No matter how many number retirement ceremonies we throw, it doesn't change the fact that the New York Yankees are bloated with ill-conceived, long-term contracts, inexplicably garnished with no-trade clauses to aging, faded stars from another decade.
Upon going home and doing some research, I learned that the minimalist artist Donald Judd fled the New York art scene for Marfa back in the '70s, and slowly established it as an arts destination that was now enjoying serious notoriety. But as a Texan myself, I had not gotten the memo.
The pitchers may be ahead of the hitters, as the adage goes, but Richard Albero, a 65-year-old native of New Jersey, is ahead of all of the players, as he treks on foot from Tampa's George M. Steinbrenner Field to Yankee Stadium in the Bronx.
When spring training camp finally opens, you know you have made it through another year, that your team really has a chance this season, and that life is still good -- as long as baseball games are close at hand.
Their center fielder introduced me to the beauty of an inside-the-park home run. Their submarine closer seemed to scrape his knuckles on the mound with every pitch. And one of their shortstops played with a toothpick dangling from his mouth.
In a time when baseball's reputation had been damaged by players posting statistically-fattening numbers and shattering long-standing records because of juiced-up cheaters, Derek Jeter managed to always play the game the right way while maintaining consistency throughout his career.
Coaches, scouts, GMs and fantasy baseball players are quickly changing their strategies to incorporate more player and team stats. Everyone is talking about it, everyone is embracing it, and everyone has seen the movie, Moneyball.
It is easy to look back and find players who perhaps had higher batting averages, or more stolen bases, or even have done more philanthropic work. But what Jeter leaves behind is his ability to do it all. He is the whole package.