Is Derek Jeter Going To Be Back With The New York Yankees Next Season?
The 2013 MLB season is over for New York Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter. Even though there are still a few weeks left in the season—and even though the Yankees are battling for a spot in the postseason right now—the Yankees decided to shut The Captain down for the rest of the year yesterday so that he can let his injured left ankle heal. The ankle, which Jeter had surgery on last October, hasn’t really looked right all season. It’s forced Jeter to make several appearances on the disabled list this year, and it’s hobbled him even when he has been in the lineup for the Yankees. His doctor says it’s because he needs to strengthen the area around the ankle before resuming play. So he’s officially finished for the rest of the season.
Our question: Is he finished for the rest of the life, too? The sad truth is that Father Time eventually catches up to all athletes. If Jeter was, say, 23 right now, his injured ankle would be no problem at all. In fact, he could probably play through whatever pain the ankle is causing him and worry about getting it fixed in the offseason. But Jeter is not 23 anymore. He’s 39, and it’s going to take quite a bit of time for his ankle to fully heal. And that’s if his ankle ever fully heals. Unfortunately, he could potentially be hobbled for the rest of his career, if he chooses to continue playing. And that could affect his play on the field and tarnish his legacy. So he needs to seriously consider whether or not he wants to continue playing the game of baseball during the offseason.
We actually think that Jeter will make his return to the Yankees next winter. He probably doesn’t want to end his career by going on the disabled list with an injured ankle. But at the same time, that means that he’s going to have to spend the next six months rehabbing and working hard to get his ankle right, despite the fact that it could very well start bothering him again at the start of the 2014 MLB season. That’s not to say that he shouldn’t try to come back next year. But it is to say that Yankees fans are going to have to start to come to grips with the idea of moving ahead without Jeter in their lineup. He’s enjoyed a hell of a run. But all great runs must come to an end. Even for Derek Jeter.