7/6/11 – How Leader is Jeter?

Derek Jeter has been an outstanding Yankee player for a long time. We may soon find out if he’s a great Yankee.

The Yankee shortstop returned this week after missing 18 games with an injury. That Jeter is in the twilight of his career is not debatable. That he may no longer be the Yankees’ best shortstop and leadoff hitter is now the topic. During his absence, the Yankees went 14-4 and took over first place in the AL East. His replacement, Eduardo Nunez, hit .339 with two homers.

Obviously the Yankees aren’t going to bench Jeter. He’s closing in on 3,000 hits, one of the game’s greatest milestones. But is Jeter — known for his leadership, savvy and heart as much as his skills – unselfish enough to move lower in the batting order and do what’s best for the team. That’s what real leaders do.

Bob Ryan made this point last Sunday on ESPN’s “The Sports Reporters” show. It was too insightful and accurate for me not to share with you.


  1. Wyman Stewart says:

    A nice rant to follow up on as things evolve. My guess, if he’s been a class act all these years, he will continue to be a class act. Even so, Jeter and the Yankees want to see him get to 3,000 hits. That mark makes for stress-filled times under the best of circumstances. Give him time to overcome that stress, for I think he will know when to step aside, as a day to day player.

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