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Deceased Actor Jeter Upstaged Again By Yankee Shortstop

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HELL (SP) — Veteran character actor Michael Jeter, who died last month at the age of 50, is bitter and disappointed that his death has been completely overshadowed by a non life-threatening injury to his namesake, New York Yankee shortstop Derek Jeter.

The latter Jeter, a five-time All-Star, dislocated his shoulder during a home plate collision with catcher Tom Huckaby during his team's season-opening 8-4 win over the Toronto Blue Jays. Jeter was placed on the 15-day disabled list, and is expected to be on the sidelines for several weeks.

Meanwhile, Michael Jeter is expected to be in Hell for the rest of eternity. In his view, media coverage of the two stories has been grossly disproportionate, particularly in the New York area. "The day after I kicked the bucket," exclaimed the deceased actor, "I picked up a copy of the New York Post. I was thrilled to see the headline ‘Jeter Goes Down’ prominently displayed on the front page. I thought it was a fitting tribute for a thespian of my stature."

However, Jeter soon realized that the headline did not refer to him, but rather to the aforementioned Yankee shortstop. "It turns out my obit. was buried at the bottom of page 37, right between ‘Ann Landers’ and the horoscopes," he said. "Once again, I’ve been upstaged by that pimple-faced punk in pinstripes."

According to the acclaimed actor, he had not always suffered from a lack of media scrutiny. "When I was on ‘Evening Shade’," he said, referring to the Emmy-winning sitcom that ran from 1990-1994, "most people recognized that I was the real star of the show. Burt Reynolds was simply riding on my coat tails. And as The Other Mr. Noodle on Sesame Street, I was much more popular than the first guy ever was. Before anyone had even heard of Derek Jeter, I was by far the most famous Jeter is America, if not the world."

That all changed, however, when Derek Jeter made the starting lineup of the Yankees in 1996. Since that time, Jeter the ballplayer has never been far from the spotlight, often at the expense of Jeter the actor.

"The day after ‘The Green Mile’ opened in theatres," said the irate actor, referring to the Tom Hanks prison drama in which he had a supporting role, "I received magnificent reviews. Rex Reed said that I gave a beautiful, nuanced performance, worthy of Oscar recognition. Unfortunately, the night before, Derek Jeter hit for the cycle, and that’s all anyone wanted to talk about, even at the film’s Hollywood premiere. You’d think he was the first player ever to hit for the cycle!"

Michael Jeter thinks it would have been very different if Derek had played for a less successful, small market team, such as the Milwaukee Brewers or Montreal Expos. "Derek would not be a household name if he had been drafted by one of those teams," he said. "Instead, he ended up with the Yankees, a team that’s played in the World Series practically every year that he’s been in the big leagues, and that’s located in the centre of the media universe. That kid has had bowel movements that have received greater scrutiny than I’ve had in my entire career!"

Still, Michael Jeter insists that he never wanted any harm to befall his namesake. "I truly am sorry to hear that Derek Jeter hurt his shoulder," he said. "But the fact is that in a couple of months, he’ll be throwing out runners from deep in the hole at short, and I’ll still be stuck deep in the heart of Hell."

Michael Jeter becomes somewhat philosophical when reflecting upon his present circumstances: "I used to think that I’d have to die to get more attention than Derek Jeter, but evidently I was wrong. That kid could have a friggin’ hangnail and it would be considered more newsworthy than my death. When I was alive, he made my life a living hell. Well, now I’m in Hell, and nothing has really changed."

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