Yankees' Jeter no old-timer ... yet
NEW YORK — It has been so long since Derek Jeter played a game for the Yankees that his presence at his locker Saturday created the eerie sensation that Old-Timers' Day had arrived 24 hours ahead of schedule.
Not so, of course. Though he turns 39 on Wednesday and has spent the better part of the last eight months in Florida, Jeter is not yet among the retired Yankees greats. He is, in fact, hopeful that his twice-fractured left ankle is sufficiently healed for him to begin running — which he believes is the “last step” toward playing baseball again — “in the next couple of days.”
“But that's an assumption,” he said. “So write down ‘assumption.' Don't want to get in trouble.”
Jeter, who took batting practice Saturday, is aware that virtually every move in his ongoing rehabilitation has been frantically followed, that nothing about his return is imminent until he returns, and that he is as tired of the situation as anyone.
“Boring?” he said of his physical restoration. “No. If I say it's boring, then they'll just think of something else for me to do.
“It's tedious. It's not fun. But I wouldn't say boring. It's a long process. You know, I've been doing this pretty much since November? December? I'm over it now. It's too long. The process is too long.”
He flew to the Bronx from the team's Tampa spring training base for the day “to break up” his rehab routine “and to be with the team.”
Manager Joe Girardi called Jeter's appearance “important,” not only for the symbolic nature of having the team captain around “but I also think it's important for Derek . . . Sometimes when you get stuck in Tampa for a while, you seem like you're so far away.”
In 18 previous major league seasons, Jeter was on the disabled list only four times, and in three of those cases, they were short stays. The only absence close to having missed all 74 of this season's games was being out for 36 in 2003 with a dislocated shoulder.
“That was nothing compared to this,” Jeter said. “At the time, it was six weeks I couldn't play. It seemed like forever but . . . it's frustrating. I've been fortunate — you gotta look at it that way — I've been fortunate to play this long and really only have those two things. But it's difficult because I enjoy playing. I enjoy playing every day. I enjoy being here.”
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.