Monday, May 16, 2011

Posada puts good pal Jeter in a tough spot

Jorge Posada’s tantrum put his good pal Derek Jeter in a tough spot, but Jeter, as usual, managed to defuse what could have been a disastrous situation.

Jeter is the captain of the New York Yankees so he has an obligation to the team that he has loved since he was a child. Of course, that would put him in the very uncomfortable position of being forced to comment on his long-time friend’s deplorable act of pulling himself out of the Yankees lineup. But as Jeter said, Posada is like a brother and Jeter is a family guy first so there was no way he was going to publicly condemn Posada, even if Jeter thought he was wrong. Jeter might have had some strong words for him in private, but we will probably never know.

What makes Jeter’s tight-rope walking exercise more amazing is that he would never personally ask out of a game. Jeter won’t even acknowledge that he is injured when he’s in a physical pain so the notion of him taking a mental day off is unimaginable. As much as he said he understood that Posada needed a day, I don’t think it’s something that Jeter can truly relate to because he never wants out of the lineup, no matter how bad things get.

I continue to marvel at Jeter’s poise and even-keeled nature. He managed to explain Posada’s behavior without it seeming like he was excusing it. He managed to deflect the endless questions about Posada’s tantrum without criticizing his long-time friend. I just started reading Ian O’Connor’s Jeter biography The Captain (will post a review as soon as I finish while vacationing this weekend) and I’ve also read Jeter’s book The Life You Imagine. But the book I really want to read is the parenting book that should be written by Charles and Dorothy Jeter explaining exactly how they raised such a composed, confident human being.

It is that poise that allowed Jeter to navigate an incredibly tricky situation, one that his good friend put him in. I would imagine Posada regrets putting Jeter in that spot and is grateful that his pal didn’t throw him under the bus.

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