There a couple of effective ways to handle some of the things Skip Bayless says on ESPN’s ”First Take:” Ignore ’em or laugh ’em off.
Bayless interrupted his Tebow lovefest Wednesday to suggest that the success New York Yankees’ legendary shortstop Derek Jeter is having in his 18th season, in which he leads the majors in hits at the age of 38, might be aided by something more sinister than Wheaties. Jeter’s response? He just showed off his 6-foot-3, 195-pound bod at U.S. Cellular Field and replied: “You tell me,” he said.
Well, Jeter does lead the majors with 168 hits and has hit twice as many home runs (12) as he did all of last year. He’s also sixth in the majors (third in the American League) with a .324 batting average.
“What do you want me to say?” Jeter said (via the New York Daily News). “Maybe Skip should be tested. I don't know him, but ... ”
In the last week, two players — San Francisco’s Melky Cabrera and Oakland’s Bartolo Colon — have been hit with 50-game suspensions for using testosterone and BALCO founder Victor Conte contends that the use of synthetic testosterone is rampant. That was enough to get Bayless thinking ... and talking.
“I am shocked by what I'm seeing from Derek Jeter right now. They all said he was washed up,” Bayless said Wednesday. “All of a sudden, this man has turned 38 years of age in June and already he has more hits than he had last year. ... I'm seeing a whole new guy this year from last year ... Are you kidding me? You would have to have your head in the sand or your head somewhere else not to at least wonder, ‘How is he doing this?’ ”
Not that Bayless was leveling any specific accusations. “I am not saying he uses a thing,” Bayless said. “I have no idea. But within the confines of his sport, it is fair for all of us, in fact you are remiss, if you don't at least think about this.”
Jeter is having the kind of season that has provoked whispers about the possibility of topping Pete Rose’s hits record. It seems unlikely, but betting against Jeter is not a smart idea. In any event, he just keeps doing what he does.
“This is a first for me, man,” Jeter said. “I don't know what to tell you ... What do you want me to say? I ain't getting involved with this, man. You can say whatever you want to say now, huh? There's no repercussions.”