There's been a lot of debate lately with Derek Jeter's imminent retirement about just where the Yankee shortstop fits into the pantheon of Yankee and MLB greatness.
Keith Olbermann dismissed him as not even a top-10 Yankee of all time.
Everybody knows I'm not much for baseball (and I don't like the Yankees at all) but I think anybody who tries to dismiss Jeter as anything less than an all-time great is crazy. The greatest? No. Not of his era, and not of the Yankees.
But when you combine production, consistency, style and class, I don't know how you could possibly say anybody did it better. I find Jeter to be a truly phenomenal athlete, not just for all the hits, postseason appearances, World Series rings and clutch plays, but because he always carried himself flawlessly in a tabloid, Twitter universe. Can you imagine anybody making it through 20 years as the star of a New York franchise without even a whiff of scandal? Without any controversy at all? In this day and age, everybody has a misstep and they are all uncovered. What was Jeter's?
Jeter wasn't a goody-two-shoes by any stretch -- he always enjoyed the fruits of his looks, fame and money -- but he always kept himself shielded. In an age where everything is overexposed, Jeter kept some mystery around himself, even playing in the Big Apple.
In a lot of ways he is the epitome of the modern athlete, but the thing that made him so admirable to me is that he was really a throwback to a simpler time. A baseball player who simply let his play in the biggest moments do the talking. And who was there to do one thing -- win.
And he's not on Twitter. That right there makes him a hero to me.