First I have to acknowledge Derek Jeter is a class act. One of the best shortstops ever to play the game. One of the most clutch postseason hitters and players in recent memory. Someone that has, for the most part, maintained a high level of consistency throughout his entire career. Somebody who played for the name on the front of the jersey. Someone that embraced what it means to truly be a Yankee. Someone who always carried himself well and shied away from controversy. Someone who completely embraces what it means to be a champion.
I apologize Derek. I apologize that, for a vast majority of your career, you were not the best player on your team. Whether it Bernie Williams, Paul O'Neil, Tino Martinez…take your pick. They were all better in their primes. I apologize that they out performed you. I apologize that for the latter half of your career you were not even the best shortstop on your team: See Alex Rodriguez.
I apologize that you were rarely a statistical phenom. Sure, the hits piled up, and they always came in big spots. I apologize that baseball is a statistical game. I apologize that 99.9% of the time that's how players are judged. I apologize that I don't think the 'he's so much more than the back of his baseball card' argument holds much water. Especially in a league where every number is analyzed down to the percentage point. I apologize that I don't think a singles and doubles hitter is the best hitter of my generation.
I apologize that I don't care about how squeaky clean athletes are. I root for my teams regardless of who plays on them. I apologize I don't think you are the most innocent person on the planet. I apologize I haven't delivered frankincense and myrrh to your house. You are clearly a more important figure than baby Jesus himself.
I apologize that I think Mariano Rivera is more important to the game of baseball than you. You know him, right? He's only been gone a year. The guy that redefined what it means to be a shutdown closer. The guy who basically invented the broken bat ground out. The guy who was personally responsible for closing the door on a majority of Yankees' wins. I apologize I think he deserved this 162 game dick sucking more than you.
I apologize that I don't think someone that wasn't at the very top of his profession deserves to be showered with gifts. I apologize that I don't think a player that doesn't crack the top 5 of best payers in franchise history deserves the accolades that have been showered upon you.
I apologize that I don't think a walk off seeing eye single in a meaningless game is the perfect ending to a career full of playoffs appearances and championships. I think Ray Bourque and John Elway agree. I apologize that your last game didn't come in the playoffs as it should have.
I apologize that the last year has ruined my perception of you. I apologize for thinking that a living, breathing player should not be wearing a patch of himself for over a month. I apologize that I don't think a player should hold a retirement ceremony with weeks to go in the season. I apologize that I think the two commercials that were ran this season were overdone. I apologize that the last few months have painted you as self indulgent and self centered. I apologize that a franchise that doesn't even have names on the back of their jerseys sacrificed it's tradition by plastering the #2 all over their uniforms.
Mostly, and most sincerely, I apologize that none of this is your fault. I apologize that the Yankees have squeezed every red cent out of the Jeter retirement tour. I apologize that I get mad at you when Yankees fans try to claim you are a once in a generation talent. It's not your fault. You did your job. You did it well. You did it to the best of your abilities. I apologize that you weren't the greatest baseball player I have ever seen. It's not an indictment of you. It's an indictment of the irrationality of your fans.
Enjoy your retirement. I am excited to see what the future holds for the Yankees since they can no longer dwell on past accomplishments of retired players anymore. I look forward to not having to see your face every waking moment of my life.
I apologize that Keith Olbermann has a point….