Is Derek Jeter Done? Examining Pros and Cons of His Return in 2014

Josh SchochAnalyst IIISeptember 11, 2013

New York Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter is done for the 2013 season, and now whispers of his retirement are beginning to circulate.

According to Bryan Hoch of MLB.com, Jeter has been placed on the disabled list and will miss the last 17 games of the regular season.

Derek Jeter is going on the DL. His season is over.

— Bryan Hoch (@BryanHoch) September 11, 2013

Per Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News, Yankees general manager Brian Cashman also ruled Jeter out of the postseason, should the team makes it that far.

Cashman said Jeter would not return for the postseason if the Yankees get there.

— Mark Feinsand (@FeinsandNYDN) September 11, 2013

At 39 years old, Jeter has to be thinking about retirement. He doesn't have much time left in the league, and this left ankle injury could be the final straw before he hangs up his cleats.

Jeter, for his part, claimed he isn't thinking about retirement.

Jeter expects to play in 2014: "You don't start thinking about the end just because you have an injury."

— Bryan Hoch (@BryanHoch) September 11, 2013

But it will certainly weigh on his mind. Derek Jeter has a big decision on his hands, so let's take a look at some of the pros and cons of continuing his playing career.

 

Pro: Fans Don't Want Him to Leave

Fans don't want to say goodbye to Jeter, and he doesn't want to say goodbye to them.

I will donate whatever Derek Jeter needs to get back on the field

— Steve Guarino (@SteveGuarino) September 11, 2013

The day Jeter retires will be a sad day in the baseball universe. He is one of the most popular players in the game, and this isn't the way he should go out.

The Yankees captain needs a goodbye along the same lines of Mariano Rivera's. A season-long farewell tour like Mo's would be fitting for Jeter.

Leaving after an injury-plagued year is not the way to go. Even the thought of him retiring is too much for some to handle.

I miss Derek Jeter already.

— Sean Hojnacki (@TheRealHojnacki) September 11, 2013

 

Con: His Body is Falling Apart

Jeter has had a rough 2013 and will finish the year 12-for-63 (.190) with one home run and seven RBI in 17 games.

After coming off two ankle surgeries, Jeter finally made his 2013 debut on July 11. However, he was injured in his return and was sidelined again.

"The entire year has been pretty much a nightmare for me physically." -- Derek Jeter pic.twitter.com/hf7vlmkOsU

— Bryan Hoch (@BryanHoch) September 11, 2013

As Lou DiPietro of Yes Network writes, "This will be Jeter’s fourth stint on the disabled list this season; beyond the initial re-break that kept him on the DL after Opening Day, the Captain has missed time with a strained quadriceps and a calf injury that both may be tied to that structural difficulty."

Jeter's body has suffered 19 MLB seasons' worth of wear and tear, and it may not be ready for a 20th.

 

Pro: He Can Leave on a Better Note

Jeter's career will be the stuff of legend, but again, this is not the appropriate way for him to leave the game.

Mo had his retirement tour. Lou Gehrig had his farewell speech. As a legendary player and future Hall of Famer, Jeter cannot—repeat, cannot—go out on a minor injury after such a lousy season.

Leaving the game on such a down note would be terrible for him. By coming back he has a chance to avenge himself and go out in a more respectable way.

 

Con: The Risks of Overstaying His Welcome

Too many times, we've seen stars of every sport drag out their careers too long and make fools of themselves (ahem, Manny Ramirez).

Jeter has been around the game awhile now, so he must be all too familiar with the phenomenon of guys hanging on too long and stumbling to the finish line.

If Jeter were to struggle through a similarly poor season in 2014, struggling just to bat .200, it would be equally painful for the Captain, the Yanks and the fans.

 

Conclusion

Derek Jeter knows that time is ticking on his playing days. He obviously still feels that he has some gas left in the tank, but at the same time, he could embarrass himself and hurt his team's chances.

Where do you stand on Jeter's retirement? Should he ride off into the sunset or stay in the Bronx? Leave your thoughts in the comments section below.

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