Longtime Red Sox fan Stephen King won't be in attendance on Sunday when Derek Jeter is expected to play in his last major league game, but the venerable author shared his thoughts on the retiring Yankee shortstop in a couple of recent interviews.
"For years, the Red Sox and the Yankees have been mortal enemies and this year Derek Jeter is going to finish his career at Fenway Park," King said on Late Night with Seth Meyers Wednesday night. "We hated him all those years because he always broke our hearts but everybody in that stadium is going to stand and applaud at every at-bat that he has in that last game.
"I can't believe I'm saying this, but if I was there, I'd wear a Jeter hat to Fenway Park. My kids would never speak to me again."
King echoed the same sentiments about Jeter in an appearance on HuffPost Live earlier this week.
"Jeter has been sort of a bugaboo for Red Sox fans for years and years and years," King said. "He is the one guy you don't want to see come up in a clutch situation. In my sleep, I can see the Jeter stance with the hand up while he gets ready and he digs in. Having said that, he's a terrific player. He's an iconic player. And for years, when he steps to the plate at Fenway Park, he has been booed and that's the correct response for the hometown team.
"But on Sunday... in Fenway Park, they're going to stand and cheer every time he comes to the plate and I think the place will be blue with shirts that say "Jeter." And that's sportsmanship at its absolute best."
Jeter remained non-committal on his plans for the weekend following the Yankees 9-5 loss to the Orioles Wednesday night.
As far as honoring Jeter at Fenway this weekend, fans should expect the ceremony to be understated.
"It's going to be a one day ceremony, on Sunday," Red Sox president Larry Lucchino said on WEEI's Dennis and Callahan show Thursday. "We hope he's going to play this weekend. I think it's likely that he will. I would describe it as low-key. It's more respect and admiration for him as a ballplayer. I don't think you'll see too many talking heads but there will be plenty of gestures of respect for him.
"In terms of tangible gifts for him, we're not giving him a red convertible or something like that. What he cares most about these days is his Turn 2 Foundation, and we intend to make a sizable contribution to that, and to give a little piece of Fenway Park to take with him along with some musical gestures."