Derek Jeter has meant so much to the New York Yankees through the years. His post season heroics, his clutch hitting, his professionalism. Right now, the Yankees need his leadership.
As the Yankees struggled through another dissapointing loss Friday night, the team seems to have its feet stuck in the mud. Even worse, the mud has all the characteristics of quick sand, and the Yankees are sinking fast.
With their best, or at least most heralded, starting pitcher CC Sabathia on the mound, the Baltimore Orioles came from behind to give the Yanks a 4-3 loss. The early season offensive fireworks have fizzled, it is like pulling teeth to score runs.
Jeter is the Mr. Yankee of this generation, our Mickey Mantle, Joe DiMaggio or Babe Ruth. He is the one who can lead us out of this.
I know, I can hear the skeptics now. They say Jeter’s best days are behind him. He can only do so much and the Yankees have too many problems. He is a defensive liability. He is too old. But they have said all of that before and Jeter has proven them wrong.
What the Yankees need now is inspiration. No, Mariano Rivera can not do it by himself. There is no debate to that. Rivera is having one of his best years and the Yankees are still struggling.
Of course, Jeters’s bat can boost the offense. His leaping throws from the shortstop hole can ignite the defense. But his greatest contribution is the confidence he provides. He is one of the few players the Yankees have who knows how to win because he is one of the few who has.
A young trooper looks up at the battle. He sees bombs and grenades. He hears the explosions. But he hides his fear of pressing forward because he follows his platoon leader or captain. He knows the leader has been there before and survived. It doesn’t matter if the leader is old or not as mobile as he once was. He has been through it and found a way.
So Derek, please hurry back. We need you. We are slipping in the quicksand and you are the one who can pull us out.