Sunday, April 10, 2011

All eyes on Captain Jeter all the time

Everyone is talking about Derek Jeter and he's getting sick of it.

Jeter is used to being the center of attention, but he is awfully tired of answering questions about his "new" swing. Technically, the questions are about his stride or toe tapping at the plate. But Jeter knows what the real question is: can he regain the form that has made him a five-time World Series champion and a surefire, first-ballot Baseball Hall of Famer? Jeter is confident that he will be that guy again and he is tired of all the doubts being expressed in the tabloids, on television and within the New York Yankees organization itself.

Jeter is known for trying to put controversial issues to bed and he appears to be trying to end the talk about his swing by pledging never to speak of it again. But the rest of baseball and the media will have their eyes glued on Captain Jeter all the time, particularly as he inches closer to the magic 3,000 hit threshold. If it takes Jeter longer to reach that number than the modeling suggests it should, the talk will turn increasingly negative. It will be all about Jeter being a fraction of the shortstop he was and about the likelihood of him being forced by the Yankees to switch positions on the field or in the lineup.

But Jeter is going to leave all the speculation to the rest of us and focus on playing baseball, which is what he does best, even if some people don’t think he does it that well anymore.

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