Derek Jeter holds faith in Yankees revival, asks players to be present-minded

Yankees captain Derek Jeter with US President George W. Bush at Globe Life Park in Arlington on Wednesday, July 30, 2014.

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Former Yankees captain Derek Jeter is positive about the resurgence of the team, which is passing through one of its worst phases. However, the legendary shortstop cautioned the Yankees against focusing too much on the postseason and, instead, advised them to have a day-to-day approach with a focus on the present.

This season, the New York Yankees have a record of 10 wins and 14 losses after an injury forced Aaron Judge to watch them playing from the sidelines. This came after an impressive 99-win season in 2022 and talks of them currently struggling to secure a spot in the postseason.

However, Derek Jeter believes the Yankees can reclaim glory and emphasizes guarding against postseason mentality, as he told to Fox Sports.

Why Derek Jeter is positive about the Yankees’ resurgence

According to Derek Jeter, there are still 89 games left in the 2023 season. These remaining games provide ample opportunity for teams to reverse their fortunes. The legend pointed out that the Yankees had an exceptional start to the previous season, which put them on track to potentially break the MLB record with 120 wins. However, after an impressive record of 52 wins and 18 losses, they experienced a significant drop in performance, finishing the remaining 92 games with a record of 47 wins and 45 losses.

He told that there were still numerous games remaining for the Yankees as they approached the All-Star break. Derek Jeter recalled the previous year, when the team had an impressive start, leading to comparisons between that team and the renowned 1998 Yankees. He mentioned expressing his opinion at that time, stating that there was still a significant journey ahead, just as there is now.

aaron-judge-jeter-new-york-yankees
seth wenig/associated press

The 1998 Yankees included Derek Jeter and are often considered one of the greatest teams in baseball history. They achieved an impressive feat by winning 114 games during the regular season and then securing a World Series victory by sweeping the San Diego Padres.

However, just as situations can swiftly transition from highly positive to disappointing, it is also possible for things to turn around in a similar abrupt manner.

Continuing his statement, Derek Jeter emphasized the uncertainty that accompanies a baseball season, highlighting the unpredictable nature of events. He expressed his belief that the Yankees are currently in a satisfactory position in terms of timing but suggested that they should approach their situation on a day-to-day basis.

The Yankees have a history to back it

Presently, the New York Yankees are experiencing their second-longest period without winning a World Series in the history of their franchise. Their last championship victory dates back to 2009 when the team was led by Derek Jeter. While this may not seem significant to the casual baseball enthusiast, within the realm of Yankees fandom, this duration is perceived as an incredibly long stretch of time.

Derek Jeter makes a special appearance on Fox sports for a pregame show in Game 3 of World Series on November 1, 2022.
Andrew Marchand/ Twitter

Although the New York Yankees have only missed the postseason three times since their last World Series win and have achieved six consecutive postseason appearances, according to Derek Jeter, that level of success is insufficient for the Yankees’ high standards.

Expressing his perspective, the former captain stated that nobody within the Yankee organization would adopt a passive attitude of merely aiming to reach the playoffs. Derek Jeter believed that such a mindset would be counterproductive and not aligned with the desired approach.

Reflecting on their past achievements, the Yankees legend emphasized that winning is far from an effortless task. Derek Jeter acknowledged that numerous factors must align favorably in order to secure victory. 

Recalling the team’s triumph in 1996, which ended an 18-year championship drought, and their subsequent win in 2000, after an additional nine years, Derek Jeter highlighted the challenging nature of achieving success. Despite understanding the restlessness and impatience of Yankee fans, he emphasized that such circumstances are what make playing in New York truly remarkable.

This season, the New York Yankees have a record of 10 wins and 14 losses in games where the defending AL MVP, Aaron Judge, has been absent. However, when Judge is in the lineup, they have a more successful record of 31 wins and 19 losses. 

The Yankees have no confirmed timetable for the return of the power hitter. The slugger was out with a toe injury that he had while making an impressive catch against the Los Angeles Dodgers, where he accidentally hit his foot on the concrete.

Derek Jeter will be making his debut as a sports commentator with FOX during the upcoming weekend series in London featuring the Cubs and the Cardinals.

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