During the early part of Game 1 of the ALCS between the Detroit Tigers and New York Yankees, my Dad made a point of telling me that Derek Jeter has been the Yankees' MVP this season and that they would not be where they are now without him.
Well, now the Yankees will be put to the test as Jeter broke his left ankle diving for a ball hit by Tigers shortstop Jhonny Peralta in the 12th inning. Jeter lay on the ground nearly motionless and had to be helped off the field by Yankees manager Joe Girardi and one of the Yankees' trainers. Jayson Nix took over at short for the duration of the game which the Yankees lost 6-4.
The Tigers were leading 4-0 into the bottom of the 9th when Tigers closer Jose Valverde imploded giving up a pair of two run homeruns to Ichiro Suzuki and Raul Ibanez to tie the game and forced proceedings into extra innings. But the Tigers went ahead 5-4 on a double by Delmon Young. In all honesty, Yankees right fielder Nick Swisher absolutely misjudged the ball, the second one of the game. Jeter's injury would occur moments later. The Tigers added another run on a single by Andy Dirks.
Jeter is out for the post-season although he should be ready for Opening Day 2013. Eduardo Nunez will be activated to take Jeter's spot on the roster.
The Yankees have been able to both survive and thrive without Mariano Rivera but it remains to be seen if they can do so without both Mo and Jeter. The ALCS resume tomorrow afternoon with Game 2 of the best of seven series.