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MLB New York Yankees

5 Reasons Derek Jeter is Smart to Retire After 2014 MLB Season

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Why Derek Jeter is smart to retire

Derek Jeter
Debby Wong-USA TODAY Sports

On Wednesday, Derek Jeter announced that he would be retiring after the 2014 season. The New York Yankees shortstop has had an illustrious career, and he's bowing out at the right time.

Jeter will go down as one of the greatest shortstops of all time. He will end up being one of the two best shortstops of this era, the other being his teammate, Alex Rodriguez.

Jeter is a member of the 3,000 hit club, a 13-time all star, a five-time Gold Glove winner, and he won the Silver Slugger five times. On top of all that, Jeter is also the best position player of this era to never have a connection to steroids.

The biggest knock on Jeter is that he was never the best player in baseball. He was always near the top of the list, but he was never the best. He never won an MVP, coming closest in 2006 when he finished second.

That being said, Jeter will always be remembered as one of the best of this generation. This generation of Yankees fans will view him as the best Yankee they have ever seen, going down in the lineage of the illustrious franchise that started with Babe Ruth and has come all the way to Jeter.

All that being said, it's the connection with the fans that says the most about Jeter. Listening to sports talk radio in New York after Jeter's announcement, it sounded like a memorial. Grown men were broken hearted that Jeter would no longer be in a Yankee uniform after this year.

Despite all that, Jeter's time has come. Here are five reasons why.

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Derek Jeter
Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports

At the end of June, Jeter will turn 40 years old. Most players don't go past the age of 40, so that milestone birthday is a good time for Jeter to stop.

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Derek Jeter
Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Jeter has always been a guy who has had no injury problems. Until last year when he only played 17 games for the Yankees. That is a sign of his body breaking down and not being able to handle the toll it has taken the past 20 years.

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State of the Yankees

New York Yankees
Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

The Yankees are going through a big roster turnover. Last year, Andy Pettitte and Mariano Rivera both retired from long MLB careers. While Robinson Cano and Curtis Granderson both left as free agents. The roster is changing, and it's time for them to undergo a complete renovation, and that includes Jeter.

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State of the MLB

Bud Selig
Rob Grabowski-USA TODAY Sports

The young stars of MLB, guys like Mike Trout, Bryce Harper and Matt Harvey have all admitted to idolizing Jeter when they were little. When young guys come up and they have been watching you for as long as they can remember, it's time for you to retire.

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Time to go

Derek Jeter
Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

A lot of people don't want to hear this, but it's just time for Jeter to go. His career-long teammates have all retired, he's the last remaining player of that crop of great homegrown Yankees. It came as a shock when he announced his retirement on Wednesday, but it feels like the right time. Better for him to do it now, than turn around in a couple of years and realize he stayed around too long.

Mike Smith is a writer for Rant Sports. Follow him on Twitter.