David and Derek

First I’ll talk about David Wright because this is a Mets site.

Why is it that so many Mets fans want to tear down Wright’s obvious love of the game and his only team, the Mets? There are no perfect people, and certainly no perfect ballplayers, but there are those who are different. These are the guys who play by the rules, not by the ‘drug of the day’. They can be found everywhere that there are children who need a hero, someone on the front pages of the papers who is honored and revered like David and Derek are.

David is the eldest of four sons of a Police Chief and a school teacher. He is now putting his younger brothers through college. He goes home to an area where there are signs of his generosity all over the place around schools and playgrounds.

He is doing the same work for the Mets in New York City, in fact, sometimes he and Derek make a dual appearance at a children’s hospital or a charity event.

I don’t need to mention his work on the field – you see it every day.

Be thankful for David Wright – he’s a special person.

I first heard of Derek Jeter on May 29, 1995 and I’ve not missed a game of his since then. Sometimes it’s on the radio at home or in the car or was at my Yale office radio on the windowsill. Sometimes it’s on TV. All I know is that after May 29, 1995 I knew I had to follow this kid.

And I have – I think I’ve read every book written about him and my favorite – and the best one, I think is – “The Life You Imagine” written with Jack Curry – that’s the real Derek Jeter. The one who doesn’t quite fit in with some of his teammates – the one who still is very close to his parents and his sister, who behaves in public as a sports hero should and sets a very good example for kids. The one who started his own Turn Two organization very early on in his career and works with his parents there.

Early on he and George Steinbrenner had words – and Derek turned them into a commercial for a credit card that showed George in a Conga line. After that they became close until the day George died.

Derek is still close to his family and the friends he makes, he keeps. He feels very strongly that he should set an example as a Yankee, and he does. As Captain, he is the one always chosen to speak for the team on and off the field. He relishes his private life and has – for the most part – kept it private.

However, this past summer, when Derek was talking contracts with Brian Cashman, Brian made a mistake – he told Derek that if he didn’t like what they were offering, maybe he should look around. Derek was hurt, badly. He believes in keeping his business private and Brian Cashman apparently doesn’t. The Steinbrenner children finally got involved and papers got signed.

I doubt that Derek would ever go to another team, so he’s trying to make the best of a bad situation while he’s getting moved around in the lineup and taking days off at Girardi’s behest without complaint.

Yet he continues to be the person we all knew as a 19 year old who could really play — by the rules.

He is Sui Generis.