There is one really telling anecdote that BTF highlilghted, and that I couldn't help but notice as well. In 2002, Murti mentioned to Jeter that he hadn't struck out in his first 34 plate appearances that year. Murti said:
I thought it was quite a feat for a player who usually strikes out at least 100 times a year (only 99 each of the last two years he quickly reminded me).
Top of the first inning (against Roy Halladay mind you) Jeter struck out for the first time that season. I muttered a few four-letter words to myself. I mean, how stupid was I? Top of the third inning, Jeter struck out again. When the game was over, I noticed Jeter glaring at me from across the clubhouse and dragged myself over to his locker. I actually apologized for him striking out. I said something like, “Man, that’s a rookie mistake from a second year guy. I’m never doing that again, trust me.” Jeter shot back, “Don’t think I wasn’t thinking about you either.” It was somewhat playful since the Yankees won the game, and as I’d find out many more times over the decade, Jeter really doesn’t care how he performs as long as the team wins.
The next night, Jeter struck out three more times in a 9-7 loss to the Blue Jays. That was five strikeouts in two games after my little attempt at conversation. Jeter walked by me this time and said, “I’m not talking to you for a month as punishment.”
For years now, every time somebody tries to feed Jeter a statistical nugget about a hitting streak or errorless streak or whatever, he glares at them and begs them to stop. And I laugh.Cute story, right? But change the name in the anecdote of the player from Derek Jeter to Alex Rodriguez, and the story wouldn't seem quite so charming, would it?
You know, I get Jeter's superstition -- I feel the same way whenever Michael Kay reveals some stat, like scoreless innings by a pitcher, only to see it end in that very inning!
I'm just saying that if it were A-Rod or some other less-revered player who glared at a reporter like that after a team win, then threatened him the next night with the whole "I’m not talking to you for a month as punishment" thing, reporters would have a much more negative reaction. And they sure as heck wouldn't be falling over themselves to apologize, the way Murti did with Jeter!
What do you think? Tell us about it!