Let's just say that the extra innings showdown between the Detroit Tigers and New York Yankees in game one of the American League Championship Series kept playing long after I kept watching. As my dad used to say, the television was watching me at that point. When I awoke in the morning and checked the score of the game, I saw the Tigers earned the 6-4 win, but I also saw that the New York captain was done for the year with a fracture ankle. As a life-long fan of the Atlanta Braves, sad news about the Yankees would usually make me smile, but this time, I am saddened.
For as long as I have been a fan of baseball, I think I have always had a certain hatred towards the Yankees. Being from Connecticut, I was an outcast for not being a fan of the Yankees, New York Mets or Boston Red Sox, but I was fine with that. It wasn't until the 1996 World Series that I truly began to hate the Yankees (Jim Leyritz still haunts me in my sleep), but there was a rookie playing for New York in that series that has turned out to be a pretty good player. Derek Jeter.
Despite my hate towards the team, there have been a few players from New York that I absolutely couldn't hate. Mariano Rivera. Andy Pettitte. And of course, No.2. The way those three men play the game is admirable and make it easy to be a fan. With the loss of Jeter, the Yankees could be in for a world of hurt. Laynce Nix will start at shortstop and Eduardo Nunez was brought onto the postseason roster as a replacement for Jeter. It's not to say that the team won't be able to recover, but losing your leader is a tough thing to come back from.
Even I can see that Jeter is like the Superman or Batman for the Yankees. You see him go down, and expect him to get back up. You don't expect human issues to hurt him, but they do, and as we all saw, they did. Now, the Yankees have to keep playing like they have every other time one of their players was hurt, and now I find myself in an unfamiliar place as I cheer them on.
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Hobson Lopes has been a life-long Atlanta Braves fan, thanks to TBS, and can be followed on Twitter @HobsonLopes.