Capt America ……………. Derek Jeter …… The Showman And Leader
It’s amazing to know that as the MLB season is upon us there are a number of milestones that will be reached within the game. Spring Training is here and that schedule is now winding down as the teams now prepare for that arduous 162 game schedule that will be a test of attrition and willpower to be shown.
Slide show for your perusal .
It has to be said that the expectations are extremely high for a number of teams including the New York Yankees as they seek to resurrect their fortunes after last season’s many failures by the team . This season however they seek to rebound and be back at their very best . If anything it will be down to their inspirational leader and team captain — Derek Jeter to lead by example as he’s always done over the course of his 15 year career , all served with the Yankees. The player may well be the most beloved of all New York Yankees’ players over the last two decades. And given the fact that over that time there have been a litany of players to put on the “Yankees Pinstripes” that’s no mean feat and accolade to be accorded with.
It has been Jeter , that this Yankees’ organization could rely upon in their time of need and undoubted controversy . And when one considers what has gone on within the Yankees’ clubhouse over the last few season as it relates to off the field incidents and the fact that George Steinbrenner’s policies instilled into the ballclub was tarnished by the inept and complete stupidity shown Andy Pettite and Alex Rodriguez as they found themselves embroiled in the league’s decade old plus steroid era controversy . Both players would admit to the fact that they b sought the use steroids and in the case of Pettite, it was for what he says was to aid his recovery from a shoulder injury. In formal apology to the fans and public Pettite suggests that he only used steroids for a short period of time and that his use was only minor in terms of his recuperation. Anyone who took Pettite at his word over those claims is either naive or just downright stupid !
Alex Rodriguez for his part tried to suggest that he took it merely to assist his physical well being but would allude to he fact he was being assisted in this by his cousin and that at the time the steroids used were in fact bought legally in the Dominican Republic ( D.R.). However , upon checking with authorities , to further clarify the claims made by the slugger we find out that the medication he claims to have bought is in fact illegal for purchase without a medical professional’s authority and an authorized prescription. It certainly hadn’t helped the player’s case that when first broached on the claims that he was one of the 105 players named on the now infamous MLB list of players who tested positive for the use of illegal drugs (specifically steroids) he in fact that denied that claim . His now infamous 60 Minutes’ interview with CBS anchor woman Katie Couric further emphasized that Alex Rodriguez wasn’t just a player who lied to the public but also to members’ of Yankees hierarchy and the team’s fans as well.
Rodriguez now says that those mistakes (used steroids of his own volition) are now behind him albeit that questions had been raised had he been using in his post Texas Rangers’ — career as his name had also cropped in a Federal case in involving an Orlando doctor Anthony Galen who's accused of transporting narcotics and anabolic steroids across state lines , and the US Canada border for sale in the US to MLB ballplayers. The player through his attorneys have failed to answer any of the questions raised concerning those claims and Rodriguez , himself, won't address the matter in public preferring instead to what he says is contribute to the team's ongoing success.
This season for the New York Yankees could very well be a contentious one as they’re not even viewed as the best team within their division ( AL East ) much less the best team with the AL much within all of baseball . They’ve seen the Boston Red Sox make a big splash in the free agency market to bolster their roster and immediately become one of early preseason favorites to win the World Series . And certainly the acquisitions of Carl Crawford and Adrian Gonzalez solidifies the fact they have to be looked at as such. That team is now built to win on both sides of the ball and only a fool would choose to deny that fact ! The mindset of GM Theo Epstein , Terry Francona and the coaching staff is to make up for the mistakes made of last season .
The Yankees for their part did little to suggest they wanted to even match the Red Sox toe to toe in acquiring a marquee player. They failed immeasurably in trying to lure Cliff Lee from the Texas Rangers and instead are now relying on somewhat of a susceptible pitching rotation to lead them into the regular and postseason. This might be the weakest Yankees’ team in terms of pitching that the organization has had in several years. Offensively they’re still pretty much a team to be feared . And GM Brian Cashman along with Joe Girardi and the coaching staff will be looking to the likes of Jeter , A-Rod , Mark Teixiera and Robinson Cano to lead in that aspect if the team is to have any chance at all being competitive this season.
Now while I’m under no illusion that the New York Yankees are expected to win and win consistently the fact of the matter is there are only so many times that you can continue to throw money at a problem thinking that it’s a cure for all . That certainly has been the Yankees’ mantra over the last few years albeit, that the organization has untapped treasure chest of millions from which they can delve into . But for every Lamborghini or Ferrari that at times you might desire , some of the time you’re going to end up with a Pinto. And over the years one has to admit the Yankees have blundered and ended up with their fair share of Pintos on their lot, some actually were able to be started while others simply just laid there unable to start.
Jeter as a player is now on the threshold of being thought of and spoken of in the same breath as many of Yankees’ all-time greats . The likes of Ruth , Di Maggio , Munson , Berra , Jackson , Mantle , Maris , Mattingly and Gehrig are all synonymous with everything that’s said to be great and historic in terms of Yankees’ folklore. And given the milestones achieved by current and former Yankees’ players it’s easy to understand the historical contributions and influence of the organization on the game of baseball. Awards notwithstanding the Yankees’ greatest claim to flame is their tally of World Series’ titles ( 27 in total) unmatched by any other professional sports franchise in North America
Derek Jeter now looks to lay his own imprint within Yankees’ history having surpassed Lou Gehrig to become the club’s leader in hits with 2926 , needing but 74 hits to join that select number of players with 3,000 hits throughout the course of their career. The thinking is that Jeter may well strive to surpass the all-time hits’ leader Pete Rose and his total of 4,256 . And it certainly it’s not out of the realms of possibility for the player to hit that mark if he’s able to remain healthy over the next fiver or six years. By then Derek Jeter should be on his way to reaching and then passing the total then setting the new mark whatever that may well be at the time of his retirement from the game.
