Sal BiaseComment

On Derek Jeter's Night

Sal BiaseComment

I'll take a short break from all the drama of Dolphins land to discuss Derek Jeter.

Certainly, Derek Jeter has had bigger hits in his career than the one that ended a game tonight that, in the grand scheme of things, meant very little to the New York Yankees. He's definitely played in bigger games, too. Tonight on September 25, 2014 Derek Jeter took the field with the Yankees eliminated from the playoffs for just the second time in his 20 year career. It was also the last game at Yankee Stadium for the Yankee captain. None of that mattered. Jeter had a job to do and he showed us all, Yankees fans and baseball fans of all creeds, just what made him so special.

My first memories and my fondest memories of baseball all include Derek Jeter. I'm sure that's a narrative a lot of other Yankees fans can echo. He has seemingly always been, always will be; The embodiment of what what the Yankees were, an unwavering expectation of greatness and a quiet expectation to win. Tonight, a curtain closed on an era of Yankee history that is, while no doubt legendary, somewhat hard to describe.

I find myself often defending Jeter's immortality to fans of other teams. There are many out there that feel that Jeter has always been and always will be overrated. I can understand it, to an extent. Most sabermetrics don't shine a positive light on number 2.  Usually, I fall back on citing his number of hits or his impressive post season stats, but, in what was his final home game, Derek made a much more compelling argument for his legend than any fan ever could.

Intangibles. That is what has made Jeter great over the last two decades. Clutch, is what made him a hero in the eyes of countless baseball fans around the country. Two words that are so hard to explain, but simply mean this: With the eyes of the world watching, Derek Jeter is at his best. So while tonight is essential meaningless, it was just a game that had to be played so the season could end, it was also a microcosm of Jeter's career. The world was given one last reminder of why stats like WAR and UZR and RZR mean so little when discussing Jeter's place in history. 

So for a moment, forget that he has more hits at short stop than any player to ever grace the diamond. Briefly ignore that he is sixth on the all time hit list. Don't think about him having more hits than anyone who has ever worn the pinstripes. Simply appreciate all those individual moments, over the last 20 seasons, where Jeter has answered the call of greatness on the grandest stage in sports, with the eyes of the world watching.

Thank you Captain. Re2pect.

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