In case you have been living under a boulder, Derek Jeter is celebrating his final season. Everybody in baseball wants to give the face of this generation a hero’s exit, but will number 2’s final All-Star Game be the most meaningful good-bye moment in a season full of them?
Last year, Mariano Rivera took the field by his lonesome while all the other players stepped off in a moment of tribute. The event was truly memorable, especially because the Yankees failed to make the postseason. Rivera would have loved to end his career with a playoff appearance (and win) in his last season, but obviously that did not happen.
Something similar should occur with Jeter, maybe on a scale nine times bigger, something Ripkenesque. Will there be a ceremonial glove flip line a la 2001 ALDS? That was only a joke, but surely baseball has a creative farewell planned.
For Jeter, however, he also wants to win. His entire career could be described by Charlie Sheen’s tagline “winning,” and the Yankee has achieved the ultimate team prize five times in his career. If he could end his career the same way former New York Giant Michael Strahan finished his (with a 2007 Super Bowl win), that would mean a lot more to Jeter personally. He already knows fans and players alike adore and emulate him, plus he does not relish the spotlight. He will graciously and humbly accept all of the accolades and congratulations he deserves, but he would love to play October baseball one last time.
Judging at this current rate, especially with Masahiro Tanaka‘s injury, that might not happen. Jeter knows. Therefore, he should really take in all of the festivities, designed almost exclusively for him, because this could very well be his final extravagant presentation on a national level.