View from New York: Jeter hotting up, just like the Bronx

The temperature is rising in the Big Apple as the Yankees’ skipper heads towards a famous milestone.

Derke Jeter: will he make it to 3,000?
Derke Jeter: will he make it to 3,000?
Image: Carlos Osorio/AP/Press Association Images

IT’S HOT AND getting hotter in New York, a handy excuse for citizens to find refuge in air conditioned bars and watch Yankees history get written, one base hit at a time.

Derek Jeter is closing in on 3,000 regular season base hits, a hall-of-fame worthy landmark which has only been achieved by 26 other baseball players throughout the history of the game.

The ongoing excitement of the play-offs in the NBA and the NHL couldn’t be happening at a more inconvenient time for fans of the Pinstripes because starting off last night against hated rivals, the Boston Red Sox, the Yankees have a 10-game run of home games during which The Captain will hope to break through the milestone in front of his adoring public.

In what was a relatively straightforward Sox win, Jeter played the Designated Hitter role, meaning he was given a break from shortstop duties for the night. And he picked up two hits off Jon Lester, pushing him onto no. 2,988.

So now he has to hit safely 12 more times in nine games. Not a huge ask but slightly above his average for the season so far.

In case you need reminding, Jeter negotiated a lucrative and widely criticised three-year contract which would see him earn $17m a year, an impressive feat in that he was granted it (after some public protest from General Manager Brian Cashman) despite coming off a poor season which many attributed to his advancing years.

But most of his loyal fanbase pointed to the service he’d put in since the mid-90s and had no issue with the Steinbrenners flashing their outrageous amounts of cash.

But then there was the marketability factor as evidenced by the intense interest in his surge towards 3,000 hits.

And it also has to be taken in context with Alex Rodriguez’s incredible $300m 10-year deal with the Yankees who will ALSO pay A-Rod a $6m bonus every time he moves up a position in the list of all-time home run record holders.

According to the New York Times, Jeter will cash in on the milestone for charity only and last night he wore a ‘DJ3K’ bracelet “proceeds from the sale of (which) will benefit a youth leadership conference sponsored by Jeter’s foundation”.

Of course, more importantly for the Yankees, seats will be hard to get over the next week and a bit as temperatures soar and the buzz builds up in the Bronx.

But will he make it in time?

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