I know, it’s months later and I’m already missing the great Derek Jeter. Who isn't? Well, this post is more than that. I was watching that last hit at Yankee Stadium the other day on YouTube and it was perfectly executed, I mean PERFECTLY… not so much by the Captain, but by Joe Girardi and the entire Yankee club. It made me angry in a weird way. Don’t know what I mean? I mean in the "Manufacturing runs" kind of way. That’s what I mean…
At a certain point in the game that night, we weren’t sure if Jeter was going to get up again. Remember that? Then, things started to fall into place and you realized as a fan, that coming out to hit the next inning was Jeter… to bat 3rd.
The Yankees, the mighty Yankees who couldn’t manufacture a run all reason, suffering in the "Runners in Scoring Postion" department all year, suddenly figured out a way to deliver a run. You know, real baseball, the thing fans had been screaming about all season. It's the way teams do it when they’ve struggled to score. You need to break funks and so, you may lay down bunts. You don’t try to do too much. Maybe you steal a base… whatever it is, you do the small things, and eventually a rally happens. It's what the fans wanted all year, but rarely got until that night.
In that bottom of the 9th, Jose Pirela hit a lead off single. Brett Gardner the sacrificed him over.
Jose Pirela was replaced by the speedy Antoan Richardson.
Then, Derek Jeter lined a pitch into the gap on the right side. Richardson rounded third and scored.
Again, perfectly executed, not just by our Captain, but by the team who wanted a win.
I loved that night, and it may be one of my favorite moments in Yankee history, despite not making the playoffs in 2014. But celebrating Jeter and the way it all happened… it was worth being a fan for as long as I have been. Moreover, it truly cemented Jeter’s place in Yankee history even more than the moments before. It demonstrated leadership and professionalism and was just in line with everything Jeter did his entire career.
The Planets aligned for this man, from the moment he was a young player, to the day he stood on the field with his hands held high in the Bronx. It was perfect. But there's Irony there. When the team knew we needed a win... we found a way to do it. But why... WHY didn't we find a way to do it all season? WHY? It happened so perfectly… are you gonna sit there and tell me we couldn’t be doing those little things all season?
It’s the most perfectly, fundamental rally should be taught to everyone. It was truly basic and under their noses all along. Not because it was Derek Jeter, but because it was executed perfectly. Teach it to little leaguers instead of them trying to crank it over the fence. Jeter’s hit was a bigger moment than any home run last season. Why? Jeter was never a home run hitter, he was a really good hitter and that hit, the way we got on base and knocked runners into scoring position… the whole thing was right. The whole sequence was real baseball. And truth be told, the Yanks should have been doing it all season.
Note to the Yankees…. Sure Jeter’s hit was great, but the execution was greater!
Wake up! There’s a bigger picture there… watch it, use it… let’s manufacture some damn runs in 2015… what do you say?