Hard to believe how fast this summer is going, but I’m sure I say that every year. It just feels as if I was just writing about spring training and here we are post All-Star Game, which, by the way, I don’t really watch except to see how any Yankees players fare. This one was all about Jeter and rightfully so, beginning with the Nike commercial, which I think should win a Clio award. Just fabulous. The tributes to the captain were equally memorable, and he handled them with his usual modesty, saying exactly the right things with a touch of humor. I thought the Wainwright foot-in-mouth “controversy” was silly (the NL pitcher said he threw Jeter a meatball in that first at bat, then claimed he was joking), but Jeter deflected it perfectly. I do have to admit that the gifting of Jeter in every city as part of the same sort of farewell tour Mo had is getting old. When did this tradition take hold and will it now be expected for every popular player who’s announced he’s retiring? Or just the potential HOFers?
Bigger questions involve the Yankees. I had dinner with a diehard fan the other night and he’s convinced we’re heading into the “Horace Clarke years” of mediocrity. He also thinks Cashman should be fired for signing old war horses like Beltran and Roberts and just bring up the kids and see how they do. He’s adamant that we shouldn’t trade the farm for somebody like Cliff Lee.
Will the Yankees make the postseason? Only if the rest of the division can’t get it together. We just aren’t a very good team right now with all the injuries and limitations. I hope Shane Greene proves to be the real thing, but two great starts don’t make a career. I need to see more. I hope Kuroda staves off fatique and age. I hope Phelps finishes strong. But then there’s the offense. Remember the days when we hit homer after homer? Ten runs weren’t rare. Now we’re lucky if we scratch out three.
So we’ll see. In the meantime, I’ll enjoy watching Jeter for as long as his season goes and anticipate the final goodbye from the last of the Core Four.