What's Jim Rice Saying About Derek Jeter?

Dan Levy already whetted your appetite for the Little League World Series with his piece this morning, but we've got one more bit from Williamsport thanks to a curious comment from Jim Rice, who was speaking to players and coaches and also tossed out a first pitch. ↵

↵Specifically, Rice talked about how today's MLB players are too focused on individual goals: ↵

↵
↵⇥"You see a Manny Ramirez, you see an A-Rod, you see [Derek] Jeter ... Guys that I played against and with, these guys you're talking about cannot compare," Rice said to Little Leaguers gathered in the cafeteria. ↵
↵

↵OK, I think pretty much everyone would agree that we understand the root of the criticism on those first two names. They're both recent PED pariahs. Makes perfect sense. But the record makes a very loud screeching noise when he gets to Jeter. ↵

↵

↵There's a lot written -- both good and bad -- about Jeter because he's been such a focal point for the Yankees for some time, but if we're playing a game of "one of these things is not like the other," Jeter is clearly the outlier in that grouping. ↵

↵

↵I'm not trying to get all old-school baseball writer and talk about what a shining example of a human being he is, but by standards of today's athlete, I feel pretty comfortable saying Jeter falls into the "tolerable" category, his affiliation with the Yankees not withstanding. ↵

↵

↵Maybe Rice doesn't like Jeter's high-profile relationships with people like (and this isn't all of them) Mariah Carey, Tyra Banks, Adrianna Lima, Jessica Alba and currently Minka Kelly. Yes, maybe Rice is mad about that. C'mon Jim, don't hate the player. ↵

↵

↵Then again, Rice did seem to stop just short of shaking his fist and telling kids to get off his lawn later in his comments: ↵

↵
↵⇥"We didn't have the baggy uniforms. We didn't have the dreadlocks," Rice said. "It was a clean game, and now they're setting a bad example for the young guys." ↵
↵

↵Clearly, this drove the kids wild: ↵

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↵⇥Rice's appearance was part of a promotion by Allstate Insurance Co. He got a standing ovation from players and coaches, though some of the 11- to 13-year-old players were yawning or had their heads in their arms on the table about 15 minutes into the talk. ↵
↵

↵You know who could've kept the attention of all the coaches and kids? One of Jeter's girlfriends. ↵

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This post originally appeared on the Sporting Blog. For more, see The Sporting Blog Archives.

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