Schadenfreunde is a word that's been bandied about a lot in reaction to the Yankees' loss, but I prefer a different term...something like pity and disgust. Or sympathy and revulsion.
Because, sometimes...well, I'll just get it out there. Sometimes, I feel sorry for Derek Jeter. Okay, put the rotten produce away and at least hear me out.
Watching the game last night, I thought back to all the times in the last two years when the Yankees have collapsed and / or lost, and realized all along that I'd felt a strange kind of hateful pity for Jeter. Not A-Rod, certainly not Posada or Mussina or Roger when he was there or Bernie Williams or any of the rest of them--those guys can take a long walk off a short pier, as far as I'm concerned, and so can Jeter, but I'm kind of sorry for him anyway.
Take Game 6 last year. Remember him on base, clapping his hands and hollering to his team, "Come on!"?
Then, last night, he hit a home run to bring the team within two runs when it seemed most of the rest of them had all but given up. Then he hit a single in the ninth inning, and stood there watching A-Rod at the plate, and you could see he really, truly believed Mr. Slappy McBlueLips was going to hit a two-run homer to tie the game against K-Rod, and the Yankees would win in extras, and it would be just like it used to be when he and Tino would feed each other Jello chocolate pudding in the back of the team bus during the late 90's.
And then Mr. MVP hit into a double play. And you could see, just like last year, this disbelief and bewilderment come over Jeter's face, like a kid who's just been told there's no Santa Claus. He seems to be the only one left who really remembers what it used to be like--and sometimes he seems to be the only one who truly, wholeheartedly believes it'll happen again.
I'm not saying I like the guy. But, I don't know. Sometimes he just makes me sad.