Tuesday, August 27, 2013
THE IMPACT OF JETER, THE PLAYOFFS & BEYOND
Ok, maybe it’s expected, Jeter leading us, but it needs to be said. I say this, give Derek Jeter his 0-3 night last night. Not every first at bat returning from injury can be a home run. It’s tough to look at the Captain and not expect perfection and last night, just his presence alone is cool enough for me, although, I wanted the win. But add in a walk and it’s special for Jeet. But there is no question, all eye balls in baseball are watching this guy right now. All players will root for the Captain to return to baseball after such a long time fighting injury. Because, quite honestly, much like when we missed Mariano Rivera last year, not seeing these guys on the Yankees lineup is just plain weird.
Derek Jeter will get into his rhythm and Derek Jeter will help this club make a run for the playoffs. Hell, it will not be easy but if anyone can do it, Derek Jeter can. Jeter leads by example. He’s never been connected to PEDs, unless you want bring up Skip Bayless’s ridiculous accusation which was a reading frenzy on BYB for days after that. Read SHAME ON SKIP BAYLESS if you need direction on that.
I wrote a piece that appeared in the USA Today weekend edition back in June titled THE JETER EFFECT. It was a piece to the point, and probably obvious to any of us Yankee fans, but the reality is, it needed to be said, especially after Jason Keidel pubished his piece in CBS before me suggesting Derek Jeter should retire, read HERE. Jeter never says die and back then I wrote: "Yankees fans are loyal to Jeter, because he’s been loyal to us. It’s not just his greatness. He’s been with us since the beginning, and we know he’ll be there till the end...Despite the absence of Jeet so far in 2013, it’s clear the man knows how important his presence is. If he’s not on the field, he’s leading in other ways: Talking to teammates, mentoring, guiding. He’s a true leader—a captain in every sense of the word. As we move forward together as fans of Yankees—fans of baseball in general—we should cherish every at bat, every tip of the cap, because he’s rewarded us so much. Not because he has to, but because he wants to."
All true, and even in the end of August, even with the cloud of Alex Rodriguez and PEDs lingering, Jeet goes about his business because he has a job to do… play baseball for the New York Yankees and win. There is no nonsense with Jeter. You see him, you know he is programmed to give you nothing too print if you're a reporter and he’s focused on the game at hand. Even Ichiro last night showed Jeter tendencies. Jeter must rub off on the players, huh?
Ichiro was asked about his error in right field and he said in a nutshell, “What else is there it to talk about. It’s over, I messed up and it’s embarrassing. Let’s move on.” The Yankees need to focus on the winning, the positive, the Jeter way, not nonsense. You can’t go back and so, like Jeter, Ichiro was saying “Move on”. I like that.
The playoffs are in our grasp. We know that and we can do this. While the Wild Card is possible, it’s not what I want as a fan, but as my neighbor said yesterday, “Take what you can get and be happy, it’s been a brutal season.” True, and now, with Jeter back, it's a possibity that his leadership can get us there. Not only that, he wants to prove to himself that he's still a champion. He wants to prove to the fans that he's still a leader. With Jeet, we can do this... I have no doubt... and we will!
Thank you Derek for being such a great role model to my children and such a terrific leader. Guide us Jeet, like you've did so many times before. Make us all wake up and fight to the end... you're a champion and we'll never give up with you righting the ship!