New York Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter will be starting his 19th and final season for the Yankees tonight against the Houston Astros in the first game of the seasons for the Yankees. Jeter, 39, plans on retiring at the end of the season, and focus on traveling and spending more time with his family.
Jeter has been traveling almost nonstop for the past 18 seasons with the Yankees, but unfortunately it’s been travel inside of the United States to major cities where Jeter was faced with pressure and hostile crowds. Jeter wants to be able to travel outside of the U.S, and not have to worry about playing the sport that he’s grown tired of.
Jeter’s final season might be a sad one for him if he’s not able to raise his batting average to above the .190 he hit last season for the Yankees in playing 17 games following a foot injury. The injury is now healed, but with the time that Jeter has been out of the lineup, and his now advancing age, it’s quite possible that he’ll struggle to hit over the Mendoza line. Jeter has a lifetime batting average of .312, and he’s always been a very good hitter until the 2013 season when he came back from a foot injury that he suffered during the playoffs during the 2012 season.
“I’m trying to treat it like any other opening day,” Jeter said to ESPN. “And every opening day is special where you have butterflies and you have nerves and I think that’s a good thing. I don’t foresee this being any different.”
The Yankees are a much different team in 2014 from last season when Jeter saw limited action. The Yankees have definitely improved in terms of having better hitters, and better pitchers. That in turn is going to make it difficult for teams to pitch around Jeter like they did in many seasons. Teams also might not want to pitch around Jeter given his advanced age and his declining stats.