Pitchers & Catchers Report to Ft. Myers

Friday, March 11, 2011

I Love a Challenge

And here it is: can a Red Sox fan like me write an impartial review of a Derek Jeter book?

I'll do my best.

The good folks at Press Box Publicity offered me a copy of "Derek Jeter: From the Pages of the New York Times". At first I was reluctant as you might have guessed, but then I looked at it as a kind of challenge. Could I write a fair and balanced review of this new tome about Captain Intangibles?

I've read a number of books about Yankee legends, like Lou Gehrig, Joe DiMaggio, Babe Ruth and Mickey Mantle. They've generally been well-written books, fairly written bios about their good and bad sides, and enough time has elapsed since they played in the Bronx to read them without getting violently ill. But with Jeter still active in pinstripes, this would be a bit different.

Well, here goes.

It's not really a biography, but a coffee table book about the Yankee captain and shortstop, with a number of articles written by many of the New York Times sportswriters like Dave Anderson, Tyler Kepner and Jack Curry. It draws from a number of days in Jeter's career, with many insights from people like his late boss, George Steinbrenner, his mentor Mr. Joe Torre, and teammates like Andy Pettitte, Jorge Posada, Mariano Rivera, his former good buddy, Alex Rodriguez.

It contains about 100 photographs from Jeter's career, such as when that kid, who will remain nameless, interfered with the Orioles' Tony Tarasco in the outfield in Game 1 of the 1996 ALCS, giving Jeter a home run, to the night in 2004 when he made the third best defensive play of the night on July 1st against the Red Sox, robbing Trot Nixon of an RBI hit and landed in the stands. (You remember the plays A-Rod and Pokey Reese made in that game, don't you?)

If you have a Jeter fan in your life, I'm sure he or she will enjoy the book.

Now I just have to decide which Jeter fan I will give this book to now.

So, was that fair and balanced enough?

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