It’s hard to believe that Derek Jeter is not playing today – or, for that matter – for a couple of weeks. He’s on the 15 day DL and will return a couple of days before the Yankees play at Citi Field over the Fourth of July weekend. We all know that Derek often plays hurt because he can. This time, he can’t. In fact he will have another birthday on June 26th which will remind him of the time passing and the ‘old gang’ either working part time or now permanently off the team.
I’m thinking of Bernie Williams who was let go in a brisk manner by Brian Cashman who seem to think he is the new ‘George Steinbrenner’ – in fact he used that kind of language over the holidays when he made a big deal of re-signing Derek and told him to look elsewhere if he was not happy with his new deal.
Andy Pettitte has come and gone during the past decade partly because of injury and partly because he is caught up in the steroid mess with former friend, Roger Clemens. Andy – a really gentle family man – was quite upset about this and I doubt he’s gotten over it yet – in fact he’s on the witness list for the Clemens trial next month.
All this illustrates that you never miss someone until they’re gone – I’m thinking George. And there were a couple of Georges that we all got to know. You should have seen the list on the obit page the days after George died. There was the George who would work behind the scenes for those he wanted to help. His family, who would be brought out for events at the new stadium. I personally knew George from the racetrack where we both raced horses against each other in the early 1980’s. His horse farm in Ocala – Kinsman Stud – is run by his sons and daughters – and I can tell you it’s not easy and it’s a 24/7 operation.
Personally I feel that Derek has missed George a lot. Someone who takes the game – and his job – as seriously as Derek can affect the whole team. He is a true Captain who does his job as the Captain of the team without any fusses. He knows how to handle things away from the field and out of the public eye.
He’s their Captain and the current one in a long line of outstanding Yankees.
Somehow, the Mets don’t have a Captain – I wonder why.
I have always respected the true greats of the game, especially those who performed in New York.
If by chance, Jeter does get his 3,000th hit at Citi Field, will you stand and applaud him for his rare and majestic feat?
What are your thoughts on that?