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The End of an Era

The New York Yankees have had an interesting off-season to say the least with a little bit of good and bad. The team spent nearly $500 million dollars on acquiring much-needed assets to their ball club to compete with their rival the Boston Red Sox who won the World Series last year. General Manager Brian Cashman made sure this year Yankee fans would have a winning team on the field for 2014. Along came the distractions with the Alex Rodriguez saga and Robinson Cano signing with the Seattle Mariners as it was reported that he felt disrespected by the organization with the teams contract offer. Pitchers and catchers reported to training camp with yet another headline as shortstop and Captain Derek Jeter posted on his Facebook account last week that 2014 will be his last season in baseball.

Jeter has been in the Yankee organization since the age of 19, and  injuries and age are creeping up on the 13-time All-Star.  What hasn’t he done? Jeter is sure to be a first-ballot Hall of Famer when he decides to hang it up. He is a 5-time World Series Champion (1996, 1998,1999, 2000 and 2009), the American League Rookie of the Year in 1996 and a 5-time Golden Glove winner. Jeter also is the franchise’s all-time leader in hits (3,316), games played (2,602), stolen bases (348) and at-bats (10,614). He has been one of the most dangerous postseason hitters of our generation, holding several postseason records such as his .351 batting average in the World Series. For his postseason heroics, he has earned nicknames like “Captain Clutch” and my personal favorite, “Mr. November”.

There are too many words you can use to describe what Derek Jeter has meant to Brooklynites like myself who idolized him growing up. The many highlight plays he had, like the cutoff play he made in Oakland in 2002 where he flipped the ball to longtime teammate Jorge Posada to tag out Jeremy Giambi at home plate thus changing the outcome of that playoff series, or in 2001 when the clock struck midnight and for the first time in nearly 30 years at the time, baseball was being played in November. Jeter stepped up to the plate and hit that huge home run off Arizona’s Byun-Yun Kim, and who can forget that July night at the stadium when Red Sox outfielder Trot Nixon hit that fly ball and Jeter sprinted to that ball and dove into the stands coming out with a bloody chin. These are just a few of the moments Jeter has had, and when he does hang it up, there will never be another Derek Jeter in baseball.

Sports Notes: (Basketball) As the NBA trading deadline approaches this coming week, who will the Knicks and Nets add to their teams in hopes of making the playoffs? The Knicks are in need of a point guard and have shown interest in point guards such as the Celtics’ Rajon Rondo, Raptors’ Kyle Lowry and even the Hawks’ Jeff Teague. With Carmelo Anthony set to become a free agent, the Knicks organization may try to attract another big star to keep Anthony put in a Knick uniform. For the Nets it’s quite simple, give Deron Williams some help. The team may be shopping for a backup point guard as Williams tries to get healthy. Jarrett Jack, of the Cleveland Cavaliers, would be a nice fit for the team.

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