When you put it all together - the World Titles, the All-Star game appearances, a Rookie of the Year award, the acclamation that comes with being the Captain of the most famous team in sports – Derek Jeter’s career has to be on a shortlist with the greatest of them all, in any sport.
But if there has ever been a time for Jeter to be jealous of anyone, it is now. And that player is Dustin Pedroia, who is in just his second season, but looks well on his way to winning the way No. 2 always has, and this season, might capture one the few accolades that has eluded Jeter; an MVP.
Pedroia leads the American League in hitting, hits and runs scored, and has emerged as one of the most consistent threats in a Red Sox lineup that has faced countless injuries and lost one of the great right-handed hitters in history when Manny Ramirez was traded.
Now Jeter finds himself in the backend of an amazing career, one that will eventually net him well over 3000 hits, but he is also about to miss the playoffs for the first time in his career and probably won’t find himself in the running for MVP ever again.
The truth is that for players like Jeter and Pedroia, so much of their success comes from possessing an incredible ability to get on base and having the talent behind them to drive them in. Jeter was always in the right place at the right time and that’s where Pedroia is now.
Unfortunately for Jeter, a juiced up Juan Gonzalez and a phenomenal year from Justin Morneau prevented him from picking up an MVP in 1998 and 2006.
That won’t be the case for Pedroia.