I will admit there is nothing wrong with what Jim Crane and the Astros presented Derek Jeter yesterday. Jeter has been the face of baseball for a long time, and that was a good thing for the sport. Just think if the MLB had put all of it's chips on Alex Rodriguez, if he and not Jeter had won a few titles early in his career?
That said, the front of his jersey still says Yankees. I still can't bring myself to support anything with that name on it, except early American history. In a way, it feels like the Astros are saying, "Thanks Jeter for being great and creating a dynasty in late 90's." Why do teams feel the need to do a public display? At the same time, where are the displays for non-Yankee greats for example Todd Helton, Lance Berkman, and Roy Halladay? I guess Chipper Jones got this same treatment.
At any rate, the Jeter fete is happening one way or another, so let's ask ourselves a question. What if fans got to pick what Jeter received?
For the Astros, my guess is that the fans would pick a copy of Phil Nevin's rookie contract. The story of the scout that quit the Astros after they picked Nevin over Jeter has followed the team around with each Yankee contest. I would add a compilation cd put together by Craig Biggio, labeled "The Compilers: I Will Hit 3,000 Times". Finally, a half-hearted and unfunny card from the drugstore - sure the Astros would have all offseason to pick out a card but it's about sending a message.
What about other teams? What would the fans pick for Jeter? Here is my guess for just a few.
Baltimore Orioles - Jeter would be handed a box. He then asks "What's in the box?" over and over and over again before opening it to reveal - the head of Jeffrey Maier.
Boston Red Sox - A video montage of the all the times the Red Sox beat Jeter's Yankees over the years.
Oakland Athletics - A gift card for a digital download of Moneyball, the movie.
Los Angeles Dodgers and Angels - Whichever young starlet was on hand to watch the game would have to give her number to Jeter.
Arizona Diamondbacks - A 2001 World Series dvd.
Cleveland Indians - A jersey of Clu Haywood, the first baseman for the Yankees in Major League.
New York Mets - A poster showing David Wright as the #FaceOfMLB.
Atlanta Braves - A Jock Jams cd, because everyone likes the 90's.