7 MLB Teams That Won’t Miss Derek Jeter

Major League Baseball teams had barely finished honoring Mariano Rivera when another future Yankee Hall of Famer declared that 2014 would be his last year in baseball. Cue up the Derek Jeter farewell tour. Like his ex-teammate, Jeter has come to represent much of what’s great about America’s national pastime. Yet there are plenty of teams that won’t miss Jeter’s consistency or knack for getting the big hit when the game is on the line. Frankly, he’s worn out ball clubs for decades.

On May 7, Jeter said goodbye to Anaheim with a flourish, cranking his first home run of 2014. Though Mike Trout and the Angels organization gave Jeter a great sendoff — complete with a pinstriped paddle board — it was likely that manager Mike Scioscia didn’t mind seeing him go. Over 167 games against the Angels during his career, Jeter hit .333 (222 hits) with a .407 OBP and .478 slugging. That’s no way to treat a pal.

In fact, the Yankees captain may have numerous players and managers muttering “good riddance” under their breath as they bid him farewell in 2014. Here are the seven MLB teams Jeter has tormented the most over the years (minimum 50 games).

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7. Minnesota Twins

Ron Gardenhire and the Twins should be all smiles when Jeter plays his last game against Minnesota. Over 20 seasons and 125 games against the AL Central stalwart, Jeter has posted a .323 batting average with 165 hits and a .388 OBP. Of course, no one does damage in the playoffs like Jeter.

Since Jeter joined the Yankees in 1995, Minnesota has played New York four times in the Division Series (2003, 2004, 2009, 2010). The Yankees won all four series, going 12-2 with two three-game sweeps (2009, 2010). Jeter hit .351 over those 14 games, with his scorching .429 in the 2003 ALDS the stat that jumps off the page.

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6. Detroit Tigers

No one had more respect for Jeter than Jim Leyland, the ex-skipper of the Tigers who was himself revered on the baseball field. Over the years, it’s easy to see why Jeter got Leyland’s attention. In 139 games, Jeter posted a .326 batting average (185 hits) with a .401 OBP and 113 runs scored. He had a penchant for thefts playing his Motor City rival, as well. Jeter stole 18 bases in 21 attempts over the years against Detroit.

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5. Kansas City Royals

Jeter grew up in the Midwest, so it isn’t surprising that he’s usually in a comfort zone playing teams like the Royals and Tigers. His numbers versus Kansas City over his 20-year career stack up like those against Detroit. In 131 games, Jeter collected 178 hits with a .328 BA and .399 OBP against the Royals. From the days when Johnny Damon was patrolling center field at Kaufman Stadium through the Billy “Country Breakfast” Butler era to the present, Jeter’s been racking up stats against K.C.

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4. Texas Rangers

Jeter has offered up a Texas-size headache to the Rangers and their fans over the years. In 143 games against the team, Jeter has notched 193 hits (.329 BA) with a .400 OBP and a gaudy .918 OPS. His extra OPS juice comes from the .518 slugging Jeter has managed against Texas. That figure is fueled by the 24.5 AB/HR ratio, his best against any opponent with over 50 games played. The Ballpark in Arlington and Yankee Stadium are notorious for the long ball, and Jeter’s made the most of his power playing the Rangers.

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3. Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim

From David Eckstein to Troy Glaus, Vlad Guerrero, and John Lackey, the Yankees have had memorable battles with Anaheim over the years. In fact, Anaheim is the only team that has gotten the better of the Yankees in the Derek Jeter era. That wasn’t the captain’s fault. After the May 7 finale, it was possible to calculate his lifetime stats for the 164 games he’s played the Angels in the regular season.

Jeter posted a .331 batting average (222 hits) with a .405 OBP, 37 doubles, 18 homers, and 112 runs scored. That’s an All-Star season, bordering on MVP numbers. No wonder so many Angels players were waving Jeter off into the sunset.

Source: Positively Cleveland / Flickr Creative Commons

2. Cleveland Indians

Whether at Jacobs Field (now called Progressive Field) or Yankee Stadium (both old and new), Jeter has feasted on Indians pitching. Over 132 games, he has hit .338 with a .399 OBP. In 30 games fewer than a full season total, Jeter scored 97 runs and notched 178 hits against Cleveland over the course of his career. Even luck was on Jeter’s side when playing the Indians: He has an astounding .401 batting average on balls in play against Cleveland.

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1. New York Mets

When Jeter plays the crosstown “rival” Mets, he operates in full DiMaggio mode. Over the course of 84 games against the Amazin’s, Jeter has hit .368 with 127 hits and an intimidating .968 OPS. Jeter, who isn’t known for his power, has averaged one home run every 26.5 at-bats against the Mets, which is his best ratio against any opponent besides Texas.

The Jeter effect was never more apparent than in the 2000 World Series (dubbed the “Subway Series”) between the Yankees and the Mets. Jeter hit .409 with 2 home runs, 2 doubles, and 1 triple in five games (1.344 OPS) on his way to nabbing the MVP. They call him Captain Clutch for a reason, and it’s hard to imagine the Mets missing Jeter one bit.