(How's that ankle going to respond the first time Jeter has to make a similar play to his left next year? Courtesy of Getty Images)
The immediate impact of Derek Jeter’s ankle injury was major and painfully obvious to anybody who watched the ALCS. Without him in the lineup or on the field, the Yankees managed to score just 2 runs in the final 3 games while giving up more than that and committing 3 official defensive errors, 5 if you want to be a stickler like me and give Chavez and Teix Es for their stay-back botches in Game 4. Even deeper than the on-field results, the entire attitude and morale of the team seemed to drop without the presence of The Captain. Say what you want about his robotic repetition of nothing comments to the media, but the tired, lifeless nature of the Yankees’ play in the final 3 games should stand as an example of just what kind of behind-the-scenes leader Jeter is in the clubhouse and how important he still is to the Yankees’ success. Losing Jeter for this year’s ALCS was a big enough blow to the Yankees, but the impact this injury has on next season could be even greater.