I don’t want it to end, period, but more so, I don’t want it to end in the way I think it is going to. The question on everyone’s mind in this day and age is, “What have you done for me lately?” signaling a trend toward taking out the old and shipping in the people and things that are younger, faster and newer. Maybe it’s the hidden kleptomaniac in all of us, but we are obsessed with the glitz, the glamour and the overall shine of something new. This is why it might be all too easy for the Yanks to give the old boot to my man, Derek Jeter.
There is an intense amount of pressure and tension produced by each and every one of those hostile fans who pour in from Yonkers all the way to the Bronx. Jeter can feel it, sense it, touch it; the feeling is palpable. They are quick to embrace and love when everything is going right for a guy, but are even quicker to leave that same guy out in the cold once he nosedives. New Yorkers are definitely not on the level of the average Philly fanatic, where every game determines their mood for the rest of the day, week or even month, mind you. However, they are swift in making judgments, and fall somewhere between the obnoxiously interested middle-American, high-school football fan and the on-and-off Warriors fan. And being that NY’s pinstriped darlings won the World Series in 2009, fans are on red alert this year, expecting a duplicate performance.
Duplicating a performance, especially in October, is where Jeter usually comes in. After the record year he enjoyed in 2009, with a .334 batting average, a .406 on-base percentage and a whopping .465 slugging percentage, he has dropped off considerably. Some cite his age; some, his mindset. Dazzling us with his perfect Crest Whitestrip smile and his bronzed, Adonis-like skin since the age of 21, he has found his way into my- or, I mean, our- hearts with his solid play and classy style.
However, the Jeter we have all come to know, love and respect might be in hibernation mode —forever. His .270 batting average, .340 on-base percentage and .370 slugging percentage are all among the lowest he has logged since his first days in Yankee Stadium. However, with all this being said, I am a firm believer in the age-old adage, “It’s going to get worse before it gets better.” Derek (yes, I feel close enough to the man to call him that) is not just another player. Heck, he isn’t just another Yankee. He is THE Yankee. He is an old-school player in the new-school age, ready to seize a moment when it is ready to be taken. This is October, my friends, and he didn’t become Mr. October for sitting around the couch with the Dodgers, Angels and Pirates. This is his time, and he knows it. All Jeter detractors beware, because it is about the time when things get a whole lot better for the World Series champ.