A man who needs no introduction, the heart and soul of the New York Yankees, is retiring. That is correct, Derek Jeter will be playing his last series as an MLB player against none other than the Boston Red Sox. This is because New York will not be playing in October or November for that matter this year.
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Although Jeter is not the greatest player of all time as some may think, he was one of the best in his prime. Calling him one of the greats is more acceptable, especially given the fact that he is a member of the 3000 hit club.
The 40-year-old Yankees captain is hitting .253/.301/.309 on the year with ten stolen bases on 12 attempts. To put it this way, he realizes he is no longer the Derek Jeter of the mid-2000’s and he deserves respect for calling it quits at the appropriate time unlike a couple former Red Sox players (Tim Wakefield…Jason Varitek).
As Jeter leaves New York, so does a highly successful era of Yankees baseball. Winning five World Series championships in New York, Jeter was the only active Yankee to do so. Mariano Rivera and Andy Pettite were members of this elite club until they retired last year.
Jeter is the only remaining member of the 2000 World Series on the Yankees, not to mention the only active player in all of baseball remaining from that team except for Randy Choate.
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Not once was Jeter ejected from a game, nor did he ever give the Yankees bad press. He acted as all ball players should on the field—with class.
Against Boston this year, Jeter is hitting .333/.377/.439 in 57 at-bats
It is up in the air whether or not Jeter plays in the Red Sox series since his team is eliminated from playoff contention. Manager Joe Giarardi has left that decision up to Jeter. Hopefully he plays out the rest of his time in the big leagues.
If he does choose to play, he will be facing knuckleballer Steven Wright on Friday, sinkerballer Joe Kelly on Saturday, and two-time All-Star Clay Buchholz on Sunday.
Although Jeter has never faced Steven Wright, perhaps his experience off knuckleballer Tim Wakefield will come in handy. In 89 at-bats, Jeter collected 25 hits off Wakefield good for a .281 batting average.
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Off Joe Kelly, Jeter has collected a hit in three at-bats in all, and in 32 at-bats off of Clay Buchholz, Jeter is hitting .276 with no homeruns.
Given that Derek Jeter has less than 20 at-bats left in his MLB career, it is up to New York to fill the insufferable void he will be leaving them with as he leaves the game.