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Frankly Frankel: September 27, 2014

27 Sep

Derek Jeter has a storybook ending to a storybook career, Keith Olbermann is an embarrassment, and the Jets beat themselves against the Bears, This is Frankly Frankel on this September 27, 2014.

  • Derek Jeter never ceases to amaze, and his final at-bat in Yankee Stadium moves right up there with some of the greatest moments of his career.
  • How fitting was it for a player like Jeter, who’s made a living out of rising to the occasion and coming through in big moments, has his last at-bat in the place he’s spent his entire 20-year career, result in a walk-off game winning single?
  • This was so storybook it wasn’t even funny. The Yankees entered the top of the 9th with a comfortable 5-2 lead. The anticipated move was Joe Girardi to remove Jeter from the game so the Yankee crowd could serenade him as he left the field for the final time.
  • However, Girardi stuck with Jeter, and David Robertson proceeded to give up a 2-run home-run to Adam Jones, and a solo shot to Steve Pearce that tied the game at 5.
  • Normally, whenever a close blows a save, it’s crushing. In this particular case, it was almost a good thing because Jeter was due up 3rd in the bottom of the 9th.
  • Jose Pirela started off the inning with a single, and Antoan Richardson came in to pinch-run. Brett Gardner bunted Richardson over to 2nd, setting the stage for “The Captain”.
  • Was there ever a doubt Jeter wouldn’t come through? He drilled a first-pitch fastball into right field (of all places), and Richardson barely (and I mean barely) beat Nick Markakis’s throw to score and give the Yankees a 6-5 win. More importantly, it allowed Jeter to conclude his Yankee Stadium career with a walk-off, his first walk-off hit since 2007.
  • Jeter’s Yankee teammates rushed out onto the field to mob him, and then several Yankee legends appeared to greet “The Captain”. Mariano Rivera, Joe Torre, Jorge Posada, Andy Pettitte, Bernie Williams, Tino Martinez, and Jeter’s family were all there. If there was ever a perfect sports moment, this was it.
  • The Yankees actually went into the game with a plan for Jeter, as Joe Girardi detailed afterwards in his post-game press conference:

“What was supposed to happen was we were going to make him walk around the whole field. And then when he got to the left field corner, that group was going to walk out — the Posadas, the Torres, the Mos. They were going to wait for him at home plate, let him walk off into the tunnel, basically saying, it’s time to join us. But this worked better.”

  • As cool as that would have looked, and it would have looked cool, the reality is it would have looked staged. The way it actually played out was something not even the great Steven Spielberg could come up with.
  • This Jeter moment was so great, that he shouldn’t take the field at Fenway Park this weekend, despite what he says. The last memory we should have of Derek Jeter is him driving in the game-winning run in his final at-bat in Yankee Stadium. It would be the perfect ending to a storybook career. There’s no way Jeter could top what he did on Thursday night this weekend, or so I think.
  • I look forward to the day when I get to tell my kids and grandkids that I saw Derek Jeter play, and he was the greatest leader and winner I ever saw in my life. Greatest player? I’m not going to waste my time debating that.
  • As Jeter walks away from the game for the final time, Bob Sheppard‘s voice goes with him, as does the ability for any Yankee wearing a single digit number going forward, and the last face from the last great baseball dynasty. With the way baseball is configured now a days, it’s a fair question to ask will there ever be a dynasty again? It would be hard to imagine.
  • Some of his top career moments include: Winning the 2000 World Series MVP, the “Flip Play”, Mr. November, Diving into the stands against Boston, hitting a home-run for his much anticipated 3,000th hit, and ending his Yankee Stadium career with a walk-off. Some players have 1-2 moments, Jeter has a whole laundry list.
  • I know the Yankees will not be in the playoffs this season, but you have to feel good for the Kansas City Royals and Pittsburgh Pirates, 2 teams that suffered more than any other over the past 2 decades. For the first time since winning it all in 1985, the Royals are going back to the playoffs, and Pittsburgh is back for the 2nd straight year after not making it to the post-season since 1992. It’s also the first time ever KC and Pittsburgh are in the post-season at the same time.
  • As the anticipation built for Jeter’s final games as a New York Yankees, Keith “Can’t hold a job for more than a year” Olbermann really embarrassed himself when he went on a baseless rant about why Derek Jeter isn’t the greatest baseball player of all-time on Tuesday night. If you would like to waste 7-minutes of your time, watch what Olbermann said.
  • Olbermann simply doesn’t get it. Jeter wasn’t about stats. He was about coming through in big moments, rising to the occasion, and more importantly, winning. Jeter is a .351 career World Series hitter, holds almost every post-season record imaginable, and has too many signature moments to count.
  • He then detailed how Jeter wasn’t a great statistical player, how he never won an MVP, a batting title, an RBI title, how his career WAR isn’t as good as Albert Pujols’s, but you get the point.
  • Olbermann went on a whole tangent about how Jeter’s farewell tour was way over the top. Was it? Maybe. But if anyone in baseball deserved something like this, it was Jeter. He meant that much to the game with his class, the fact he was never ejected, and how he shined through one of the most tainted era’s in baseball history, the steroid era.
  • He’s not the greatest Yankee of all-time, and anyone who thinks he is, doesn’t know the history of the Yankees. He’s number 5 on my list, preceded by Ruth, Mantle, Gehrig, and DiMaggio (Not a bad list to be apart of).
  • Olbermann said so many things that anyone that followed Jeter’s career closely would have already known, and acted like he was doing some ground-breaking research.
  • The New York Jets followed up its killer loss to the Packers, with an equally as frustrating 8-point loss to the Chicago Bears last Monday.
  • The Jets beat themselves so bad in this game, and it was led by Geno Smith. The pick-six on the first play of the game was inexcusable. Heaving up to the end-zone on a 1st and 10 from the Bears 18-yard line was a horrific decision.
  • Jalen Saunders muffed punt was a killer, as was Marty Mornhinweg’s play calling. On a 4th and goal from the Bears 2-yard line, Mornhinweg called for a Geno Smith QB sneak up the middle, which was snubbed out. How about a QB roll-out, or a high percentage pass play? This was such a big call in the game that was completely botched.
  • Mornhinweg has to stop running Chris Johnson between the tackles. He should only get the ball in space. It’s that simple.
  • Also, Rex Ryan has to slow down on his blitzing. Some cases are fine, but you can only hang your no-name corners out to dry so many times…
  • If you would have told me Brandon Marshall would have caught 1 pass for 6-yards, and the Jets still would have lost, I would have laughed in your face.
  • As for tomorrow’s game against the Lions, I think the Jets get back in the win column. I think Geno gets back on track, and the defensive line gets to Stafford.
  • One more thing…How is Roger Goodell STILL the commissioner of the National Football League?
  • Be sure to tune back next Saturday for another edition of “Frankly Frankel”, and make sure to follow me on Twitter @lucasfrankel.
 

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