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Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Alex Rodriguez and Derek Jeter playing at age 40.

Alex Rodriguez Born: July 27, 1975 in New York, NY (Age 40 years 50 days)

Derek Jeter Born: June 261974 in Pequannock, NJ (Age 41 years 81 days)

During his final season in 2014 Jeter was basically the same age that Rodriguez is now: both 40.

Last night in Tampa before only 11,940 fans, MANY of them Yankee fans, the Yankees rallied in the 9th.  Down 1-0, two out, Brett Gardner walked, stole second and Rodriguez doubled him in.  At second base Rodriguez bounced up shouting to his teammates with a passion we have not seen in previous seasons.  Brian McCann was intentionally walked and rookie Slade Heathcott completed the comeback with a three run homer.  Rodriguez led the Yankees out of the dugout to greet Heathcott and Rodriguez continued his adulation by lifting Heathcott's helmet and eventually lifting Heathcott himself.

In his previous game in Yankee Stadium Sunday after receiving recognition and gifts from the Yankees for having gotten his 3,000th hit months ago, Rodriguez scored on a sac fly, sliding head first and from his knees celebrating enthusiastically.

The 2015 Yankees are now three games behind first place Toronto with 19 games remaining, including three in Toronto.  The Yanks are three games ahead of Texas for the first wild card and four up on Minnesota for the second.  The Yankees are very likely to qualify for the tournament for the first time since 2012.

With Mark Teixeira out for the season Alex Rodriguez is clearly the leader of the New York Yankees and displaying more of those qualities than long time captain Derek Jeter did.  Rodriguez twice changed positions for the good of the team.  When he first joined the Yankees Rodriguez moved from shortstop to third base to accommodate incumbent Jeter, who in his entire career never played an inning in the field other than at shortstop.  This season Rodriguez embraced the DH role and produced.

Rodriguez served the longest suspension for use of performance enhancing drugs (PED) of anyone, missing the entire 2014 season.  Yankee ownership and management did all they could to rid themselves of Rodriguez and then to treat him badly but even they have come around as Hal Steinbrenner personally presented the gifts to Rodriguez on Sunday.

Sept. 14, 2014 the Yankees lost a walk off in Baltimore 3-2, to fall 12.5 back; Jeter was 0 for 4.  The next day the Yanks lost another walk off in Tampa 1-0; Jeter did not play.
Photo of Derek Jeter
The overblown Derek Jeter farewell tour devolved into a funeral procession.  Jeter had a meaningless final heroic winning hit in his last home game, then showed up but otherwise blew off the three games in Boston to end the disappointing 2014 season.

Jeter in 2014:
PA: 634
HR: 4
BA: .256
OBP: .304
SLG: .313
OPS: .617
OPS+: 76

Rodriguez so far in 2015:
PA: 555
HR: 31
BA: .257
OBP: .359
SLG: .501
OPS: .860
OPS+: 137

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