Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald


The game’s best postseason player

Throughout the past few years, nobody in the American League has been a better all-around ball player than Texas shortstop Alex Rodriquez.

The guy has led the AL in homers, knocked in more than 115 runs and committed fewer than 20 errors in each of the past three seasons.

And after being among the league leaders in every major statistical category in 2003, he will likely win this year’s AL MVP award when all is said and done.


A-Rod is truly an awesome talent, and he is one of the best players in all of baseball through the first 162 games of the season.

But come playoff time, there’s not a shortstop in the game today you’d want on your team more than Derek Jeter.

At just 29 years old, Jeter has already led the Yankees to six World Series appearances, brought home five of the last six American League pennants, and New York hasn’t missed the postseason since he joined the team in 1996.

In the Yankees’ 6-1 Game 3 victory over the Marlins Tuesday night, he was the only guy on the “Bombers” entire bazillion-dollar roster who managed to get a hit off of Florida’s seemingly untouchable Josh Beckett. Not only that, but he also scored the Yanks’ game-tying, game-winning and game-sealing runs.

After his performance, sports writers and analysts across the country were dubbing him as baseball’s new “Mr. October.”

While I still think he has a lot more clutch performances to make before he comes close to challenging the rights to Reggie Jackson’s title, to even be mentioned in the same breath as the former A’s and Yankee great speaks volumes about how superb a player Jeter really is.

Probably the most memorable and significant play the Pequannock, N.J. native has ever made was during Game 3 of New York’s 2001 divisional series with Oakland.

Better known as “the flip,” Jeter tracked down an overthrown relay throw at the first base line and tossed an off-balanced, backhanded throw to prevent the A’s tying run from scoring. The Yankees wound up winning the game, and many believe it was his big play that sparked New York’s turnaround in the series and their eventual run to the 2001 Fall Classic.

Now, I realize that many of you hate the Yankees for a number of reasons.

But Jeter should not be one of them.

Unlike Jason Giambi, Mike Mussina, Roger Clemens and some of New York’s other high-priced talent, Jeter is a homegrown guy.

Just 25 days before his 18th birthday, he was drafted by the Yankees in the first round of the 1992 amateur draft, and he has been with the organization ever since.

He was officially called up and named the team’s starting shortstop four years later, and George Steinbrenner, Joe Torre and the Yankee faithful have reaped the benefits ever since.

And those benefits have not only come on the field, but off it as well.

Throughout his eight seasons, Jeter has carried himself with class and has earned a name for himself similar to basketball’s Kobe Bryant (prior to the rape charges, of course).

He was the recipient of the Joan Payson Award for community service in 1997, the winner of the New York Press Photographers’ annual “Good Guy” Award in 1998 and he received the Joe DiMaggio “Toast of the Town” Award in 1999.

Jeter has not been free of criticism during his career, however.

Steinbrenner actually ripped the five-time All-Star in an interview with the New York Daily News just this past December, questioning, among other things, Jeter’s work ethic.

“When I read in the paper that he’s out until 3 a.m. in New York City going to a birthday party, I won’t lie — that doesn’t sit well with me,” Steinbrenner said. “That was in violation of [Joe Torre’s] curfew. That’s the focus I’m talking about.”

While “The Boss” has said some pretty stupid things over the years, this comment was flat-out idiotic.

I had a hard time taking my housefellow seriously when I was a 19-year-old freshman who was supposed to stay in my room during “quiet hours.” Questioning a 27-year-old guy’s focus because he stays out past his curfew? Well, that’s just ludicrous.

He was the AL Rookie of the Year in 1996, has been MVP of the All-Star game and the World Series, and has won four World Series and five AL pennants in his career. I think he’s earned the right to spend “two nights dancing, two nights eating out and three nights just carousing with his friends.”

Leave a Comment
Donate to The Badger Herald

Your donation will support the student journalists of University of Wisconsin-Madison. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to The Badger Herald

Comments (0)

All The Badger Herald Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *