Saturday, July 17, 2010

Should Derek Jeter have gone to Bob Sheppard's funeral?

There was a whole to-do in the New York media yesterday over no Yankee players attending Bob Sheppard's funeral. I wasn't going to write on it until I saw Derek Jeter's rather lame excuse for not being there - the captain said he "didn't know" when the funeral was!

I said "oh, c'mon!" when I heard that explanation. Put it this way - it's not like Sheppard's funeral arrangements were a state secret. Not only did his Catholic diocese send out a press release with the details, but the info was in every New York paper. And no, it wasn't a private, family-only funeral, so that excuse for why Jeter wasn't there doesn't hold water, either. According to that press release:
On Thursday at 10:15 a.m., a Liturgy of Remembrance will be celebrated for Bob Sheppard.  Members of his family, the Sisters of St. Joseph, The New York Yankees and The New York Giants will remember Mr. Sheppard’s life.
As not just a member of the New York Yankees, but the team captain, Jeter should have been there to represent the Yankees, especially given that he has made such a big deal over using Sheppard's voice to announce his name at every game. The captain even referenced that in his pre-game explanation of why he wasn't at the funeral:
..."I don’t think you have to go to a funeral to honor someone. I think a lot of players have honored him. It’s the reason I’ve walked up to a recording of his voice for the last few years and I’ll continue to do that every time I go to the plate for the rest of my career. But I was not aware. I don’t know how many other players were aware of it."
Oh, please. Is it that difficult to read the paper, or ask the Yankee front office when the funeral was? This is just a bad excuse. And if it were given by anybody other than Jeter, he would be getting reamed for it.

I've heard the excuse that the players didn't really know Sheppard, which is why none of them were there. That may hold water with guys like Nick Swisher, but Jeter is the one - the only one - who gets to use the Sheppard recording of his voice. There's even a specific one for him talking at the microphone, as we found out last night.

Speaking of those recordings, can you imagine what the outcry would be in the media if, say, Alex Rodriguez had had Sheppard record his voice for A-Rod-specific announcements, and used his voice to introduce him every night? We'd hear how self-aggrandizing such a gesture was. We'd hear how he's insulting Paul Olden, the current public address announcer, by not being like everybody else and having his name said by him. But Jeter has the Sheppard recordings - and intends on using them for the rest of his career - and people praise him for the classy gesture.

Yes, Derek did a great job at the microphone last night in paying tribute to both Bob Sheppard and George Steinbrenner. But it would have been nice for the captain to have been at Sheppard's funeral as well, or at least to have more of a plausible excuse for not being there other than that he "didn't know" about it.

Coming later today - my thoughts on the tribute, and the game. But in the meantime, tell us what you think!


nutballgazette said...

Could you have seen Gerorge if he would have been still alive and aware And still in charge?
He would have Killed Jeter in the media. And I do not excuse any of them, A-Rod blew an opportunity to one up Jeter, and what about the rest of the Core 4 and where in heck were that other players of Yesteryear, I give Yogi a pass, At his age he does not need to do that much extra traveling

Anonymous said...

Lame excuse from Jeter. I don't know why the Yankees let him lead the tribute last night when he couldn't be bothered to attend the funeral.

The Omnipotent Q said...

A very good analogy about Jeter and A-Rod and the recording of Bob Sheppard's voice. You're 100% right about that. I thought Jeter would respectfully retire the voice last night, maybe do it just one more time and that would be it. But it is an insult to Paul Olden that he continues having the Bob Sheppard tape played for him even after Mr. Sheppard's death.

And Jeter's excuses for not being there are rather lame, and it doesn't make the team look good either.

nutballgazette said...

I never thought about it, But it would have been classy of Jeter to say he was retiring the Voice Track of Bob Sheppard, But MOst fans will say he should keep it.
Myself, I am not going to hold that against him. But Jeter has proven that he really is no different than any other player. I won't kill him for it nor will I think of him as a God like the way I did for Mickey Mantle and Roger Maris when I was 6 years old

Steven said...

