Eye of the Storm


by Kelsey Knutson

As much as I know many of you do not care to read about the posse in pinstripes, I want to write about them. This Evil Empire drama is too good to pass up – and of course America’s favorite shortstop has found himself in the limelight once again.I’m sorry, did I say “America’s favorite shortstop?” I meant to say mine.

The three-year contract that is currently sitting before free agent Derek Jeter is guaranteeing $51 million with a $3 million buyout. The fine print also says that Jeter could earn up to $65 million depending on how he fairs in American League (AL) MVP votes, league championship MVP votes, and Gold Glove or Silver Slugger Awards during the next three years.

Speaking of Gold Gloves and Silver Sluggers…

During Jeter’s 15-year-long MLB career he’s collected a plethora of hardware – backing up his soon-to-be $51 million contract with the New York Yankees. It all began in 1996 when he snatched the AL Rookie of the Year award the same year he led the franchise to its 23rd World Series Championship. Since then, Jeter is the owner of five AL Gold Gloves, four Silver Sluggers, two AL Hank Aaron Awards along with a few other MVP titles.

Someone tell me that Jeter’s not worth the hype.

The counterargument: Jeter is coming off his worst season ever.

According to SI.com, Jeter, 36, finished the 2010 season with career lows in three categories: batting average (.270), on-base percentage (.340) and slugging percentage (.370).

Despite that, he reeled in his 11th All-Star appearance, his fifth Gold Glove, and he’s only 74 hits shy of 3,000 career hits.

This all-star has been the Yankees captain since 2003 and has passed or tied Yankee records held by Mickey Mantle, Lou Gehrig, Babe Ruth and Ted Williams.

Here is why Derek Jeter should sign with the New York Yankees again:

1. Tradition

I’ve grown up with Derek Jeter as the Yankees shortstop. Since my kindergarten summer, Jeter has been gracing the field has a natural, and I’d like him to stay right there – playing in the dirt where I still wish I was.

2. The Future

I’m not ready to see a successful Yankees team that doesn’t have Derek Jeter on the active roster. I’ve chosen to believe, despite numbers that could prove me otherwise, that Jeter has propelled the legendary Yankees into the 21st century. His leadership, poise and raw ability make him an asset on many fronts. I’d pick him for my gym class whiffle ball team any day.

3. Clutch

Although this entire column is only my opinion, I think many would agree that if there is one thing that Jeter is – it’s “clutch.” This man went one step further and cast a shadow, however briefly, over Reggie Jackson, “Mr. October.” Jeter, once dubbed “Mr. November,” can still push singles down the right field line and pull inside pitches in the cold, crisp of fall. And he’ll do it with runners in scoring position.

I may not have convinced you to like Derek Jeter, rather, I may have enticed you to hate him more. However, I’m sticking with my argument: Jeter is worth the $51 million contract that is only a signature away from reality. I want to see him sign.