JEFF PEARLMAN

Coming October 2022: "The Last Folk Hero: The Life and Myth of Bo Jackson"

The Jeter Dilema

Much talk here in New York about what to do with Derek Jeter, the Yankees’ 36-year-old shortstop.

To me, the answer’s obvious: Leave him alone.

Maybe this is, factually, what Derek Jeter has become: a .250 hitting lightweight with faded range and no pop. Maybe, possibly, probably. But—and I hate to say this—so what? The Yankees can afford a position with subpar offense. Hell, look around the diamond. They’re loaded everywhere.

The problem is, people are never satisfied. They wanna talk and speculate and debate and critcize. The other day, I heard a caller to WFAN rant, “Jeter stints! He’s terrible.” The man identified himself as a Yankee fan.

Crazy.

Derek Jeter will never again be 25, 28, 30, 32. He is who he is—a fading superstar on the backside of his career. It happens to all athletes.

Live with it.