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Thursday, September 4, 2014

The selling of Derek Jeter.

Derek Jeter Day is this Sunday at Yankee Stadium.  Jeter is the 40 year old Yankee captain who is retiring after this season.

Derek Jeter merchandise is becoming obscene.  What kind of idiot would spend the kind of money being asked for this stuff?  When the Yankees tossed extra millions of dollars at Jeter, above what his contract called for, I thought they were nuts.  But because Yankee management has been so incompetent, they needed this Jeter mania to distract fans from the sorry state of the team.

The money reported by ESPN for Jeter stuff is shocking:

Yankees to wear Derek Jeter patch
Updated: September 3, 2014, 12:57 PM ET
By Darren Rovell ESPN.com

Steiner also has an exclusive autograph deal with Jeter and has been selling more than 200 Jeter-signed products, including game-used jerseys that retail for $25,000...

New Era is selling a three-cap box of Jeter hats for $150...

New Era has made more than 50 Jeter products for sale, including a white leather fitted hat for $99.99...

The Yankees will also be selling a commemorative Jeter issue of Yankees Magazine for $20.

Jeter's No. 2 jersey is the best-selling jersey in the league this year, according to MLB spokesman Matt Bourne, and Nike is seeking to further capitalize on its spokesman by trademarking "RE2PECT," which it is already using on gear sold in stores.

Last season the farewell tour of Yankee relief pitcher Mariano Rivera culminated with Mariano Rivera Day at the Stadium, complete with Rivera's number being retired, something I thought was done only for players after they had actually retired.  The Yankees still had more games to play.

In the late 1990s the Yankees commemorated the deaths of two of their big four all time players: Mickey Mantle and Joe DiMaggio.  They wore a small number on the sleeve of their uniforms: 7 for Mantle and 5 for DiMaggio.  On other such occasions, like the tragic death of captain Thurman Munson while flying his private plane in August 1979, the Yankees wore black arm bands.  Many teams have done the same for their own.

But has a team worn a player's number while he was still alive?  And in Jeter's case, still an active player?  Have we lost our minds?

And where are the values?  What is Jeter thinking?  Is this his way of teaching young people?

All season I winced as commissioner Allan Huber "Bud" Selig allowed players and teams to violate the anti-fraternization rules by embracing Jeter before games and giving him gifts, which he gladly accepted. Even the donations to Jeter's charitable foundation, which his father runs, are inappropriate in that context and setting.  All the while Selig sat idly by.

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