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don't leave us derek

Derek Jeter Hath Forsaken His People

Oh, those were the days.

Love is a perilous endeavor, a high-wire act done without a balancing pole or a net while people throw blunt objects at you when your back is turned. No matter how much affection you show someone, no matter how much of yourself you give, no matter how many Be Mine candies you send over swabbed with lipstick ... there's always a possibility your object of desire will thwart your advances and leave you stranded and alone. You think you have him, but he jilts you when you need him most. That's the danger of loving someone. They can be gone in a second, without ever saying good-bye.

After last night's walk-off win over the Rays, Derek Jeter left the Yankees' clubhouse without talking to reporters. (He's now hitless in his last twelve at-bats and is still three hits from tying Lou Gehrig's team record.) It's a rarity: Staying around and dishing out empty platitudes to the beat masses is as much a signature Jeter maneuver as his jump throw from the hole. Not everyone handled it well.

How do sportswriters deal with rejection? Here's a case study — a song for the dumped, if you will.

Tactic No. 1: He Did It Because He Loves Us!. Mike Vaccaro, New York Post: "He ducked out quick, and maybe you think that's a nod to pressing and grinding; more likely it was his way of ceding the attention to Swisher. He isn't going anywhere. And neither is his hit total."

Tactic No. 2: Oh, No, Derek, Is There Something Wrong? Can I Help? John Harper, New York Daily News: "Obviously it's bugging Jeter that his expected coronation as the Yankees' all-time hit leader has turned into intrigue. As in: what's wrong with the captain?"

Tactic No. 3: The Other Women Are Like Therapy to Him. Pete Abraham, the Journal News: "Jeter bailed without taking [sic] to the writers, something very unusual for him. Then again, Minka [Kelly] was here. Can't blame him."

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Photo: Getty Images