The New York Yankees are not what they used to be: Mariano Rivera retired after the 2013 season as the greatest closer of all-time. And just yesterday, via Facebook, Derek Jeter announced that the 2014 season would be his last playing profession baseball.
Jeter ranks 10th all-time in hits with 3,316. With just 120 more this season he could climb as high as fifth all-time.
Rest assured Jeter will get lauded throughout this season; it is all well-deserved attention for a class-act of a player who has been an all-star shortstop for almost two decades. He has torn up the diamond and hit the ball– a lot.
With enough tributes being thrown Jeter’s way, I want to take a look at what exactly Jeter has done against our Seattle Mariners over the last 19 years:
As of today– the second day of Spring Training for the Mariners!– Derek Jeter has played in 163 games against the M’s. That’s a full season’s worth of plate appearances.
His triple slash in the last 19 years against the M’s is .283/.347/.420. Pretty solid numbers, but if you look at his career triple slash .312/.381/.446, he wasn’t exactly at his best against boys from the Pacific Northwest.
In his 163 games he amassed 187 hits, 31 of them doubles, 1 triple, and 19 home runs (though most of those dingers were not at Safeco Field). He also managed 77 RBIs. He struck out 96 times and walked 55. He also stole 16 bases against the Ms.
Oddly enough, the Mariners are one of only three teams that Jeter has a sub-.300 career batting average against. The other two? The Sox, both of them. It’s funny to think the face of the Yankees does his worst against their most heated rivals– the Boston Red Sox. But looking at it from the M’s perspective, a .283 career average isn’t all that bad. Nobody has hit that well for a season in Seattle since Ichiro Suzuki left.
But Jeter will walk away from the game as a legend. He is the longest tenured Yankee captain of all-time. Even people who hate the Yankees respect what he has done over the last 19 years and what he will continue to do in his 20th.
He has been an ambassador to the sport, a face of what is good and right and magical about baseball. He hasn’t offended the baseball gods by abusing PEDs (that we know of), and despite his reign on the throne of the Evil Empire he is generally adored and idolized throughout baseball.
Read his goodbye letter here, and really stop and appreciate what he has done for the sport of baseball in one of it’s most turbulent eras.
I am sure the Mariners will find a proper way to bid him farewell on his last trip to Safeco. But let’s be honest, one less Hall of Famer in pinstripes can only help the Mariners.
Does this mean Brendan Ryan is going to get some extra shortstop reps this season? We can only hope he’s the one in the lineup against the Ms.
Cheers to you Mr. Jeter, you will be remembered by all of baseball, but your numbers won’t be missed– against the Mariners at least.
It just makes me wonder though: how bad is it going to hurt when the Mariners beat the Yankees in the ALCS to end Jeter’s career? Wouldn’t that make for a great story.