Derek Jeter had to get that hit last night. I mean, sure, if he grounded out to short in his last at-bat of the night and the Yankees lost in extra innings, Jeter's legacy would still be pretty intact. There's not a whole lot he could do at this point to change what he has been to the organization, this city, and the sport, but by winning the game last night, Jeter brought back those feelings that, at least before the ankle injury and recent struggles, he was a man that could do anything. "Tie game and I'm down to my last at-bat? Nah, I got this." Typical Jeter. We all should have seen it coming a mile away, but even so, even without the theatrics, Jeter would still be Jeter when it was all said and done. He still had to get that hit, but it wasn't for him. What he really did was save David Robertson.
A free agent at the end of the season, the Yankees' new closer has taken more than his fair share of heat from some fans who believe he compares poorly to Mariano Rivera (who doesn't?). Ignore the fact that he's had a great season in 2014, with a good portion of the fanbase already against him, for whatever reason, and then having him "ruin" Derek Jeter's perfect sendoff moment, it looked like this would be David Robertson's most memorable Yankee moment. He would go down in history as the guy who ruined Derek Jeter's going away party. Despite being one of the best closers in the game, the fans would have turned against him, the media would have pounced on him, and the talking heads would have had a field day. As if the Yankees didn't have enough needs in the post-Jeter world, now they would need a new closer because there could be no way they would bring Robertson back after he proved he couldn't succeed on the big stage. Or whatever.
People were pretty much ready to throw him out of the stadium before the game was even over:
David Robertson sucks. Yankees need to cut his ass. Just ruined Jeter's last home game as a Yankee.— Ryan (@rschnell20) September 26, 2014
@Yankees better not resign Robertson he sucks and blew another game can't even finish it off for Jeter's last game at home— Ryan DeCell (@decellr1988) September 26, 2014
Robertson sucks. Single handedly losing Jeters last game #dick— Trevor Melde (@trevormelde141) September 26, 2014
@artiequitter Robertson sucks! Way to blow a special moment.— Phil Genchi (@PhilipPopPop) September 26, 2014
David Robertson sucks man. He better not be back in New York next year. It's jesters last home game. How do you not have your shit together— Pepe Silvia (@LordviaRage) September 26, 2014
And my personal favorite,
@SportsCenter David Robertson sucks, he is the John Wettland of this generation !!— Jay Moses (@jay44mo) September 26, 2014
These fans should have waited until it was all said and done before they made their statements. Now, instead of ruining everything, Robertson is a hero. He's the guy who set up this impossible moment that ended up being just another feather in the cap of Derek Jeter. It wasn't that Jeter needed this moment, he's had plenty, but now apparently he's selfless enough to give out memorable moments when his teammates need them the most. Without Jeter getting that game-winning hit, it would have been all over for David Robertson. He was the guy that ruined everything, but now, whether he returns to the Bronx in 2015 or not, he's been spared that label for the rest of his life. The black eye has healed and now it's just funny:
Mo joked with Robertson, calling him the greatest set-up man ever bc he set up Jeter's game-winner #Yankees— Brendan Kuty (@BrendanKutyNJ) September 26, 2014
The fans can get over it now that Derek Jeter has made everything right in the world. Some might still feel bitter, but I think it's ok to cut Robertson a little slack when it creates a moment like that. Plus, it's not as if David Robertson is Joe Nathan or Jim Johnson. He's one of the best closers out there and not even Mariano Rivera was perfect all the time. Hopefully the Yankees will bring him back and give him a chance to make his own Yankee memories, because he definitely deserves that opportunity. Either way, it was nice of Jeter to save him from a lifetime of shame and boos before he was railroaded out of town. Saving his teammates; now that's a legacy to leave behind.