Skip Bayless opened the flood gates on the topic of Jeter and steroids on Wednesday when he questioned if the 38-year-old was having an amazing season through the use of PED’s. Now, it’s not as if Skip (even with all his trollish foilbles) pulled this question out of thin air, after 2 major players have been caught using banned substances this past week alone. Was Skip within right to throw out Jeter’s name? Derek Jeter has been the face of the sport of baseball, and throughout the good and the bad the one thing that’s remained a constant is the reliability of ‘Number 2’ as he dons the pinstripes with pride and plays the game the quote ‘right way’. So dare I ask, if anyone is ‘worthy’ of a steroid accusation pass (if there is such a thing) shouldn’t it be Jeter?
The numbers are almost scary they’re just that good. Last year the Yankees who are essentially the 5th avenue of sports in general, were startling ‘cheap’ when it came to Jeter’s contract negotiations last year. General Manager of the Yankees, Brian Cashman even essentially admitted to the media that he doesn’t mind if Jeter opts to test the open market…what?! Admittedly though, Jeter got off to a terrible 2011 season which left people even wondering if he’d reach his 3,000 hit mark. After he reached that milestone, which seemed like his own personal climb up Mount Everest Jeter got red hot and finished the season off batting .297. Flash forward to now in the 2012 season and Jeter’s name is in the MVP discussion and rightly so, he leads the league in number of at bats and in hits, he’s hitting .324 and boasts a .364 on base percentage –did I mention that he’s 38? For the past few years as Jeter aged there was talk if he had just become a player living off a name that was bigger than what he brought to the field ‘he’s breaking down’ critics said ‘his range is gone’ fans and Yankees haters alike hissed. How can we explain the metamorphisis that his already sterling and Cooperstown bound career has undergone?
The game of baseball is no longer the childhood innocent game that we all grew on, we now know of the seedy underbelly that lies within the sport. While Selig was so busy proclaiming how the Steroid Age was ‘taken care’ of and that we could all just get back to spending our money on tickets and erasing 10 years plus of cheating from our memories, it has been revealed that the age of steroids is anything but taken care of. The bigger picture in the matter as to how the League will stiffen punishment and do more rigourous testing still has be resolved, but as for the topic of Jeter and where he stands I think he’s a major symbol in the discussion. Jeter isn’t just a player he represents the faux image that baseball and MLB specifically has tried to push to the masses since its inception. Derek Jeter is the apple pie Americana poster child for our national pasttime, his on the field innocent persona is one of the few shreds of dignity the sport has. So when one questions Jeter or puts out in the public’s mind the element of doubt could this be a rippling effect for the game in general? If you can’t trust Jeter then who can you trust? But should we keep an even keel unbiased approach and open our minds to the possibility that any and everyone is suspect and can be questioned no matter how likable they are. Should Jeter be shielded from the steroids discussion or should he be one of the main focal points in the argument, and should we mentally prepare ourselves for the possibility no matter how slim that he could be just as guilty as anyone else in the sport?