COMMENTARY | Derek Jeter is a five-time World Series champion. He's a 13-time All-Star and the 2000 World Series MVP. He was the American League Rookie of the Year in 1996 and has joined the 3,000-hit club since that time. He's a five-time Gold Glove winner and a former All-Star Game MVP.
Yet Derek Jeter still has something to prove to New York Yankees fans and baseball fans as a whole.
After playing in a mere 17 games for the Bronx Bombers this season before being shut down for the remainder of the season, Jeter has to prove that he's still got something left and can perform at a high level in 2014.
If you know baseball, then you know Jeter. He's always been tough--not wanting to come out of a game or land on the DL, instead playing through the pain and proving why he'll go down as one of the greatest Yankees to ever grace the diamond.
That said, my guess is that Jeter will have something to prove in 2014. This certainly isn't the way he wants to end his career, and for those thinking he's washed up and doesn't have anything left in the tank, you're sorely mistaken.
After all, prior to fracturing his ankle in the playoffs against the Detroit Tigers in Game 1 of the ALCS in 2012, Jeter was having one of the best seasons of his career. He collected 216 hits--the second-most of his illustrious 19-year career and the most in the MLB last season--and finished the regular season with a .316 average.
According to Paul White of USA Today, Jeter's certainly not ready to hang it up, saying, "Just because of an ankle injury? No, you don't start thinking about the end just because of any injury. There's no doubt in my mind I'll get back to where I was."
The confidence that has always poured out of Jeter will carry him into the 2014 season, and, if his impressive resume is any indication, I wouldn't put my money against him.
The Captain may not be the same player he once was--especially defensively at shortstop--but with another full offseason of strengthening and conditioning, we'll see why Jeter is a bona-fide Hall of Famer for his comeback in 2014.
Pete Schauer is a native of the Jersey Shore where he's covered the New York Yankees and New York Giants for multiple sports media outlets, and currently covers the G-Men on Yahoo Sports. You can follow him on Twitter @Pete_Schauer and find him on Google+.
- Sports & Recreation
- Derek Jeter
- New York Yankees