Derek Jeter has announced that he is going to retire from baseball after the 2014 season. Jeter has played his entire career with the New York Yankees, and I have tried to dislike him because of that, but I just can’t. Everything I have seen or read leads me to believe that he is a class act as a human being and he did things right on the baseball field. So who will his replacement be? I submit to you that eight to ten years ago, it would have been Texas Rangers superstar shortstop Elvis Andrus.
The joke back in those days was that the Texas Rangers were the minor league system of the Yankees since it always seemed that their best players would wind up playing there. Mark Teixeria and Alex Rodriguez come to mind off of the top of my head. It seemed that the Rangers would draft them, get them ready, and then they would leave and go to New York. A few years ago, before the Texas Rangers extended Elvis Andrus to his current contract, I discussed on The Hague Sport Podcast that exact thing. I said that Elvis would most likely wind up being Derek Jeters replacement in New York. The way it had always worked, I just figured that the Texas Rangers would not sign Elvis Andrus to a long-term deal and the Yankees seemed the natural choice for Andrus since he is a huge fan of Jeter. What better than to go and follow and legend in New York.
But something happened. The Texas Rangers became a relevant team, and they started keeping the young talent that helped the franchise get to back to back World Series in 2010 and 2011. When they signed Elvis Andrus to a long-term deal, I was a little shocked. These are not the Texas Rangers I was used to. I really assumed that Elvis Andrus would be going to New York, and I was very pleasantly surprised when he did not. This showed me that the Texas Rangers are now serious about keeping their talent and that players are willing to stay with the Texas Rangers organization. It was a shift in the way that baseball worked in Texas and New York, and it was a shift in favor of the Texas Rangers.
Now I am not saying that some day down the road Elvis Andrus may leave the Texas Rangers, that may happen, but as of right now, Elvis decided that Texas was where he wanted to play, and we all know that the Yankees would have wanted him if he hit free agency. So be happy Texas Rangers fans to know that the tides have changed in favor of your favorite team, and I believe that the Texas Rangers are here to stay for a while in the post season hunt. Elvis Andrus was one of the keys in that changing tide. Texas now had the money and the clout to go toe to toe with the Bronx Bombers, and I for one am very happy to see that.