First of all, Willie Mays and Ted Williams never had a “farewell tour”. Mays ended his career rather ignominiously with the New York Mets, and sorry Derek Jeter, but you don’t begin to fill those cleats. And who decided that multi-millionaire baseball players needed to be showered with gifts as they made their way around the country during their final season? I DID NOT AGREE TO THIS.
I got sick of the Mariano Rivera Retirement Tour about four stadiums in, and when the Padres gave Chipper Jones a surfboard in 2012, that was it for me.
— Julia Morales (@JuliaMoralesCSN) April 2, 2014
Now Jeter is making his way through different cities, where teams are trying to top each other in sending him off in style. First stop, Houston, where the Astros gave him golf clubs. Because the elaborate tapestry that is the Yankees-vs.-Astros rivalry will live forever in our hearts.
To some teams’ credit, many of the gifts given to Chipper Jones in 2012 were signed bases and the like, which is fine. And for his part, Rivera did give a lot back: like buying pizza for fans. But this idea that we have to honor retiring MLB players in visiting parks is just ridiculous. Let’s stop everything and have a ceremony for an athlete who was doing his job, and getting paid millions. It’s a concept as ludicrous as the Academy Awards — a long, boring commercial for the film industry that we for some reason feel compelled to watch from start to finish.
You know what? The Tigers should honor Jeter by making a donation in his name to inner-city youth sports organizations. The Indians should fete him by changing their nickname. They Royals could have a roast. And the Rangers could prepare for the Yankees’ first visit to Arlington by tidying up around their fan memorial statue that’s covered in garbage.
It’s April 2 and I’m sick of Derek Jeter already.