Last night on (ESPN Radio) the Bill Daughtry Show, the topic of conversation was Derek Jeter.
Highlights of the discussion:
* Derek Jeter will be turning 36 years old later this June.
* Concerns exist about Derek's ability to continue playing short-stop effectively in the coming years.
* Renewing an old conversation about Jeter making a position change.
* Derek Jeter's impending free agancy; the kind of commitment needed to retain him; and what's a fair deal for Jeter when ARod's contract is taken into consideration.
Bill Daughtry threw out this beauty of a factoid:
No team ever won a World Series with a short-stop over the age of 35. The oldest starting/regular short-stop to be on a World Series winner was Pee Wee Reese at 35 yrs of age for the '55 Brooklyn Dodgers.
Then I called the show to add in my two cents worth of Jeterian opinions.
I say this in jest, somewhat. But don't ignore the double sentiment. The Yankees created a problem for themselves at first base by signing Mark Tex. Of course it sounds silly coming off last year's Championship. The problem is still ahead of the Yanks. The Yanks needed firstbase and the DH spot to let Jete, Posada and ARod wind down their careers gracefully. With Tex here, Father Time may wreak havoc on Yankee logistics moving forward.
More specific to Jeter, I think two things are more important to Jeter than monetary compensation or length of years in a contract.
Above all else I think Jeter is most protective of his lifetime .300 batting average and will not hold on too long and allow himself to drop below that standard. I believe Jeter, the most iconic Yankee since Mickey Mantle, possibly references Mantle and does not want his lifetime average to drop like the Mick's did.
I believe Jeter is content to play long enough in order to collect his 3000th Major League career hit. Jeter is well aware he will be the first and only New York Yankee player to achieve that milestone. I believe Jeter only will play long enough to accomplish this.
I think Jeter will be content with a three year deal and ride off into the sunset on top of his game around the age of 40. I do not believe he will let us witness noticeable deterioration like a generation watched with the Mick. No,- Instead I think Jeter will try to exit on a high note; on top and relatively close to his usual form we came to expect of him. He'll exit on his terms in a manner more reminiscent of the Yankee Clipper; Joe DiMaggio.
And that was my thought of the night.