Derek Jeter's days in pinstripes are numbered. Ask anyone. Like an annual rite, this observation has become a part of Yankees' Spring Training. Over the past four years, the articles written about the Captain's inevitable decline have all followed the same formula, as if torn from a book of Mad Libs. Simply enter (1) Jeter's age, (2) an accomplishment never achieved by a shortstop at least as old, (3) a few poetic metaphors related to time (a clock, hourglass, setting sun, etc.) along with (4) speculation about his next contract, and voilà, you have the first baseball column of spring.

Before anyone gets the impression that I am pointing fingers at others, no one has harped on Jeter's baseball mortality more than I have (see here, here, and here). And, who can blame us? Because Jeter has been so good...and all good things must come to an end...it's very easy to understand why so many people are intrigued by his longevity and fixated on when it will come to an end. However, a much more fascinating question than when Jeter will retire is who will replace him once he's gone?