July 6, 2011 -- As Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter is poised to reach 3,000 career hits in Major League Baseball, ABC's John Berman considers the Jeter FAQ. And for another perspective, ABC's Rick Klein gives Berman a Bronx Cheer and answers those same FAQ's HERE.
Q. Has anyone ever reached 3,000 hits before Derek Jeter?
A. No. No one has ever done it. Ever. Except for the 27 other guys who did it.
Q. Doesn't Derek Jeter's tenure with the Yankees exemplify the kind of loyalty rarely seen in sports these days?
A. Yes. Derek Jeter has played for the Yankees and only for the Yankees for 16 years. He has regularly turned down offers to play for less elsewhere. He selflessly accepted a near record-setting 10-year, 180 million dollar contract (during which time he led the Yankees to a single World Series title). And when that contract was over, he showed great charity and generosity by forcing the Yankees to overpay him again.
Q. Is Derek Jeter the greatest Yankee ever?
A. Unquestionably. No other Yankee held significant records before Jeter (if you exclude home runs, games-played-in-a-row, hit streaks, etc). And they didn't really win much before him.
Q. How important is Jeter's gentlemanly behavior off the field?
A. Very. Derek Jeter hasn't been involved in a single embarrassing marital episode. Not one. If Derek Jeter has taught us one thing, it is the true nobility in not ever getting married. Hear that boys and girls?
Q. Isn't Jeter the glue that holds the Yankees together?
A. Absolutely. And that glue has such residual adhesiveness that when he was injured this year, and unable to take the field, the Yankees played their best baseball of the season. That is some awesome glue.
Q. As Captain, hasn't he established an extraordinarily high standard for sportsmanship in the clubhouse?
A. Yes. At a minimum, until a verdict is reachedin the Clemens trial, it is absolutely true to say no Yankee has ever been convicted of lying to Congress about taking steroids and HGH. And under Jeter's leadership, no Yankee has refused to play for two games in a row.
Q. Is this record more significant because Jeter is a Yankee, and the Yankees represent something special to America?
A. Yes. If you have never been out of New York, it is totally reasonable to think people outside New York are obsessed with the Yankees. America LOVES them (if by America you mean New York, north Jersey and Connecticut south of Hartford.) And relatively speaking (relative to being punched in the throat), people outside New York do not resent the overwhelmingly disproportionate coverage given to the Yankees.
(Disclaimer: The author actually thinks Derek Jeter is really good baseball player, and a first ballot Hall of Famer. He just hears a bit too much about the guy every now and then)