Last night, Ryan Dempster had a little trouble establishing the inside part of the plate against Alex Rodriguez. I, along with many others, loved it. Plunk him again! The only thing that would have been better would have been if they activated Jason Varitek just for the game. After all, ARod’s a liar, a cheater, a disgraceful human being, and should be out of baseball!
Then, later, the crowd was apparently chanting “You’re a cheater!” Someone online joked that they could have been chanting, “You’re not Jeter!” What a zinger that would have been. After all, he’s not Derek Jeter.
Or, is he?
ARod’s a liar. But, didn’t Jeter have that hit batsman thing? The umpire said it was a HBP, when it was clearly a foul ball? While Jeter didn’t strictly lie…he didn’t correct a misconception.
ARod’s a cheat. But, Jeter did have that guy with a radar gun in the stands. He broke the rules by getting signals from that guy telling him how fast the pitches were coming in. Isn’t that cheating?
ARod’s scum. But, it’s well known that Jeter’s favorite prank to play on sportswriters is the ol’ “I bet you can’t eat a teaspoon of cinnamon” trick. You know, the one that sent so many kids to the hospital that schools across the country had to send out special warnings about it. That’s not exactly the behavior of a model citizen.
So, what’s the line? Like I said from the top, I recognize that there is a line. But, as I look at it objectively, I’m having some trouble drawing it.
Is it body of work? Has ARod had a ton more of these “issues”? Sure, ARod had the incident where he knocked the ball out of Arroyo’s glove, and pretended to call off the guy fielding a pop-up in Toronto. And, those are loser moves. But, if Jeter had done them, would people have said he was just doing all he could to win? Is the point that Jeter wouldn’t have done them? Has he done them? What makes us think he wouldn’t? Is giving a gift basket with an autographed baseball to your one-night stands better than kissing a mirror?
I admit I’m probably not the best person to come up with an answer to this question. I’m certainly on record as saying Jeter’s the most overrated player I can remember. Even more than Trot Nixon and Curt Schilling. But, I don’t really despise Jeter. I dislike his attention, and his fans behavior. But, I really don’t feel anything towards him as a person much more than any other Yankee. I dislike ARod. Why?
Is it the all-encompassing aspect of ARod? Sure Jeter broke a rule or two that gave him a small advantage. But, ARod’s rule breaking led to much a much more well-rounded advantage? Is it the media? Is the same media that took the bait when Sox players asked them to play up the Arroyo thing just running with a fun story? The same laziness that makes them continue to praise Jeter makes them continue to curse ARod?
ARod’s scum. I get it. I feel it. I know it. I’m just having some trouble with the specific why. Why is he scum, but Jeter’s gritty? Why is he a tool, but Jeter’s an example? There’s a line somewhere, right? Is it a straight line? Is it a wavy line? Is it a solid line?
I’m having trouble drawing it.