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If you were thinking about heading out to Yankee Stadium for one of the four games against the Rays next weekend, it would be a good idea to procure your tickets immediately.
Chances are the prices on the secondary market will trend sharply upward before that series kicks off next Thursday. The reason for the uptick is Derek Jeter.
The Captain will head to Trenton this weekend to play in a pair of rehab games and, assuming all goes well in those contests, he'll be back on the field Monday when the Yankees play the Indians. Since he's six hits away from 3,000, there's a pretty good chance he'll be reaching the milestone during that series with Tampa and everyone's going to be looking to cash in.
Scalpers will get a robust return on their investment, the Yankees and their merchandising partners will be selling everything and anything they can think of slapping a "DJ3K" logo on and YES will likely become the Derek Jeter network for a large portion of their broadcast day. Given the precarious state of municipal finances, it wouldn't be a bad idea for Mayor Bloomberg to slap a surcharge on subway prices for trains making the trip to the Bronx.
All of that might sound like dirty business, especially so close to a major holiday. But price goughing is as American as apple pie and baseball and you only get so many chances to exploit the hell out of an otherwise unexceptional base hit.
Despite some awfully well-reasoned conspiracy theories about the Yankees timing things to be sure Jeter reaches the mark in the Bronx, it is hard to imagine they adjusted the timetable of his return all that much. Calf injuries take time to heal and they recur often so caution is the best prescription to take with so much time let in the season.
That said, they aren't complaining about the way things are working out. Nobody likes to celebrate themselves quite as much as the Yankees and the hoopla following Jeter's big hit will rival the fireworks that herald his return to action on Monday night.
Yeah, we know that's not what the fireworks are for. We're just getting you ready for a week of Jetermania unlike any we've ever seen.