O/U: Derek Jeter games

March, 14, 2014
Mar 14
11:45
AM ET
Over/Unders is a little game we like to play on the blog as a tool for predictions. This is one in a series.

I was wrong, but I wasn't alone. I always thought Derek Jeter would be the last to know. He would play until they ripped the uniform off his back.

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Over/Under: Derek Jeter, 125 games

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    58%
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    42%

Discuss (Total votes: 3,939)

But maybe, just maybe, Jeter was the first to know.

He has started spring training 4-for-24, which might mean nothing or could be telling. We truly don't know.

Let's be clear, no one is counting Jeter out in his retirement season.

We saw him rebound from being a .270 hitter from 2010 into the middle of 2011. He picked up hit No. 3,000 and magically turned back into Jeter again in 2012, leading the world in hits with 216.

The year ended with his ankle cracked, and 2013 never really started. He ended up playing just 17 games. So before we can predict how many hits Jeter will have in 2014, we have to guess on how many games he will play.

OVER/UNDER: 125 games

CASE FOR 125: Jeter has only played in fewer than 125 games three times in his career. In 1995, he appeared in 15 as a late season call-up, so we can throw that out. In 2003, he made Ken Huckaby famous on Opening Day, and his shoulder injury limited him to 119 games. And then last season, when he only made it out on the field 17 times.

So history is on Jeter's side, except that he has a lot of history. He turns 40 in June, which doesn't bode well for staying on the field.

Joe Girardi will manage Jeter's playing time. With the slick-fielding Brendan Ryan on the roster, I could imagine Jeter seeing a good amount of DH time with Masahiro Tanaka's and Hiroki Kuroda's splitters. This could save Jeter's health.

For his part, Jeter says he feels good because he was able to have a normal winter this year instead of rolling around on a scooter, as he did after he broke his ankle in October 2012. He seems to be moving around fairly well, even if his timing is messed up, according to Girardi.

CASE AGAINST 125: Jeter turns 40. His legs were a total mess last season. And did we mention that he turns 40?

By Jeter's age, baseball players' bodies tend to break down. We saw it last year with No. 2. It wasn't a coincidence that Jeter couldn't shake off the various ailments quickly. It happens to us all of us, even legendary ballplayers.

THE VERDICT: I'm going to go over, just over. It is not smart to bet against Jeter on the baseball field. He will prove you wrong. So I'll say he'll play 126 games, despite his age.

YOUR TURN: What have you got? More or less than 125 games for Jeter?
Andrew Marchand is a senior writer for ESPNNewYork. He also regularly contributes to SportsCenter, Baseball Tonight, ESPNews, ESPN New York 98.7 FM and ESPN Radio. He joined ESPN in 2007 after nine years at the New York Post. Follow Andrew on Twitter »

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TEAM LEADERS

BA LEADER
Jacoby Ellsbury
BA HR RBI R
.271 16 70 71
OTHER LEADERS
HRB. McCann 23
RBIB. McCann 75
RB. Gardner 87
OPSB. Gardner .749
WM. Tanaka 13
ERAH. Kuroda 3.71
SOH. Kuroda 146