It does not happen often that Red Sox fans and Yankee fans celebrate something together, but we could very well see that at the end of September this year. MLB.com’s Yankees beat writer Bryan Hoch — along with all other sports outlets — has reported that Yankee shortstop and captain Derek Jeter will retire at the end of the 2014 season.
So, how does a Yankees announcement make it onto a Boston sports site? There are some reasons.
First, Derek Jeter is a class act. Even Red Sox fans can attest to that. By the end of this season, Jeter will have played all 20 of his seasons for the same team — this in a time when a three-year contract is considered long-term. He is a sure-fire first-ballot Hall of Famer with career totals of .312/.381/.446 with 256 HR, 1261 RBI. Of course, he will add to these totals in 2014. He is also known for stellar defense and clutch hitting in both the regular season and the most-clutch postseason situations. He is ninth all-time in hits with 3,316 and could move into the top five with 199 hits this season — a long shot but possible.
Next, the Yankees and Red Sox will play each other 20 times during the regular season. The first series is at Yankee Stadium from April 10-13, and the final series is from September 26-28, the final three games of the season, in Fenway Park. On paper, it appears that Jeter will play his final games in Fenway Park. However, that is not a guarantee. Recall last year when Mariano Rivera retired. He made his final appearance in Yankee Stadium, but the Yankees had three games left on the road. Rivera traveled to Houston, but he chose not to pitch. Yankee fans loved that decision, and baseball fans in general respected it. The Yankees have that same situation as they finish their home schedule on September 25 before ending the season in Boston.
If the Yankees are still in contention, then Jeter will definitely play. If they make the postseason, then that schedule and the Yankees’ performance will determine where and when he plays his final game. If the Yankees are eliminated, then I would predict that Jeter does not play in that final series in Boston but, rather, he takes the field for his final game in Yankee Stadium on September 25 against the Baltimore Orioles.
As of this writing, ticket prices are not yet determined for the final series between the Red Sox and Yankees, but the prices for all other home games are available here and on Red Sox.com. Prices for that final series may depend heavily on the standings and Jeter’s status at that time. Of course, Red Sox fans want the Yankees eliminated early, but they might miss out on seeing one of the game’s best ever play his final game in Fenway Park if that happens. Either way, Red Sox Nation would have reason to celebrate.by