Derek Jeter isn't going to change anybody's mind at this stage of his career. Either he's the most overrated player in the game and the most overrated shortstop in baseball history, or he's an iconic player on an iconic franchise who has written the book on how to live large as a bachelor while staying out of the police blotter in the media capital of the world.
But he does punch the clock every day - still does, despite having played almost one full season of postseason games (147) in addition to his 16-plus regular seasons.
At this stage of his career, his next milestone is his 3,000th career hit but it'll be tough for him to do it at Yankee Stadium.
Jeter, who is eight hits away from becoming the 28th player to reach that plateau and the first New York Yankees player to do so, has four games at home this week (Monday against the Cleveland Indians, then Tuesday through Thursday against the Texas Rangers) before the Yankees go to Wrigley Field and the Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati for six interleague games. Back in the day, Jeter's exquisite sense of timing would make this a slam dunk. Now? Not so much.
CLEARING THE CREASE
The end of the Stanley Cup final this week shifts attention to the NHL draft and free agency, and you can cue the rumours of Jeff Carter going to the Toronto Maple Leafs now that reports have surfaced the Philadelphia Flyers will trade him for salary-cap relief - even though it is the lure of the Columbus Blue Jackets' first choice that has really caught the Flyers attention.
CLEARING THE LANE
Brampton, Ont., native Tristan Thompson, one of the highest-rated power forwards in the NBA draft this year, is pulling out of workouts with teams that have late lottery picks, claiming nagging injuries but leading to suggestions the product of Texas and St. Marguerite d'Youville Secondary School has been told by an interested club he will be going sooner.
THE MONDAY NUMBERS
The last season in which an NHL team won the Stanley Cup with the majority of its games played by a goaltender wearing uniform No. 1. That was Bernie Parent of the Philadelphia Flyers, and it's a trick that the Roberto Luongo of the Canucks is attempting to turn this week. Not to curse anybody, you understand.
Consecutive wins with an RBI for Adrian Gonzalez of the Boston Red Sox going into the first game of a three-game series against the Tampa Bay Rays on Tuesday. The only other Red Sox's player to collect an RBI in as many consecutive wins was Dwight Evans, who had an RBI in each game during a 10-game winning streak in 1989 from Sept. 15 through 26 .
"Who really cares about what the guys are tweeting and stuff like that? If I was on my summer vacation, I wouldn't be tweeting right now about the Stanley Cup finals, I'd be enjoying it. Consider the sources," ~ Kevin Bieksa
The Vancouver Canucks defenceman isn't bothered by criticism in the Twittersphere against teammates Roberto Luongo, Alex Burrows and Max Lapierre, who've been accused of whining and play-acting. The Canucks lead the Boston Bruins 3-2 in the final and could hoist the Cup Monday with a win in Game 6.
THE FINAL WORD
Tabloid fodder. What you don't want to be if you're major leaguer in New York but where Jason Bay's travails have found him. Bay's former hitting coach, Howard Johnson, tore into current New York Mets manager Terry Collins for giving Bay two days off last week when Bay, a native of Trail, B.C., was in the middle of a career-long hitless streak of 23 at-bats. "If he's supposed to be part of the solution, I don't see the point of taking him out of the equation," Johnson told the New York Post. "It's sending him mixed messages, I don't care if he's 0-for-50, you're not going to get him relaxed by taking him out of the lineup." Bay, who is in the second year of a four-year, $66-million (U.S.) contract, is 1-for-30 after Sunday and hasn't had an extra-base hit in 19 consecutive games, said he's been fiddling around with his swing so much he has "almost forgotten what normal is. I need to do something where every time I'm not trying to fix something on every pitch."