He hit it out of the park.
Not literally, of course. That wouldn't have been pitch-perfect Derek Jeter. The Yankees' shortstop was always more of a single-with-an-RBI-in-the-bottom-of-the-ninth kind of hitter than someone who blasted homers out of the park. Thursday night in the Stadium, Jeter won the game his way.
Coming is easy. Leaving rarely is. Some people just know how to say goodbye!
It's an accident of baseball scheduling that the beloved captain is making his final major league appearance in Boston. But after his storybook hometown goodbye, Jeter could strike out 1-2-3 every time he's at the plate today. Who would even remember? His point is made. His rep is solid. Someone new gets a shot next year.
Nothing lasts forever, in baseball or in life. Just ask Eric Holder. Or anyone else who's left a gig lately. This is just the nature of things. People get older. Priorities change. Relationships fray. When we're lucky, fresh opportunities arrive.
What matters is all you do when you climb into the uniform and run out onto the field -- and everything that's coming next.
With grace and performance and timing, Derek Jeter is getting all of it right.
1. 14 All-Star selections
2. 5 Gold Gloves
3. 5 Silver Sluggers
4. 5 World Championships
5. 1 Really Nice Goodbye
ASKED AND UNANSWERED: . . . One quick follow-up to the Orthodox Jewish players and the USTA Shabbat scheduling conflict: What team has a cooler name than the Long Beach Lipschik? . . . Have you gotten your $350 New York State tax rebate? Is it a total accident the checks arrive five weeks before Election Day? . . . Of the 40,000 pieces of mail Flatbush carrier Joseph Brucato is accused of sitting on, how many were actually missed by anyone? Does that explain how his secret hoarding allegedly goes back to 2005? . . . With so many lawyers around the Riverhead courthouse, what makes one briefcase more suspicious than all the others? Just because one lawyer left his in the hallway, is that why the bomb squad was called? . . . His license already suspended or revoked 49 times, did John Auteri forget to signal he was turning on Route 112, as Officer Paul Rocchio alleges? Or did the driver think, "Fifty is a nice round number"? . . . For $300 a week, would you plaster yourself with Monster Energy Drink logos? Wait! It's a scam! Don't even think about it!
THE NEWS IN SONG:MY THANK-YOU NOTE: After a long and cheerful run -- longer than Jeter's, longer than Holder's -- this is it for the Sunday Column. From start to finish, it's been an honor and a joy. Thanks for the calls, the emails and the column ideas. Thanks for the snappy asked-and-unanswered suggestions and the noble LIer-of-the-Week nominees. Thanks for making this the liveliest, most interactive journalistic experience I've ever had. I was warned that writing a column could be lonely. Thanks to you it never was. Let's keep talking, OK?
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