It is all finally starting to hit me. Hit me hard right in the heart. The calendar has turned to the month of September, the very month I have dreaded all season.
The last potential month of baseball that I will be able to watch my idol play the game of baseball. I am aware that Derek Jeter is not only my idol. Sadly I must share him with not only the rest of New York City, but seemingly the rest of the country. There is not a soul that calls themselves a fan of baseball that dislikes Derek Jeter. This is what makes his departure so difficult.
Jeter has been relegated to primarily a singles hitter this season, (evidenced by his .312 slugging percentage) with the occasional lapse in defense, but these were perils that both Yankee fans and management alike were aware of. The truth is, we didn’t care. We just wanted the opportunity to watch number 2 finish his career in a dignified manner.
There are analysts out there, perhaps some Yankee fans even, clamoring to push Jeter down in the lineup for the betterment of the team. I am not going to say I don’t see where they are coming from, Jeter simply is not producing in the kind of way that you would hope the second hitter in your lineup would produce.
However, Derek Jeter is baseball royalty. The kind of man who requires retirement gifts to be given in his honor and All-Star games to be delayed just so he can be given the proper recognition.
One cannot simply move The Captain down in the lineup. And luckily, Joe Girardi knows this. I have watched my fair share of Yankee games this season and for that reason I believe it is a far cry that they will be engaged in postseason play by the time October rolls around. Being the realist I am, that is just the way I see things.
Maybe I am attempting to downplay their chances to negate the disappointment I will feel when the great career of The Captain concludes without one last October memory (Jeter has played in the playoffs every year of his career besides 2008 and 2013).
Despite the steep hill the Yankees must climb, things have tended to workout in Jeter’s favor throughout his illustrious career. If anyone has a little ounce of Yankee mystique in him it is Mr. Jeter. If the Yankees miraculously summon up the moxie to clinch a postseason berth it would not surprise me because they have The Captain on their side.
Either way, this is going to be one sad month for yours truly. Each Yankee broadcast I tune in to raises the realization that it will soon all be over. This snowball effect will eventually come to fruition during late September when I will be an emotional wreck.
Tears will be shed I can promise that. All this talk of the end is already making me quite emotional. For now, I will have to resort to watching this infamous Jordan commercial on a loop: