March 19, 2013
Okay, okay I know Derek Jeter was only scratched off today’s spring training game because his ankle was a little balky, and he did take an x-ray and an MRI today, where everything came out to be negative — thank goodness. But if his ankle continues to nag throughout the season, where he won’t be able to — forget: play shortstop — play at all, could this be the beginning of the end for the Yankee icon.
The end has got to start somewhere for Jeter. Could this be it? Is this the beginning of his decline?
When you’re a sports athlete, in your late 30’s, playing in this sport for about seventeen years, and suffer the injury Jeter got in the playoffs last year — that could be the endall for your career … The knockout punch … Or, the ultimate sign of your body telling you: It’s Over.
Suffering this injury at 38-years old, is easily to say, not the same as suffering it at 28-years old. Especially if you’re playing shortstop; and an everyday shortstop, don’t forget.
I’ve come to the senses that Jeter is not gonna play shortstop everyday, this season. At this point, I would be shocked if he does. And if he does play everyday, from April to May, he could start feeling the ‘wear’ and ‘tear’ in June. He could even miss games; and that’s when you’re gonna see Jeter’s age show, for the very first time. Because for years now, Jeter has shown us the precedence of consistency, where he’s looked ageless … We would never question his age. Though, we might, in 2013.
Again — everything seems to be okay with Jeter for now. But the start of this rehabbing process doesn’t feel right. Not right enough for him to be 100% healthy throughout the entire season.
This is another major sign that the Yankees need the DH slot open at all times, for Jeter.
Although Jeter has had the knack, every year, to prove his critics wrong when they predict he’ll finally breakdown in prior beginning seasons. And I won’t be surprised if he’s still the great hitter — I’m more worried about him defensively; his range.
The Yankees are looking for a first baseman, for the injured Mark Teixeira, who will miss 8 to 10 weeks due to a torn tendon on his wrist. They might have to look for a backup shortstop, too; not now … But maybe toward the middle of the season. Yankees do already have players to backup Jeter, like Eduardo Nunez and Jayson Nix. The problem is: Nunez can hit, but can’t field. And Nix can play a solid SS, though, might not be able to hit enough.
Could this mean we’ll get to start talking about, one, Troy Tulowotzki, possibly playing in the Bronx one day. Gonna have to give the Colorado Rockies a nice package, for that.
So…could this be the beginning of the end for the great, New York sports figure, named: Derek Sanderson Jeter. If so, the real question would be, will he limp his way to retirement, or will he retire looking like a captain.