Mood Music - Hold On, I'm Coming! by Sam & Dave
HISTORY! WITH AN EVENTUAL MOVIE BASED ON HIS LIFE PLAYED BY AN OLDER JUSTIN BEIBER! (This was the original headline, folks!)
Now that I have your attention, or contempt, allow me to present to you the 2012 model Derek Jeter. This model Jeter currently leads the majors in hitting and continues to break historic records. The main historic record that seems to be the focus on everyone's mind is what place on the MLB All Time Hits list will Jeter claim when all is Derek and done. Jeter hit a lead off dinger last night which left him literally one thousand hits behind current all time hits leader Pete Rose. Ignoring Kay's annoying 3,000th hit call, Yankee fans are indeed watching history in the making. The 2012 model Derek Jeter is thus far doing a marvelous job helping us watch it.
How is Derek Jeter? I'd venture to say he's pretty good right now. That tells us nothing about his history making though nor what place he'll wind up with. Perhaps I need to add more words to the question. How is Derek Jeter going to continue this level of production? That doesn't help since this season's productivity is really incredible for both this Jeter and the younger models as well. Let's try again without just thinking about his hot bat. How is Derek Jeter going to play shortstop into his later years and continue making hitting history? One would think the answer is that he cannot and would move to the outfield. Perhaps he'll be closer to the Bleacher Creatures who have been chanting his name in the 1st inning roll call, since I was a wee laddie. Or he could just stay at SS because he's Derek Jeter.
The last How is Derek Jeter question is one of the more interesting ones regarding Jeter's future with the Yankees. It ties into the question of what the Yankees are going to eventually do regarding their outfield in the near future. In one of my past articles, I mentioned that Robinson Cano's future contract is probably the driving force behind the majority of the Yankees business decisions regarding the outfield conundrum of Curtis Granderson over Nick Swisher. Granderson contract, considering the player option for both, is up the same year as Robbie's. Swisher's is up this year. Derek Jeter's contract expires in 2013, with a 2014 player option. What becomes of our outfield following this season will be a thing to watch closely. Derek Jeter could potentially be another option they are considering for the outfield due to Cano's contract, since Jeter's gonna get paid to be Jeterian anyway.
Derek Jeter might not want to play the outfield. In which case, How is Derek Jeter going to continue to convince the Yankees to continue letting him play SS at his age? This falls into the classic Player Jeter vs. Name Jeter scenario that the Yankees front office has to deal with. Name Jeter is Omnipinstriped and the Yankees front office knows it. If Name Jeter wants to continue playing SS when the negotiations start again, the Yankees just might have no choice but to let him. They will never let Name Jeter play anywhere else. What about Player Jeter? While not as omnipinstriped as Name Jeter, he has given me no reason to consider him for anywhere else but SS/DH. I'd rather have a solid defensive outfield. That could change as his future contract talks come up.
Thinking about all these future Yankees contracts can give one a headache. I'd wish I could be happier that I'm not Brian Cashman in the next few years. I still would love his job though. I imagine a lot of fans would from time to time. I do not envy him his next few years though. How is Derek Jeter going to make his job easier? Hopefully by continuing his 2012 performance in the future.