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by Don White

I’m an astute student of the game of baseball–or of any game, for that matter. Early in the season I started watching one of my favorite Yankees, Derek Jeter.  Something was drastically wrong. I could see that without knowing that his early-season batting average was going to suffer. He was standing and hitting like an old woman.

Derek Jeter striking out at a playoff or World Series game

Immediately, I wrote a blogger article on Yankee Wizard giving him advice. I don’t know if he even read my article. I do use social media like Facebook and Twitter and I follow this superstar. Sadly, he doesn’t follow me, so naturally he probably didn’t even see the article–unless one of his teammates pointed it out to him.

But why am I worried about him? He makes ten or twelve million dollars a year and can buy professional help to get him back on track. But I was worrying about him, anyway. I worried about who his batting coach was–because this problem of improper stance, excessive wagging of the bat before delivery, not having his eyes on the ball soon enough, and his body being out of position to create power.

Yeah, I noticed he wasn’t hitting anything out of the infield. Mostly ground balls that could easily be picked up by infielders to get him out. He because an easy out, almost the laughing stock of the league. At least that’s what I pictured in my mind. It even appeared that he wasn’t in shape. “Did he have Dunlop Disease this year? That is a bulging belly?

I know. That’s almost funny. But I watched everything. His butt was sticking out more than last year. Well, last year when he hit  only .270 was a failure year for this superstar. But I would have thought that he would have done something in the off-season to correct his mistakes.

Some of Jeter’s problem has to do with his head. As Yankee captain he’s filled with thoughts of responsibility. Wouldn’t it be better if he could pawn that job off on someone else. Here’s a thought. Manager Joe Giarde should set up a new pattern of rotating the captain position each year. Since it takes concentration and some of a player’s time and thinking to be a captain, it would be good for Jeter to take himself out of that equation and concentrate on what they pay him for–his hitting and fielding. I think his problems GM Cashman created in spreading a lot of negative around in going to a bar and telling inside stuff about what was going on in Jeter’s negotiations for a contract extension really hurt. Read my story in Yankee Wizard blog.

In my next blog I’m going to sit down with Derek and reset some important parameters for good, solid, powerful hitting. Obviously, with Jeter we’re going to have to get back to the basics. Maybe his hitting coach has too much respect for Jeter–yeah, that’s possible; maybe he’s too close to the man and doesn’t want to hurt his feelings; that’s happened before– and won’t tell him what he needs to know, but I will. Definitely, I will. No one’s paying me to tell him stuff, but then again no one’s telling me I can’t. So stay tuned. There’s more to come.  Don White

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