You don’t need to be a baseball fan to appreciate what happened last night in the Bronx. Thirteen years after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, New York, the Big Apple, the City That Always Cusses, finally found some emotional redemption. That inimitable New York doughtiness returned – the spirit to believe in the face of defeat – incarnated itself in the soon-to-be-retired Derek Jeter. In the series finale against the division leading Orioles, Jeter hit the walk off RBI that won the game. So long Captain. So long 9/11 guilt. When he swung that bat, it was almost as if he had gone back in time and stopped the planes.
Yes, it was an important moment for everyone, but it was short-lived. In the press conference following the game, a teary Jeter was allowed a final statement before his gurney was lowered, and as the drugs flowed into his arm, a single tear ran down his cheek as the ethnically ambiguous ecru of his dimpled cheeks gave way to a ghastly pallor, like watching the fires from the towers disappear under the ashen clouds that flooded the skies on that fateful day, and like that, Derek Jeter was gone.
Soon after, Yankees manager Joe Girardi, choking back his own tears, blithely informed the media that Jeter’s number 2 jersey would be retired (which was expected) but in addition to his number, in a surprise move, he announced they would also be retiring his position.
The New York Yankees will never again field a shortstop. The position has been permanently retired, and instead, construction will begin on a mosque in between second and third base.
“We just didn’t think it would be right,” said Girardi. “Derek Jeter is the best shortstop – no, the best human being of all time – and to not honor that by eliminating the position entirely would be almost as bad as if 9/11 happened again.”
Obviously, many fans are outraged. And a crowd of tens gathered in the Bronx today to protest the decision.
“It’s a freaking disgrace-a-la-duzzio,” said an obese man whose nostrils whistled in harmony as he gesticulated wildly, like a fascist, with stubby fingers that appeared to have fused together in between his last antipasto and entrée. “They gonna let a bunch a fucking terrorists do prayers in the place that I love? It’s a disgrace.” He then fell through his lawn chair onto the pavement, sending cannoli filling out of his pockets as if someone had dropped a water balloon.
“This is the most disrespectful thing I’ve ever fucking heard,” said another fan. “This has O’Blasio written all over it.” I informed him that de Blasio had nothing to do with the clubs decision to construct the mosque. “Shut up you stupid cunt,” he continued.
For better or for worse, time moves on. And the Yankees will move on without Jeter. Will they grow to regret their decision to construct a mosque in his honor, alienating a fan-base that hates Muslims as much as they hate the Red Sox? Or will they learn to accept the mosque, and at some point, hopefully understand the importance of diversity, team-spirit, and cultural adaptation? Only time will tell.