However the Red Sox plan to honor Derek Jeter in the New York shortstop’s final weekend as an active player, it will have to to better than last year’s tribute to another Yankees legend.

In a bizarre and misguided salute to Mariano Rivera,
the Red Sox trotted out video footage of the 2004 American League Championship Series. Fans at Fenway Park were able to relive Rivera’s inability to close out the Sox, which led to Boston’s unforgettable comeback and eventual World Series title.

After watching one of his rare failures on full display, Rivera then heard Red Sox players interject that oh, yes, you’re the greatest. It came off as practically an afterthought.

Being the nicest man in baseball – nicer, even, than Jeter – Rivera took the presentation in good spirit. No surprise, really.

This was the same man who doffed his cap to Red Sox fans at Fenway in 2005, on the day Boston’s World Series pennant was raised.

He was responding to cheers from the crowd, who treated the game’s greatest closer as part-and-parcel to Boston’s success. That 2005 episode endeared Rivera to Red Sox fans who saw him as big enough to allow them their moment.

That memory apparently emboldened the Red Sox to use their one chance to honor Rivera by making fun of him. Sure, it was good-natured fun, but using what must have been a painful moment for Rivera as the centerpiece of a ceremony in his honor showed incredibly poor taste and judgment.

They got away with it because Rivera is Rivera. Now comes Jeter, and no one, probably including the player, wants to sit through a stuffed-shirt tribute on his final weekend.

But if the Red Sox intend to honor the man, they should honor the man, graciously and properly. They should at least show Jeter the …read more