Here’s the unvarnished truth: Derek Jeter’s a boring guy. I recently read Ian O’Connor’s thoroughly mediocre biography of the Yankee captain and that was the most glaring fact. He’s just not a particularly compelling human being.
He is, however, a compelling baseball player. And his hunt for 3,000 hits was a compelling story. So, if HBO Sports is going to document it, I’m going to be there.
Here’s what I thought about Derek Jeter 3K
– This documentary did not get out of the gate strong. The first half hour was pretty boring. It was literally too “inside baseball” for me. Jeter rehabbing in Tampa and talking about changing his swing does not make for an interesting movie. His rehab stint in Trenton was a bit better but it still dragged a bit.
-I was happy to see how Jeter treated everyone while he was in Trenton. It started when he patted the opposing catcher on the back as he walked up for his first at bat. After the game, he went out of his way to thank the clubhouse guys. You read about what a classy guy he is all the time. It’s nice to see that it’s actually true. (Yes, I am aware that he knew he was being filmed by a documentary crew, but these were little moments not grand gestures. That leads me to believe they were genuine.)
-Exactly 30 minutes into the documentary… MINKA! I swear to god, the documentary all of a sudden turned really good the second Minka Kelly showed up on screen. Earlier today, Neil Best from Newsday tweeted that Kelly “glows on camera as if illuminated from within.” You can’t argue with that. The doc didn’t improve because of Minka, but her first appearance serves as an important demarcation line.
-Am I the only one who was trying to see what Jeter eats for lunch so I can eat it for lunch also? His personal chef, who seems very comfortable around Jeter and his friends (another sign that he’s a classy guy. She feels like part of the group almost as much as she does an employee and certainly NOT like a servant) said Jeter eats the same breakfast every day, but she didn’t say what that breakfast is. I want to eat the same breakfast as Derek Jeter every day. In the past, I have bought Derek Jeter branded cereal and Derek Jeter branded peanut butter. Is that the breakfast?
-Derek Jeter and I live in the same neighborhood but we live in very different worlds. That apartment is monstrous. But, it looks homey. With the exception of the number 2 on the hardwood floor, it looked like a place where people live and not a museum dedicated to it’s resident.
-I wonder what the telescope next to the window is aimed at. I hope he uses it to look at strangers getting undressed. That’s what I would do.
-While on the topic of slightly imperfect behavior, Derek Jeter said shit. That was a bit jarring. It’s one thing to hear him say it while he’s miked on the field, but to say it during the interview seemed out of character.
-I wish they had used more of the on-field mics. Especially after he got #3000. What did Posada say to him? What about Mo?
-It’s time for us to get a new celebrity Yankee fan. No more Billy Crystal. No more Rudy Giuliani. Jay-Z showed up briefly. Can we elevate him to the position at this point? Billy Crystal hasn’t really done anything in a decade.
-The documentary was obviously shot beautifully. I especially liked that, as the drama of the narrative increased, the one-on-ones in the apartment went from day to night. It sent the subtle message that time was short.
-The congratulations during the end credits were a bit much. Aside from Gene Monahan, they seemed overly scripted and bloodless. Even Jeter’s parents lacked emotion.
-Yes, I cried at points. It’s a thing that I do. I’m not embarrassed. STOP LAUGHING AT ME!