What team with championship aspirations would willingly have a 36 year old leading off who’d managed a rotten .313 OBP / .583 OPS in the season’s first month, stealing no bases and collecting just 2 extra base hits in 100 at bats?  If the player in question is Derek Jeter, you can fully expect what the New York Daily News’ Bob Raissman calls “VOS pontificators…the lunatic fringe” to castigate the Captain.  And you can also presume — rather safely —- the Yankee shortstop will be handled with kid gloves by his own team’s broadcasters.

Jeter is getting a pass in the Yankees radio booth. It sure sounds like Ma and Pa Pinstripe, Suzyn Waldman and John Sterling, don’t want to believe what they are seeing.

Even on the Yankees Entertainment & Sports Network, Jeter was under the microscope. Of course Al Yankzeera’s analysis was more measured. Sunday, while introducing an in-game segment featuring reporter Jack Curry, Michael Kay said: “I know you talked to Derek Jeter about what some perceive to be (him) struggling. ..”

Perceive? Kay better Windex his eyeballs if he thinks this is just some wacky perception. While YES analysts Paul O’Neill and John Flaherty acknowledged and discussed Jeter’s hitting problems, they only walked to the edge of the cliff. They didn’t attempt to look ahead and talk about what Girardi’s options are if Jeter stays in a funk. They didn’t speculate on what the overall affect would be on the team.

Especially if Jeter, the “icon,” stays stubborn and protests any demotion.