Jeter works tirelessly at his game but it’s now there for all to see as he’s now become one of the elder statesmen on this Yankees’ team that’s now evolving as it looks to the future. Once one of the premiere shortstops in the game Derek Jeter has slowed somewhat but he’s still able to pull of that exceptional play once in a while that somehow seems to inspire his teammates to do their best. Having won 5 World Series’ rings as a member of the Yankees the player may well believe that a sixth isn’t out of his reach if the team is able to perform at a high level of consistency during the regular and postseason. However , much of that will be predicated upon whether or not the team is able to achieve and sustain the level of play of expected of them by their fans and across the baseball landscape as a whole. Consistently a Gold Glove performer over the course of his the one thing you can say about the Derek Jeter even on his off day he’s a great deal better than a number of players around the league who play the short-stop position and who aspire to achieve half the accolades and plaudits that have come his way.
A call from the BBWAA (Baseball Writers Association of America) will no doubt be forthcoming to inform the player of his enshrinement in Cooperstown , New York , home to the Baseball Hall of Fame having met the qualification criteria needed. That well be the final accolade that truly signifies the player’s mark not only on the game but within the Yankees’ much celebrated legacy across the panacea of the game. A fitting end to what has been one of the great careers within the contemporary era of baseball. With the dogged controversy that still swirls around the game and no real end in sight as the league hierarchy being able to abate the use of illicit substances within the game . It has to be said that Derek Jeters’ departure from baseball will leave a gaping hole in the game and little to suggest that the legitimacy still stands in tact. He has and always was ___ the one face we could clearly look at and say the game is still pure . Now I’m not so sure that we’ll be able to say that upon his retirement from the game. Granted , Albert Pujols still remains within the game and he may well become the one player we can all look to for that semblance of continuance and sense of calm within the game. And hopefully that will be the case !
Picture gallery for your perusal .
What thought if any do you have with regard to the career of Derek Jeter and where would you put him amongst the all-time great players within the Yankees’ organization ? And what thoughts if any do you have as to the New York Yankees’ upcoming season and their chances in the postseason ? Simply chime in with your thoughts on the topics raised within this piece and the upcoming baseball season as a whole .
Alan aka tophatal
Picture and slide show details below.
(1) New York Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter runs past Baltimore Orioles’ Robert Andino on Yankees’ Nick Swisher’s first inning single in their spring training baseball game at Steinbrenner Field in Tampa, Fla., Wednesday, March 16, 2011. AP Photo ……….
(2) New York Yankees’ Derek Jeter, right, greets Russell Martin (55) at the dugout steps after Martin hit a firs-iinning solo home run in the Yankees’ 4-2 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates in a spring training baseball game at Steinbrenner Field in Tampa, Fla., Wednesday, March 9, 2011. Jeter had a triple in the third inning. AP Photo/Kathy Willens …………
(3) Two Yankees’ legends side by side having some fun . Lou Gehrig and Babe Ruth (right) are part of that dynasty that in its heyday was a major draw for baseball fans across the country . courtesy of Wire Image Inc ……….
(4) Infielder Derek Jeter (2) and Hall of Famer Reggie Jackson of the New York Yankees talk in the on deck circle before play against the Cincinnati Reds March 1, 2009 at Ed Smith Stadium in Sarasota, Florida. Getty Images/ Al Messerschmidt …………
(5) Jorge Posada (20), Derek Jeter (2) and Alex Rodriguez (13) of the New York Yankees stretch prior to the start if the first full team workout of Spring Training on February 20, 2011 at the George M. Steinbrenner Field in Tampa, Florida. Gettty Images / Leon Halip ……….
(6) In this photo courtesy of CBS News, New York Yankee star Alex Rodriguez and his then wife Cynthia talk to Katie Couric Thursday, Dec. 13, 2007 in Miami. The interview will be broadcast on “60 Minutes” on the CBS Television Network Sunday , Dec 16th 2007 . Rodriguez spoke about the release of the Mitchell Report accusing scores of Major League Baseball players of using steroids and his decision to opt out of his Yankee contract and his subsequent re-negotiation with the team. The player would then in a public statement at the Yankees’ Florida Spring Training location of Steinbrenner Field , Tampa would admit to his use of steroids claiming that the substance used was bought legally in the DR and that a relative aided him in the purchasing and its application while a player with the Texas Rangers . However when questioned as to the allegations as to subsequently using steroids while as a player with the Yankees he hasn’t been forthcoming with an answer or the the fact that his name is now linked to Orlando medical professional Dr Anthony Galen who’s under indictment by the US Justice Dept . AP Photo/CBS News, Lori Beecher ….
New York Yankees’ team statistics
New York Yankees’ 2011 regular season schedule
Eye candy …. Sophia Rosado
Certainly more to Sophia than meets the eye …… and it’s pleasing to say the least !
All hail Sophia !
Mint Condition …………” What Kind Of A Man ”