Derek Jeter has been playing baseball for as long as I have been alive, twenty years. He is arguably the greatest shortstop to ever play in the MLB. Part of the reason why so many fans like Derek Jeter is because of the way he carries himself, both on and off the field. He is the epitome of a professional baseball player. In the past, I have been asked who my favorite Yankee player is, if I had to choose. Being a Red Sox fan, there is no Yankee player that I like. However, I respect Derek Jeter, and he is the player that I respond with because of the level of respect that I have for #2.
The Boston Red Sox Front Office
This past Sunday was Derek Jeter’s last game of his illustrious career. As a result, the Boston Red Sox organization prepared a ceremony to honor Jeter. Many of Boston’s favorite athletes were in attendance to honor Jeter, such as Carl Yastrzemski, Bobby Orr, and Troy Brown As a Red Sox fan, this did not sit well with me. Do I respect Jeter? Yes. Do I think the Red Sox should honor him in some fashion? Absolutely. But I believe there has to be a fine line drawn somewhere. The Red Sox and Yankees are still rivals, and they could possibly be the biggest rivals in all of professional sports. The Red Sox, in my opinion, should not hold a twenty-minute ceremony for a player that has hurt us numerous times in some of the biggest games and on the biggest stages. Jeter is one of them, not one of us.
The Marketing Aspect
Aside from the ceremony, the Red Sox marketed this event in a multitude of ways. Outside of the stadium, clothing vendors were selling Jeter paraphernalia. Essentially, the Red Sox attempted (and probably successfully did) make money off of Derek Jeter’s decision to retire. Instead, I thought that it would have been appropriate for the players to wear Jeter’s number 2 on their uniforms or hats to show their respect.
The Red Sox team Instagram and Twitter accounts kept up with the events as well, posting many pictures depicting the Yankee great. It honestly felt as if the Red Sox were retiring one of their own players, but they instead used Jeter’s prominent status to generate revenue. All in all, I believe that the front office of the Boston Red Sox, including John Henry and Larry Lucchino, did not handle this situation appropriately even though I do understand that they are trying to generate revenue for their business.
I do not want to see the end of one of the greatest rivalries in sports, especially at the expense of an over-the-top marketing campaign by the Red Sox Front Office.