Sunday, July 18, 2010

Anger at Yanks over Sheppard funeral unfair

I must admit to be very surprised by the amount of vitriol directed at New York Yankees players, particularly Derek Jeter, for missing Bob Sheppard's funeral this week and I think it's quite unfair.

Yes, it would have been a nice tribute if Jeter or other players would have attended, but it seems clear that there was a lack of communication between the organization and the players about the funeral arrangements. I was a little surprised that Jeter in particular didn't know about the funeral time and date, especially since it seems like the Yankees keep him in the loop on almost everything.

But even if he had known, it’s clear from the shortstop’s uncharacteristically emotional reaction that Jeter is taking George Steinbrenner’s death really hard and I wouldn’t have blamed him if he just didn’t feel emotionally prepared to attend a funeral. People respond to death in different ways and maybe the notoriously private Jeter felt that he needed time to himself to grieve and no one has the right to judge him for that.

The critics are basically calling Jeter a hypocrite because he has Sheppard's recorded voice introducing him at every at-bat, which to me is the ultimate tribute because the legendary announcer's voice will be kept alive as long as the Captain is around.

From what we know of Sheppard, especially the stories we’ve heard in the week since he passed away, he would have been horrified and embarrassed by the anger directed toward the players in his name. I think it’s time we all do what Sheppard would have done and quietly move on.

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