CLEVELAND -- Joe Girardi said after last night's 9-2 Yankees win here that he was seriously considering giving Derek Jeter a rest tonight. That certainly prompted a lot of nervous reaction from ticket holders to the series finale in Progressive Field, many of whom probably were coming from Western New York.
Not to worry. Jeter, like he always does, lobbied to be in the lineup and he'll be in his customary leadoff spot tonight, four hits shy of the magic 3,000 mark for his career. You can watch it tonight at 7 on YES.
Sitting in a leather chair at his locker and surrounded by about two dozen reporters, Jeter said before tonight's game that his injured calf is fine and there would be no reason for him to sit out.
"His thing was how much I'm playing just coming back," Jeter said of Girardi. "I told him I was fine and that's pretty much the extent of it."
Jeter would like to get the milestone watch over with but said that wasn't a major factor in wanting to play tonight, especially since the Yankees are going home for the weekend to meet Tampa Bay in a four-game set starting tomorrow.
"If I had 500 hits, I'd still be wanting to play," he said. "This isn't the first time I've done it. I used to do the same thing with Mr. T [Joe Torre] when he tried to take me out. I want to play."
Girardi said he talked to Jeter after last night's game in his office and they then exchanged texts in the hotel. He slept on the thought of sitting Jeter down and then made up his mind today.
"What I realized is none of us know what it's like to be in pursuit of 3,000 hits," Girardi said. "We don't know what's going through his mind. Maybe it's worse in a sense if you're sitting around thinking about it. He swung the bat good last night. Physically, he feels well. He's healthy, he's rested. So why not get him back in there? He's had success off Masterton [going 5 for 12 in his career off Cleveland starter Justin Masterton]. Get him back in there and let's get this out of the way so can go about his business in a normal way."
taggedMajor leagues | Yankees