Letters: Snubbing Derek Jeter, And Charlie Strong's Future

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Derek Jeter left the game after hitting an infield single in the top of the third. (Al Bello/Getty Images)
Derek Jeter left the game after hitting an infield single in the top of the third. (Al Bello/Getty Images)

Last week's program featured my conversation with AP reporter Jim Vertuno, who had profiled the head football coach at Texas, Charlie Strong. Coach Strong had suspended nine players for failing to live up to his basic rules, which include treating women with respect and staying away from drugs and guns.

Responding to that conversation, James Merrow e-mailed as follows: "I hope you follow up on this marvelous story. I anticipate listening, without much pleasure, to the piece on Coach Strong's firing — for Coach Strong will inevitably be fired — and I expect an argument delivered without irony from UT's President: 'Coach Strong couldn't do the job. Coach Strong was paid to WIN!' He may be crafting those gasping sentences as I write."

[sidebar title="Fenway Park Says Goodbye" width="630" align="right"] Derek Jeter played his final MLB game Fenway Park, and, for one day, Red Sox fans became Yankees fans. [/sidebar]

Rachel and John Clift were among the listeners who felt we did not pay sufficient attention to Derek Jeter in the final days of his baseball career.

"We were both shocked and disappointed by your complete lack of respect for probably the most iconic baseball player in modern history." "We were appalled by your total lack of objectivity and appreciation for how he ended the final game of his career in his home stadium in such dramatic fashion.

We will not be looking forward to listening again any time soon."

Ronak Shah responded similarly. "If there was ever a time to join the celebratory bandwagon," he wrote, "saying goodbye to DJ would be it. Leave it to Charlie Pierce to provide a snarky, useless, elitist liberal commentary. Is it so hard to feel good about Jeter? Yes, he made a lot of money. We live in a market economy where distribution of wealth is often unfair. Get over it, NPR."

Among the other things Charlie Pierce and I discussed last week was the argument that U.S. women's team goalie Hope Solo's arrest on charges of domestic violence merited a suspension. Michael Kevin Farrell wrote to add his voice to what he described as "the growing chorus" clamoring for discipline for Solo. "Domestic violence is wrong," Mr. Farrell wrote, "and we should hold professional female athletes to the same standard as men."

Point taken, Mr. Farrell, though equating Hope Solo's circumstances with those of, for example, Ray Rice, doesn't make much sense. Solo didn't knock anybody out, and publicity of the charge against her has led some people to forget that 85 percent of the domestic violence cases find men abusing women.

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This segment aired on October 4, 2014.

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Bill Littlefield Host, Only A Game
Bill Littlefield was the host of Only A Game from 1993 until 2018.



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