Thursday, April 14, 2016


Watching the Yankee-Blue Jays game the other evening I listened to the announcers discuss Troy Tulowitzki and his drive to succeed.  Emulating his idol whose number he wears across the back of his uniform, Tulowitzki's affiliation with Derek Jeter still remains evident in his everyday life.

At the start of the 2014 season, the one that would be Jeter's last, Tulowitzki stated very clearly, in an interview captured on, his connection to Jeter. "Ever since I've known this game from a kid, Derek was always in it," Tulowitzki said. "Watching him, playing against him, trying to be like him, it's always been in the game for me. So it's a special career, and hopefully it's a good ending for him."  Are guys like Jeter even possible today?  And if so, is it because of Jeter that they are who they are?

"I think he's what every player strives to be like," said Brian McCann, who spent the first nine seasons of his career with the Braves and heard from Jeter via phone shortly after signing with the Yankees. "The career he's had speaks for itself. You grow up as a kid, he was the guy that was the face of baseball. He was in the playoffs every year, he's the right place at the right time every play. If you're a baseball fan, regardless of who you cheer for, you respect the guy. He's what baseball's about," reported Newsday back in 2014.  

There is that inner drive that guys like Jeter have that comes from their very core, their very soul. You have to play with that drive and use it to help you move beyond your comfort zone in order to exceed your goals.  

Based on all-around play, CBS Sports ranked this year's best short stops across major league baseball. To be honest, not one of them exudes the drive I saw all of those years in someone like Jeter except for maybe Tulo, who was ranked third on the list.  Carlos Correa ranked first and we all saw his impact on the game last week with his power play in the base path.  All-around play means that the drive you demonstrate in your game is powerful yet ethical.  That the drive you exude goes with you on the practice field, in the dugout and beyond the clubhouse.  You give your all despite how you feel.  You push yourself anyway.  

As CC Sabathia said back in 2014, "You want a guy like Jeter to play forever." Will we ever see a guy like Derek Jeter play this game again?  I hope so.

Drive and passion are contagious and I hope to see more of both in today's players as this season progresses.

--Suzie Pinstripe, BYB Senior Staff Writer
BYB Hot Stove Columnist
Twitter: @suzieprof

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