Needless to say, New York Yankees captain and shortstop Derek Jeter has had a frustrating season. After missing most of the first half of the year with a broken ankle, Jeter battled back to return to the field last week … only to leave the game with a quad injury that may put him back on the DL. Some people around the league are calling it the end, saying that he’s too old to play, that his body is breaking down. But the end is not here, not yet. If Jeter does get shelved again, I think he should draw inspiration from his longtime teammate Mariano Rivera.
Remember a year ago when Rivera went down on the warning track with a nasty looking ankle injury? At 42, many questioned if he would ever return to the field, and if he did, whether or not he would be as effective as he was. Rivera has silenced the critics this season, posting a sparkling 1.83 ERA with 30 saves and 32 strikeouts in 34 innings.
If Jeter needs any added inspiration, I think he should look no further than Rivera. It might be best for him to take this season off and return fresh next year, much like what Rivera did in 2012. This way he can rest his body and come back with a clean slate, set to put up big numbers again and play a few more years.
I don’t doubt that Derek Jeter can return to the Yankees and finish his career on his own terms. Mariano Rivera did just that, so why not Jeter, too?