Friday, June 10, 2011

Jeter's Playoff Prank in the '07 Cleveland Series

Following the famous midges playoff game in Cleveland in '07, Jeter's playoff prank at Doug Mientkiewicz's expense.

From "The Captain: The Journey of Derek Jeter"

The next day, a workout day in the Bronx before Game 3, the day before the Yankees faced the possibility of a third straight first-round exit, Mientkiewicz found humor in his team’s desperation, referencing the captain’s personal brand of cologne.

“The joke around the guys is that we all had Derek Jeter’s ‘Driven’ on,” Mientkiewicz said. “That’s why all the bugs were attacking us.”

Jeter woke up to the quotes the following day, game day, and decided Mientkiewicz would regret that remark. Rome was burning, Steinbrenner was blustering, and Jeter was busy proving that no situation was too alarming to make him forget he was a man playing a boy’s game.

In the clubhouse before Game 3, Jeter made a point of completely ignoring Mientkiewicz, who returned to his locker after batting practice to find a letter resting on his chair, a letter supposedly from Macy’s. The letter read something like this:

Dear Mr. Mientkiewicz. Thanks to your comments to the media, we’ve had to pull 12.2 million bottles of Derek Jeter’s Driven off the shelves. You’ve cost my company and Mr. Jeter millions of dollars. I hope this turns out well for you.

Mientkiewicz nearly passed out. He thought that he was done as a Yankee, and that he would be sued for everything he had.

“I was crushed, and my stomach was in knots,” Mientkiewicz said. “Derek wouldn’t even look at me. And then right before he takes the field for the game, he runs by me and says, ‘That letter was bullshit. It was a joke.’ I’m bent over, hands on my knees, going, ‘You’re an asshole. I know this playoff thing is easy for you and it’s another game for you, but it’s not for me.’ And Derek’s over there giggling his ass off.”

Laughing before an elimination game. This was the essence of the postseason Jeter, never sweating the stakes.

from The Captain

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