It turns out being chosen as the successor to Derek Jeter as shortstop of the New York Yankees is only the second greatest honor of Didi Gregorius’ baseball career. During a conference call with the New York media on Friday, the slick fielding star from the Netherlands confirmed what many had suspected based on his Sir Didi Gregorius Twitter handle.
He’s officially been knighted.
We’re not kidding. The name isn’t referencing a nickname from his childhood or past playing days. It’s a real title Gregorius earned while representing his country in the 2011 IBAF Baseball World Cup. As Bryan Hoch of MLB.com notes, the Netherlands won that tournament, and rather than rewarding the players with money, each member of the team was knighted.
Sir Didi it is if we’re being proper, though Gregorius says he’s not too concerned about how people acknowledge him.
“Some people actually call me Sir Didi and everything,” Gregorius said Friday. “I don’t really mind if they just call me Didi. It doesn’t really matter.”
We’re guessing Sir Didi will stick in New York, as long as he’s producing that is. The one nickname that’s definitely off limits though is ‘The Captain.’ And that’s fine with Gregorius as well. As we saw in a recent drawing, he has nothing but appreciation for the legacy Jeter has left behind and believes that title belongs to No. 2.
“For me, he’s the captain,” Gregorius said. “He’s always been the captain, with a lot of respect for the game. So when he said he was going to retire, I decided to draw a picture of him — just for me. And for me, drawing is for fun, relaxing and everything, so I decided to draw him since he was going to retire.”
Whether it’s Sir Didi or just plain Didi, as long as manager Joe Girardi feels comfortable writing Gregorius on the lineup card, then he’s likely performing up to the team’s expectations. Of course, those expectations may differ a bit from the fans’ expectations, but Jeter himself offered some advice on that front.
“What does he have to do? Enjoy himself. Work hard. Play hard. He’ll be just fine.”
Yes sir, “Captain.”
BLS H/N: Cut 4
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