[Guest post by hit and run*]
2015 marks the first season in 20 years that the New York Yankees roster does not feature Derek Jeter. Jeter played his entire career with the Yankees and was the team captain from 2003 until he retired last year. He had a hall of fame career and was perhaps best known as one of the most clutch players the game has seen. Helping lead the Yankees to five World Series titles, Jeter was beloved by many in New York and by Yankees fans everywhere. Even if one hated Jeter as an opponent, any true fan of the game respected the way he played. Jeter was the face of the Yankees and carried that role with a level of class that any team would love to have.
Alternately, after a one year suspension due to PED use, the Yankees roster once again boasts Alex Rodriguez. A-Rod has gotten off to a hot start in the first few weeks of the season. This will almost certainly be a milestone-laden year for A-Rod, barring injury (or another suspension).
- Earlier this season, Rodriguez passed Jeter for ninth place in all-time runs scored in Major League Baseball history. 21 more runs and Rodriguez will pass Stan Musial for eighth place all-time.
- Rodriguez is 17 RBI away from passing Lou Gehrig and Barry Bonds to move into third all-time in that category.
- Rodriguez is two home runs from catching and three from passing Willie Mays for fourth place in all-time home runs.
- Rodriguez is 49 hits away from becoming the 29th player in MLB history to reach the 3,000 hit club. Assuming a full season, A-Rod should pass Craig Biggio to reach 20th place in all-time hits.
Now, because this is A-Rod and this is the Yankees, there is a catch to all these milestones. That is - there is language in his contract that triggers bonuses for reaching milestones, and as of right now, the Yankees and Rodriguez don't exactly see eye to eye on which milestones trigger what bonuses. The issue may end up with the Yankees refusing to pay, and Rodriguez filing a grievance with the league to try and force them to pay.
Well, the Yankees are never not entertaining, I guess.
In any event, Derek Jeter is gone and Alex Rodriguez is taking over as the face of the New York Yankees.