On today's game - the thing that needs to be retired is Tim McCarver's insistence, every time, to bring up how the Yankees didn't do right by Joe Torre. I can't stand it anymore. I'm not a McCarver or Fox hater, but enough is enough. At least Kenny Albert today brought up the book, which McCarver dismissed as "happening later," even though one of the sins of the Yankees (per McCarver) is not having any Torre stuff at the new Yankee Stadium, which of course opened after the book came out.

Whatever - Torre didn't like the deal that was offered, Yankees didn't want Torre anymore so they low balled him, new Yankee management flubbed the firing by making it a force out - whatever: it's ancient history and who cares anyway. Torre's managing in 2006 and 2007 stunk and everyone who is honest about it knows it and can't blame the Yankees for moving on.

Jeff Bunnell said...

There has to be a reason that NO Yankee player went to the Sheppard funeral. That said, the Boss's funeral was this morning in Tampa and I didn't here of any Yankees there either (+ Reggie the the rest of the old-timers were all at Yankee Stadium for Old Timers' Day)
If anything, put it on the ownership. It was, after all, the Boss who flew the entire Yankee team to Canton OH to attend Munson's funeral, whether they would forfeit that evening's game or not. That did not happen here, but to single out a PLAYER, even Jeter, is totally wrong. What was he supposed to do, go AWOL?

nutballgazette said...

Also remember From what I hear not one Giant or ex Giant went either

Alvaro Fernandez Ravelo said...

Jeter's captain title suits him to big.
Maybe he doesn't read at all but Page 6 of the NY Post.

BeReal said...

First of all, that recording used to announce Jeter before his speech Friday night was CLEARLY edited together from a recording of Sheppard calling fans' attention to the microphone behind home plate for someone ELSE (he only said that a million times), and his announcement of Jeter to the plate. Otherwise, it wouldn't have included Jeter's number in the announcement. Sheppard never RECORDED such a thing for that specific occasion.
Second, I guess the Sheppard family was so offended they had to show their disgust by sending Bob's widow to Yankee Stadium just six days after his death. Let's all just realize that we don't know why there were no Yankees players there. Maybe the family didn't want players there, turning it into a media circus. Reggie Jackson was actually Sheppard's friend (Bob helped him with both his HOF speech and his number retirement speech), and he wasn't there either. Why isn't anyone on his case?
Third, Jeter asked Bob Sheppard to record his announcement knowing that Bob wouldn't be there forever, but wanting his voice to be. Bob Sheppard called it one of the greatest compliments he had ever received. To stop using it now that Bob is gone would completely defeat the purpose of recording it in the first place, and dishonor Sheppard, who died knowing his voice would live on at Yankee Stadium through Derek Jeter.

nutballgazette said...

@BeReal On your 3rd point you are correct, I really hav enot thought about that,
On your first point, I again wondered where they got that from but I will say it was brilliant editing, as was Jeter's at Bat in the All Star Game

Last thing, We have now grieved the loss of George and Mr Bob Sheppard, It is time to put these other things to rest and get on with the season

Matt on Earth said...

Get over it, people. When will you all realize that athletes DO NOT owe us anything. Sure, it would have been nice if some of the players showed up for Mr. Sheppard's funeral. However, it's their call, and their right not to. Guess what! They don't even have to explain their reasons for choosing if they don't want too. To bad! Jeter has been a great player for the organization and has never put himself in a compromising situation. The first second the media can find something even remotely controversial regarding him, all you yahoos come out of the closet throwing your two cents in on the matter. Come on!

You can whine all you like about what constitutes "classy," but the truth is those athletes don't give a damn about your opinion. Enjoy the athletes for what they are - entertainment. Stop putting stock into them as role models, and we'll all be a lot happier.

Matt on Earth said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Matt on Earth said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lisa Swan said...

I didn't delete any comments. They're in at the other Jeter thread.

Matt on Earth said...

Ahhh, I stand corrected.

-_- Now my response is out of context. Meh.

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