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A good review of the new Derek Jeter book

May 27, 2011, 11:05 AM EDT

jeter grimace Getty Images

Ben Kabak of River Avenue Blues has a good review of the new Ian O’Connor book about Derek Jeter.  Which I haven’t read and I don’t really plan to, on the basis that no really good biography can be written about someone whose story is not complete. Which is basically where Ben comes down too.

As I said in an interview a couple of years ago, the Derek Jeter book I want to read is a salacious tell-all book of interviews of Derek Jeter’s doormen, personal assistants, maids, butlers, valets, neighbors, and pharmacists over the past 15 years.  And sure, I want it to be fair and accurate too — we’re not savages here — but I do think that when it comes to major figures like Jeter, you’re not going to get the full story from someone who still needs to maintain access to the Yankees as a featured columnist for ESPN New York.

Which is not, by the way, a slam on O’Connor. I think Ben is fair with his review about the good points and the bad points about O’Connor’s book, and the good points do sound good. It’s merely an observation about the inherent difficulty of covering a current player from the inside like O’Connor is trying to do.  Lips get looser as time goes on. Publicists and handlers become fewer and farther between.  In other words, the stuff people really want to know becomes much more easy to come by after the figure has left the limelight.

  1. yankeesfanlen - May 27, 2011 at 11:19 AM

    Much as I detest Ian O’Connor, I’ve read excerpts from the book, which, while veiled, were interesting. But he’s preaching to the choir, and the book has the deadly flaw of looking at Jeter through a bubble, and thus is nowhere near as good as “The Life and Times of Babe Ruth” or “56″ which delve deeply into the context of the times during which they occurred.

  2. churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - May 27, 2011 at 11:56 AM

    If this book has a villain, it is Alex Rodriguez…He is the anti-Jeter, and this goes on for nearly 150 pages as O’Connor defines Jeter for what A-Rod isn’t as much as he does what the Yankees’ Captain is.

    Wouldn’t expect anything more from a guy who wrote that the Yanks would be better off with Cody Ransom than Arod at 3B.

    • sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - May 27, 2011 at 12:32 PM

      I find it interesting that when A-Rod first came to the Yankees, everything he did was viewed through a Jeter-colored lens. It seems now that those roles have become at the very least reciprocal, if not completely inverted. It seems they are taking over each others legacies…

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - May 27, 2011 at 1:28 PM

        Depends on who you ask. Read the comments on RAB and you’ll see another topic about jeter bashing (which pops up about once every other week in the comments there). Some think Jeter is full of sunshine, unicorns and lollipops and cures cancer inbetween games (most of these people are sports writers). Others think Arod got a raw deal since coming over (moved to third voluntarily, never complained even though his manager threw him under the bus, never got the defense via the captain that Giambi got, always got blamed for Yanks post-season failures, etc).

        Me personally, I prefer to just let them play baseball and try to stay out of their personal lives. No one’s a saint, and no one is evil incarnate either.

  3. cup0pizza - May 27, 2011 at 2:03 PM

    There should be at least ten chapters about how overrated the guy was/is.

    • ssazz - May 27, 2011 at 2:48 PM

      How do you “overrate” a first ballot HoF’er? What does that mean?

  4. deathmonkey41 - May 27, 2011 at 2:11 PM

    Boring. The closest I want to come to ready something associated Derek Jeter is a picture book of Minka Kelly making out with other hot girls.

  5. ezwriter69 - May 27, 2011 at 4:40 PM

    Reviewing a book review of a book you haven’t read, and yet you’re sure it’s a fair review… really??? Seriously?????

    • iftheshoefits2 - May 27, 2011 at 7:31 PM

      Yes, because I’m sure you never had an opinion of anything that discussed something you never did.

      With that logic, you, good sir, are not entitled to an opinion on professional baseball, as you have never played it.

      We all have opinions on issues we’re familiar with. Accept that Craig is offering his take on peoples perception of Jeter, and the surrounding issues, not just the book, specifically.

    • Craig Calcaterra - May 27, 2011 at 9:06 PM

      I know the reviewer of this book. And I know that he — and many others of like mind — have a profoundly negative view of O’Connor’s work in general. In light of that, the fact that the reviewer is able to point out the many good aspects of this book and seems judicious in pointing out the bad aspects of it, I presume that he was even handed about it. If he was going to give a hatchet-job review, it would have been in far more stark terms than this.

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