Derek Jeter is about to hit his 3,000 hit, a great honor in baseball since only a small handful of baseball players can say they have accomplished that feat. Jeter is also the first New York Yankee to reach this milestone in a Yankee uniform so Yankee fans across the world are getting ready to celebrate. Congratulations Jeter.
Now, can we please move on? Is there any reason why fans of the other 29 baseball teams have to be forced to listen to sports media talk about how amazing Jeter is on his journey for 3,000 hits every single day so far this season? Just last night (July 6, 2010) on ESPN’s website, the top headline changed after each of Jeter’s at-bats. “Jeter hitless after two at-bats” “Jeter hits a double, three hits to go.” On Twitter, MLB tweeted “Hope you have tickets for tomorrow’s game. Jeter’s just three hits away.” Then there was the recent announcement that HBO is producing a documentary on Jeter’s journey to 3,000 hits. Can the media please stop trying to shove Jeter down everyone’s throats? Jeter is not the first one to hit 3,000; in fact, there have already been 27 baseball players to reach 3,000 hits and there will be plenty more as time goes on. The only history Jeter will be making is Yankee history since the Yankees do not have a baseball player in the 3,000 Hits. The main reason Jeter is receiving all of this attention is because he is the face of the Yankees, and once again, ESPN and MLB think that everyone cares about Jeter and the Yankees.
About a year ago, the sports media was paying all of its attention to Alex Rodriquez’s quest to join the 600 Homeruns Club. The homerun club is much more exclusive than the 3,000 Hit Club since it only has seven members and two of the current members (Barry Bonds and Alex Rodriquez) abused steroids. Even though Rodriquez is one of the most hated athletes and a disgrace to the game of baseball, the media went crazy when Rodriquez was approaching the 600 Homeruns Club. Every night a replay of Rodriquez’s homeruns milestones was played. Every night all of Rodriquez’s at-bats were played. When Rodriquez was one homerun away, ESPN began to show every one of his at-bats live. If a baseball fan cared, he would have been watching the Yankees game in the first place.
I am a baseball fan and I love the special countdowns, but I do not like how the special countdowns seem to apply only to certain people. Once Jeter hits his 3,000th hit, will Jim Thome’s homerun countdown begin? Thome is a 40-year old DH for the Minnesota Twins on a mission to join the 600 Homeruns Club; at the moment, he is only five homeruns away. Thome is about to make history, but I have yet to hear anything about him. I only know how close he is to hitting 600 homeruns because the Tampa Bay Rays played the Twins the other and the announcers mentioned Thome’s impressive numbers. Will ESPN show all of his at-bats when he is one homerun away from the 600 Homeruns Club? Will MLB urge baseball fans to attend Twins’ games so that they can witness Thome’s homerun? I hope ESPN and MLB prove that a baseball player does not have to be a Yankee to receive special attention.
So congratulations Jeter, you are accomplishing an amazing event, but I will not be cheering with you hit number #3,000. Instead I will be watching a movie, knowing that for the next week Jeter’s 3,000 hit will be the only thing on TV.