I vividly remember Opening Day 2003. I was a sophomore in college, and on the night of the Yanks’ first game against the Blue Jays, I was in the middle of a rehearsal with my jazz group. When rehearsal ended, I had a phone call from my parents with some terrible, terrible news: Derek Jeter had been involved in a bad injury.
As the news unfolded over the next few days, the prognosis was not good. Jeter has dislocated his shoulder in a collision at third base with the catcher. He would not play again until May 13.
At the time, an injury to Jeter and a lengthy stay on the DL seemed unfathomable. How could the Yanks stay afloat with Erick Almonte filling in? Well, the team, behind some very solid pitching, went 25-11 without Jeter.
Flash forward to this weekend when Alex Rodriguez announced his intention to go under the knife. As Tyler Kepner noted, this injury had 2003 written all over it. The Yanks would be without one of their leaders for the first month of the season, but it will all be okay.
While a lot of crazy columnists wrongly feel the Yanks will be better off without A-Rod, the team can weather the A-Rod-less storm for a few weeks. As they did in 2003, they can lean on their pitching to bring them through April, and when A-Rod returns, well, the team just gets that much better.