From the desk of: BLAME CARLOS MAY
NEW YORK YANKEES: Avoid The Same Mistake Mickey Mantle Made. Do Not Detract From A Brilliant Career.
Number Two just couldn't stay on the field. Lingering effects of a broken foot hampered repeated comeback attempts, and so, Derek Jeter's 2013 season is over. But it is a broken foot issue after all, which by most accounts seems something he can still fully recover from. With a proper off-season, Derek Jeter can in fact return next season. And as he led the league in hits in 2012, a major drop-off doesn't seem too likely. But if I had my way, his illustrious career would be ending as well. For his own sake - for his legacy, I'd prefer he retire post-haste.
My whole premise is based on one item - his lifetime batting average. When he signed his current deal, his lifetime average stood at .314, but three years later, it has dropped to a .312 mark. The decision to return next season is wholly his, not that of the Yankees. Derek Jeter holds the option in his contract.
For me, it's all about maintaining regal numbers. In baseball, isn't that what we cherish? Look what happened to Mickey Mantle. He held on too long, underperformed, and ruined his lifetime .300 batting average. When asked, The Mick would tell you he was a .300 hitter, but the reality is that he ruined it, and rued the day he did.
Derek Jeter would have to endure a god-awful season next year in order to ruin his .300 average, but I would like for him to stay above the .310 mark. I just feel there is more glitz and significance to it, considering how he outlasted all his former contemporaries such as Nomar Garciaparra, Miguel Tejada, and even Alex Rodriguez, who all never finished their careers at shortstop.
At this very moment, his lifetime numbers are stellar; great all-time Hall of Fame statistics. But from this moment on, the only category which can negatively be affected is his lifetime batting average. Anything else he does with a bat in his hands only adds to a great career. He has over 1800 runs scored, over 3,300 hits, over 500 doubles, over 300 stolen bases, over 250 home runs, over 1,200 runs batted in, a lifetime .381 OBP, and as it currently stands, a batting average above the .310 mark. How does a .307 average strike you? I'm sorry. For me there is a measure of luster lost. The only way to end this career is with the .312 batting average he already has in hand.