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Jeter talks his way back into lineup

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."

---Mike Harrington


Major leagues | Yankees
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About Inside Pitch

Mike Harrington

Mike Harrington

Mike Harrington, a Canisius College graduate who began his career as a News reporter in 1987, has covered the Buffalo Bisons since 1992 and Major League Baseball since 1995. A member of the Baseball Writers' Association of America, Harrington has reported on more than 30 MLB postseason series — including every game of the World Series in this century — and all three of the Bisons' championship runs in their modern era. He is a connoisseur of the famous Stadium Mustard at Cleveland's Progressive Field.

@BNHarrington |

Amy Moritz

Amy Moritz

Amy Moritz, a native of Lockport, has covered the Bisons for The Buffalo News since 2002. She has a bachelor’s degree in journalism/mass communication from St. Bonaventure University and a master’s degree in humanities from the University at Buffalo. An endurance athlete, she has completed several triathlons, half marathons and marathons.

@amymoritz |