Because the Yankees are in Baltimore, and shortstop Derek Jeter is retiring at season’s end, Orioles manager Buck Showalter fielded questions about Jeter to start his daily media briefing.
Showalter was Jeter’s first manager in New York. And Showalter said all the right things — things he has said for years — about how Jeter does everything the right way and knows how to treat people.
But Showalter also had a hilarious aside that I’m sure will make some Orioles fans chuckle.
Each team is giving Jeter a going-away present; last year, the Orioles gave retiring closer Mariano Rivera a sculpted broken bat. So what should the Orioles give Jeter?
Well, Showalter thinks it should be a photo of the home run that Jeter hit in Game 1 of the 1996 American League Championship Series against the Orioles — the one that 12-year-old Yankees fan Jeffrey Maier reached over the wall to deflect into a game-tying homer.
Here’s what Showalter had to say:
“We are all excited here [Jeter] is retiring, OK, for a lot of reasons. We were talking about what you give him as a gift. I would give him that big picture of the home run — well, it wasn’t a home run, we know that — that’s what I’d give him.
“A big picture [of the Jeffrey Maier ball] and have the whole Baltimore Oriole team sign it. That’s a good idea and it’s cheap too, right? Make it in bronze or something. Not that we remember that at all.”