So yesterday Derek Jeter was named Sportsman of the Year by Sports Illustrated.
See, this is the reason so many people are sick of Derek Jeter. The guy goes out and has a very nice season, and then, instead of receiving modest praise for being about the third or fourth best player on a championship team, he gets a bunch of ink for the MVP award, somehow wins the Hank Aaron award as the best offensive player in the American League, and SI tells us he was the single best athlete on the face of the earth this year.
It's enough to drive a man to drink, you know?
Now, I'm not entirely sure what the criteria used for Sportsman of the Year are, exactly, but it seems to me that there were quite a few people who had better years than Derek Jeter. Roger Federe
r, for instance. He finally won the French Open, took three of the four major tournaments, and became only the sixth man in tennis history to win the career Grand Slam. Derek Jeter, on the other hand, had a really nice season.
Or how about one of the two men who actually did win an Most Valuable Player award this year? Both Joe Mauer and Albert Pujols had better years than Jeter. But hey, Jeter still had a really nice season.
Or how about Manny Pacquiao? The man keeps moving up weight classes and destroying opponent after opponent. Pacquiao has almost single-handedly made boxing relevant again. Derek Jeter had, well, I think you see where I'm going with this.
What Derek Jeter did this year was very impressive. He hit .334. He played adequate defense. He finally decided it was time to stop banging models, settle down, and just bang one model for a while. It was a fine season. He should receive all kinds of accolades for being a great player throughout his career who had yet another really good season.
Instead, though, Derek Jeter wins awards. Lots and lots and lots of awards. Of course, there are plenty of people who are going to want to tell you why he totally deserves this award and all the others. And I'm here to tell you why they're all wrong.
Argument: The Yankees finally won another championship! And it's all thanks to the leadership of Captain Jeter!
Rebuttal: You like championships? Alright, give Hank Steinbrenner the award. After all, he's the guy who bought the team and the title, finally breaking the Yankees' nightmarish near-decade run of futility. Or what about CC Sabathia, who heroically accepted his dumptruck full of cash and then turned in his usual season? That's got to be worth something.
Argument: Jeter was the one who pulled the Yankees together this year, when the Alex Rodriguez situation threatened to tear them apart.
Rebuttal: Well, sure, I mean, I can't argue with that. Then again, A-Rod did manage to completely turn around the public perception of him after the steroid story broke by becoming sympathetic and hitting clutch home runs. Plus, he fucked Madonna a bunch, keeping her from prowling the streets looking for unsuspecting young men to drain of their precious bodily fluids. I think we all know who the real hero is here, folks.
Derek Jeter didn't do shit to save us from this.
Argument: Look at all the good work his charity does! He's such a giver!
Rebuttal: Again, tough to argue with that, since Derek Jeter is the only athlete who gives to charity. In fact, I heard Albert Pujols fakes all those pictures he has with Down's Syndrome kids. He rents them out from the home for a day, takes a bunch of photos, then crams them through the mail slot late at night so no one will see him. What a bastard.
Argument: But, but, he passed Lou Gehrig on the all-time Yankee hits list! Lou Gehrig, man!
Rebuttal: Okay, so even I have to admit that's pretty cool. Then again, all it really proves is he's been in one spot for a really long time and has piled up a lot of hits. He's Pete Rose, minus the cool Mary Lou Retton haircut.
Argument: He played his best defense in close to a decade!
Rebuttal: Yep, and he managed to be the 15th best defensive shortstop in baseball by doing so. Wicked awesome.
Argument: He won the Hank Aaron award! He's the best hitter in the American League!
Rebuttal: No, Derek Jeter is not the best hitter in the American League. He's the third best hitter on the Yankees. I believe that qualifies him to win the Paul O'Neil award, but not the Hank Aaron award.
Argument: He was the Yankees' best player when it counted the most, in the World Series.You can't possibly deny that!
Rebuttal: Mariano Rivera begs to differ.
Argument: But, but, he's Derek Jeter!
Rebuttal: Ah, and now we come down to it. The real reason Derek Jeter won. Because he's Derek Jeter. And unfortunately, while I personally would love to never again be forced to listen to the sound of Derek Jeter's manhood activating the collective gag reflex of the sporting media, I fear it just isn't to be. Derek Jeter won the Sportsman of the Year award because, let's face it, he's just the Jeteriest. No one else has quite mastered the art of being Derek Jeter quite like old Jetes himself.
So congratulations to Derek Jeter on a really nice season. And a very special congratulations for having the incredible foresight to be born Derek Jeter.