While I strongly agreed with Larry’s points in the article, I did come away disagreeing with one point in the comments. You can call me sentimental, and tell me that this undermines my sabermetric credentials. I accept all these things, but I want to see Derek pick up his 3,000th hit, and I insist he does it in a Yankee uniform. I certainly don’t want Derek on the Yankees in 2013. I probably won’t want him on the Yankees in 2012. But, I can’t help it; I want him in pinstripes next season so I can watch one of my all-time favorite players become the first, and only, Yankee to collect 3,000 hits.
I became a baseball fanatic as a young child for two reasons. Numbers were the first reason. Baseball’s litany of numbers seduced me, and readers of this site know I remain obsessed with them. History was the second reason. I have been a baseball fan since I was four or five years old, but I didn’t start watching live baseball regularly until I was at least ten. I spent the years in between immersed in the game’s historic players: Babe Ruth, Mickey Mantle, Jackie Robinson, Willie Mays, and my personal favorite, Lou Gehrig.
This latter part of me has to see Derek get his 3,000th hit as a Yankee. For most of my life I’ve read about the all-time great Yankees. With all due respect to Don Mattingly, Bernie Williams, Andy Pettitte and the rest, Mariano Rivera and Derek Jeter have been my only opportunities to watch the truly elite class of players whose greatest achievements came exclusively in Yankee uniforms. Mo is there. Period. But Derek needs that 3,000th hit. I keep telling myself how insignificant a few more hits are for a guy who has accomplished so much in his career, and yet I can’t help but feel his numbers will be diminished, just a bit, if he doesn’t get it, or, god forbid, it comes in some other uniform.
I don’t care about two years from now. I probably don’t even want Jeter in baseball three years from now. But next year I need Derek in pinstripes, at least until he joins one of baseball’s most elite clubs. I keep telling myself how irrational this is, but part of me is still irrational about this game. I just need Derek on the Yankees, for one more season.
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