Captain Clutch? Team USA manager Davey Johnson kept choosing Derek Jeter over Jimmy Rollins at shortstop to the anger of the Internet community (after all, Rollins is better than Jeter, according to them). But I had agreed with Davey: I mean, Jeter is an icon. Why should he sit for Jimmy Rollins in an international tournament?
Although Team USA’s semi-final 9-4 loss to Japan can’t be blamed solely on Jeter or Davey, one cannot ignore that Jeter went 1-5 in the elimination game, and made an error that lead to 3 unearned runs in the 8th inning, killing any chance of Team USA from rallying again (they had mounted a comeback at the top of the frame, taking the score to 6-4.)
It is fitting that Jeter grounded out to shortstop in the 9th inning, and fitting that “Mr. Yankee” was boo’ed in Los Angeles after that out.
Is Derek Jeter the new post-prime Cal Ripken, Jr.? A man who tries to defy age, yet has clearly lost a step or two?
Am I too harsh? Yes, I admit I am. However, as a Yankees fan, Jeter’s decline is something to be on the lookout for. I wish the best for Derek, but playing with injuries last year and his perfomance in the WBC this year is casting doubt upon how productive and how “clutch” he really is at this point.
I hope he proves me and the other Internet naysayers wrong.
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