One thing to know about that first hour or so after the Yankees were eliminated: Derek Jeter spoke to a large group of reporters, went back to the players-only part of the clubhouse, then came back out to speak again. He might not say much, but when The Captain speaks, it carries weight, and everyone listens.
If that were ever going to change, this might have been the year.
Jeter spent the first half of this season repeating last year’s production, and although he remained in the leadoff spot, he was quickly becoming a more and more marginal piece of the offense. He was still Derek Jeter — still The Captain — but he was become more an elder statesman than a key piece of the puzzle.
Then everything changed.
Jeter’s second half: .327/.383/.428
Jeter’s career: .313/.383/.449
“He was the player we’re used to seeing,” Brian Cashman said.
When Jeter went on the disabled list in mid-June, he seemed all but finished. He was still a capable big league player, but he was nowhere close to the Derek Jeter. It was a matter of time before his status was similarly marginalized.
By the end of the season, he was the same as ever. He was The Captain in every way.
“You’re never satisfied,” Jeter said. “I’m not satisfied. I’m happy with some of the adjustments that I was able to make, but I wouldn’t say satisfied.”
Associated Press photo