The saga continues to talk about Derek Jeter’s “The Captain” documentary series. Episode two of the series is called “Loyalty One Way.” Derek Jeter has said on the “Drink Champs” podcast and in this episode that he’s a very loyal person. He believes in loyalty.
During this episode, we see the emergence of Derek Jeter’s 1996 season. Derek was fortunate to have Joe Torre come in as a first-year manager because he let Jeter be Jeter. It might not have happened if Buck Showalter had stayed as the manager. Jeter said this with all due respect to Buck. Joe Torre is the manager he needed at that particular moment in his career. Jeter was also fortunate that he didn’t get sent to Triple-A because Tony Fernandez broke his arm. So the front office had no choice but to stick with a young 21-year-old, Derek Jeter.
Joe Torre was nervous on Opening Day against the Cleveland Indians, but then he exhaled when Jeter hit his first career home run and made some impressive defensive plays. Jeter is one of the reasons why the Yankees succeeded in 1996. He won the American League Rookie of the Year.
When discussing Game 1 of the ALCS between the Yankees and Orioles, you can tell by the players’ reactions from Darryl Strawberry, David Cone, and Derek Jeter that they still get annoyed when people tell them that they got lucky because of that kid who interfered in right field. Cone and Jeter believed they still would’ve won the series because they’d dominated the Orioles all season long. Strawberry and Jeter think Tony Tarasco should’ve leaped to catch the ball. The city of Baltimore and everyone in that organization believes that they should’ve gone back to Baltimore, being up 2-0 in the series.
Fair or no fair, Jeter’s game-tying home run in the 8th inning became the microscope of the series. The Yankees proved they were the better team by winning all three games on the road in Baltimore. After the Yankees won the World Series against Atlanta Braves, Jeter’s world changed because he was getting more notoriety: appearing in Talk shows, commercials, etc. As a 22-year-old, he was lucky that there wasn’t social media, or smartphones and that he surrounded himself with the right people. In New York, you can easily fall into the wrong crowd and land on the front cover of the newspapers for the wrong reasons.
Strawberry and Jeter had a good relationship as teammates. Strawberry giving Jeter advice about playing in New York and staying away from bad habits is one of the best moments of this episode. Strawberry cares about Jeter, and it is in his best interest because Strawberry had many screw-ups throughout his career. So he didn’t want that for Jeter.
The scenes with Alex Rodriguez and Derek Jeter were also great. Two young and talented shortstops were once great friends. A-Rod is the better shortstop, but you can tell that he was jealous of Jeter because he didn’t have the love and admiration of the fans and the media compared to A-Rod. Although A-Rod might deny some or most things, the front cover magazine of Him being underneath Jeter while Jeter has his arms around him bothered A-Rod. Why? Because, in his mind, he’s the better shortstop, which he is. However, Jeter is the one with more success by winning championships. Rodriguez, Jeter, and Nomar Garciaparra were the young and hottest shortstops in the late 90s. It was a fun competition between those three, but Jeter had the most success and was the most beloved player out of the three of them.
During the 1998 season, the Yankees had arguably the best team ever. Everything clicked for them. They were loaded. They fought for each other. As a 24-year-old, Jeter handled the situation he dealt with veteran pitcher David Wells. He didn’t want the media to make a big deal out of it. He didn’t allow a story to cause a distraction to the team. The press tried to make a big deal about him confronting David Wells after Wells made some gesture after a failed popup fly in which the ball landed between Jeter, Chad Curtis, and Tim Raines. Jeter didn’t like how Wells expressed himself with his facial expression, and he demonstrated his leadership right away. His handling of the situation made me respect Jeter a thousand times more as a player.
The episode ends with the contract dispute between Jeter and the front office after the 1998 season. It began a not-so-good personal relationship between him and the front office. Jeter is very competitive and will do whatever it takes to prove people wrong, and he will never forget the things said about him.
Crucial Scene in the Episode:
– Jeter almost became involved during the nightclub shooting in 1999 which Puffy, J. Lo, and Shyne’s names were all mentioned. It would’ve been a “wrong place at the wrong time” moment for him. It came very close.
4.8 out of 5 stars