Back in 2006, during the inaugural World Baseball Classic, Derek Jeter came up to the plate in a big spot of a close game. Sitting on my sofa at home, rooting for Team USA, I was overwhelmed with this strange, unrecognizable feeling of… confidence. Typically, when No. 2 of the New York Yankees dug in to the batter’s box at a crucial moment, I was filled with dread, since he routinely broke my heart by coming through with clutch hits against my favorite teams (e.g., Mets, Orioles, anyone not the Yankees). But at that moment, wearing the USA across his chest, he was the only person you wanted up in that situation, and for once, I got to root for him and not pray against him. It felt weird… but pretty great. READ FULL STORY
Tag: Derek Jeter (1-4 of 4)
Jimmy Dugan was full of spit: There is definitely crying in baseball.
At least there was last night in the Bronx, where the greatest relief pitcher in the history of the sport said goodbye to the home crowd after 19 seasons and five World Series championships. Mariano Rivera, who has confounded batters and shattered bats with his unhittable cut-fastball ever since 1995, took the mound in Yankee Stadium for the last time. It was hardly a typical Rivera outing — even though he retired four straight Tampa Bay hitters. For one, the Yankees, who failed to qualify for the playoffs this season, were trailing, 4-0, so this wasn’t an opportunity for Rivera to add to his all-time saves record. More notably, he was pulled from the game in the ninth inning.
That’s when the tears flowed.
It wasn’t altogether unexpected that Rivera was removed from the game with one out remaining; the change gave the home crowd an opportunity to shower Rivera with a standing ovation as he left the field. But instead of Yankee manager Joe Girardi marching out to the mound to make the switch, which is customary, Rivera’s longtime teammates Derek Jeter and Andy Pettitte walked out of the dugout to do the honors. “It’s time to go,” said Jeter.
When the trio embraced near the mound, Rivera lost it, as did the crowd of more than 48,000. You didn’t have to be a Yankee fan to appreciate the moment, and as the ovation went on and on and on, you almost expected the immortal Rivera to walk into some cornfield that had magically sprouted in centerfield and disappear into the ether.
Watch the moment below so you can properly lie to your grandkids that you were there the night the great Mariano said goodbye. READ FULL STORY
Opening Day of the season is very special to all baseball fans, but especially to those in cities like Pittsburgh, Miami, and Minneapolis, where the first pitch delivers hope to loyal fans who are accustomed to — or expecting — long, losing summers. No errors have been made yet, no bad calls by the umps, no called third-strikes with the bases loaded. This could be the year for the [insert your team's name here], folks.
Here in New York, it’s been a tale of two cities in recent years, as the Mets have been Amazin’ in all the wrong ways while the Yankees have maintained a level of excellence that is both awesome and somewhat joyless. But even that may change this year — no thanks to the Mets — as the Bronx Bombers fielded a team this afternoon in their home-opener against the rival Boston Red Sox that left many Yankees fans scratching their heads and asking, “Who are these guys?” READ FULL STORY
Tonight in Detroit, the Yankees dynasty might very well be given its last rites.
Down 2-0 to the Detroit Tigers in the best-of-7 playoff series, missing their captain Derek Jeter after a fractured ankle, and featuring a lineup of high-priced, underperforming sluggers, the New York Yankees are seemingly doomed. On the mound for the Tigers is their ace, Justin Verlander, he of the 100 m.p.h. fastballs that Alex Rodriguez will need to start swinging at now to have any prayer of contact. If Verlander stomps the Yankees tonight in Detroit, the writing will be on the wall. As Yankee fans know all too well, only one team in baseball history has ever come back from an 0-3 deficit (that would be the magical 2004 Red Sox who stunned the Yankees) and these Yankees seem too bloated and tired to dig out of such a ditch. Jeter is finished. Human cyborg Mariano Rivera is gone. Alex Rodriguez, unfortunately, remains in uniform. READ FULL STORY
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