Derek Jeter, Cultural Touchstone

Jeter is popping up in the strangest places

We've been pretty wrapped up in the World Series for the last three days so the day off Tuesday was a good time to vote, take a shower, catch up with friends and see what else has been going on in the world. It was a valiant effort but, thanks to the ubiquity of Derek Jeter, an ultimately futile one. 

There's a movement afoot to name a bridge being built on East 153rd Street in the Bronx in honor of the Yankee shortstop, according to the New York Post.

"There have been conversations at the community board, and I know the idea is being examined," said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr., a Bombers fan who confesses to a "man crush" on the Captain.

"Derek Jeter Bridge" would stretch 512 feet across Metro-North tracks from Park Avenue to the Grand Concourse and would cost $87 million to build. Assuming the bridge lasts for more than four or five years, that's a bargain given Jeter's current salary. The move doesn't seem wildly out of whack given the many names you'll find on streets, parks and other spots around the city and would have the added benefit of not trying to shoehorn a new name onto an existing road or bridge. That's the fate of the Joe DiMaggio Highway which anyone who isn't Rudy Giuliani still calls the West Side Highway. 

A bridge doesn't have much range, and the other odd mention of Jeter made reference to his much-maligned defensive skills. Jeter was the topic of conversation between Larry David and a stonemason (helpfully transcribed by David Appelman of Fangraphs) on Sunday night's episode of "Curb Your Enthusiasm." If you've seen the show, you won't be surprised to hear it took a hostile turn.

Stonemason: “That guy [Derek Jeter] sucks.”

Larry David: “Who sucks?”

Stonemason: “Derek Jeter, he’s the most overrated player in baseball.”

Larry David: “What did you say?”

Stonemason: “I can’t stand Derek Jeter, you know he’s the worst defensive shortstop in baseball statistically?”

Larry David: “Oh Bulls---! He’s a great clutch hitter, he’s a great clutch player!”

Stonemason: “There’s no way he deserves that kind of money he’s making.”

The scene tickles the hearts of statistically minded baseball fans by quoting fielding metrics, as well as those of us who think the Yankees could use another assistant to the traveling secretary like George Costanza. Who knows, perhaps the Yankees would have already won the World Series if they were wearing cotton uniforms. It is a breathable fabric, after all.

Those two wildly different but wholly related stories make it clear that there's no escaping the Yankees right now.

Josh Alper is a writer living in New York City and is a contributor to and in addition to his duties for

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