I was driving through Philadelphia in 1995, delivering a package for a messenger company when on the radio, the announcer said “#2 Derek Jeter” for the first time. His Yankee debut had been talked about for quite some time and he was considered a can’t miss prospect. All the experts were right. A scout for the Astros, Hal Newhouser quit the Astros when the owner decided to NOT draft Derek with the first pick in the draft. His selection was one of the easiest picks in sports history.

Despite all the great games and all the accomplishments that he has had the privilege of accomplishing in pinstripes, I hope he doesn’t play out his contract. After his 3,000 hits, unless he bounces back to hit at least .280 and with a touch of power, he should ride off into the sunset gracefully like very few athletes have done in the past. I’m not ready to write him off today, but he has to make it back to playing like a star and not hitting into a double play every time he comes to the plate. Some will say that we owe him at least that much after all he’s done for us. It’s hard to feel that way during a depression when many of us are scraping by and at 17 million dollars per year, Derek has become a “Punch & Judy” hitter. Anyway, I’m guessing he has sold more #2 jerseys than any athlete except Michael Jordan over the past fifteen years, and more than any baseball player ever has. The New York Yankees may owe him, but do we?

It’s been wonderful, but now it’s time to put up or shut up…

Update: He did have a game for the ages and went 5 for 5 getting his 3,000th hit with a solo shot off of David Price, a quality pitcher. I think the naysayers (myself included) will cut Derek a little slack for at least a few weeks…

Well, what can I say? He had an extremely productive year and had 213 hits! The guy is a force of nature and played much better than I ever imagined a 38 year old guy could…Live and learn.

One thought on ““Wake Me When It’s Over!”

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