Jeter’s final game good for Red Sox fans everywhere


Sunday was one of those rare easy days to be a Red Sox fan in New York City.

Derek Jeter played the final game of his career on this day, and since it took place at Fenway Park, the majority of New York’s Yankee fans flocked there and Jeter-mania was unusually easy to avoid in the city.

Except for a few people walking around in Jeter shirts, hardly anyone in New York really seemed to care about this game. This was somewhat unsurprising considering Jeter’s emotional goodbye at Yankee Stadium the night before the series in Boston began, but still notable since the city was all about #2 all season. This begs the question of when Jeter’s career actually ended. Was it over when he drove in the winning run in the Bronx on Thursday and ended his days as a shortstop? Or, by definition, was it over when he left the game on Sunday after his 3,465th hit, also an RBI, in the third inning? The answer depends on who you ask, and but it seems only fair to leave it up to the man himself.

“You can’t top what happened Thursday,” Jeter said after the game on Sunday.

There you go. While his career as a Major League Baseball player officially ended in Boston, Jeter’s career as a shortstop concluded in New York and, as his on-field position with the Yankees was his identity for the past two decades, once his time at shortstop ended, so did his career.

Life will go on, and is going on, in New York without Jeter. There were seven televisions in the restaurant I was in and six of them showed football games. The smallest one in the farthest corner was reserved for Jeter’s final farewell. One man was watching, but he had to stand directly below the TV and look up at it for three hours. This was also the only bar or pub within at least ten blocks that was even showing the game—a clear indication that we can carry on without Jeter and football is king once again.

And Jeter’s life will go on as well. He now has ample time to enjoy all the gifts he received throughout the season and wait for the inevitable call from the Hall of Fame.

I don’t know what I’m more relieved to see end: Jeter’s Farewell Tour or this Red Sox season. Both were tough for Red Sox fans to take at times, but Game 162 was a fitting way to end them in one fell swoop. The conclusion of Jeter’s historic 20-year career signals the end of an era and a focus on the future, the same future to which the Red Sox are looking in hopes of making major improvements.

This ending was helpful to Red Sox fans in Boston, New York, and beyond because the over-the-top ceremony for Jeter before the final game was a good distraction from the sad way the Sox ended this season. It was a better way to close Fenway for the winter than to miserably walk off the field with yet another loss and a pitiful final record of 71-91. This extreme pageantry served as a way to help fans move on from the failures of the Red Sox this season and give them something to celebrate in place of a playoff run.

But now the confetti has settled and both teams must face their re2pective realities.

While the Yankees now look to a future without their iconic shortstop, the Red Sox begin the arduous task of putting together a winning team for next year. If the Red Sox organization put the same time and energy into rebuilding this lineup as they do their on-field ceremonies, they will easily win the World Series in 2015.