Injured Saturday night, Yankees shortstop and team captain Derek Jeter is out for baseball's post-season. Can the team carry on with the same toughness and inspiration he brings to the team?
But the loss for the pin-stripers could be far worse than the score: their captain and team leader, Derek Jeter fractured an ankle and is out for at least three months.
For many other teams, the loss of one individual might not make as much difference. But, Jeter with a .364 batting average in the post-season has been one of the hottest hitters in Major League Baseball.
In addition, he brings a certain intangible – a toughness – that gives a boost to the team. In fact, manager Joe Girardi, after telling reporters in the post-game news conference about Jeter’s injury, said the Yankee short stop’s attitude was an example for anyone who goes through struggles in life.
“There are times when I see him limping pretty bad,” said Girardi, “and I say ‘Are you okay’ and he says, ‘Yeah, I’m great, let’s go’. He never tells me what’s bothering him.”
In fact, on Saturday night/Sunday morning, as he was lying on the ground, Girardi tried to lift Jeter and carry him in his arms into the clubhouse. He immediately told Girardi to put him down.
“He said, ‘no not here,’” recalled Girardi. Instead, Jeter draped his arms around Girardi and trainer Steve Donohue and kept off his broken ankle. “He’s as tough a player as I’ve ever been around.”
In addition, Jeter has become something of an ambassador to the sport for Major League Baseball. He has been scandal-free and mainly keeps his focus on the game. He is one of the reasons why the Yankees are major draws in other cities when they are on the road.
The Jeter injury, which came in the 12th inning, made the game something of an emotional roller coaster for the Yankees and their fans.