Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Jeter proving his critics wrong. Plus some thoughts on the Bills O-Line and Scoop Jardine

I admit it.

I was one of the skeptics who thought Derek Jeter was done back in June when he was hitting dribblers seemingly every other at-bat.

Well, as Tom Brokaw said after the networks kept wrongly calling the winner of the 2000 presidential race, I don’t just have egg all over my face; I have the entire omelet.

Since his return from the DL two months ago, Jeets is batting .326 and has a major-league leading 13 multiple-hit games in that span. The surge by the 37-year-old shortstop has boosted his average 25 points to .285.

I know it can’t go on forever, so I’m savoring these moments of seeing Derek Jeter playing as he did in his prime.


Bills fans better hope this benching, rotation or whatever you want to call it of right guard Andy Levitre is just a message being sent by Coach Chan Gailey and not a permanent thing. As of today’s practice, Buffalo’s offensive line is Eric Woods at center, Chad Rinehart and Kraig Urbik at guards and Demetrius Bell and Erik Pears at tackles.

Not exactly the Great Wall of China.

I was concerned about the O-line heading into the season. This shuffle just 25 days before the regular-season opener hasn’t done anything to boost my confidence in who will protect Ryan Fitzpatrick and open holes for Fred Jackson and C.J. Spiller.


Guard Scoop Jardine has been playing lights out for Team USA this off-season. If that trend continues this winter, Syracuse University will wind up justifying those lofty, high pre-season basketball rankings.


Yesterday marked the anniversary of the day drummer Pete Best was given his walking papers by John Lennon and Paul McCartney, opening the door for Ringo Starr to join the Beatles.


Here’s wishing a belated Happy Birthday to one of my early sports editors, Phil Spartano, who recently turned 91 years young. Phil was one of my early mentors and was instrumental in my development as a sportswriter.

And all the best to my long-time friend and former newspaper colleague Vic Carucci on his new gig – a nightly radio show devoted entirely to the Cleveland Browns. Vic was a superb football writer at the Buffalo News and for Browns fans are fortunate to be able to listen to his expertise each evening on the ESPN radio affiliate in Cleveland.

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