Monday, February 4, 2013

The Captain: Derek Jeter

When the words "the captain"are muttered anywhere in New York, you automatically know that Derek Jeter is the man who is being talked about. Jeter has proven all of his critics wrong after having what some may call a career-type year in 2012 as a 38 year old. Jeter was regarded as one of the two best hitters in the Yankees lineup last year, and to him age is nothing but a number.
In 2012, Derek Jeter hit an astonishing .316, smacked 15 home runs and was a singles machine. He led the Major Leagues in total hits, which is something I didn't think I would see Derek achieve again in his remarkable career. Last season, he set out to prove all the nay-sayers wrong who thought that Jeter was on the decline. After a horrid 2010 (by Jeter's standards) and a sub-par early 2011, people were calling for Jeter's retirement. However after he hit that ball out of the park for his 3,000th career hit, all bets were off. He would have a resurgence that lasted through the end of the 2012 season, before he ultimately ended up getting hurt in the postseason against the Tigers in an extra inning game. What many people don't know is that Jeter played most of September and all of October with a bum ankle. Jeter would never tell you that, and quite frankly you wouldn't think twice about questioning him after he continued to get hit after hit on his bad ankle.

I respect Derek Jeter not only as a baseball player, but also as a man with pride and integrity, a perfect embodiment of what the Yankees have represented themselves as since the beginning of the franchise. Jeter always puts the team ahead of himself, doesn't bask in his own glory and most importantly, Jeter never gives himself credit. He is a humble man who goes about his business and plays the game the way it was meant to be played. That is why Derek Jeter is the most revered athlete in professional sports.

Entering his age 39 season, I am not shocked with anything Jeter does on the field anymore. He has proven everyone wrong time and time again. With a healthy ankle, I expect great things out of Jeter. There is no reason to believe that he will slow down even after suffering a major ankle injury which required surgery in the off-season.

My predictions for Jeter in 2013: .308 BA, 12 HR, 60 RBI, 190 hits.

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