In a month where analysis has provided everything that has gone right & wrong for the Yankees in this crucial stretch of the season, the one constant throughout has been the leadership provided by their captain Derek Jeter. Jeter has once again set the tone for his team as only he can.
Jeter’s poise whenever faced with adversity has always been something to marvel at. He’s made it clear that he is not one to panic and it’s no surprise that his ballclub has followed his lead. Throughout the month of September, the Yankees have been in a battle for first place in the AL East division. They are currently on the backend of a 22-game stretch against division opponents. The Yankees have posted a 9-10 record during the stretch and have had to endure serious pushes from Baltimore and Tampa Bay. If the Yankees should be panicking, they clearly have not received the memo and Jeter is a large reason for that.
Players who can talk the talk and then walk the walk are the ones who get the majority of the media’s attention. However, Jeter is known more for the fact that he isn’t a talker. He lets his play always do the talking for him. He came up big in the 5th inning of the Yankees win over Tampa Bay on Saturday with a clutch and game-winning RBI single. Jeter came up with another RBI single on Sunday which contributed to another Yankees win and helping them take 2 out of 3 over the weekend against the Rays to create much needed distance between them in the division. What makes this all the more impressive is that Jeter is playing hurt with a painful bone bruise on his left ankle.
Jeter is all about what’s best for his team, however the numbers are what they are and they indicate someone who is chasing history right now just as much as he’s chasing another championship. He moved past Willie Mays for sole possession of 10th place on the all-time hits list and currently leads the majors with 199.
Is this more of a testimonial to the great Derek Sanderson Jeter than anything else? If that’s the conclusion drawn from this then I, for one, don’t mind that all. It should be that way for a player who always gives 100 percent everyday and never complains when things are not going his way.There was a point right before Jeter reached his 3,000th career hit in dramatic fashion with a home run that many wondered if he was at the end of his great career. He’s been nothing short of phenomenal ever since reaching that historic milestone. He’s poised, clutch, and … he’s doing all of this at 38-years old.
The Yankees have done a masterful job dealing with the adversity that has taken it’s best swings at them in 2012. It’s also easy to sit back and pinpoint where things have gone wrong this year for them. However, with Derek Jeter all we have to do is just sit back and watch what greatness looks like on the baseball field in this modern-day era.
The Yankees are still the hunted in the American League East and still on pace to secure a place at October’s playoff table. It’s not over yet by any means, however they are not panicking. They won’t either, not as long as Jeter is in that locker room and leading them onto the field.