Yes, The New York Yankees’ Captain, Derek Jeter is back. But is the excitement generated in his first healthy game of the season an isolated flash in time? Here are three indisputable reasons why it is a sign of the good times that are to come, and why you should be a believer.
First, we heard it over and over again, when are the Yankees going to get a home run from a right-handed batter? For that matter, when are they going to hit a home run at all?
Well, Jeter took all of one pitch to put that one to rest. As he rounded the bases you could hear the Yankees fans roar. “EL Cap-pee ton,” screamed Yankees announcer John Sterling. Almost as satisfying was what you couldn’t hear, the critics who had been rubbing it in. It seems that they all disappeared with a case of lock jaw.
Second, the Yankees overcame as much adversity as they possibly could have confronted. Think about it. They jumped out to a 3-0 lead over the Tampa Bay Rays and their leader was back. But with one swing of the bat Tampa’s Wil Myers erased the Yankees lead and put the Rays on top 4-3. The stadium noise went from a rock concert to a library. The Yankees would fold then and there, right?
I submit that what happened next is the turning point of the season. With Jeter on base, Alfonso Soriano bounced the ball off of the top of the right field wall and into the stands for a home run to put the Yankees back on top.
Then, in the bottom of the ninth inning, with the score tied, Soriano struck again. He singled home Brett Gardner with the winning run. Soriano’s bat, which had been silent since joining the club, suddenly transformed into a magic wand. Give Soriano all of the credit in the world. He was the Player of the Game. But the magic only began when Jeter joined him on the field.
Third, with The Captain in the lineup, the Yankees were able to overcome a season-long nemesis, gopher balls by certain starting pitchers. No sir, not even that could get in the way of destiny on this day.
So let the world know. Shout it from the top of The Empire State Building, “Soriano and Jeter, I’m a believer!”