When all is said and done, Derek Jeter will be remembered as one of the greatest players of all time. For Ozzie Guillen, all is said and done. Even George Costanza may not think as highly of Jeter as Guillen does, as evidenced by the comments Ozzie made about the Yankees shortstop on Monday after an exhibition between Miami and New York.
“My favorite player in the history of the game — nobody represents baseball better than that guy, Derek Jeter,” Guillen said according to MLB.com. “Nobody. Not Mickey Mantle, Not Babe Ruth, Not Willie Mays. We all respect the Hall of Famers and the people who played in the past and who were great for this game. Derek Jeter is in the top two. This guy played the game right, won a lot of championships. Never got in trouble off the field. On the field, represents baseball the way it should be. Amazing. He has been my favorite player for a long time.
“You don’t see any player walk to the field and get a standing ovation just when we got to stretch, and that guy does. Nobody in the history of the game runs out on the field and gets a standing ovation. This guy is God, a baseball god. There are a lot of great players, Hall of Famers, records, all that stuff. I don’t think anybody in this game represents this game better than Derek Jeter.”
Is it safe to say Ozzie is a big Jeter fan? From a skill standpoint, you can certainly argue until you’re blue in the face about whether or not Jeter is in the top two players of all time. That picture may be clearer 20 years from now, but it’s always tough to say while someone’s career is ongoing. As for the stuff about Jeter representing the game as well as anyone ever has, you’d be silly to disagree. Not many people could play an entire career in the New York spotlight and always wind up in the headlines for the right reasons. Just ask A-Rod. For that, Jeter deserves all the credit he receives.
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