NEW YORK (Bottom of the Fourth) - Cases of appendicitis spring up a few times per year among Major League baseball players. It's a fairly minor ailment that is by definition a one-time affliction, but it does usually sideline the player for 4-6 weeks.
Unless they're named Derek Jeter. After feeling a twinge in his lower abdomen and removing himself from the Yankees' game against the Red Sox on Tuesday night, Jeter was diagnosed with the disease. However, instead of opting for surgery to remove the inflamed appendix, Jeter decided to simply "play through the pain". Sometime in the next two weeks, the Yankee captain's appendix will rupture, possibly during a game, and will likely cause severe pain and vomiting. A burst appendix also carries a not-insignificant chance of death. However, Jeter says it's "worth the risk".
"With the Red Sox caught up and the Rays nipping at our heels, we can't afford to take any time off," Jeter told reporters. "I don't care if it's a paper cut or a life-threatening illness, we've gotta keep ourselves on the field."
Dr. Andrew Wakefield, a specialist in Jeter-related Medicine, says that the captain should be able to deal with the affliction better than most. "Overlooked in this whole thing has been Derek's extremely high levels of Jetogen." Jetogen, Wakefield went on to explain, is a hormone present in nearly 90% of Derek Jeters, and carries special appendicitis-soothing properties. The scientist predicts that Jeter will experience what feels less like a "rupture" and more like a "gentle breeze".