I don't know why I keep going back to the comments threads over at Bronx Banter; I should know better, but hey, I should've known better than to drink whiskey at Kristen's Winterfest party last weekend, and I did that too, didn't I? (Boy, did I ever).
Anyway, normally I go over there, have a nice debate (not always marked by maturity, but that's what sometimes makes it fun) and then retreat back to Soxland. But now a couple of comments I left there have apparently sparked a little interest elsewhere. Said Nick, "So I believe this marks a kind of turning point in Yanks-Sox relations," and I agree with that statement (although not all the furious Jeter-related masturbation that follows in his post). Also, I'm never one to give up the all the discussion / traffic to Yanks blogs, so I thought I'd open this discussion up here, too, if anyone's interested.
So here's the gist of things. The BB post about Kirby Puckett
devolved went into some Jeter-love at the end, which prompted the perennial comments about why Boston fans don't respect him, and here were my responses:
However, since the acquisition of Alex Rodriguez, I have come to genuinely like jeter by comparison. dead serious--that's how I wound up respecting Jeter; the comparison with A-Rod. you may hate it, call me names, etc., and go ahead, but it's true.
Nick from Washington Heights wrote:
And I responded:
//It was odd to me given that he tried to orchestrate his move to Boston. //
I realize that this makes sense from most ppl's perspective, but I can tell you no one in Boston remembers that, or thinks about it when they judge A-Rod [Note: in responses to follow at BB, this notion was roundly dismissed]. I think there was bitterness when it first happened, but I for one didn't blame A-Rod for that necessarily. I didn't hate him at the time, either.
My hatred for A-Rod developed as I saw him play, and got more familiar with him as a celebrity / personality. It was probably unfortunate for him all this happened while he wore pinstripes--I'm not going to be disingenuous about whether or not I would feel the same way if he had ended up in a Red Sox uniform. I'm a staunch defender of Curt Schilling, after all. But just as I might feel differently about A-Rod under different circumstances, I think most Yankees fans would feel differently about Schilling, too.
However, though being in pinstripes might have predisposed me to dislike A-Rod, I can say at this point, especially after the 2004 season, that my disdain for A-Rod is genuine, even if it originally stems from bias. The guy just rubs me the wrong way--I think the slap play really sealed it for me. that was the moment I was glad he wasn't on my team, for real. A-Rod now symbolizes the Yankees, the "how the mighty have fallen" Yankees. I guess our hatred has gone from being tinged with envy to being imbued with scorn--and along the way A-Rod has replaced Jeter as the symbol for that.
When A-Rod showed up, with the way he acted...I don't think I had ever really been able to say "this is why i hate Derek Jeter..." like I said above, for me personally, hating Jeter was almost nothing personal--he represented the Yankees; I hated the Yankees, the end. But when A-Rod came along, Ii thought to myself, okay, now there's a real asshole, and Jeter's stock went up. The play Jeter made when he dove into the stands on July 1, 2004 also changed things for me, much like the slap play with A-Rod, but in the opposite direction.
I have also developed sympathy for Jeter as the Yankees have had tough postseasons recently--it makes me kind of sad to see him out there trying to rally the troops when they end up falling short. It seems he's a holdover from a different era, stuck someplace he almost doesn't belong. This isn't to say i'm becoming a Yankee fan--far from it. It just sometimes makes me sort of sad on a personal level to see Jeter trying to be a leader when it clearly isn't going to work. Jeter was the only Yankee who didn't deflate in 2004's game 7, for example. He seemed to be the only player who believed the Yankees could still pull it out last season toward the end of the division series. It is kind of touching and sad to watch. And I guess I can sympathize with what seems to be happening to him within the team--the Yankees have signed another shortstop in A-Rod and now another leadoff hitter in Johnny Damon. I have wondered how he must feel about that; it seems sometimes like the vultures may be circling him.
Am I ever going to love Jeter? NFW. But I don't hate him irrationally like I used to.
So, now I open the floor. What do my fellow Sox fans think? Any Yankees fan lurkers are welcome to respond, too.