The following appeared in Tuesday’s Daily News:
TAMPA – He wore a red cap that looked strange perched on his famous head and he dressed in an unfamiliar room though he’s been working at Steinbrenner Field since it opened.
When it was time to come in at the end of an inning, Derek Jeter several times nearly jogged toward the wrong dugout – the Yankee dugout.
Jeter was out of place Tuesday though he was playing the position he’s played all his life. He was on another team, facing the one he is the face of for the first time in his career. On loan to Team USA for the World Baseball Classic, Jeter viewed Tuesday’s exhibition as nothing more than another intrasquad tilt, but buried somewhere in a day that was mostly fun is the looming question of what will happen with Jeter when his contract expires after the 2010 season.
He’s a franchise icon who’ll be 35 in June who has some milestones on his baseball horizon. Some fans probably can’t envision Jeter wearing anything other than pinstripes but that idea is something team brass will have to grapple with probably sooner than they would like….
It really must have felt strange for Derek to have to go to the visitors’ clubhouse and dugout at Steinbrenner Field. It will be even more strange for him to go to the visitors’ clubhouse and dugout at Yankee Stadium if the Yankees don’t re-sign him at the end of his contract. I absolutely cannot imagine the Yankees not re-signing him. I realize that he’ll be 36 when that contract expires, and there’s no way to know how his skills (offensive and defensive) may decline as he reaches his late 30’s. But the PR nightmare of letting him slip away to another team may be enough motivation for the Yankees to keep Derek in pinstripes. Then again, it may depend on the Yankees on the field success (or failure) in 2010…if the offense and defense need an upgrade, the front office might want to go in another direction.
Any opinions on how this will play out? Will the Yankees re-sign Derek Jeter and keep him at shortstop? Will the re-sign him and move him to another position? Or will the unthinkable happen…will Derek Jeter be playing for a team other than the Yankees in 2011? Or…will he just retire as a New York Yankee after 2010?
Oh, another excerpt from the above article…I thought this was funny:
Before the game, Jeter appeared at least twice in the Yankee clubhouse. At one point, Girardi joked, “Out!” Jeter was simply getting his weight workout in before the game.
Heh heh heh. :D