I always say an athlete should retire when they are good and ready. No need to worry about legacies and staying on too long. Usually, these are young men and women when they retire from their sport, and better to hang on one year too many than leave one year too soon.
After an injury plagued 2013 his current season can go one of two ways:
- He can return to his all-star form and go out on a high note.
- Age and his foot injuries can take a toll on his skills and we could bear witness to an uncomfortable decline.
The following questions and hounding from the media would have added to this season’s grind. With questions about:
- His game?
- Impending free agency?
- How long he can play shortstop and bat at the top of the order?
- Is he considering retiring?
All of that pressure is out the window, as 2014 now becomes a celebration. Like his great teammate Mariano Rivera, who also suffered a serious injury prior to his final season, Jeter deserves to go out on his own terms and with the fanfare of a modern-day baseball icon. 2014 will be about love and winning one more ring for the road.
Aside from what he may do on the field this year, Jeter’s final gift to his fans across the nation and MLB, by making this announcement now, is that every last game he plays in each ballpark becomes “must see” TV.
The cherry on top for Jeter is that by retiring at the end of 2014, he’ll be gone for the return of the circus in 2015, that is Alex Rodriguez when A-Rod returns from his 162 ban for use of PED’s.
For as bland as Jeter can be when it comes to avoiding saying anything controversial, when it comes to seminal moments, such as the closing of Yankee Stadium, the death of George Steinbrenner, or his retirement post on facebook today, he authentically communicates like a leader, with grace, and appreciation.
Here is to you Captain, and your hunt for a sixth championship ring with the New York Yankees.