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This may have been Posada's last chance for a ring, ending in failure.
With a year full of new faces and young talent, the lasting images of the will to win when it mattered were of the oldest faces. Scenes from Game 5 against the Tigers are snapshots of careers riddled with success and consumed with their hatred to fail.
Derek Jeter, the renowned leader of the Yankees for the last 15 years, usually leads with little emotion on the field, but a lot of hustle and determination. But in their final game, you caught a glimpse into Jeter’s immense drive to win.
Down 3-2 in the eighth inning with one man on and two outs, Jeter launched a deep fly ball to right field. It had a chance, a chance to get over the wall and a chance to etch another remarkable chapter into Jeter’s postseason legacy.
It was, however, caught on the warning track, and a dejected Captain turned in rage, snapping at himself in frustration. His anger continued into the ninth inning on the field, muttering as he tossed the ball around after recording an out.
But with such a strong team behind him, you would have thought confidence in the lineup would have subdued such frustration, which begs the question: How much confidence does Jeter have in his team?
If his confidence was in the biggest players failing in the biggest spots, then he would have been very comfortable in the bottom of the ninth inning, which brings us to our other image. It’s a split-screen of two players with two very different legacies in pinstripes.
One is of Alex Rodriguez, a Hall-of-Fame, all-time great in baseball who has been ridiculed to no end in New York for his repetitive failures in the postseason. The other is of Jorge Posada, a Yankee legend who has delivered big hits in many playoff and World Series runs over his career.
The two collided in the team’s last 2011 at-bat. A-Rod, not surprisingly to be honest, struck out to end their season, and at the top step of the dugout was Posada, reflecting on what was possibly his final day in the Bronx. Was their faith in Rodriguez getting the big hit? Maybe, but it would be hard to believe.