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Defending Derek Jeter

By Frank Russo ~ July 11th, 2011. Filed under: Digest Contributors.

Over the past 48 hours I have been hearing WFAN callers, commentators, and Mike Silva take Derek Jeter to task for the handling of the 3,000th hit ball. Mike is entitled to his opinion, but where I draw the line is his criticism of Jeter when it comes to autographs.

Adam the Bull – who is a Cubs fan may I add – laughed at a caller Sunday night who was surprised that Jeter charges for autographs. Adam is correct that Jeter charges, but 100% of his cut goes to the Turn 2 Foundation. In case you don’t know about it, its focus is to “create and support signature programs and activities that motivate young people to turn away from drugs and alcohol and “TURN 2″ healthy lifestyles.” Derek has called his father, Dr. Jeter, the real hero for the work as a substance abuse counselor. If you are going to criticize Jeter, you need to make sure you give both sides of the story.

Also,  a friend of mine that knows Jeter told me he will sign for any kids, and would never turn them away. You won’t find a more accommodating athlete.

As for Christian Lopez, he may not have received fair market value, but he received a ton of game used memorabilia in addition to the Suite Package. You could argue that it wasn’t an even exchange, but I don’t think the package was chump change either. Again, the kid made a decision and appeared happy about it. I think that is all that matters.

Finally, I will be debating Mike Silva on the radio about his comments regarding Michael Kay. I enjoy Kay both on the radio and in the booth. Stay tuned for more on that.

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Frank is a resident of East Brunswick, NJ and former radio announcer. He is a 4th generation Republican and Yankees Fan. He also enjoys listening to talk radio. His favorite announcer is Shawn Hannity of “Hannity” on FOX and enjoys reading about military history. In addition to rooting for the Yankees, he also has a passion for the New York Islanders. You can enjoy Frank’s work at The Dead Ball Era and his book “Bury My Heart at Cooperstown”. Check out his “Rants and Raves” on New York Baseball Digest.

15 Responses to Defending Derek Jeter

  1. Chakrabs

    “I enjoy Kay both on the radio and in the booth.”

    No accounting for taste, I guess!

  2. Frank Russo


    That’s your opinion, and I have mine> It’s a free world. And oh yes, I have very good taste

  3. Stu B

    At least Frank didn’t say he enjoys Sterling. THAT would indicate poor taste!

  4. Ralph C

    I am not really a fan of Kay and find him to be annoying in the booth as often times he doesn’t appear to be paying attention to the game. However, I will agree that Mets’ fans (i.e. Silva) should not disparage him for hosting a Pro-Yankee radio show. Virtually every other radio show on New York sports talk radio is Pro-Mets. Come to think about it, Colin Cowherd was correct in his assessment of WFAN in his response to Boomer and Carton’s criticism of ESPN. And as much as Kay gets on the Mets, there is nothing more annoying than listening to Richard Neer constantly harping on the Yankees’ payroll or Steve Somers’ anti-Yankee shtick.

  5. Chuck Johnson

    Unless you’re at a card show or an MLB sanctioned event, no player should ever charge for an autograph.

    That said, Jeter’s earned the right to charge.

    You don’t want to pay it?

    Don’t ask him.

    I have a much, much bigger problem with Brett Gardner charging $20.

    That’s insane.

    He should be paying me to ask him.

  6. Mike Silva


    What did Cowherd say? Do you have a link or could you paraphrase?

  7. Ralph C

    Mike-In August 2010 Boomer and Carton were criticizing ESPN (rightfully so) for their constant criticism of the Favre saga. Cowherd responded later that day on the Herd by criticizing WFAN for overdoing their coverage of the Mets even when there is nothing going on with the team. Neil best wrote a blog post about this on August 4, 2010.
    Here is a link which will only work if you have a Newsday subscription.

  8. Ralph C

    Sorry, I meant to say “coverage” of the Favre saga in regards to ESPN-not “criticism.”

  9. Mister D

    I heard of WFAN (for what its worth) that he could be expected to pay $10-14,000 in taxes for his swag. That would likely mean his haul is worth around $100,000. Still under value, but not chump change either.

  10. Chakrabs

    “nothing going on with the team [Mets].”

    See, now that’s where they’re wrong. There’s ALWAYS something going on with the team, endless fiascos really. All culminating this year where the perfectly respectable Mets team is a national punching bag, lampooned on websites everywhere.

  11. Frank Russo

    Below is a list of WFAN announcers and the teams they root for.

    Boomer Esiason (Mets)
    Craig Carton (Mets)
    Ed Coleman (Grew up a Red Sox Fan/Mets Play by Play man)
    Joe Benigno (Mets)
    Evan Roberts (Mets)
    Mike Francesa (Yankees)
    Steve Somers (Mets)
    Tony Paige (Mets)
    Marc Malusis (Yankees)
    Sweeney Murti (Phillies/Covers Yankees)
    Adam The Bull (Cubs)
    Richard Neer (Mets)
    Kimberly Jones (Unknown/Works for the YES Network)
    Lori Rubinson (Mets)

    Rich Ackerman (Mets)
    Harris Allen (Mets)
    Erica Herskowitz (Yankees)
    Bob Heussler (Mets)
    Mike McCann (Mets)
    John Minko (Yankees)
    Jerry Recco (none)
    Joey Wahler (Mets)

  12. Ralph C

    Thanks Frank. WFAN is completely Mets’ centric. I know it’s the flagship station of the team but this is not really a valid excuse because it is also the Giants’ flagship station and most of the talk is about the Jets (Lori Rubinson is actually the only Giants fan on the station).

  13. tnt1528

    if i would have caught th eball i would have said i have extra fireworks from the 4th left over and grab an m80 and hold it next to the ball..see faces turn white

  14. Frank Russo


    Great point about the Giants! Remember though, the same can be said about the announcers at the station and the Jets. Of the prime time hosts, Carton is a Jets fan, Boomer played for the Jets of course, although I think he’s pretty fair, Evan, Joe B., Steve Somers and Richard Neer are also all Jets fans.

    Mike Francesa and Lori Rubenson are the only ones I know of that are Giants fans.

  15. Frank Russo


    Sorry about butchering your name in the last post!

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