Well, today’s game was truly the end of a great career. And Jeter did it in style with an RBI hit, a lot of hugs for his teammates, a few words for Clay Bulhholz before coming off the field, a tip of the cap to the Red Sox players and a wave to the fans. I thought the Red Sox, both as an organization and as a fan base, did a beautiful job with their farewell. Not only did they trot out their most esteemed sports captains for the pre-game ceremony but the Fenway Faithful cheered and stood at the end as if Jeter were their own. I was very moved.
It seems strangely OK that it was the end of the 2014 season too. It’s time for the Yankees to regroup and figure out where to go from here. There’s been a lot written about the return of A-Rod in recent days so his presence and its attendant baggage will be inevitable, but Michael Pineda gives me a lot of hope that the starting pitching will be in very good shape. (Tanaka is still a question mark for me. I don’t trust the health of that arm. I hope I’m wrong. Ditto: CC for a bunch of reasons.) I enjoyed watching Jose Pirela, both at the plate and at second base. I don’t quite get why he wasn’t called up sooner, despite roster issues, since he led the International League in hitting (or something like that), but I hope he sticks around. Maybe they could move him to shortstop because Drew won’t contribute anything to the offense and if I’m Cashman I don’t re-sign him.
Speaking of Cashman, he’ll have a full plate this off-season as usual but maybe with more urgency than ever. Two years without a postseason? The horror if you’re the Steinbrenners. George must be fuming. Do they even keep Cashman? Is it conceivable that there’s another GM out there who looks more enticing? Or will they stick with the status quo? Girardi’s alleged tirade in the clubhouse on Thursday could have been a manifestation not just of his own anger but of that of his bosses.
Getting back to Jeter, it’ll be interesting to see where his life takes him. He’s already dipped into the book publishing world with his own imprint at Simon & Schuster. He’s expressed interest in owning a team but in the shorter term it’s more likely he’ll invest his time and money in media-driven enterprises. I have to admit I envy Jeter right now. Most people retire with modest goals – taking up a hobby, traveling, figuring how to live on Social Security and cope with health problems. He’s young and fit and fabulously wealthy, and the world is his oyster; he can do whatever the hell he wants. Nice. As I said, I look forward to seeing what direction his life takes.
No, the Yankees won’t be the same without him, but iconic players have long come and gone in this franchise and someday, hopefully soon, another will come our way. I look forward to that too.
In the meantime, unless there’s something newsworthy in Yankeeville, I guess the Confessions blog will go on its usual hiatus for the off-season. Or not…….