The New York Yankees signed two of their living legends, Derek Jeter and Mariano Rivera. The contracts all but guarantee both players will finish their careers in Pinstripes. Are they worth the money? Will they perform at the level fans are used to seeing? These are questions I’d like to speculate on.
Derek Jeter’s 2010 season was a sub par performance compared to his career. However, Jeter brings more to the Yankees than simple statistics. His leadership and quiet confidence provide stability in the clubhouse. What is probably most important, is Jeter’s ability to bring in fans. I think many people outside of New York and those who simply can’t stand the Yankees don’t fully realize Jeter’s star power. He is very well liked by the fans. This, in my opinion, is the sole reason why he is the Yankee Captain. Look in the stands, you will see Jeter jerseys and T-shirts galore. Jeter is rarely booed, even when he only bats .270. Signing Jeter through age 40 was the right move. The Yankees, and their fans are glad to have him “back.” Except, he never really left.
Mariano Rivera, really that is all that needs to be said. Some will question Jeter’s skills. But Rivera’s ability to come through in the clutch is undeniable. We may question Jeter’s $51 million contract, but paying Rivera $15 million a year is a sound investment. The Yankees would’ve had the success over the years without Jeter. I will not deny this. However, without Rivera, the Yankees dynasty of the late 1990’s, early 2000’s, and 2009 wouldn’t have been. Its that simple.
I believe both Derek Jeter and Mariano Rivera are first ballot hall of famers. I think to see either player end their careers in different uniforms, would be wrong.
Agree? Disagree? Let me know what you think!