On Wednesday night, the baseball world was a buzz. Starting Yankee-centric, Phil Hughes was lighting up the O’s. Then there was The Travesty. And, lastly, though it was chronologically first, Ken Griffey, Jr. announced his immediate retirement from the game of baseball.
There isn’t much that needs to be said about Griff-Bones. He was a fantastic player who had a mediocre end to his career, but we won’t remember that. We’ll remember his home run hitting, his great fielding, and his boyish smile.
The general feeling about Griffey’s retirement seems to be relief. Yes, it’s sad to see him go, but considering the last year and a third of baseball, it’s for the best that he’s leaving now. This all got me thinking: what are we going to say when Derek Jeter retires?
It will surely sadden me if we’re feeling a sense of relief when Derek Jeter retires. Griffey definitely limped down the stretch of his career (literally and figuratively) and I hope the same doesn’t happen to Jeter. Of course, that’s not likely.
We’ve heard time and again that Jeter does a great job of keeping him in shape during the offseason and is always tweaking his work outs to improve his game. And, of course, Jeter hasn’t had the same injury problems that Griffey had during the last eight to ten years of his career.
As a shortstop, though, it’s likely that Jeter will continue to wear on his body. If he declines sharply on defense or at the plate, it will be easily noticeable. It could end up being painful to watch Derek play the field.
In closing, I don’t think we will see Derek look as bad in the last two years of his career as Griffey has during his two seasons. But, like all things in baseball, it is certainly unpredictable.
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