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Back off, Jim

Even as a Yankee fan, I always liked Jim Rice.  He was a fearsome hitter for the Red Sox in the 70s and 80s, when I followed baseball with a youthful fervor.  I think he played the game the right way and was happy that he finally made it into the Baseball Hall of Fame this year.

Yesterday, while at the Little League World Series, Jim complained about the bad example that many of today's major leaguers set for kids.  He cited Manny Ramirez and Alex Rodriguez.  I can accept the criticism he puts on both this ex-Red Sox and current Yankee.  However, he threw Derek Jeter into the same category.  Now, back off, Jim.

Derek Jeter is the ultimate gamer.  Rice complained that today's major leaguers only play for the money and don't care about winning as a team.  You can say that about a lot of players, but not Jeter.  Even the most die-hard Yankee-hating Red Sox fans have told me that they respect Jeter as a fantastic competitor.  He's never had a hint of off-field issue, and he gives generously to children through his Turn 2 Foundation.  Maybe Rice is jealous of today's high-paid players.  There is no doubt that Jeter is highly paid.  But, I don't think the Yankees have regretted one dollar of it.

Jeter even diplomatically brushed off being included in Rice's criticism.  He's a class act, and Rice should apologize.

In case you forgot, Jeter gives his all to win.  Check out this video from 2004 (photo below).  That's not the effort of an overpaid spoiled brat.  And, no Yankee fan was surprised that Jeter was setting a sterling example.

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