Should Jeter have been at Yankee Stadium for game 2?
Yesterday, while the Yankees lost 3-0 to the Tigers, Jeter's ankle was being checked out by a specialist, so he wasn't there to witness the loss.
Personally, I don't have a problem with Jeter not being at the ballpark. I don't believe that his presence would have helped at all, because I don't believe in all the "intangibles" and "leadership" qualities that people attribute to him.
That having been said... if the rumors about Jeter's incredible leadership are true, wouldn't the Yankees have benefited from his presence?
Yesterday, the Yankees were mentally beaten. Physically, there is no reason they should ever be shut out in a playoff game. They have a lineup full of hitters who are more than capable of putting crooked numbers on the board.
Mentally, however, they are a different story.
Mark Teixeira is the only remaining Yankee with a batting average over .275 in the 2012 postseason. Robinson Cano, Alex Rodriguez, Curtis Granderson, Nick Swisher, and Russell Martin are all batting under .200.
Could Jeter's presence have helped at all? Could he have watched his teammates at the plate, and noticed what they were doing wrong? Could he have helped calm them down a little bit, and get them more mentally prepared to make good at bats?
Realistically, no. But if you buy all the tall tales about his leadership that we've heard over the years, one would think that his mere presence would at least help his team avoid getting shut out completely.
Unfortunately, the tales are all overblown. Apparently, it's not enough to simply praise Jeter for what he is: a solid hitter with good speed and great longevity, who has been fortunate enough to stay healthy enough to play in 158 straight Yankees playoff games without a serious injury.
Jeter's "leadership" begins and ends with him simply doing his job day in and day out. Unfortunately, that's a rare quality now, in the days of prima donna athletes and pampered millionaires. But other than that, he's just another player. A damn good one, for sure. But his "intangibles" and "leadership" are hardly more than a myth.
And that's why it wouldn't have mattered either way if he had attended yesterday's game.