Monday, May 12, 2014


You can almost imagine the conversation between Joe Girardi, Kevin Long and Brian Cashman. It would be like 3 kids arguing as to who will tell their father about breaking the garage window.

“I’m not doing it, Bri! You do it."
“Nuh uh. You do it. Kev!”
“I can’t do it. I got to figure out why Tex is suddenly working.”

Why would they be so uneasy? Because there are rumblings... Some are suggesting it may be time that the Captain can no longer be the 2-hole hitter.

I myself don’t see the immediate need to move Derek Jeter down in the lineup. It’s true the 0 for 7 performance in the marathon game against Tampa was not “Jeterian” by any means, but shuffling his spot the order this soon is hasty in my opinion. I get that Derek is pushing 40, and if his struggles continue GI Joe will have to pull rank and pencil the future Hall of Famer’s name in the 6 or 7 spot in the order…but let’s count to 10 and breathe on that one.

The truth is the Yankees have to worry about CC and Hiroki before they have team meetings on “Derek’s Demotion”. The two elder statesmen on the starting staff have looked helpless in recent outings. CC is now on the shelf.  a bad knee, the cutter didn’t cut, the curve didn’t curve and the fastball…well, we don’t call it that any longer.

Hiroki picked up this season where he left off at the end of last season. He works slow. He seems to be grinding out the first and second innings every start. Pitching looks like a day of heavy lifting and it’s barely early May. The bottom line is without Masahiro Tanaka the Yankees’ rotation would be a rudderless ship. I’d say the focus should be on those issues well before any sit downs with the Capt’n.

The question I ask is why would moving Jeter be such a big story? He may not love the idea, but one thing we all KNOW is that Derek will do whatever is best for the team.

And maybe moving down the lineup card temporarily might help. Joe Torre moved Paul O’Neill, Tino and Bernie around to shake off slumps. Is Jeter immune to that type of move? No. Truth be told mixing and matching here and there might help break out McCann, Soriano or Solarte. Changing it up, especially early on, might show the lineup can be dynamic in other ways. A different look could bring runs in bunches. And suddenly a string of wins would make people forget Jeter’s struggles. If the Captain is relaxed he can focus on hitting.

Again, I don’t see moving Jeter to be the top priority at the moment. I believe he will snap back into driving balls to the opposite field and moving runners. This road trip comes at a great time. He can get out of New York and take it one at bat at a time. This is a very different season for The Kid from Kalamazoo, not only because it’s his last, but because of the heightened scrutiny that comes with it.

Will Jeter be batting second all season? I doubt it. I think he will have some time in other spots, but as long as the team wins I know Jeter won’t bat an eye. It’s May, Derek is hitting .240 and it’s not where any of us (especially Jeter) want him to be. But if you panic, if you call for his relocation to the 7 spot, if you think he is done…well, you don’t know Derek Jeter.

** You know Jeter will show up in the end…**

--Mike O'Hara, MLB Fan Cave Host, Season 1
   Twitter: @mikeyoh21

"Paulie was always my favorite player."

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