Stephen A. Smith would really like to see Derek Jeter return to the New York Yankees. Let him be clear: He’d really like to see the Yankees’ Hall of Fame shortstop, No. 2, back with the team. (That may not be the company line if ESPN president Jimmy Pitaro wants to hire Jeter.)
And not just “in some capacity,” like a special advisor, assistant to the general manager, or assistant to the assistant to the general manager. Jeter was the CEO and a shareholder with the Miami Marlins before stepping down on Monday, and Stephen A. believes that he should have a similar position at Yankee Stadium.
If the position doesn’t exist in the Yankees organization, create one. Move Brian Cashman up to president of baseball operations and make Jeter the GM. Or vice versa. Jeter can be president of baseball ops while Cashman remains GM. The Yankees have 13 senior vice presidents. Make it 14 with Jeter. Nine vice presidents? Make it an even 10 with The Captain.
The point, as Stephen A. sees it, is that Jeter should have a position that matters, a position of authority, with the team for which he became a legend. And when ESPN baseball insider Jeff Passan was a guest on Tuesday’s First Take and wasn’t embracing that assertion as enthusiastically, Stephen A. couldn’t handle it.
“Jeff… ! Jeff Passan! I have to say, I don’t like the way you sound right now,” said Smith as he tried to maintain his composure. “‘Derek Jeter has to be involved in some capacity’… What do you mean, ‘some capacity’? We know where he belongs!”
“He is a Yankee!” Smith yelled, as he slapped the desk and Passan grew increasingly amused at the comedic outrage. “El Capitan! The champion extraordinaire! The leader! He is… he is Derek Jeter! What is this?”
Smith’s use of the “El Capitan” nickname sent Passan into a belly laugh not often seen on TV while personalities are trying to keep their cool. He leaned back in his chair laughing and clapped, providing a viewers that should be material for GIFs and memes for days, weeks, and months to come. (Even Stephen A. was laughing at himself, possibly in response to Passan leaning back.)
It was a hilarious moment that we screen-capped it for the featured image on this post. You can see it at the 0:16 mark of the video embedded above. This was Stephen A. going meta, making fun of his own rants for a subject that surely didn’t warrant the indignation.
Then, for punctuation, Passan simply responded, “I don’t tell a man where to work.” Mic drop.
It was the ideal follow-up to Passan’s tweet late Monday night/early Tuesday morning as the negotiations between Major League Baseball team owners and the players union wrapped up, hopefully closer to an agreement that means the 2022 season will happen.
Passan had been quiet on Twitter while colleagues Jon Heyman and Bob Nightengale were providing play-by-play on what could have been performative behavior by the owners and MLB deputy commissioner Dan Halem.
The MLB lockout has been tiresome. But Passan has provided some levity, some entertainment to a situation that’s been anything but entertaining. He deserves some applause. And maybe he’ll get to tweet some good news in the next day or two.
Ian Casselberry is a sports media columnist for BSM. He has previously written and edited for Awful Announcing, The Comeback, Sports Illustrated, Yahoo Sports, MLive, Bleacher Report, and SB Nation. You can find him on Twitter @iancass or reach him by email at email@example.com.
Stephen A. Smith: ‘I Had To Wait Until My Mother Passed to Write My Book’
“I’ve never ran before, so there was no way I was going to start with this book.”
An autobiography from Stephen A. Smith is due in stores early next year. Straight Shooter: A Memoir of Second Chances and First Takes is an all-encompassing look at the First Take star’s life from his childhood to today.
Smith appreciates privacy and has been hesitant to talk about his personal life in the past. Occasionally he has made exceptions for shows hosted by friends and people in the business that he respects.
On Wednesday’s episode of First Take, Stephen A. Smith said that was largely due to a promise he made to his mother.
“She told me never to write a book until she passed away, because she knows I’m gonna say what I need to say,” he told Molly Qerim and Chris Russo. “I’m gonna speak my mind and I’m gonna speak my truth. There are things in there that she would not have wanted me to reveal while she was alive.”
He added that writing it made him more uncomfortable than he anticipated.
“There’s a lot in there that I didn’t want to tell, but if you gonna write a book, you gotta tell it.”
Russo joked that clearly Smith is excited. He had texted the New York radio legend the cover and some information about the book earlier in the summer.
Qerim has received some of that material too. She told Smith that what she has seen and read is very impressive.
“This is huge, and I’m proud of you. It’s hard to tell. I know you’ve kept your personal life close to the vest. For you to open up, I think people are going to respect you even more when they learn more about you.”
Stephen A. Smith noted that in addition to his childhood and his professional triumphs, the book will also revisit the controversies that surrounded him at points in his career. He noted the goal of the book was not necessarily to make him look good, but to help people better understand the man they see on TV each morning.
“I’ve never ran before, so there was no way I was going to start with this book,” Smith said.
Golf Channel, Brandel Chamblee Facing Defamation Lawsuit From Patrick Reed
During a Golf Channel broadcast, Chamblee had reportedly accused Reed of cheating during the Hero World Challenge after being assessed a two-stroke penalty for improving his ball placement in a bunker.
Golf Channel and analyst Brandel Chamblee are being sued by golfer Patrick Reed after Reed alleged “misreporting information with falsity and/or reckless disregard of the truth” by the network and Chamblee.
In a lawsuit filed Tuesday, Reed claims Golf Channel, Chamblee, and PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan have conspired against him since he joined the PGA Tour while trying to “destroy his reputation, create hate and a hostile work environment for him”.
Reed, who has faced cheating allegations dating back to his college golf days, had his legal representation send a cease-and-desist letter to Chamblee in 2020. During a Golf Channel broadcast, Chamblee had reportedly accused Reed of cheating during the Hero World Challenge after being assessed a two-stroke penalty for improving his ball placement in a bunker. Reed claimed he did not intend to improve his lie.
Reed, 2018 winner of The Masters, alleges that Chamblee’s allegations have caused fans to heckle him and label him a cheater at events.
Patrick Reed defected from the PGA Tour in June to join the Saudi-backed LIV Golf organization. He is seeking $750 million in damages.
Joe Girardi Joining Marquee Sports Network
“I’m excited to join Marquee and look forward to working alongside Boog, JD, and Taylor this weekend at Wrigley Field,” said Girardi.
Marquee Sports Network has announced that former Chicago Cubs catcher, and Marlins, Yankees, and Phillies manager Joe Girardi is joining the network as a game analyst. Girardi will work this weekends series between the Cubs and Brewers, as well as a series against the Marlins in September.
Girardi has previously worked as an analyst for YES Network, MLB Network, and Fox Sports.
“I’m excited to join Marquee and look forward to working alongside Boog, JD, and Taylor this weekend at Wrigley Field,” said Girardi. “Growing up a Cubs fan and then having the chance to play for the team for a number of years, I’m honored to now have the opportunity to broadcast from the historic television broadcast booth.”
After a three-time World Series winner as a player, Girardi spent 15 seasons in the big leagues, seven of which came with the Cubs. The former catcher has spent parts of 14 seasons as a manager with the Marlins, Yankees, and Phillies. Girardi was fired as the manager of the Phillies on June 3rd.
“We’re pleased to welcome Joe Girardi to the Marquee Sports Network team,” said Marquee Sports Network General Manager, Mike McCarthy. “His insights as a long-time Cubs player and big league manager will be a valuable addition to the broadcasts. Welcome Joe!”