July 9, 2011

Not Everyone Loves Derek Jeter

Without a doubt, the New York Yankees are one of the most polarizing sports teams (not just baseball teams) on the planet.

People love them or loathe them…it’s true. And the same can be said about most of their players, both past and present.

Except Derek Jeter.

As Jeter became just the 28th player in Major League history to get to 3000 hits on Saturday, a quick glance at Twitter or “The Worldwide Leader” would lead you to believe there is a nationwide lovefest for the 12-time All-Star.

Or is there?

Ladies and gentlemen...the “Jeter Filter”.

Wait…what?

According to the website (aptly JeterFilter.com), the creator (Rob Spectre, a Boston Red Sox fan) has developed an application that “quickly and carefully scours the Internet for signs of Derek Jeter and removes him while you browse, making Jeter disappear...right before your very eyes.”

Sounds simple enough…but why?

“Because in these dark times, when Fenway faithful around the world are only a click away from torn-ligament-this and three-thousand-hits-that, Red Sox Nation DESERVES some recourse so that they can live their lives worry-free,” Spectre told The Hall.

“Fortunately, we also live in times where technology can be that respite,” Spectre continued. “I believed then as now that if we applied some basic engineering to the problem of Derek Jeter, we could at least remove it as the center of our lives online. That if we worked hard, we could make a world without Derek Jeter and that world would be a glorious one indeed.”

Now…I’m not sure if or how this thing works (Spectre assures me it does and, honestly, I don’t have the mental makeup to doubt him), but I know one guy who would probably enjoy the heck out of NOT having to see Derek Jeter news every time he logs on to his computer.

Enter Gene Hutmaker.

The lifelong baseball fan is the self-proclaimed “biggest Yankee hater on this planet Earth” and author of Banned in the Bronx, The Yankee Hater Memoirs: 1953-2005. Basically, the book chronicles the year-by-year account of each baseball season with little or no mention of the success of the New York Yankees…but rather a highlight of their failures.

Like Spectre, Hutmaker has to be the other guy out there that hates Jeter, right?

Right.

“As the Nation's foremost Yankee hater I canNOT root for any player from the darkside, however, I am objective on the accomplishments of them,” Hutmaker told me. “For example, Babe Ruth is the Zeus of baseball…everyone else is a secondary God. Mickey (Mantle) is the second best player I ever saw behind Willie Mays. It’s hard to hate Yogi (Berra) and Lou (Gehrig) is the all-time greatest first baseman in Major League history.”

Hold on…is Hutmaker actually soft on the Yankees or just a smart baseball fan?

I believe it is probably the latter, but I still had to ask about Jeter.

“Since Jeter is from the darkside, I detest him on the field,” Hutmaker responded. “However, I do respect his achievements as he is one of the top five shortstops in the game's history.”

He said "detest".  Whew.

Given the media coverage, I figured everyone loved the newest member of the 3000 hit club. But when I talked with Spectre and Hutmaker, I realized this…Yankees haters also hate Jeter.

But, apparently, they do respect him.

Case closed...mystery solved.


No comments: