Derek Jeter has gotten old and lost his bat speed....Crickets, I'm
hearing nothing but crickets. Jeter's skills have eroded and they
should release him in the off-season and sign Jose Reyes.....What
was that? Did I just hear a pin drop?
My have things changed. All those critics and so-called experts
on talk radio who never broke a sweat or turned around a 95-mile
an hour heater aren't being so loud about Jeter's "demise" anymore,
are they? Vinny from the Bronx doesn't call WFAN and tell
Mike Francessa that Jeter's washed . Nobody's saying he's
all washed up.
Once again, the Yankees captain has navigated through all the
negativity with class and dignity even though people were treating
him as if he were Derek Lee instead of guy who long ago became
one of the greatest Yankees in franchise history.
After going 3 for 6 in Thursday night's game, Jeter is hitting .299.
The 28th player in MLB history to reach 3,000 hits has only 29
players ahead of him in batting average this season.
Why were people doubting Jeter after so many years of solid
production? Why do they always think there's a better option
than the future Hall of Famer? Why do they think their opinion
on the matter, even matters.
Yes, he is is 37-years old and got off to a dreadful start
but nobody ever gets the stats stamped on a baseball card after
May, June, July, or August. No player who winds up hitting
.237 for the season will say, "Yeah, but I was hitting .302
at the all-star break.
It's why they play 162 games. It's why the season is called
a marathon, not a sprint. And once again, Jeter is showing
the baseball world, that at the end of the race, he'll cross the
line among the elite.
It's a beautiful thing to shut up the critics the way Jeter has.
He goes 5-for-5 on the day he notches career hit 3,000 and gets
the Cooperstown clincher with a home run. Then he asks out
of the all-star game and the critics, including myself, bashed him
for not showing up in Phoenix to tip his hat and say thank you
to the fans.
Jeter wanted the break to rest up his calf and be strong
for the second half. And of course, Jeter has looked pretty smart
in his decision. In August, he's hit .422 and his on-base percentage
is an eye-popping .475.
It still amazes me that Yankee fans, who watched Jeter
come in as a rookie and develop into a Cooperstown quality
player, always think there is someone better out there (Reyes)
or someone in the farm system (nobody) that can take Jeter's
place. There is not. People will understand after he is gone
when his replacement melts in the Big Apple spotlight and
boots everything hit his way in the post-season.
Jeter is the smartest player in the game. He does all the things
that don't show up in the box score, but help his team win games.
And the Yankees have done a lot of that since Jeter's arrival.
He has five world series rings, more than 3,000 hits, a .313
average and the respect of everyone in the game.
Appreciate Jeter, don't bash him. You'll never see the likes
of him again.