Olbermann on Jeter: Part II

I want to clarify a few things about my last post. First, the title—Ass on Class—has been changed. It was harsh and ad hominem, and was a decision I made when I was tired.

My wife Bobbie heard Keith Olbermann’s commentary on Derek Jeter’s retirement “tour,” and recorded it so I could watch.  She gave me a bit of a preview.  The commentary was even more harsh than she had described.  I then wrote the previous post, Olbermann On Jeter.  Bobbie, an inveterate “Tweeter,” tweeted to Keith, suggesting that he read my post. He did, then tweeted in return. I wasn’t home so Bobbie responded to him, out of timeliness and because she felt Olbermann’s criticism was silly, illogical, unconvincing. She didn’t realize that he thought he was talking to me, the piece’s author since she tweets under her name, I blog under mine. So, now it’s my turn to respond to Keith’s multiple tweets.

In his initial tweet, Keith called the post “cute,” said  I was “gullible” for admiring Derek Jeter, and claimed that eight years ago I would have written the same thing about A-Rod. Wrong. I’ve never been a fan of A-Rod. For some strange reason, Keith also said I’d have written the same about Adrian Peterson eight months ago. Wrong again. For Keith Olbermann, who is a smart guy, to counter an actual claim with what I “might” have said but didn’t is just plain odd, not to mention meaningless. If offered in court, that kind of hypothetical information would be objected to and stricken from the record. It’s akin to describing a great meal, say, lasagna, and having someone say to you . . . you would say the same thing had your meal been a hamburger. It’s just not a cogent argument.

And the post was anything but cute. The basis of his criticism escapes me. Most of his argument was devoid of content and meaning, which is truly a shocker because I used to listen to his commentary on MSNBC and marvel at the clarity of thought and argument.

Anyway, I agree with Keith on the media’s overblown celebration of Jeter’s retirement, and I never liked the fawning over Jeter, as if he were some kind of saint. My argument was over Keith’s setting up a straw man—Posada’s labored reply to a stupid question—then “proving” with vicious contempt that Jeter is not the greatest Yankee ever. No one really claims that he is. Keith knows this. Much of the praise of Derek Jeter has to do with the way he has conducted his life, his respect of the game, his constancy, his class, style, and humility. In other words, intangibles that don’t show in the record books.

In the next day or two I’ll post my view of Jeter and discuss two contradictions that bother me about his final season and his retirement.

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