research.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Kill the farewell tour, a combination one man old timers day and shotgun wedding.

Derek Jeter, center, and the Yankees honoring Mariano Rivera, right, in 2011,
 days after his 602nd save broke the career record.
Let the Marketing of Derek Jeter’s Farewell Begin
By RICHARD SANDOMIR February 13, 2014  The New York Times

The Derek Jeter farewell tour is coming, with the inevitable merchandising: caps and T-shirts with a Jeter-centric logo; dirt from his shortstop area packaged in vials; autographs; signed bases, balls, home plates and, well, almost anything else imaginable.
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I sent a link to that article to a friend, another Yankee fan, which resulted in this exchange:

friend: Was I the only one who thought the Rivera thing was absurd?  One player cannot be more important than the team. 

me: Rivera tour was super absurd.

"The Rivera thing" was the 2013 farewell tour of Mariano Rivera.  As Rivera visited other ball parks the home team chose or felt compelled to honor Rivera as previous teams had done.  By the mid way point I was really uncomfortable with this.  Teams were striving to find increasingly more imaginative ways of paying tribute to the greatest 60 inning a year pitcher in baseball history.  I do not know of anything similar to this.  Not for Mickey Mantle.  Not for Joe DiMaggio.  Not even for the symbol of baseball tragedy, Lou Gehrig.  The Yankees held a day of tribute July 4, 1939 for their sick captain at Yankee Stadium, bringing back Gehrig's 1927 teammates; Gehrig made his famous speech that day.

When Babe Ruth was nearing death the Yankees initiated what evolved into an annual old timers day.  The Babe died in 1948.  Other teams tried them, too, but I think that the Yankees are the only team that still holds an annual event.

No doubt when he is retired Derek Jeter will be invited to the Yankee old timers day.  That's enough for me.  Another farewell tour similar to Mariano's would be absurd in the extreme.  Since D-Day, the day last week when Derek announced his retirement after the 2014 season, self conscious people have been tripping over themselves to heep praise on Jeter, the player who "did it the right way".  Presumably this is in contrast to the unnamed villain who did it the wrong way by using performance enhancing drugs (PED), including steroids.  Such a dastardly person will remain unnamed here.

The Yankees will probably have a day of tribute for Jeter later this season.  OK, I guess.  I'd prefer that this be done after the player has actually retired.  Mantle was honored in 1965 and 1969, the year after he was through.  DiMaggio had a day in 1949, which awkwardly was the second to last game of the dramatic Yankee comeback to defeat the Red Sox and win the pennant by one game.  Hopefully Jeter's day won't be a repeat of Rivera's:

Dodger plaque hung in Yankee Stadium: prank by kids? Or are they idiots?  Sunday, September 22, 2013

Kids these days. You never know what they might do, even in front of their mom. Wait 'till you hear what the late Yankee owner George Steinbrenner's kids did today during Mariano Rivera day at Yankee Stadium...

the Kids had Stadium workers unveil a plaque for Jackie Robinson. Yes, a plaque for a Dodger, a BROOKLYN Dodger...

Now you may be wondering about the connection between Rivera and Robinson. It's purely based on numerology. Robinson played his entire ten year career (1947-1956) for the Dodgers wearing number 42. Rivera has played his entire career (1995-2013) playing for the Yankees wearing number 42. See the connection that the Kids latched on to?  ...

Rivera is such a good guy. We saw that in Boston recently when the Red Sox, pretty good pranksters themselves, got Rivera out on the field to honor him, then suddenly announced their intent to roast rather than toast Rivera. Well, what could he do? Rivera stood there and took the humiliation with good grace...

So, I'm guessing that the Dodger plaque will be removed tomorrow and sent to DODGER Stadium where it belongs, of course. If not, then ... those Kids really are idiots.
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The Yankees play their final 2014 series in Boston.  There's no telling what the Red Sox might do.

Kill the tour.  One was one too many.  It was bad enough when it was for a really nice guy who played on the team I root for.  It would be even more unacceptable if it were for an opposing player, especially one I do not like.  Someone like Brian McCann.  Oh, wait.  The Yankees acquired him.  Maybe we could have a farewell for him before he starts.


Derek Jeter, forget the farewell tour.  You face complications.

Rivera pitched at about his usual level and remained healthy, which given his work load wasn't that difficult.  You are not likely to remain healthy.  If you are on the disabled list and there are ceremonies planned during a Yankee road trip, will you accompany the team just to receive your tributes?  That would be tacky.

And what if you are healthy but playing poorly?  You'd be embarrassed to walk out there to receive a gift.  What if you are benched?  That would be very embarrassing.

And what if you sensed that the other team really resented the whole thing but felt obliged to go along with it?  Embarrassing.

Forget it.  Kill the tour, not just for yourself but for all time.

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