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Perspectives – January 23, 2020

This morning I have a host of thoughts about baseball, the Yankees, and (in some ways at least) life itself.

It has been great to see all of the love for Derek Jeter these last few weeks and especially since Hall-of-Fame Day on Tuesday. Jeter was a beloved Yankee. He was great. He helped bring the Yankees glory and great success. I think many of us , Yankees fans of all ages, forgot just so special he was and how much we loved him. It’s tough when an icon goes and becomes part of another franchise. I realized this week how much I miss Derek Jeter and how long ago it was that he played. Time passes far too quickly. Far too quickly. I( am glad that we are all getting the change to focus on Derek Jeter, his greatness, and what he meant to the Yankees and their fans.

Sometimes people talk about the Mount Rushmore of greats for a baseball team or franchise. They ask, “Who would be on your team’s Mount Rushmore?” I would love for Derek Jeter to be on the Yankees’ Mount Rushmore, but I don’t think he makes it. Mariano Rivera either. It must be great and wonderful to be a Yankee. That being said, it is also very difficult to reach the level of being one of the most iconic players of the Yankees franchise. For the Yankees, the second, and even third Mount Rushmore would be amazing. Based on the history of the game, and their own status as icons of the sport, I would be hard pressed to say the Yankees’ Mount Rushmore would have any other players than Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Joe DiMaggio, and Mickey Mantle. Reggie, Yogi, Whitey, Bernie, Rickey, Jeter, Mariano, and so many other greats, as great as they were, just wouldn’t crack that top four. This illustrates just how great the Yankees franchise has been – when a player of Derek Jeter’s stature isn’t even one of their very top players of all time. For most other franchises, Derek Jeter would be on their Mount Rushmore – absolutely. For the Yankees, he just wouldn’t make it.

I am certain that Derek Jeter is not bothered that one writer left him off the Hall-of-Fame ballot. Derek Jeter might not make the initial Yankees Mount Rushmore, but he is, absolutely, an inner-circle Hall-of-Famer. Derek Jeter might not be bothered by that, but at least a part of me is. How can a writer leave his name off the ballot? I have to wonder how that writer feels? In the end, it doesn’t matter, at all, Jeter is in the Hall, but there is something wrong with a system that prevents Derek Jeter from being a unanimous selection. Once Mariano Rivera broke the bar by being unanimous, there’s no reason for a writer to leave a unquestioned great like Jeter off the ballot. (Looking ahead, Ichiro should (must) be a unanimous selection in a few years.)

There are rumors that Jacoby Ellsbury might play for the Cubs in 2020. If that happens, why is it that I see him hitting .325/37/135?

I am loving Ethan Semendinger’s Determinator Series here on the blog. I know and see the hard work he put into creating the Determinator and how he is working to find the flaws in his system and sharing them in real time. It has been fun to see his thoughts on the players and the way they are ranked. It’s been great seeing an interesting idea develop over the days and weeks. I think this has been a tremendous feature. Content, like this, though, takes a great deal of time to create. Unfortunately, Ethan heads back to college now with a host of responsibilities that are much more important than a blog and Yankees stuff. Due a very busy weekend of training, preparing, and all of that stuff, Ethan will have to put the Determinator on hold for a short while. It will return soon. (There will be an announcement of this at the Determinator’s regular posting time of 4:00 p.m. today.)

I’ll also share this in more detail a separate post, but I have been amazed with the amount of baseball teams that have already responded to my requests for fan material as noted in this article yesterday. The shocking thing is not that they responded so fast, it’s that they responded so fast in a negative way stating that they will not, or cannot, send free promotional items. Think about that for a moment, a host of teams have stated that they cannot send a pocket schedule, sticker, or a team photo in the mail We’ll have more on this in the coming days.

I was a little surprised that surgery on my Achilles tendon would (somewhat) impact on my ability to write. When healthy, I use a stand-up desk doing the vast majority of my work standing. I knew I’d have to adapt for a number of weeks by figuring out ways to use a standing desk on one leg since the leg with the surgery must be non-weight bearing. I have created all sorts of approaches to prop up that leg as I stand and work and I have also found a new area of my house to sit and write. I expected this type of adapting to this new (and temporary) aspect of my life. What I didn’t, necessarily, anticipate was how much longer it just takes me to do ordinary stuff. Getting up and going to get things, or whatever, just takes a lot longer. It’s hard to find and grab books from across the room while using crutches, for example. Simple things just take a bit more planning and effort. I’m not complaining, this has been a relatively easy transition. It’s just that we often take so much for granted in life. I have learned just what a gift it is to just move around freely. I look forward to having that mobility again…and I just hope that when I do, I don’t forget what this was like so that I appreciate all of it, and all of the good things in life, just a bit more. (I think I will.) 🙂

January is usually a very slow and long month, but this year it seems to be moving quickly. February and Spring Training are right around the corner. I can’t wait!

Let’s Go Yankees!


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